Defence secretary Liam Fox has announced the creation of a new organisation to manage Ministry of Defence property.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) will bring together all those working on estate and infrastructure activity across the Ministry of Defence. It will deliver better strategic management of the military estate as well as savings of £1.2bn over the first four years alone.
The new organisation will be a ‘one-stop shop’, managing the majority of infrastructure services across Defence and delivering an essential part of the defence reform agenda.
The DIO will take on the estate management responsibilities of its predecessor, Defence Estates (DE), overseeing the physical maintenance of buildings and equipment, including support services such as cleaning and catering, as well as energy and water for the estate.
This is the first such change delivered by the Defence Reform Unit under Lord Levene, designed to radically overhaul the structure of the department without reducing the effectiveness or reliability of the services delivered.
Fox said: “A single infrastructure organisation will provide effective support to our military personnel and better strategic management of the Defence Estate.
“It should also deliver significant savings in running costs, increase opportunities for estate rationalisation, and promote private sector growth − ultimately delivering better value for money to the taxpayer while giving the Armed Forces what they need.”
From 1 Apri, the DIO will bring together roughly 7,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are civilian, working on construction, maintenance and disposal of land and buildings across the Department.
Most staff currently work for Defence Estates, the rest work in infrastructure within the three Services and other smaller organisations.
By making these changes, the Ministry of Defence expects there to be a reduction of about 2,500 posts by 2014, and to save some £1.2bn over the first four years through estate rationalisation and other efficiency measures.