National Defence makes limited progress in finding more procurement staff

Defence struggling to find procurement staff

OTTAWA — New figures show National Defence has made limited progress in hiring more staff to manage the military’s many procurement projects.

A shortage of personnel in the department’s procurement section has been cited as one of the reasons efforts to buy new military equipment are consistently plagued with delays and cost overruns.

The Liberals promised during the last election to expand National Defence’s procurement section to move projects faster and avoid the bottlenecks that have hindered the military.

And the head of military procurement said last year he wanted to grow his workforce of some 4,200 by about 10 per cent to help unsnarl the military purchase system.

But figures provided by National Defence show it has added only 83 positions over the last 12 months, which represents an increase of less than two per cent and leaves it with fewer staff than in 2014.

The department says while it is working to hire more staff, it has been challenging to find people with the right mix of knowledge, experience and expertise.

The Canadian Press

Canadian Press