24 February 2009 | Jake Kanter
Public sector organisations are being urged to use the OGC's property benchmarking service to drive efficiency savings.
The service has been made available to all public bodies as part of a four-year framework agreement. Use of the service became mandatory for central government departments in April last year.
The tool, provided by property measurement firm IPD Occupiers, gives estate managers data to monitor a building's operational costs, space usage and environmental performance against best practice from the private sector.
It forms part of the OGC's "high performing property" scheme, which aims to make annual savings of £1.5 billion by 2013 on the government estate.
Last year "government workspace standards" became mandatory for central government departments with buildings over 500 metres squared of floor space. Using the benchmarking service, departments were urged to limit working areas to 10 to 12 metres squared per person in existing offices and in new buildings to cut costs (Web news, 31 March 2008).
Nigel Smith, chief executive of the OGC, said improved use of workspace is the most effective way of achieving efficiency savings from the public sector property. "It will also have a beneficial impact on the sustainability performance of the public sector estate," he added.