MoD pushes back launch of new online procurement system

Written by Rebecca Hill on 30 November 2016 in News

The Ministry of Defence has delayed the go live date of its new online procurement system due to problems with data migration, leaving suppliers to wait for invoices to be processed or resort to paper.

The MoD has promised to deal with the backlog of orders and receipts as soon as possible - Photo credit: Flickr, Kathleen Zarubin, CC BY 2.0 

The system, called Contracting, Purchasing and Finance (CP&F), will replace the existing MoD purchasing and payment systems and will see one single set of data being entered and reused throughout the procurement process, from contract advert to closure.

The idea is to improve contract information management and is part of the government’s drive to make all government transactions electronic by 2017.

At the start of last month, the MoD began migrating the data to the new programme, which means that users can no longer access existing systems and the MoD will not be processing any orders or invoices.

This should have been completed in time for the service to go live this month – it had initially said this would happen on 18 November – but the MoD has had to push it back to the week beginning 5 December.

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The MoD said that the team had “experienced issues that have taken much longer to complete than the time allocated”.

It said: “Data migration from previous systems in the volumes CP&F requires, whilst also merging data from different systems, always carries risk.”

The MoD said it appreciated that it was nearing the end of a quarter, and the year, and that this may be concerning for suppliers but that delaying the go live date was “the best option to deliver the new system effectively”.

The department said that existing paper-based processes will still operate, that it would have processes for issuing high priority orders during the downtime and would “take all action” to process the backlog of orders and receipts as quickly as possible.

Suppliers should also expect “some minor post go live disruption for up to two weeks”, it said.

When it does go live, the CP&F system will mean that all new contracts will be developed and managed electronically, with suppliers having one point of contact for all IT support and being able to maintain their own data on the system.

The MoD said that suppliers should contact their MoD commercial officer to discuss any significant concerns.

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Krm (not verified)

Submitted on 30 November, 2016 - 18:17
Surely with such an important change of process there should have been a fallback or option of going back to the previous, presumably working system. By fallback, I don't mean paper. I also assume the providers have been penalised for failing to deliver to targets. All too often software providers fail to deliver and its not them at the sharp end taking the flak from the users. It should be, "no service, no pay "

Anne Stevens (not verified)

Submitted on 8 December, 2016 - 14:43
There are no back up systems, we have paid staff and are running out of money.

Anon (not verified)

Submitted on 9 January, 2017 - 12:10
There are quite a few suppliers in this position.

Anon (not verified)

Submitted on 18 January, 2017 - 21:41
Does anyone know if payments have started to be made yet? We are a v small charity awaiting payment and it's really difficult

mike bishop (not verified)

Submitted on 7 February, 2017 - 13:22
There are widespread problems with the new system, and it appears new items cannot be added to the system. The system updates have not been passed on to Exostar, the platform provider. My employer is owed significant sums, and we are waiting for the system to be sorted before we can raise invoices against existing purchase orders.

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