In 1998, the then Department of Social Security (now the Department for Work and Pensions) transferred its estate under a PFI deal known as PRIME (Private Sector Resource Initiative for the Management of the Estate) to a private sector consortium called Land Securities Trillium, with responsibility for accommodation management and provision of cleaning, maintenance, catering and security services for 20 years. The contract was expanded in 2003 to take in property of the Employment Service, agreed by negotiation rather than through a competitive process. This NAO report concludes that the DWP secured its objectives through the contract extension (worth [pound]1.2 billion), was right in its decision to proceed via a non-competitive negotiation, resulting in a deal [pound]220 million cheaper than a credible commercial alternative, and has overall achieved a value for money deal. A number of good practice lessons are identified from the DWP's experience of expanding the PRIME contract, which should be applied by other government departments, particularly if non-competitive negotiations are pursued.
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