Nuclear decommissioning – management and competition issues?

You may remember I posted this some time ago about the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, some high profile departures, and the importance of it having a strong 'intelligent client' function.   I've just had a comment on it (obviously someone coming late to the blog...) which I thought was worth reproducing.

The axing of the two directors mentioned comes as no surprise, as all that ever seemed to happen in the NDA was a power struggle between directors on how the organisation should function. On one hand, you had the accountants view, and on the other, that of a 'go get them' hard nosed ex-Bechtel project manager, each whom seemed to undermine the former CEO. With the departure of Sir Anthony Cleaver as Chairman, the arrival of Stephen Henwood, and the disgraceful axing of the only man with a firm grip of the wheel, Dr Ian Roxburgh, NDA is now and will be for some time, ineffective, as it goes through yet another (the sixth so far ?) internal reorganisation. It is often said, and never more so than in successful companies, that the most prized asset are the resources. Funny that we get rid of the best, most respected resource of all (Dr Roxburgh)

Clearly from someone who knows a bit about what is going on.

Then on the NDA website I saw this.  A PQQ for a major competition (to run the Dounreay site)  with only two bidders even submitting PQQs; one of whom if I  understand correctly is in effect the incumbent?  Doesn't exactly look like a recipe for strong competition.  The NDA supporting information - which reflects good practice of course - talks about at least three bidders going through to competitive dialogue stage. But to get only two even putting in PQQs would worry me if I were sitting there as the CPO.

I know very little about the NDA and this whole world, but we all know what happens when strong suppliers get into a position of market domination; and if that is combined with £ billions of public money sloshing around, a procuring organisation in a state of perpetual re-organisation, and of course the whole range of safety implications....then it does make me feel a little nervous.

Anyone from NDA or DECC like to reassure us that this is all really OK, that the NDA has lots of procurement and contract management expertise in place, taxpayer value and citizen safety are all fully protected?

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