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Adding new procedures to defence purchases could exacerbate delays, deputy warns

OTTAWA - Senior officials at National Defence were concerned last fall that the Harper government's plan to rescue its troubled military procurement system would make a bad situation even worse.

A briefing prepared for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson shows the department was worried that a plan to leverage planned purchases to the benefit of Canadian industry would add red tape, rather than strip it away.

The department understood the wider context of using defence dollars to contribute to economic prosperity and growth, but warned things could slow down even more depending upon how rigidly the system was constructed.

The six page briefing, dated Oct. 10, 2013, was written in advance of the release of the plan last winter and obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

A spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Diane Finley says the intent of the overhaul was to make the system more efficient.

Alyson Queen says the strategy should not —and will not — slow down the process.

The Canadian Press

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