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Defence estate seeks value-driven engineering

29 June 2011

The Defence estate needs to join forces with East Midlands' businesses to build strong collaborative partnerships, demonstrate value for money, and improve energy efficiency, a senior MOD official told a regional engineering forum in Derby.

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) contracts head Steve Rice told senior engineers that commercial relationships with industry are "pivotal to the future of the military estate". Rice said: "Defence Infrastructure Organisation's top priority is to support our Armed Forces as they prepare for operations, but value for money must underpin everything we do for the Defence frontline.

"This will require closer collaborative partnering - particularly with business partners in key regions like the East Midlands. The MOD and its contractors must build a culture in which problems and challenges are pre-empted and managed at all levels."

Rice cited the Prime Minister's pledge to make the coalition the "greenest government ever", emphasising that industry would have a major role in helping to reduce MOD energy spending of £1 million per day. "We see smaller and regional businesses as the key to delivering value for money and innovative solutions - both in our regional arrangements for construction, and as subcontractors or supply chain companies, “ he commented. “Prime contractors have their traditional part to play, but we are also looking to smaller businesses to approach our bidders with innovative low-carbon solutions and technologies."

Earlier this year more than 100 businesses submitted expressions of interest in the Regional Capital Works Framework for East Midlands and Eastern England, including 19 East Midlands businesses. A shortlist of between 10 and 12 bidders will be published over the summer.

The four-year framework is worth between £100 million and £250 million, and will be used deliver construction projects valued up to £12 million from 2013. Work will be awarded via 'mini-competitions' between up to five framework contractors.

Later in the year the MOD will seek expressions of interest from industry in a new 'Regional Prime' contract to deliver maintenance and repairs at Defence bases across the North of England, Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia.

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