Government Property Function

The role of the Government Property Function, the services and standards it is responsible for and how it builds professional skills in the Civil Service.

The property function exists to support the delivery of central government services. Around 4,500 people are employed in the property function across government, managing an estate valued at around £46 billion.

The Government Property Unit (GPU) is the central policy team based in the Cabinet Office which maintains the oversight of all government land and property. It works with departments to determine the Government’s Estates Strategy and also sets standards for the government estate.

Career opportunities and professional development

The function is supported by the Government Property Profession which helps improve the skills of property professionals across government.

We provide learning and development opportunities to improve commercial skills across government on the Civil Service Learning website.

General enquiries


We have set a range of standards that apply to all civil servants involved in property-related work. These standards must be met in order for work to progress, and if the standard is not met then work should pause until such time as it is.

National Property Controls

Lease renewals, sales or acquisitions on new properties are not allowed without Cabinet Office approval.

All new and extended Facilities Management contracts, regardless of financial commitment, are not allowed without Cabinet Office approval.

Further details can be found in Cabinet Office controls, including exemptions, in Annex 7 – Property, including facilities management.

Please refer to Annex 7.1 for the Property control standards, and Annex 7.2 for further guidance regarding requirements for new or extended FM contracts.

The Way We Work (TW3)

When designing new office space you must consider best practice for use of space, as outlined in The Way We Work (TW3).


In the July 2015 Budget Statement the Chancellor announced changes to the way Civil Service property will be managed. The change will see a new commercially-driven approach to land and property asset management across the central government estate. The government will create a new central body or bodies which will work under a cross-government framework and direction provided by the Treasury and the GPU. It will own and manage property and land assets (and leasehold assets where appropriate) based on departments paying market-level rents for their freehold assets. We will implement this approach, subject to legislation, by March 2017.

  1. State of the estate 2013 to 2014
Published 21 September 2015