23 March 2007 | Paul Snell
Regional contracts have made a "positive difference" to the way the Ministry of Defence (MoD) manages its estate, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
In a report published today the NAO said using "regional prime contracting" had improved maintenance of its estate, health and safety, and sustainability. The MoD also expects to save £22 million in 2006-07 through these contracts.
Under "regional prime contracts" a contractor has responsibility for the management and delivery of a project, which includes managing the supply chain, in a specific area. The MoD has awarded five of these contracts across the UK at a total cost of £2.3 billion.
The MoD was also praised for developing closer cooperation with contractors through a supplier association. This allows suppliers to address common issues and share best practice. It has also allowed the suppliers to benefit from bulk buying.
But the MoD was warned that different expectations in the contracts had been confusing for suppliers. The NAO said future tenders should have consistent expectations in areas such as performance management and sustainability.