the De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil

SP's LandForces - - SPECIAL REPORT - SP

T he MoD’s apex De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil (DAC), usu­ally the last MoD stop pro­pos­als or deals pass through be­fore clear­ance by the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Se­cu­rity (CCS), could func­tion very dif­fer­ently in the fu­ture. Chair­ing his first meet­ing of the DAC on Novem­ber 22, De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar has called for more fre­quent meet­ings (the cur­rent de­fault is once a month or less) with more fo­cused agenda items, which would al­low the coun­cil more time to dis­cuss each item be­fore ac­cord­ing nec­es­sary ap­provals. DAC meet­ings range from be­ing fairly light to hugely over­bur­dened with as many as 20 agenda items in some no­table re­cent cases, leav­ing very lit­tle time for each item to be dis­cussed.

Sources said Par­rikar wishes to per­son­ally scru­ti­nise all pro­pos­als and deals be­fore they are dis­patched from the MoD for higher gov­ern­ment ap­provals at the CCS level (Par­rikar is also part of CCS). With the DAC likely to meet more than once a month in fu­ture, the ac­qui­si­tion process could fi­nally re­ceive a level of trans­parency and pre­dictabil­ity, a more de­fined struc­ture in terms of pri­ori­tised clear­ances and a neater frame­work for ap­provals. The De­fence Sec­re­tary’s of­fice has been in­structed to evolve a new sched­ule for the DAC that will take into ac­count the fresh re­quire­ments as stated by the De­fence Min­is­ter. As has be­come stan­dard prac­tice now, while no of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion on the DAC de­ci­sions are re­leased, jour­nal­ists are of­fi­cially briefed by the MoD on the de­ci­sions for on­ward dis­sem­i­na­tion. A decision may also be taken to is­sue of­fi­cial state­ments on th­ese mat­ters, de­pend­ing on sen­si­tiv­ity and con­sent from req­ui­site agen­cies.

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