A report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) on the acquisition of the C-27J Spartan for the RAAF has concluded that the selection of the transport aircraft to replace the Caribou under AIR 8000 Phase 2 represented value for money.
Defence agreed to acquire 10 aircraft through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales program as a direct source procurement, meaning an open tender was not required. Shadow Defence minister Senator David Johnston expressed concerns about the procurement process and requested that a performance audit of the project be carried out by the ANAO. Senator Johnston released a statement on August 16 in which he said the report’s findings vindicated the concerns raised last year about the “flawed” acquisition process.
However, Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly responded on August 20 by accusing Senator Johnston of ignoring the key findings of the independent audit.