Once again this has been a busy and demanding time for everybody in DIO. It's worth reflecting as we approach Christmas how far we have come this year, particularly as we continue to deliver to our military customers.
This year got underway with the start of work on the new Army Support Command Headquarters building at Aldershot. The building, which once complete will house 300 occupants, is one of the largest being constructed under the £8 billion Project Allenby Connaught.
In March, Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond announced details of the regular Army Basing Plan. A number of DIO staff were closely involved in the hugely complex and detailed work to get to the point where Mr Hammond could make this announcement. Since then, they have also worked hard with colleagues across Defence in moving the announcement forward.
We stood up our new Operating Model in April. This included putting in place a new organisation design and introducing new processes mapped for everything we do.
In late June we received bids from three consortia as part of our work to explore whether we can drive any further value from having a private sector partner. We are now evaluating those bids and look to make an announcement on contract ward in spring next year.
We announced in August the appointment of Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West as Head of Programme and Projects Delivery. Elaine becomes the RAF’s first ever two-star female officer and will lead the way in programming and delivering multi-million pound infrastructure projects. These projects will support military training, improve defence capability and oversee the drawdown of Army units from Germany. It goes without saying that we’re very proud to have her in the organisation.
November saw a contract signed to develop the Beacon Barracks site, in Stafford, for 2 Signals Regiment. It also marked the signing of the Regional Capital Works Framework East Midlands and Eastern England. This was the first contract award under DIO’s Next Generation Estate Contracts (NGEC) programme and allows five shortlisted companies to engage in ‘mini-competitions’ for capital projects each worth up to £12 million.
And this month, the NGEC team has delivered the National Capital Works Framework which will be used for projects worth up to £50 million.
These are just some of the highlights of 2013. As our staff prepare to take a well-earned Christmas break and look forward to 2014, they have much to be proud of. I end the year immensely grateful to them for their hard work and look forward to the challenges ahead.