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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3421

The Auditor-General noted that in respect of this project a significant committment of expenditure on production items had been approved before prototype testing was completed.

This occurred notwithstanding the Committee's recommendations of the 137th and 150th Reports which concluded that contracts of a nature such as this with significant developmental content required the production of a prototype which should be subject to exhaustive testing before production proceeded.

In the case of the Mobile Radio Terminals the Department has stated that production of the units will not proceed until all tests required under the contract have been successfully completed on each of the initial production items.

The Department is confident that the extensive level of testing specified will give a reasonable assurance that the equipment will perform satisfactorily.

The Auditor-General also criticised the tender evaluation process which it considered to be inconsistent with stated government policy.

The Committee shared the Auditor-General's concern and will be considering this matter in more detail during its inquiry into project management in the Defence Force.