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Australia to streamline procedures for large procurement projects

Australia's Department of Defence (DoD) is set to introduce major procedural reforms in 2022 that will slash up to 12 months off the time it typically takes to sign large defence acquisition projects.

This follows completion of a Defence Procurement Review initiated in 2020 by Minister of Defence Industry Melissa Price who said in a statement on 27 December that the review had identified significant opportunities to reduce red tape, saving industry time and money.

Under the changes being introduced in 2022, the DoD would focus on reducing the time taken to progress large material acquisition activities from the identification of a capability need to the signing of a contract, the minister said.

β€œFor a project that would have previously taken four years, or possibly even longer to get to the point of a contract signature, these changes will reduce that period by up to 12 months,” the minister added.

β€œOur strategic environment is deteriorating and creating new challenges for us to overcome, so we must have a more agile procurement system that delivers capability for the ADF [Australian Defence Force] more quickly and treats industry as a fundamental partner in the delivery of this capability,” the minister said.

The DoD would focus on strengthening its communication with industry as part of the procurement overhaul, with a particular focus on the tender process, she said.

The changes would give industry greater clarity on upcoming tenders, improve probity and guidance practices, and provide faster feedback to unsuccessful bidders to help them improve future proposals.

According to the review, tender evaluation periods are to be capped at 12 months for more complex projects – saving an anticipated three months – and six months for lower-risk procurements.

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