§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the Defence Estate Organisation. 
§ Mr. Spellar
One of the major issues addressed during the Strategic Defence Review, was how to improve the overall management of the Defence Estate, an important strategic and national asset.
A number of key recommendations were made affecting the role of the Defence Estate Organisation (DEO), which was originally launched as a Defence Agency in 1997. These were, that the Chief Executive should be accountable for working to users to ensure that the Defence Estate is managed efficiently as a whole to support the deliver of Defence Capability, that the Agency 680W should assume responsibility for all aspects of the surplus property disposal programme and that the Agency should develop a new model for construction procurement.
The effect of these recommendations has been to place major new responsibilities on the Agency and a fundamental review of the role, processes and organisation of the DEO was undertaken and a major change programme has been put in place.
A new Framework Document and Corporate Plan have been produced and copies will be placed in the Library of the House. Key Targets for the Agency, which will now be known as Defence Estates (DE), are being finalised and will be published shortly.
The work to be undertaken by DE, under the title SMART CONSTRUCTION, aims for the widest possible use of Prime Contracting. Whilst focusing on the MOD's estate requirements, it is also an integral part of the necessary reform of the UK Construction Industry which is a Government-wide initiative.