Amey and DIO discuss the key challenges for the Regional Prime contracts

01 October 2018
Image of two Amey employees at a desk in an office.

At the beginning of the year, DIO’s Head of TFM Service Delivery, Mark Murphy, and our then Regional Prime Operations Director, Jerry Moloney, provided us with an insight into the jointly agreed key priorities that they felt needed to be addressed to ensure the successful delivery of our contracts throughout 2018.

Since then, we have seen considerable changes in both organisations. Following the liquidation of Carillion plc in January, Amey completed the transfer of shareholding of all our joint venture contracts at the end of August. Similarly, DIO is well underway with an ambitious and far-reaching restructuring plan as part of the Future DIO programme.

Now we’re nearing the end of the year, we asked Richard McKinney, Regional Delivery Director for DIO, and Tim Redfern, Director of Defence at Amey, for an update on the priorities and key issues set in January, and whether anything has changed, especially as we move into the second full year of budgetary delegation to Front Line Commands.

Richard and Tim both agree that the thousands of people working every day to support the UKs Defence outputs can be boiled down to one thing; customer focus. No more, no less. Maximising delivery means the best for our infrastructure. From this, they have identified four key components, or challenges, that need focus:

The first challenge will be getting the additional works service programme to a place where it is up to date, realistic and reflects the changes that have been agreed. Richard said “The programme must demonstrate where there may be a risk to delivery due to approval delay, design issues or a changing customer requirement. Not only do we need to understand the details, we need to make sure our customers do as well, so they can make informed decisions on things that will directly affect their Estate.”


Tim agreed “It is incredibly important that Defence retains the agreed value in the overall programme to ensure that the single services see infrastructure improvement that will directly contribute to capability”. Richard added  “All of us, DIO, our Top Level Budget Holders (TLBs) and Amey, need a consistent view on project risk and where projects drop away, we need to ensure there are other opportunities ready to go to take their place”.   

The second challenge is speed of delivery. If a project is influenced or affected by policies and procedures from our Front Line Commands, DIO and Amey, it can have a direct impact on the overall delivery of the programme, something that Richard and Tim are keen to tackle. Tim said “There must be effective and responsible oversight to make sure we get the technical and financial compliance right, but there should also be an opportunity to find ways of reducing the time taken to get a project built – if there is another and accepted way, we should be willing to adopt it.”

“That is something we both agree on” added Richard. “We have already made changes to how and where approvals can be signed off, and I continue to press for further improvements inside DIO, recognising some elements are outside our control.  We are continually improving our data and reporting capabilities and these too are showing where we might focus efforts on further change”. 

Tim added: “Amey play a vital role in pricing and progressing tasks and I’d be disappointed if I thought we were contributing to any delay in the process, and I have asked to be informed if there are areas where our customers think we might do better”.

Continuous improvement continues to be a focus for both organisations and Richard and Tim are both keen to continue to push the message that collaborative working really does yield benefits for everyone. Tim said “Both Amey and DIO share the same vision – to improve the lives of those working and living on the Defence Estate. By working together, sharing resource and supporting each other we can really make a difference. By getting our working relationship right, we can ensure our service delivery is the best it can be.”

The final challenge is cost innovation and better investment to ensure value for money. Richard said “With Front Line Commands holding the budgets for their Estate, it’s really important that we help them to make informed decisions so they are able to get the most out of their budget. We can provide them with the information they need to make the right choices which will provide them with real long-term benefits at the very best cost.”