The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Government Property Agency - An Insourcing Model?

The Bristol HMRC Hub
06 April 2018

In what might be seen as another step on the road to government insourcing and a knee jerk effect to the Carillion debacle, the Government Property Agency came in to being on April 1.

It will act as an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office with a view to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the government estate...and generate benefits of between £1.4 billion and £2.4 billion over the next ten years.

The Agency will have an initial portfolio of 80 properties which will grow to over 1,000 as it takes on increasing responsibility for managing the general purpose central government estate.

A statement on launch day said: 'This is an unprecedented move to manage the government’s property portfolio strategically in order to realise the benefits that departments cannot achieve on their own. The GPA will partner with government departments to find innovative property solutions, and provide expertise to enable them to deliver wider business change more efficiently. More broadly, the GPA will also be an enabler for the delivery of Civil Service transformation, regional growth and the government’s vision to strengthen the Union'.


The Hub of the matter

The government and HMRC Hubs programme has created 12 City Hubs to date across the UK. The GPA will now become instrumental in their management and rollout. Current stock amounts to almost 261,000sq.m with each new hub having been the biggest pre-let in that city that year. The new hubs in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast were the biggest pre-let in those cities in the last ten years. Canary Wharf at 50,000sq.m was the biggest pre-let in the UK in 2016.


A matter of space

The design of hubs will see the space needed for each civil servant to work reduce to 6sq.m within strategic hubs, outperforming the current workspace standard for the office estate of 8sq.m per fulltime employee. Smart working will be introduced supporting flexibility, productivity, engagement, career development and wellbeing, according to the GPA plan.


Shadow government

The GPA has actually been operating in shadow form for over a year, testing systems and ways of working, to ensure readiness for go-live. During this period it has delivered estates services to the Cabinet Office and the Dept for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as its foundation clients. It has also worked in partnership with HMRC to deliver the Hubs and secured £38m income from vacant space.

Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation said: “The creation of the Government Property Agency will transform the way property is managed in the general purpose central government estate, generating savings of over £1 billion over the next ten years. The Hubs programme is a catalyst for growth in city centres across the UK, helping to boost jobs and economic growth, as well as demonstrating the government’s commitment to strengthening the Union and enhancing regional career paths.”

Picture: The Bristol HMRC Hub - now under the control of the Government Property Agency.

Article written by Robin Snow | Published 06 April 2018


Related Articles

The Incredible Shrinking Office - Floorspace Per Business Gets Smaller & Smaller

Average office floorspace per business in England and Wales has shrunk 16.3% in just five years according to the latest survey. Prompted by the recent boom of...

 Read Full Article
Mitie Wins Security Contract With HMRC

Mitie has secured a new five-year security contract for His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs UK estate. The £15 million deal will span 40 sites, including 12...

 Read Full Article
Inadequate IT Systems, Incomplete Data and High-Cost Leases  – Inside the Report That Criticises Government Property Management

Reforms to manage the government’s vast property estate are based on “incomplete data” that risks them being locked into long-term, high-cost...

 Read Full Article
New Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Cancels IR35 Repeal

In a televised statement, new Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said he will reverse “almost all” of the tax measures announced in Kwasi...

 Read Full Article
IR35 Repealed – What Does it Mean for FM?

It is hoped that the recent scrapping of IR35 reforms will encourage a more flexible labour market and ease skills shortages.   What is IR35?   IR35...

 Read Full Article
IR35 Rule Changes – What Does It Mean For FM?

Ahead of changes to off-payroll working rules (known as IR35), some FM businesses are feeling unprepared for the changes. Particularly following the changes in...

 Read Full Article
Former JLL Employees Launch Real Estate Advisory Service

Four major players in the London commercial property sector, all former JLL employees, have launched a real estate advisory service, Situu. Harry Murphy, Peter Hall,...

 Read Full Article
HMRC Accepts £215m in Furlough Returns

£215m of furlough funds have been returned to the government in circumstances where they were mistakenly claimed, or entirely unnecessary. HMRC have recorded...

 Read Full Article
FirstPort Completes Acquisition of Mainstay 

Forming a larger property management group, FirstPort has completed its acquisition of Mainstay. Following the news in June that FirstPort was to join forces with...

 Read Full Article
Furlough Fraud Bill up to £3.5bn, Says Tax Authorities

The government has said that up to £3.5bn may have been fraudulently or mistakenly claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Speaking to the Commons...

 Read Full Article