Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, gave a speech this morning to the Institute of Government in which he addressed a number of topics relating to DIO’s work. As the Chief Executive of DIO, I was pleased to see the Secretary of State making such positive references to DIO’s hard work and successes.
Disposals for Defence
Mr Fallon highlighted progress made by DIO in rationalising its estate by selling off land and buildings. So far, hundreds of millions of pounds have been raised through the disposal of surplus assets. Recent high-profile property deals have included Brompton Road Tube station in Kensington, the historic Old War Office on Whitehall and Minley Manor in Hampshire.
This both raises money from the sale and saves money from ending the need for ongoing maintenance, spending on utilities and so on. The money is then used to support key Defence priorities.
In his speech, Mr Fallon also hailed DIO’s innovative work with its Strategic Business Partner (SBP) to drive improvements and efficiencies. DIO announced Capita, working with URS, now a part of Aecom, and PA Consulting, as its SBP last year. The contract is expected to realise savings of £3 billion over its ten year lifetime.
Forward with the Footprint Strategy
I should also mention the team we have hard at work on one of our key priorities - the creation of the new MOD Estate Footprint Strategy, which will outline ways to optimise the Defence estate in the future. A key element of the current strategy is the Army Basing Plan which will provide the facilities needed as the Army returns to the UK from Germany. Indeed only this week the Chancellor George Osborne reaffirmed his commitment to the funding of this programme in his speech at the National Aquarium in Plymouth. As well as building houses, creating office and mess facilities and the like, it will boost the economy by investing £1.8 billion in infrastructure in the UK. The Footprint Strategy will ensure that we are providing the right buildings in the right places and creating an estate that can best serve our Armed Forces in the years to come.
You’ll be hearing lots more about this and some of our other key initiatives in the coming months so do watch this space.