Regulating Defence Acquisition in the UK
By Luke Butler
Defence acquisition concerns the combination of processes necessary to ensure the delivery of defence capability, from the setting of requirements and budgeting through to procurement and management. Recent events suggest that there is a quiet crisis in UK defence acquisition. Public frustrations with eye-watering cost overruns and staggering delays are exacerbated by consciousness of the austerity cuts. However, beneath the surface of those headlines, there is much less public awareness and even greater disquiet about the fact that there is no uniform consensus on the best way forward in the delivery of this vital public service. Defence acquisition is a labyrinthine system of institutions and policies. It has been largely excluded from, or operated outside, domestic, European and international legal frameworks. Until now, there has never really been any incentive for lawyers to enter the defence acquisition debate given that there was relatively limited possibility of law becoming a central technique in the governance and oversight of the system. This title offers the first ever systematic legal analysis of key features of the UK defence acquisition system's organisation, procurement and management. The book provides a fundamental critique of the assumptions, approaches and impacts of the law's role as the UK Government seeks to construct a regulatory capacity that will enable it to meet its many competing obligations in this vital area of public service delivery.
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