Defence sets out new terms of engagement with manufacturers

In two announcements, the Australian Department of Defence has reached out to industry to make it easier for manufacturers to supply products for defence applications.

In a change to the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), Australian businesses will no longer need a Defence contract to gain DISP membership. Companies can now self-nominate for DISP membership.

DISP is the assurance program whereby the goods and services that Defence acquires are safeguarded. According to Steven Scanlan, acting assistant secretary security policy and services, “DISP allows industry to demonstrate their security practices when partnering with Defence”.

Once DISP members, companies can access the information, guidance, and services to create the necessary security practices for tendering for classified information and assets.

“Industry can now proactively elect to put in place the appropriate security practices and become recognised by Defence before bidding on future Defence contracts,” said Scanlan.

With Defence seeking to have a greater amount of Australian-manufactured content in Defence projects, this change allows local manufacturers to be better prepared for the requirements stipulated in these contracts. In addition, being a DISP member prepares Australian manufacturers to readily access international defence contracts.

“By becoming a member of DISP, there is the opportunity to join international supply chains, with reciprocal recognition available through the Government’s agreements with countries such as France and Germany,” said Scanlan.

In a separate announcement, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) signed an agreement with the Department of Defence to define core principles, values, and shared objectives for Defence and industrial manufacturers. The agreement serves as a guide for the behaviours expected in the procurement process.

“It creates a solid base for strengthened, enhanced and more positive relationships based on mutual trust and respect,” said Ai Group chief executive, Innes Willox.

The two parties agreed to work in good faith to implement the principles, which include continuous improvement, positive relationships, and reducing costs involved in engagement and negotiation.