According to the latest findings of the National Audit Office (NAO), the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has begun to move in the right direction with regard to controlling costs and timescales on its major projects, under the directives of the Smart Acquisition programme. Initiated in 1998, Smart Acquisition consists of a number of initiatives designed to enable the MOD to buy military equipment "cheaper, faster and better".
The Major Projects Report 2001 this year examines how performance under Smart Acquisition is being measured and sets out the MoD's performance in delivering its largest projects to time, cost and performance as at 31 March this year. The report acknowledges that in the last year project costs have fallen by £100 million and there are signs that project delays are beginning to be brought under control. The report identifies the £2.4 billion reduction in equipment procurement costs since the introduction of Smart Acquisition.
The Major Projects Report covers thirty projects during the period up to 31 March 2001. The projects are split, in accordance with Smart Acquisition principles, between the 20 largest projects on which the main investment decision has been taken and the 10 largest projects yet to reach that point. The report covers cost, time and technical performance data for the projects but in the future it should expand to include whole life cost information.