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Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference and objectives issued to those responsible for achieving commodity cluster co-locations of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency and other commodities at Ensleigh. (203179)

The collocation of the Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team (DC IPT) alongside other elements of the Commodities Cluster is part of the wider DE and S collocation project and supports the strategic intent to achieve business improvements by focusing acquisition related activities at Abbey Wood by 2012. The objectives for this overarching programme are well documented with all moves being conducted to align with this strategic intent. A guide to collocation for team leaders has been developed and outlines the key roles and responsibilities required and the actions to be completed to achieve successful team relocation. I shall place a copy of this document in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the analysis carried out relating to the setting up of a co-located commodity cluster at Ensleigh; (203180)

(2) if he will place in the Library the study reports commissioned to assess the economics and efficiencies arising from the relocation of the Defence Clothing and Textile Agency from Caversfield to Ensleigh.

I shall place a copy of the relevant extracts of the internally approved investment appraisal for bringing forward the move of Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team (DC IPT) in the Library of the House. This summarises the analysis undertaken including the assessment of savings associated with the move of the team to collocate with other elements of the commodities cluster in Ensleigh.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of the co-located commodity cluster operating from the three sites at Ensleigh, Foxhill and West Moors. (203182)

The collocation of the Commodities Cluster will be in two phases; the first being the merger of medical and general stores at Foxhill in Bath with the collocation of food and clothing at Ensleigh, also in Bath. The second phase will see the Commodities Cluster as a whole (including any appropriate elements from West Moors) forming up at Abbey Wood in 2011. These plans have been assessed as part of the Business Case for relocating DC IPT to Ensleigh, which included a full economic assessment to compare the relocation with retaining posts in their existing locations. This showed a saving of over £50 million compared to retaining the Commodities Cluster in their existing locations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of relocating the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency from Ensleigh to Abbey Wood by 2012. (203183)

The personnel costs of moving the Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team (DC IPT) from Ensleigh to Abbey Wood will be minimal as the Travel to Work areas of the two sites significantly overlap. There will be some costs associated with moving technical equipment, estimated at about £600,000. The move of DC IPT is part of the wider D E and S Collocation Project which seeks to focus acquisition related activity at Abbey Wood by 2012 and is expected to save at least £200 million over 25 years. The Collocation Project has already successfully moved 1,000 posts directly supporting the Front Line from Andover to Abbey Wood.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what human resources assessment he has made of the (a) risk and (b) impact upon staff of the proposed sequence of relocation of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency from (i) Caversfield to Ensleigh and (ii) Ensleigh to Abbey Wood. (203184)

The strategic intent of D E and S to focus acquisition related activities at Abbey Wood by 2012, of which the relocation from Caversfield of Defence Clothing IPT (DC IPT) forms a part, will require the relocation of significant numbers of posts to Bristol. The Project has already successfully moved over 1,000 posts from Andover to Abbey Wood. The risks and potential impacts on staff are therefore well understood and mitigation strategies, which have been proven to be effective, will be put in place for the DC IPT relocation. This includes the provision of direct support to staff and their families, comprehensive and flexible allowance packages and the redeployment and re-training of existing staff in the new location. The impact upon staff of the onward move from Ensleigh to Abbey Wood is expected to be minimal as the Travel to Work areas of the two sites significantly overlap. Staff are therefore expected to move home only once to cover both office moves.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the improvements in service anticipated as a result of the move of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency to a co-located organisation at Ensleigh. (203185)

For the Commodities Cluster, of which DC IPT forms part, the collocation to Abbey Wood by 2012 means that it will be possible to adopt a new business model with leaner, more effective processes and supply chain which will be supported by an improved, centralised pool of expertise across the Cluster. The ability to flex resources to meet peak workloads will be enhanced as will access to a wider range of support functions, all available within a single location. This would not be possible if DC IPT were to remain at Caversfield.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the analysis carried out into (a) deficiencies and (b) changing demands from front line commands relating to the proposed relocation of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency. (203187)

The strategic intent of DE and S to focus acquisition-related activities at Abbey Wood by 2012, of which the relocation from Caversfield of Defence Clothing IPT (integrated project team) forms a part, will require the relocation of significant number of posts to Bristol The project has already successfully moved over 1,000 posts from Andover to Abbey Wood. Support to operations now and in the future remains paramount. Understanding the requirements of the armed forces and how these could vary is ongoing normal business and conducted using a range of means by any IPT directly supporting the front line and, as such, separate documentation is not available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the proposed date for the transfer of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency from Caversfield to Ensleigh has been moved from 2010 to 2009. (203188)

The move of Defence Clothing IPT (DC IPT) from Caversfield is part of a wider DE and S Collocation Project, which aims to focus acquisition-related activities at Abbey Wood by 2012. The project has already successfully moved over 1,000 posts which directly support the front line from Andover to Abbey Wood. The change to the DC IPT move timetable is intended to mitigate the risks to business continuity associated with the original time scale; namely that key skills from the team would potentially have been lost in the run up to the relocation date in 2010. Moving posts sooner will assist in retention of staff and will also facilitate earlier recruitment of staff in the south west.