Position of procurement officer may be introduced in AFU

Position of procurement officer may be introduced in AFU

The Office for Support of Changes in the Ministry of Defense proposes to introduce a full-time procurement position in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This will make army procurement more efficient and effective.

This was stated in an interview with Ukrinform by Yevhen Silverstov, Head of Procurement Policy at the Ministry of Defense System Change Support Office.

"Now we in the Office of Change Support, together with the relevant units of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, are conducting research, analysis and formulating more specific proposals for the creation of such a position [procurement officer] in the regular system of the Armed Forces," Silverstov said.

He explained that the army currently has centralized procurement - clothing, food, fuel - handled by the State Logistics Operator, as well as decentralized procurement carried out directly by military units. We are talking about office supplies, drones, trucks, and much more.

"If you have a regular procurement function, it is obvious that there should be a separate official. In addition to logic, there is the aforementioned law on public procurement. It stipulates that an authorized person reports and plans procurement. For this function, there should be either a special position of a procurement officer or another official who holds another position, and procurement for him or her is an additional job with the corresponding additional payment. So, neither of these two options exists in the army. That is, there is no procurement specialist, because it is not provided for by the staff. And other officials who perform these functions cannot be paid extra for the additional workload because there is no such calculation. Thus, the absence of a procurement officer in military units is also a violation of public procurement legislation," explained Silverstov.

Answering the question of how many such positions are needed for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he said that there are currently about 750 structures that are defined as defense customers. About 450 of them are subordinated to the Ministry of Defense.

Mr. Silverstov also noted that different structures carry out procurement in different volumes, so the expediency of having a procurement officer on staff will depend on this.

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"Some units can make purchases for several hundred thousand UAH a year, some units can make purchases for several million UAH, some units can make purchases for tens of millions. I am talking about what is happening at the level of military units. Because at the level of the Ministry of Defense, which is the central level, there are billions of dollars in procurement. Of course, some military units may not need a separate position. After all, there are only a few hundred thousand UAH of procurement there. But in military units with tens of millions in procurement, at least one position is needed, and in some - brigades or commands - a department of several people is needed," he said.

As Ukrinform reported earlier,  State Enterprise "State Logistics Operator" is a state agency that meets the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in food, clothing, fuel and lubricants. On October 30, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov signed a contract and an order appointing Arsen Zhumadilov as the Director General of the State Enterprise "State Logistics Operator". On December 18, 2023, Umerov, during a presentation of the "State Logistics Operator", noted that this is not just a new procurement agency, but the creation of a new architecture of public procurement in the defense sector of Ukraine.

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