Managing the defence estate: quality and sustainability, sixty-first report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has an extensive and complex estate of some 24,000 hectares, and after the Forestry Commission, is the second largest landowner in the UK. The estate is valued at over £18 billion and costs some £3.3 billion to operate. The estate is seen as essential to the delivery of military capability and the welfare and morale of Service personnel. This report, from the Committee of Public Accounts, has taken evidence from the MoD on the standard of living accommodation, the Department's ability to prioritise estate projects effectively, and its response to staff shortages. It follows on from an NAO report (HCP 154, session 2006-7), Managing the Defence Estate: Quality and Sustainability (ISBN 9780102944679). It sets out 9 recommendations, including: more than half of single living accommodation and over 40% of family accommodation does not meet the Department's definition of high-quality accommodation and is therefore substandard; that poor accommodation has a negative impact on retention rates; there is no information on when poor accommodation is to be upgraded, with some military personnel and their families having to continue to live in substandard housing for the next 20 years; there are gaps in the Department's understanding of estate costs; the Department employs only 56% of safety works staff and 57% of quantity surveyors that it needs; that implementing energy saving measures at its' defence sites would bring environmental benefits and savings of more than £2 million annually.

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