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House of Commons Your Name

London and Address


Sw1A 0AA

Date

Dear

I am a constituent of yours working for the Service Personnel and


Veterans Agency, an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence,
providing pay, pensions and compensation services to the Armed
Forces and pensions and welfare services to Veterans.

I am based at Norcross but SPVA is located on three other primary


sites, Centurion at HMS Sultan, Gosport, Imjin Base near
Cheltenham Spa and in Kentigern House, Glasgow as well as
various satellite offices.

The MoD is currently marketing Kentigern House on a sale and


leaseback basis. A 20 year lease is being sought in exchange for
£47 million pounds. (I understand an offer in excess of £50 million
has already been made.) The actual cost to the taxpayer however
over the 20 year lease period will be in the region of £140 million
when rent and maintenance costs are calculated.

It was stated at a PCS MoD all members meeting in Kentigern


House recently that senior officials within Defence Estates and Land
Forces areas have already admitted that it does not make financial
sense, but such is the perilous financial situation in the MoD, they
need to raise income quickly. If this is the case, there has been
severe financial mismanagement across the MoD and this is not
something ordinary workers or indeed the taxpayer should suffer.

I am confident that when you investigate the details of this sale you
will agree that it should be reviewed. I hope you will be able to
highlight this issue, campaign against the sale and ultimately refer
the matter to the National Audit Office and the Committee for Public
Accounts.

The sale of the building will also threaten the security of 400 jobs in
Hewlett Packard (EDS) who is a tenant within Kentigern House and
SPVA’s ‘business partner’, who, if faced with a massive increase in
rental costs, may look to relocate their work elsewhere. This is
particularly likely to happen if the rumours are true, and it is the
case that HP (EDS) currently only pay a peppercorn rent of,
allegedly, £1 for their occupancy of Kentigern House. This fact in
itself is something of a scandal, if true, as it would allow HP(EDS)
an unfair advantage in bidding for contract work, undercutting civil
service employees and other commercial suppliers alike, and is
singularly deserving of clarification from the Minister.

The MoD has failed to properly consult with PCS, the recognised
Trade Union, and seem driven by short term desperation to plug a
funding gap. This is unacceptable and urgent action is needed to
halt the plans which are at a very advanced stage. The existing MoD
budget must be utilised more efficiently as an alternative to wasting
taxpayer’s money.

I would appreciate your comments and if you require any further


information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully