With the Metropolitan Police Service currently seeking new FM suppliers, Matthew Punshon interim Head of Property Services at the Metropolitan Police, looks back at the Met estate’s transformation over the past few years and what has been achieved
If you think about the Metropolitan Police buildings in London, you’re likely to think of the famous New Scotland Yard building or your nearest police station. But the police estate in London stretches far beyond the high-profile headquarters and the humble station.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) estate covers 620 square miles and supports a population of 7.2 million Londoners and visitors to the capital. In 2013, it was estimated that the portfolio included 671 properties, including police stations, training centres and offices.
At that time the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, decided to make substantial changes to the estate, with a promise to “deliver the biggest transformation of the Met’s estate in our history. We will get rid of inefficient buildings that are no longer required and the money saved will allow us to invest in new, modern facilities fit for 21st century policing.”
The aim was to create a smaller, more efficient but higher quality estate that was less costly to run, and offered better conditions for the officers and staff
who work from it and the public who visit it. The new approach was to be instrumental in supporting the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan and the MPS Strategy 2013-17.
The strategy intended to increase the use of the existing portfolio by 30 per cent, enabling a reduction in the amount of space within the estate by one-third. All surplus buildings would be sold – up to 200 properties – with the capital reinvested in enhancing the quality of a core set of buildings, including the sale of 10 Broadway (the former New Scotland Yard) and the refurbishment of the Curtis Green Building on Victoria Embankment.
Up to 950 modern cells would be maintained in fewer, higher quality and more efficient facilities, which would reduce running costs and support a reduction in the time it takes for a detainee to be processed. Facilities would be provided to support the Public Access Strategy – whether face-to-face, by phone or through the use of technology.
A key part of the programme was to review the way facilities management was delivered across the estate. Following extensive market research looking at all the different FM service delivery models available, the Met’s property services team developed a new facilities management delivery model called the FM Integrator. In 2013 the Met engaged KBR, a global provider of differentiated professional services and technologies within the government sector, to support them on this journey and transformation.
Under the Met’s model, KBR is responsible for providing the Met with a cohesive solution by integrating process, technology, reporting and performance measurement/management across all service providers in the supply chain. Broadly, the FM Integrator is a matured and adapted version of the managing agent model, where the suppliers have a direct contract with the Met but are sourced, managed and supported by KBR to ensure services are delivered to the highest standards.
It provides the MPS with a standalone matrix of processes, resources, skills and knowledge to manage all of its FM services. The Met pays a fixed fee to KBR which means that no costs are taken away from the supply chain. KBR is employed on a seven-year term, with the option to extend by a further three.
Together the Met and KBR developed a new sourcing strategy which aimed to deliver a high level of operational support, cost savings and flexibility with the estate strategy and ensure the Mayor’s objectives were delivered, such as paying the London living wage to individuals involved in the delivery of services. In addition the Met needed to create greater diversity in its supply chain by working with more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in order to support the government’s target to increase to 33 per cent the level of procurement spending to reach SMEs by 2020.
During the course of the initial tendering exercise, a number of contracts were awarded to both large businesses and SMEs. On 30 April 2013, the new contracts went live with the new suppliers in place. These contracts have been designed to provide real-time automated information through a SharePoint solution, which ensures an effective and efficient solution to deliver FM services. The contracts are designed with minimum management and wherever possible delivered through self-certification.
To ensure a quality service continues to be delivered across this reduced estate, the Met’s property services team is currently looking to attract new FM suppliers. OJEU notices will shortly be published for between £40-50 million worth of annual expenditure for both soft and hard FM services, from waste management and grounds maintenance to reprographics and M&E. These suppliers have an opportunity to work within an award-winning facilities management delivery model which has revolutionised the way facilities management is delivered across the police estate.
HAS IT WORKED?
The FM Integrator now manages 31 hard and soft FM services, 98,000 helpdesk calls annually and 72,000 reactive task orders, and provides procurement, contract management, supply chain management services and the establishment of an Intelligent Contact Centre.
Three years on, the MPS is now seeing £8 million a year in savings (from the targeted £5 million), service satisfaction has improved, and the number of SMEs working alongside the MPS has increased by 40 per cent.
The impact on those small businesses cannot be underestimated. They enjoy all the benefits of being engaged with a prestigious public sector client – reputation and good payment terms – without the bureaucratic downsides and with substantial support from the Integrator. For example, all services have a governance structure that includes monthly meetings to discuss all elements of their contract, including operations, invoicing, security, HSE, resources, and risk items.
Regular meetings are also held with the client leads, and there are additional director-level meetings. This allows issues to be raised and feedback to be given for the contract in a regular, structured and measured way. Several small businesses involved in the Integrator model with the MPS have said that the learning they have taken from the contract in terms of systems and processes have helped them professionalise and bid for other public sector work.
Key to the success of the partnership between the two organisations has been the shared vision, values and objectives which the Integrator has ingrained within the supply chain.
The partnership between KBR and the Metropolitan Police has also been certified to the BS11000-1 collaborative business relationships standard by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), a world-leading independent certification body. It was made in recognition of the way in which KBR and MPS
project managers demonstrated commendable leadership, mutual trust and close collaboration to bring real benefits in cost savings, lessons learned and best practice.
While New Scotland Yard is now the new home of the Met, the property services team will continue to deliver service excellence across its smaller, more efficient estate, but at less cost for the taxpayer thanks to the innovative partnership which created the Integrator model.
The MPS formal tendering exercise commenced in April. Details of the packages, structure and duration are published through the Metropolitan Police procurement portal. Visit https://bluelight.eu-supply.com for further information.