18 July 2002
Purchasers at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are failing to make prompt delivery of vital equipment a priority, a parliamentary committee has warned.
Edward Leigh MP, chairman of the public accounts committee, said project delays were still a major problem and timely delivery was too often secondary to haggling over technical specifications.
"Absolute technical perfection may not always be essential and, if they are appropriately flexible, the MoD could achieve more prompt delivery of equipment."
It recommended more planning in assessment phases of contracts, clearer pricing and framing of contracts and closer relations with industry to ensure the MoD's requirements are technically achievable.
The committee was responding to the National Audit Office's Major Projects Report 2001, which found that while the MoD was improving in its delivery times, delays still increased by 1.5 months on average last year.