HC Deb 01 April 2003 vol 402 cc56-7WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Dr. Lewis Moonie)

Defence Estates (DE) is being re-launched today as an agency of the Ministry of Defence with new responsibilities. This follows consideration, within Project Alexander, of how the defence estate should best be managed as a corporate asset. In particular, the new arrangements will clarify customer supplier relationships.

The changes are in line with the overarching and comprehensive strategy for the defence estate, set out in "In Trust and On Trust" in June 2000 and also represent a further application of the principles of Smart Acquisition within the Department.

In future Defence Estates will be responsible and accountable, through its Chief Executive, for managing the delivery of estate maintenance and new works to meet internal customers' requirements. This will be achieved by: managing the defence estate as a corporate asset, developing, maintaining and implementing an Estate Strategy, consistent with policies and standards (including environmental sustainability criteria), devising and implementing an agreed programme with customers that provides a corporate and long-term view of requirements consistent with the Estate Strategy, delivering the solutions and estate management services to meet the agreed estates programme to time, cost and quality, developing and maintaining an agreed Core Sites Strategy focusing MOD's activities onto fewer, larger sites, the management, maintenance and improvement of land, buildings and facilities to standards delivered where appropriate through robust and well-managed contracts with service providers.

In parallel, and working closely with DE, six Customer Estate Organisations (CEstOs) are being established to specify estate requirements in output terms for each of the main areas of the department (Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, Defence Logistics Organisation, the Centre/Defence Procurement Agency, and the Permanent Joint Headquarters).

Copies of DE's Framework Document will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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