Jenkins report champions Canadian defence production
By Peter Diekmeyer
Canada has been urged to make greater efforts to direct USD240 billion of projected infrastructure, equipment and readiness spending towards national industries.
In a long-awaited report, Tom Jenkins, a special adviser to Rona Ambrose, the country's public works minister, has recommended a sweeping revision of defence purchases, notably "developing original product domestically" and the building of "key industrial capabilities".
The report, entitled Canada First: Leveraging Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilities and released on 12 February, recommends channelling procurement to create industry clusters in six sectors. These include Arctic and marine security, command and support, cyber security, training systems, and in-service support.
Like many countries, Canada has long struggled to balance defence procurement efficacy and development of domestic capabilities. To get best-of-breed solutions Ottawa often needs to look abroad to the UK, the US and others. This leaves local contractors little chance to build core strengths, the report argues.
Canada has faced numerous procurement challenges, with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) acquisition - criticised last year by the national auditor-general for cost overruns and inefficiencies - a notable example. A complete revision of the JSF initiative was ordered and alternatives are being looked into.194 of 399 words
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