Briefing: South Korea ramps up defence transparency and fair trading efforts
By Jon Grevatt
The decision by South Korea earlier this month to establish an agency to oversee the planned procurement of fighter aircraft is indicative of growing concern in Seoul over allegations of misconduct in defence procurement.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement on 2 March that a consultative body will be focused on ensuring "fair competition" during the third phase of Republic of Korea Air Force's next-generation (FX) fighter programme, which is scheduled to be awarded later this year and is being contested by Boeing's F-15SE Silent Eagle, Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The agency, said DAPA, will comprise representatives from DAPA and the defence, finance and foreign ministries. A spokesman was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as saying that DAPA "will take strong measures against any activities that violate the principle of fair competition".
DAPA's focus on enhancing transparency in defence procurement was further underlined by its publication of a handbook on March 23, delivered to all employees, outlining "fair and transparent" defence procurement guidelines and procedures.
A DAPA press release announcing the handbook said the publication outlines "easy to understand... information and procedures" to enable "defence practitioners to improve their skills and ensure efforts to improve fairness and transparency are continued".213 of 1031 words
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