The Office of Government Property (OGP), formerly the Government Property Unit (established in 2010) supports government and the wider public sector to manage their estate more efficiently and effectively, helping to deliver the finest public services and supporting the government’s priorities by unlocking surplus land for housing, and encouraging the creation of public service jobs outside London to support economic growth. OGP builds capacity and capability in the property function across government through leadership of the Government Property Profession and improving use of data for better decision making. Significant progress has been made since 2010:
- the size of the estate has fallen by over 25%
- over one billion pounds in annual costs have been saved
- the average space that a civil servant uses in government offices has seen a reduction of 5% on the 2015–16 figure and is significantly below that of the private sector
- it has overseen the collection of over £3 billion capital receipts from the sale of surplus land and property
Expectations for the management of property across government are set by the Government Standard for Property, GovS 004. Savings across the government estate, are captured by the State of the Estate Report, which is placed annually in front of Parliament. The Government’s Estates Strategy was published in 2014 and has since been revised to reflect the government’s ambitions. The Government Estate Strategy 2018 can be found here.
The OGP delivery priorities and programmes are:
- One Public Estate (OPE): a pioneering initiative delivered in partnership by the OGP and the Local Government Association (LGA). It provides practical and technical support and funding to councils to deliver ambitious property-focused programmes in collaboration with central government and other public sector partners, using property as an enabler to deliver better services, capital receipts, homes and economic growth
- Asset Efficiency and Land for Housing: OGP works with departments, seeking to manage and release government property and land, which raises capital receipts, cuts running costs, and delivers local economic growth, including new homes and jobs.
- Places for Growth: Working with departments, Professions, and Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) to encourage the movement and creation of jobs outside London, in pursuit of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
- Government Property Agency (GPA): OGP is the sponsor body for the GPA (launched in April 2018), providing oversight and guidance to ensure delivery of its policy objectives. GPA provides professional property asset management services across central government’s general purpose estate. It is an enabler for the delivery of Civil Service transformation through programmes such as Hubs, Whitehall Campus and Smarter Working, and drives efficiency, savings and enhanced asset values through a portfolio approach to asset optimisation.
- Government Property Profession (GPP): OGP works to improve the capability of the 4,700 people working in the property function. Working with the GPP board this includes specific development for the 2,000 members of the government property profession, including discipline specific networks and communities, supporting resourcing and recruitment (including graduate schemes), surveying and facilities management apprenticeships and providing a broad range of learning and development for those in the function.