Today the National defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) visited the Centre for Defence Investment, which organises procurements for the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Forces of Estonia and also other agencies in their area of government, and manages their property. The Centre for Defence Investment became operational at the beginning of this year.
In the opinion of Chairman of the National Defence Committee Hannes Hanso, the procurements of the defence sector have become more complicated because the Defence Forces are using more high technology. He thinks that the rapidly developing Defence Forces mean that the extent of defence infrastructure will grow. Therefore it was necessary to establish a single and more effectively coordinated centre that would have a comprehensive overview of the current situation and investment needs of the infrastructure.
“Optimal and as effective as possible use of the taxpayers’ money is not an option but an obligation,” Hanso said. “Concentration of procurements under one agency must guarantee greater competence, transparency and corruption-free approach.” Hanso expressed a hope that with the establishment of the new centre, the quality of defence sector procurements would rise to a totally new level.
Director of the Centre, Colonel Rauno Sirk explained to the Committee that the procurements of defence-related equipment and the expenses on infrastructure and investments accounted for more than one third of the defence budget of Estonia. This year it is planned to conduct around 500 procurements in the total amount of 159 million euro. It is planned that the procurement of defence-related equipment will reach 200 million euro by 2020.
The priorities of the Defence Forces in this decade are the procurements for infantry fighting vehicles, new long-range anti-tank missile systems and self-propelled guns, as well as replenishing of equipment and supplies of the wartime units of Defence Forces.
The Ministry of Defence is one of the largest real estate owners among the state agencies of Estonia. The area of administration of the Ministry includes 624 properties and 578 buildings.
Pursuant to the investments plan for 2017, the service centre of Sirgala Training Field and the border marking of Klooga Training Area will be completed this year. The environmental impact assessment and the training facility design of Nursipalu Training Area will be carried out, and the national special planning of the Central Training Grounds of Defence Forces with research will be conducted. Jõhvi Engineering Park will be constructed, and also the infrastructure supporting Tapa compound, including the canteen, barracks, storage sheds for technology, equipment warehouses, roads, squares, fencing and garages. Among other things, the Centre for Defence Investment is responsible for the development of training areas, their environmental issues, risk assessments and surveys.
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