Using commercial discipline to improve Australian defence procurement: Misplaced enthusiasm?
Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 30, Issue 3 | pages: 448-462
Australia, like other democracies, has long sought to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement for national defence. A recent review exhorted Defence procurement managers to exert greater “commercial discipline.” Similar calls have been made in other countries. This paper tests such public sector emulation of commercial practice by comparing the relative effectiveness of procurement via in‐house arrangements; a public procurement agency detached from Defence; and privatized provision. We show that what matters is not public or private ownership but how ownership and management are integrated and what incentive structures are applied.