3 The lack of good quality data on
departments' office property |
13. Understanding current building performance is
vital to improving property efficiency across government.
However, not all departments use the OGC's mandatory database
to store their property information. The OGC estimates that this
database records details on only 90% of the estate.
It has inadequate management information on individual department's
office property and there is no consolidated picture of the performance
of central government's office property.
Out of a total of 896 buildings, departments could not provide
details in 665 cases on the amount of building space that was
open plan or cellular. In 58 cases, departments were unable to
provide a breakdown of operating costs, and in 60 cases they did
not know how many people were based in the building.
Departments require information on all of these variables
to understand and assess how to improve building performance.
14. OGC is to mandate its benchmarking service from
1 April 2008 and expects all departments to be taking part by
March 2009. OGC calculates
that this level of participation will provide information on almost
2000 office buildings and place it in a better position to identify
how to improve performance across the estate.
However, given the reluctance of departments to participate in
previous mandated services it is questionable whether OGC will
achieve the required commitment to the benchmarking service.
15. Data on the sustainability of individual buildings
across central government is not good enough and sets a poor example
to the private and wider public sector.
Departments lack the basic information necessary to evaluate environmental
performance. For example, in 2005-06, in 544 cases departments
did not know if the building had a recycling scheme and were unable
to supply any information on the amount of energy consumed for
265 buildings. Despite
energy use being one of the key data components for calculating
carbon output, a third of buildings were missing one or more of
the metrics used to calculate energy consumption per square metre.
16. Most sustainability targets are currently set
for departments' estates rather than for the office estate or
For example, the government's recycling target is applied to all
of its estate and, while this focuses on improving overall performance,
it can mask the particularly poor performance of individual buildings.
OGC now intends to incorporate recycling into the effectiveness
measures in its benchmarking service.
35 Q 61 Back
Qq 69-70 Back
Qq 49, 61, 78 Back
Qq 78, 122 Back
Qq 22, 133 Back
Q 133 Back
Q 19 Back
Qq 19, 71 Back
Q 19; C&AG's Report, para 2.17 Back
Q 73 Back
Q 73 Back
Q 71 Back