MoD’s plan to implement new contracting system falls back on paper processes
Delayed contracting, purchasing and finance system that should have gone live on November 18 will now be “made available” to users on December 5
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to introduce a new system to enable full electronic transacting for contracts has seen it have to resort to using paper processes.
The new system, called Contracting, Purchasing and Finance (CP&F) is intended to replace existing MOD purchasing and payment systems including Purchase to Payment (P2P). The aim, the MoD says, is to “provide a single end to end capability which will enable significant improvements for both the MOD and suppliers. Specifically this will enhance both contract visibility and contract management processes.”
But the MoD is behind schedule with the move, and the new CP&F system is not now planned to be available to users until December 5. Originally, the system was scheduled to go live on November 18.
In guidance on GOV.UK about the CP&F Release 2 Cutover, the MoD said, “On October 27 2016 the R2 Cutover phase of the CP&F programme commenced.
“This is the phase where user access to existing systems has been removed to enable data migration to the new CP&F System. The new CP&F system is now planned to be made available to users on December 5 2016.”
Discussing a revised date for ‘go live’, the MoD said, “Previously you were advised that the MoD is introducing a new system to enable full electronic transacting for contracts called CP&F.
“Data migration from previous systems in the volumes CP&F requires whilst also merging data from different systems always carries risk. Unfortunately, the team have experienced issues that have taken much longer to complete than the time allocated. Given that disruption has occurred to some business whilst legacy systems have been shut down, it is important that we reach a stable CP&F platform as soon as possible as this will minimise future disruption and enable backlogs to be quickly cleared. This means that go live on November 18 is no longer viable.”
The ministry added that the Programme Board had confirmed a revised ‘go live’ data with first payments as the week commencing December 5, adding that “all efforts will be undertaken to bring that date forward.”
It went on, “This delay is one that we know may cause inconvenience to some suppliers. We apologise for this but the department believes delaying ‘go live’ is the best option to deliver the new system effectively and maintain the relationship between MOD and its supplier base moving forward. We recognise this is now close to quarter/Anchoryear end and may cause you some concern.”
Explaining its temporary move to paper processes, the MoD said, “In preparation, the current P2P system was taken down at 1800 hours on October 27. Every effort is being made by the MOD to minimise the impact on suppliers and to ensure we meet our contractual and legal obligations. However, if these arrangements cause you any difficulties, you should contact your MOD commercial officer as soon as possible and agree a course of action.
“During the downtime period and until CP&F is switch(ed) on December 5, 2016, the MOD will not be processing any orders or invoices. Please be aware that goods and services can still be delivered in accordance with contractual arrangements and those trading via Exostar and on paper based contracts can continue to submit invoices during this time, the invoices will go on hold until MOD can process them on the new CP&F system.”
It explained that the MOD “cannot send orders through P2P but existing paper based processes will still operate. The MOD will also have processes for issuing high priority orders during the downtime and may bring some orders forward. In any case, MOD will take all action to process the backlog of orders following ‘go live’.”
The MoD said the work to streamline the contracting processes was necessary and the ministry and its supplier base will benefit from a uniformed way of working for all staff involved in procurement; a single data input system, providing consistent information and improved management information; a sourcing capability that drives common sourcing behaviours and consistent approach common practices across the department; and improved supplier performance management processes across the supplier base for the whole of the department.”
Ultimately, the MoD said, the aim is for suppliers to be able to maintain their own data and access to the system.