With the release of the draft Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 on July 27, the exercise that started last August to review the existing acquisition procedure is almost complete. So is the exercise of reviewing the offset guidelines whose revised draft was released separately three days later.
Apart from the revised offset guidelines, the final version of DAP 2020 will also include a chapter on Simplified Capital Expenditure Procedure (SCEP) for recurring replenishment, repairs,and refits of in-service equipment/systems. The draft of this chapter has not been notified as of now, adding an element of suspense. The DAP 2020 will eventually replace the existing Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016.
Though the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was generous in seeking comments on revised drafts by August 10, the window is too small for the outsiders to sift through 710 pages of the two documents and make any major recommendations, more so because DAP 2020 itself is a revised and rechristened version of the draft DPP 2020 released earlier in March 2020 and takes into account the overwhelming response it elicited from ‘the entire spectrum of stakeholders’.
Apart from several procedural changes and a revamped offset policy, DAP 2020 is padded with an assortment of new ideas – such as integration of artificial intelligence with platforms and systems, use of indigenous high-end material and special alloys, and setting up of a Project Management Unit to support contract management – and as many as five new chapters, including the not-yet-notified chapter on SCEP.