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Procurement Decisions

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Defence Procurement decisions fall in to three distinct categories:

  • Things that are needed and that will undoubtedly be very expensive.
  • Things that are not needed that will undoubtedly be very expensive.
  • Things that we've already got that could do with an upgrade.

All decisons made on purchasing are heavily influenced by the Member of Parliament to who's constituency the jobs will go. In the US they have the decency to be fairly open about this form of "pork barrel politics"". Over here, politicians are a bit less candid. Unless it's a key marginal when they will trumpet their "achievements" to all and sundry.

Things that are needed that will undoubtedly be very expensive

There are two ways of going about doing this. The logical way, and the MoD(PE) way. Why buy a proven off-the-shelf system when you can squander billions in alternative development before either:

  • Succumbing to common sense and scrapping the whole sorry idea and buying off the peg, or...
  • Bloody mindedly throwing even more cash at it and battering that square peg in to that round hole. It will fit.

Feel free to add examples below:

Things that are not needed that will undoubtedly be very expensive

The product of a bored mind at the MoD. Just how can I make my mark on the rich tapestry of history?

  • Wheel re-invention: It's been done before and we binned it. So... let's do it all again - at great expense!
  • Efficiency interests: A wheel, filed off around the edges fifty pence-style to ensure smooth running in the interests of efficiency.
  • Fiscal wastage: You don't need it, but you're gonna have it anyway. This is very popular in both local government and the armed forces - and especially at the ministry.

Feel free to add examples below:

Things that we've already got that could do with an upgrade

Again, there are two ways of going about doing this. The logical way, and the MoD(PE) way:

  • The highest bidder. Expensive, but you know the end product will be worth the money spent. This also saves time that would otherwise have been wasted had you gone to...
  • The lowest bidder. Cheap & cheerful. You'll have your upgrade at the lowest possible price. It will go pear shaped. It will be months if not years behind. The budget will go orbital - thereby nullifying the whole point of going for the lowest bidder in the first place. It will be re-tendered. And it will go to the contractor who was initially the highest bidder.

Feel free to add examples below: