News story: New housing services for thousands of UK military families come into force

Five contracts, which provide a new national call centre and enhanced maintenance and repair services to military homes, were awarded last June by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

The contracts are worth £640-million in total and make up part of the MOD’s £3-billion Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) programme, which has replaced the previous National Housing Prime contract.

The new accommodation contracts will directly benefit the many families who live in military homes across the UK, providing a step-change in how services are delivered to them.

In developing the new contracts, DIO collaborated closely with military personnel, their families and the Service Families Federations to ensure that their needs were fully considered.

From today, Pinnacle Group Ltd will operate the National Service Centre, which will be the single point of contact for Service families.

The £141-million contract is expected to create or sustain 350 jobs and will deliver more responsive and accessible accommodation services through greater use of modern communications technology. Families will be able to make service requests and track their progress in real time and will also have more choice when arranging appointments.

Four Regional Accommodation Maintenance Services (RAMS) contracts have also started today. Jointly worth £499-million, they will provide repair and maintenance services to military homes. They are being delivered by Amey in the Northern Region, which includes Scotland, Northern Ireland and North Wales, and in the Central Region, which includes Mid and South Wales; and by VIVO in the South East and South West of England.

The contracts require suppliers to adopt recognised industry standards and incentives will be introduced for suppliers to ensure that the interests of customers come first. These will be supported by robust mechanisms to address poor performance. This includes specific targets for ‘first time fixes’ for repairs, and quicker response times for most repairs, both of which should reduce disruption for Service families.

It also includes targets for customer satisfaction that, for the first time, will directly impact on the profit suppliers make. As well as setting minimum standards, the contracts will reward suppliers for exceeding the minimum.

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said:

These contracts are critical to the delivery of key services to our Armed Forces and Service Personnel.

They also support hundreds of jobs and community prosperity and will provide a crucial step towards modernising our Defence estates.

Air Commodore James Savage, DIO Head of Accommodation, said:

Our Armed Forces and their families have no real choice where they serve, no matter how remote, and when and how frequently they move, so it’s vital we ensure their homes are of the right quality and available for them wherever and whenever they are assigned.

Their needs must be at the heart of what we do.

These contracts are designed to be very different. They have been developed with Service Personnel and families firmly in mind to better meet their needs.

Enhancing customer service will be their focus, with clear customer satisfaction targets for suppliers to meet, financial consequences for falling short and incentives to exceed the minimum standards.

Each contract is for seven year’s duration with an option to extend for up to three years, and to terminate after three years, depending on contractor performance.

In addition to the core services, the RAMS contracts will deliver further improvement projects and refurbishment work with an estimated value of up to £855-million.

Over the last two financial years, DIO has spent £350-million on improvement works to its housing stock and plans to deliver a further £171-million worth of upgrades this financial year.

A guide for Service families about applying for, maintaining, moving in and out of and living in UK Service Family Accommodation

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