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London, 31st August 2012 - There are some welcome big recommendations in a report published this morning by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. Paul Spencer, head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Government and Infrastructure team commented: The report recommends the Government Property Unit should centralise property ownership, and the Treasury should incentivise departments to deliver savings in the interests of the exchequer as a whole. To property professionals and the taxpayer respectively these clearly make sense, but they are knotty problems for a Whitehall hardwired into departmental financial silos. Yet the urgency to act still seems lacking- new arrangements are to be put in place as part of the next Spending Review. Quick steps now such as better marketing of vacant space will help whilst bigger changes are planned. Probably the most difficult thing for the civil service to do is actually identify how big it will be in future and hence what space it needs where- more central scenarios planning would be a good place to start.
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