Using NEC3 for the MoD's Estate

The Challenge

Helping the MoD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) choose and develop NEC3 contracts for their £3.5bn pa spend Next Generation Estates Contracts.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) spends circa £3.5bn per annum on maintaining and improving the Defence Estate. They realised that the way in which they procured these services could potentially be improved by adopting the NEC3 Term Services Contracts (TSC) for facilities management contracts including minor improvement projects and the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) for their capital works. However, they were not even sure if the NEC3 family was suitable for their requirements and, if it was, realised that they lacked the internal expertise to develop NEC3 contract documents without external help.

The Solution

Jon was brought in with his deliverables broken down into three assignments :

  1. Provide two days bespoke training on both the ECC and TSC to inform DIO’s decision in principle on whether to adopt the NEC3 family of contracts or not. They decided to.
  2. Lead two separate workshops for the Capital Works Frameworks and facilities management streams, acting as a knowledgeable facilitator, to help develop the implementation strategy and identify actions needed to move from it being a good idea to an effective implementation program.
  3. Provide consultancy support to the two project teams. This involved :
  • Drafting the more management orientated additional conditions of contract
  • Reviewing the more legalistic additional conditions of contract
  • Providing guidance and acting as a sounding board as the supporting contract documents and selection process were developed.

In addition, a later requirement came out for basic eLearning on NEC3. This led to the development of the ‘NEC3 in an hour’ eLearning from BuiltIntelligence bought via Crown Commercial Services.

The Result

The first two assignments were successfully completed. While the third assignment was completed, to some extent it got bogged down in internal politics with the MoD’s internal lawyers wanting to reverting to type i.e. producing a contract which put all risk on the contractors using legalistic clauses: an approach which had not worked in the past under their GC Works or DEFCON contracts and which was the catalyst for them to consider the NEC in the first place! As a result, the final contracts were not all that Jon and other MoD stakeholders had aspired to.