Committee of Public Accounts Press Notice

NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE: Improving the efficiency of central government’s office property

A statement from Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts:

Government departments need to be a bit smarter about getting value for money from their office property. We would naturally expect there to be some variation in costs due to differences in local property markets. But there is a clear indication that savings can be made when the cost of office space ranges from £123 per square metre to £636 and the annual cost per person ranges from £2,592 to £12,041. The £350 million potential savings identified by the National Audit Office would be better spent improving public services.

At time when our environment faces serious risks, it is particularly concerning that departments are not on top of sustainability issues. It is astounding that more than 60 per cent of departments could not even provide information on the presence of a recycling scheme.

According to these figures, in 2005-06, the Treasury which tells others how to save money had the highest cost and space per person.


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