Public Accounts Committee report on SFA
Besides giving written evidence of serious housing issues faced by Naval families, we welcomed the opportunity to give oral evidence at the Public Accounts Committee last month (June 2016).
The report findings have now been published by the Public Accounts Committee and have concluded that ‘the Ministry of Defence and contractor CarillionAmey are “badly letting down service families” by providing them with poor accommodation and often leaving them without basic requirements’.
The Committee describes CarillionAmey’s performance as “totally unacceptable” and says it is right that the MoD is considering terminating the contract.
In some cases, warns the Committee, frustration with the failure to carry out repairs “may be driving some highly trained personnel to leave the military, wasting the investment made in them”.
Current accommodation model “not flexible enough”
It concludes the MoD’s current model for providing accommodation for families is not flexible enough to meet 21st century needs and arrangements for addressing families’ concerns are inadequate.
The report includes an appendix which gives summarised examples of cases received by the Committee from service families, setting out their concerns about accommodation.
Among its recommendations to Government, the Committee says the MoD must explain what it will do to improve the way it consults with families “when setting policies and agreeing contracts that will impact upon their lives”.
Contractor should “meet or exceed” obligations
It should ensure CarillionAmey or any replacement contractor “meets or exceeds” its estate maintenance obligations for the lifetime of the contract.
Steps must be taken to ensure future contractors are capable of delivering the agreed service at the agreed price, and an effective penalty/incentive regime put in place.
The MoD should also write to the Committee promptly when a decision is made whether or not to continue the contract with CarillionAmey, setting out the evidence on performance supporting this decision.