The huge £916m backlog of maintenance work in our prisons highlighted in this month’s National Audit Office report Improving the Prison Estate as no surprise to anyone working in the sector.
“Due diligence was not sufficiently robust and HMPPS severely underestimated the demand for reactive maintenance work arising from vandalism and failing assets. It expected to pay providers £17.7m for variable costs (reactive maintenance costs above an approved threshold of £750 for each job, excluding vandalism) by 2018/19 – the fourth year of the contracts – but has paid £160.4m, a difference of £142.6m.”
At Airmec Essential Services, our operatives go into facilities to deal with issues every day and what we see at first hand are estates managers doing their utmost to juggle responsibilities and budgets, and a real desire to migrate from reactive to pre-planned maintenance but need to focus first and above all on immediate issues and occupant safety.
Our CTC security clearances for fast site access, our experience in working with prison management processes, and our expertise in managing infrastructure in high-security premises as a cost-effective partner of choice. It also places us well to take a pragmatic, longer-term strategic view.
We all have our views on what has gone wrong, but don’t blame the guys at the coal face! We are all aware of the stand-out key finding of the NAO: Prisoners are being held in unsafe and crowded conditions.
Between us all, we can and will do better.
Posted 13 Feb 2020