Does the country have a process for acquisition planning that involves clear oversight, and is it publicly available?
11a. Acquisition planning process
New Zealand score: 100/100
There is no defined process for acquisition planning.
The process for acquisition planning is in place but it is not clear, and internal functions are not separated. There are very few, if any, explicit connections made between specific purchases and defence strategy requirements.
There is a process for acquisition planning in place, internal acquisition functions are separated, e.g. budget, commercial, and finance. There are few, if any, explicit connections between specific purchases and defence strategy requirements.
There is a clear process for acquisition planning in place, but internal acquisition planning functions are not separated, e.g. budget, commercial, and finance. Connections between specific purchases and defence strategy requirements are made explicit.
There is a clear process for the entire acquisition planning cycle in place, with formally separate internal acquisition planning functions, e.g., budget, commercial, and finance. Connections between specific purchases and defence strategy requirements are made explicit.
The Ministry of Defence provides a clear and simple explanation of the procurement cycle on its website with links to relevant policy documents . All capital projects must adhere to the Government’s Capital Asset Management regime including the Better Business Case model, which is administered by The Treasury and provides support through the Government Procurement Rules [2, 3]. There are sometimes exceptions to this rule, however: the New Zealand Government’s Procurement Rules allow an Agency to opt out of some procurement rules under certain circumstances, such as military and essential security interests . The recent P-8A Poseidon aircraft procured through the United States Government Foreign Military Sales process is a recent example. Nevertheless, despite not strictly following the Better Business Case model, the same information was submitted by the Ministry of Defence, and therefore for practical purposes served the same function . Rationale or reasoning behind major defence procurements are identified and explained in the Defence Capability Plan documents, if not in the Defence White Paper. The Ministry of Defence leads major procurement processes but works in close cooperation with the NZDF’s Defence Commercial Services, with input from Defence Industry Engagement Teams, and working groups governing asset management plans. According to publicly available information, there exists formally separate planning functions within the procurement process for the above-mentioned units . However, the procurement process is more flexible for minor defence projects that have less than a $15 million total life cost, checks and balances are still maintained but the number of processes may be reduced in such cases. The same oversight regulations do not apply to the Intelligence Agencies, given their procurements are many time smaller. In principle specific acquisitions by the intelligence agencies could fall under IGIS, if there was a legality or propriety issue, however section 161 of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 identifies other bodies that should be consulted, specifically the Auditor-General . Thus, despite acquisition technically falling under the purview of the IGIS, the size and expertise of the Auditor-General’s Office mean that they would be best placed to monitor and investigate . This process has worked well so far and the TCIL Report is a good example of how the relationship functions where the IGIS and another integrity agency have a common interest . The then State Services Commission, during the TCIL inquiry, referred information relating to specific interactions to IGIS, for consideration, independently of the State Services investigation .
1. New Zealand Ministry of Defence, “Engaging with the Ministry and the NZDF”, accessed 3 July 2020,
2. New Zealand Ministry of Defence, “The Defence Procurement Process”, accessed 3 July 2020, https://www.defence.govt.nz/industry-working-with-defence/infrastructure/
3. Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, “Government Procurement Rules”, accessed 3 July 2020,
4. New Zealand Government Procurement, “Rule 12: Opt-out procurements, 3(m)”, Government Procurement Rules, https://www.procurement.govt.nz/procurement/principles-charter-and-rules/government-procurement-rules/getting-started/opt-out-procurements/
5. Office of the Auditor-General, “Ministry of Defence Annual Review 2018/19,” Briefing to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee (12 December 2019), p. 9, https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/52SCFD_ADV_92632_FD3401/e0ff16d07f312d4d397cb783ed5e7c866e4f0da9
6. New Zealand Ministry of Defence, “Engaging with the Ministry and the NZDF”, accessed 3 July 2020, https://www.defence.govt.nz/industry-working-with-defence/infrastructure/engaging-with-the-ministry-and-nzdf/
7. Intelligence and Security Act 2017, Part 6, Section 161, http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2017/0010/latest/DLM6921176.html.
8. Interview with the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security and the Deputy Inspector of Intelligence and Security, 12 August 2020.
9. Doug Martin, and Simon Mount, Inquiry into the use of External Security Consultants by Government Agencies (Wellington: State Services Commission, 2018), https://www.publicservice.govt.nz/assets/Legacy/resources/Report-of-the-inquiry-into-the-use-of-external-security-consultants-by-government-agencies.pdf
10. Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Annual Report for 1 July 2018-30 June 2019, p. 17, http://www.igis.govt.nz/assets/Annual-Reports/Annual-Report-2019.pdf
New Zealand score: 75/100
There is no transparency of the acquisition planning process.
The public has limited access to information about the process itself, because a great deal of information is excluded from publication, or not provided upon request.
The public has access to information about the process itself, but some items of information may be excluded from publication.
The public has access to information about the process itself, but information may be delayed or not timely published.
The public has access to information about the entire process itself so that information can be obtained as needed. Information that is proactively published includes justification of purchases, lines of responsibility, timelines, mechanisms, and outcomes.
Transparency has improved since the last Defence Integrity Index and the public has access to information about the entire process. Major capital projects are justified and explained within Annual Report, Defence Capability Plans, and in the case of Defence White Papers years in advance, and any debate from members of the Select Committee would be freely available online via the Parliamentary website [1, 2, 3]. Proactive releases are becoming more common, such as in the case of Cabinet Papers related to the Network Enabled Army programme and Protected Vehicle – Medium Procurement, and which provide justification, lines of responsibility, timeliness, mechanisms and outcomes – though the details of each is dependent upon OIA compliance [4, 5]. This appears to be developing policy as the Defence Tactical Future Air Mobility Capability Cabinet decision of June 2019 was only released in February 2021 – though the announcement was published nearer to the time . It should be noted that an enhanced, or more transparent, timeline of specific procurement projects could be released, such as estimated Initial Operating Capability and Full Operating Capability. An example of where this has not occurred is the redaction of the “Milestone” Schedule within the Protected Vehicle – Medium Procurement document release. Estimated maintenance costs are also withheld. Arguments on behalf of Operational Security could be made, but as New Zealand’s Defence Partners regularly release such details there seems little reason for New Zealand not to do so, or at least a comprehensive explanation could be provided. Relatively smaller procurements are published in newsletters, and usually accompanied by short explanations and descriptions, as seen within the Army’s purchase of Zodiac craft, for example . Those wishing to view details of Government tenders must first register on NZDF’s SmartProcure website . This does present restrictions as only individuals of corporates or limited liability companies may join. However, as proactive releases are becoming more regular this is less of an issue. Moreover, even if one does not register a brief overview is sometimes provided on the Government Tender Service website which includes timelines and outcomes . Given the small size of the New Zealand Defence sector it is unlikely that any major capital projects would go unnoticed. Additionally, even if one were not representing a commercial enterprise, an OIA request could be made and there would be no reason to withhold that information based on the fact that it is already available to civilian entities.
1. An example taken from the acquisition of P-8A Poseidon aircraft in NZDF Annual Report 2019, pp. 189, 229- 230. Also see reports and business items from the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/scl/foreign-affairs-defence-and-trade/.
2. In particular see Defence White Paper 2016 (Wellington: Ministry of Defence, 2016), pp. 45-46, https://www.defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/daac08133a/defence-white-paper-2016.pdf
3. Ministry of Defence, Defence Capability Plan 2019, pp. 3, 5, 30, https://www.defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/03acb8c6aa/Defence-Capability-Plan-2019.pdf
4. Ministry of Defence, “Protected vehicle – Medium Procurement – Release of Cabinet Documents”, 29 October 2020, https://www.defence.govt.nz/publications/publication/protected-vehicle-medium-procurement
5. Ministry of Defence, “Network Enabled Army programme: Tranche Two – release of Cabinet Material”, 12 February 2020, https://www.defence.govt.nz/publications/publication/network-enabled-army-programme-tranche-2
6. Ministry of Defence, June 2019 Cabinet Business Committee minute of decision Defence Tactical Future Air Mobility Capability, CBC-19-MIN-0022; and Cabinet paper Defence Tactical Future Air Mobility Capability, CBC-19-SUB-0022, February 2021, https://www.defence.govt.nz/assets/publication/file/Defence-Tactical-Future-Air-Mobility-Capability-2019.pdf
7. New Zealand Army, Army News 511 (April 2020), pp. 10-11.
8. New Zealand Defence Force SmartProcure, https://nzdf.bravosolution.com/web/login.shtml, accessed 13 July 2020.
9. See for example “Request for Proposals – NZDF Medic Career and Learning Pathway (MCLP) – Qualification Alignment and Provision”, New Zealand Government Electronic Tenders Service, https://www.gets.govt.nz/NZDF/ExternalTenderDetails.htm?id=22967711, accessed 3 July 2020.
11c. External oversight
New Zealand score: 100/100
There is no external oversight of the acquisition planning process.
These oversight functions either simply review the figures or check that the internal audit have reviewed the figures.
These oversight functions assess basic performance, but fail to assess long-term outcomes or the legitimacy of plans. Parliament is not involved in oversight of acquisition planning.
These oversight functions assess performance, and the country's long-term acquisition plans, but they fail to assess the legitimacy of plans. Parliament is also involved in oversight of acquisition planning.
There are strong external oversight functions that assess the country's long-term acquisition plans, their legitimacy and likelihood that plans are going to function properly. Parliament is also involved in oversight of acquisition planning.
Long-term acquisition plans are elucidated in Defence Capability Plans published by the Ministry of Defence. External financial oversight is conducted by the Auditor-General [1, 2]. Questions to the Minister regarding acquisitions are also frequently delivered in Parliament . Traditionally concerns over external oversight of procurements have generally oscillated around the ability of the NZDF to maintain a certain level of serviceability . Ordinarily, these relate to staffing as attrition rates within some sectors of the Military are too high to sustain effective readiness levels. For example, the FADTC raised concerns over the high attrition rates for the NZDF in the 2020/21 Estimates for Vote Defence and Vote Defence Force, with attrition within the infantry and armoured combat specialists approaching 34 and 27 per cent, respectively. It is perhaps no coincidence therefore, that the NZDF has placed nearly 30 per cent of its Light Armoured Vehicles fleet up for sale [5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. As such, concerns over acquisition are not due to the inadequacies of the systems purchased, as they are required to fulfil the strategic national policy objectives, however there are queries over how realistic it will be for the NZDF to keep them operational. Another issue around the quality of external oversight has been fit-for-purpose issues resulting from purchase of systems according to value for money rather than effectiveness, which incidentally, shows a greater concern for fiscal prudence than operational readiness. The decommissioning of certain vehicles, by the Army, and vessels, by the Navy, are just two recent examples [11, 12, 13, 14, 15]. Ironically, this financial conservatism has only served to increase over-life costs due to the systems being inadequate for their operating environment and subsequently needing to be repaired and replaced before their envisioned end-of-service date. Despite these issues, according to a review of the defence procurement policies and practices, a new and improved level of project management oversight has been introduced since 2015, and which provides “a strong level of confidence and assurance to support informed decision making” . The FADTC and OAG are both mandated to engage in external oversight. Regarding long-term acquisition plans, this process is achieved through the Estimates and Annual reviews briefings [see Q1 and Q2]. It is unknown to what extent the FADTC is involved in oversight of the Defence Capability Plans before they are published. THE OAG has the power to conduct performance audits, which can extend to the opening of Inquiries, but it does not comment on Policy [17, 18, 19].
1. New Zealand Defence Force Annual Report 2018-2019 (Wellington: Headquarters, New Zealand Defence Force, 2019), pp. 179-180.
2. Ministry of Defence Annual Report 2018-2019 (Wellington: Ministry of Defence, 2019), p.62.
3. Hansard, Oral Question: 11. Question No. 11 – Defence, 24 June 2020, vol. 747, https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/HansS_20200624_051000000/11-question-no-11-defence, accessed 10 July 2020.
4. See for example the independent review of HMNZS Canterbury, “REPORT OF THE REVIEW OF THE SAFETY AND FUNCTIONALITY OF HMNZS CANTERBURY” (Wellington: Ministry of Defence, 2008), https://www.defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/2982ed9255/independent-review-safety-hmnzs-canterbury2.pdf
5. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, “2020/21 Estimates for Vote Defence and Vote Defence Force”, Report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee (July 2020), pp. 3-4, https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/SCR_99368/0542fe08ed74993d14c680e89979f8c1752333bf.
6. Interview with NZDF officer, 31 July 2020.
7. George Block, “Defence Force struggling to find a buyer for 30 unwanted armoured vehicles”, 26 January 2020, Stuff, https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/119010120/defence-force-struggling-to-find-a-buyer-for-30-unwanted-armoured-vehicles
8. Another source puts the number at around 20 per cent. See Jonathan Mitchell, “Twenty unused light armoured vehicles remain in NZDF storage”, 7 October 2020, RNZ, https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/427780/twenty-unused-light-armoured-vehicles-remain-in-nzdf-storage
9. Sam Sachdeva, “Defence Force trucks to find peace in pieces”, 28 May 2018, Newsroom, https://www.newsroom.co.nz/nzdfs-pinzgauers-to-find-peace-in-pieces
10. Compare the above example to the longevity of the NZDF Unimogs (given the two vehicle types were envisioned to fulfil different tactical roles). See Matthew Tso, “40 former Defence Force Unimogs on the auction block”, 10 November 2017, Stuff, https://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/98765658/40-former-defence-force-unimogs-on-the-auction-block
11. Lloyd Burr, “Navy’s ships not being used”, 14 April 2016, Newshub, https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2016/04/navys-ships-not-being-used.html
12. Rosanna Price, “Navy’s newest patrol boats haven’t made it to sea in years”, 14 April 2016, Stuff, https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/78903319/navys-newest-patrol-boats-havent-made-it-to-sea-in-years-defence-force-admits
13. Tom Pullar-Strecker, “Advert for HMNZS Rotoiti and Pukaki removed at request of Defence Force”, 18 January 2020, Stuff, https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118882303/hmnzs-rotoiti-and-pukaki-briefly-advertised-for-sale-on-australian-website
14. NZDF, “ Navy decommissions two Inshore Patrol Vessels”, 17 October 2019, Medium, https://medium.com/@nzdefenceforce/navy-decommissions-two-inshore-patrol-vessels-596a361f2a63
15. Ministry of Defence, Defence Capability Plan 2019, p. 33, https://www.defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/03acb8c6aa/Defence-Capability-Plan-2019.pdf
16. Brian Roche, Review of Defence Procurement Policies and Practices for Major Capability Projects (April 2018), p. 2, https://www.defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/e2a59561b5/Review-of-Defence-Procurement.pdf
17. Controller and Auditor-General, “Performance Audits”, https://oag.parliament.nz/about-us/our-work/about-auditing/performance-audits
18. Controller and Auditor-General, “Inquiries”, https://oag.parliament.nz/about-us/our-work/inquiries
19. Controller and Auditor-General, “Our Functions, duties, and powers”, https://oag.parliament.nz/about-us/our-work/functions-and-duties
Compare scores by country
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|Country||11a. Acquisition planning process||11b. Transparency||11c. External oversight|
|Albania||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Algeria||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Angola||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Argentina||75 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Armenia||50 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Australia||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Azerbaijan||25 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Bahrain||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Bangladesh||75 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Belgium||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||50 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Botswana||75 / 100||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Brazil||75 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||25 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Canada||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Chile||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|China||50 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Colombia||50 / 100||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||25 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Denmark||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|Egypt||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Estonia||100 / 100||25 / 100||100 / 100|
|Finland||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|France||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Germany||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Ghana||25 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Greece||50 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Hungary||25 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|India||75 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Indonesia||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Iran||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Iraq||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Israel||50 / 100||25 / 100||75 / 100|
|Italy||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Japan||75 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Kenya||50 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Kosovo||50 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Kuwait||25 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Latvia||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Lebanon||50 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Lithuania||75 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Malaysia||50 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Mali||25 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Mexico||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Montenegro||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Morocco||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Myanmar||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Netherlands||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|New Zealand||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|Niger||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Nigeria||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|North Macedonia||75 / 100||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Norway||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Oman||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Palestine||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Philippines||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Poland||25 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Portugal||50 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Russia||25 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Serbia||25 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Singapore||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|South Africa||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|South Korea||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|South Sudan||25 / 100||0 / 100||NEI|
|Spain||75 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Sudan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Sweden||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Switzerland||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Taiwan||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Tanzania||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Thailand||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Tunisia||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Turkey||50 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Uganda||100 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Ukraine||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|United Kingdom||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|United States||75 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Venezuela||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Zimbabwe||25 / 100||0 / 100||75 / 100|