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France Audits its Arms Acquisition with Transformation

France Audits its Arms Acquisition

France seeks to change, speed up and closely audit its arms acquisition using a “transformation” of its procurement office, the Direction Générale de l’Armement.

In a July 5 speech, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly pointed to the dependence on a deep restructuring in the DGA in response to changing threats, international relations, technology and innovation. AS part of that process, the DGA will spin up an innovation office for key programs, with a budget of €1 billion (US $1.2 billion).

Closer ties with industry is going to be part from the new approach, with prime contractors being seated using the DGA and chiefs of staff to draw up a necessity, but industry must assume responsibility and better share risk, Parly said.

“Transformation in the DGA” was the mission assigned to its director, Joël Barre, when he used the post, Parly told the target audience gathered in the defense ministry. Efficiency and responsiveness were key goals, requiring greater dialog relating to the DGA along with the military services, instead of employed in silos, she said.

There are three phases in arms programs, half the first sort number, she said. Those key stages are preparation, production and rehearse with the equipment. The ministry seeks to simplify procedure, increase flexibility and acquire innovation, while pursuing new legal structures and financing.

While greater conversations with industry is going to be vital going forward, Parly pointed up that there would “balance” inside the government’s relations with industry. France was willing to talk with industry nevertheless the government had not been ready to pay any price. There will detailed audits to be sure a right price was opted for, Parly warned.

“The DGA is not a quartermaster’s store, nor little old grandma with the open check book,” she said.

One in the major reforms for industry will probably be to pressure prime contractors deliver on time, using the government wanting to turn to a method found in civil aviation, where most of the payment is manufactured on delivery. That encourages a delivery on time, instead of the present phased payment, where defense contractors have zero incentive to speed up the work.

The DGA will send teams to inspect the contractors to make certain the right price was paid.

Additionally, Parly said there will probably be greater sharing and rehearse of engineering information relating to the DGA and industry, with increased utilization of artificial intelligence and huge databases.

Innovation Agency

To help drive the new culture, DGA set up an innovation agency, intended as normally the one number to call for inquiries on innovation, and willing to take risk and speed up official backing. There is often a look on for director of the agency, that can merge various existing offices including Astrid, Def’invest and Rapid. The agency will have a low cost of €1 billion (US $1.2 billion) for investment.

There is going to be a greater cooperation relating to the DGA, Joint chief of staff and Chief of staff of each one in the services, with teams working together in the same office area from this autumn. There are two pilot projects being considered: the Future Combat Air Systems, that can also look at the possibility of cooperation with Germany and also other European countries, as well as a maritime surveillance system.

There can be a hunt for greater speed by merging the operational requirements set with the services while using technical needs drafted through the DGA. The forces and DGA will, with a prime contractor, write down an individual document setting out requirement. This combined approach will probably be tested on a new internal communications system for your ministry.

The DGA will seek greater flexibility rolling around in its staff management since the office utilizes technical staff, which can be in strong demand in the economy. That includes sending its employees to function temporarily in companies to master best practice and boost cooperation involving the ministry and industry.

The DGA manages the average annual budget of €11 billion for a lot of 100 arms programs, employs 9,600 staff, ones 56 percent are engineers and executives. The office features a major role in managing export deals.

Parly, in her opening remarks, quoted former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in their 1960 acceptance speech in the Democrats’ nomination for the presidential campaign: “We stand today on the fringe of a New Frontier–the frontier with the 1960′s–a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils– a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.”

The DGA was formed only a few months prior to presidential candidate delivered his speech in the Democratic National Convention at the Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles.

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