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New property guidelines.

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Media Release

68/2009 28 October 2009

New Property Guidelines

Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation today introduced the Commonwealth Property Management Guidelines - a new governance initiative that will assist Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agencies in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Commonwealth property management.

The new guidelines are designed to improve property management planning, cross-agency coordination and accountability, with a specific focus on the amount of space that each agency occupies.

Lindsay Tanner said: “Property costs are one of the largest recurrent expenses of running the Government and the Rudd Government is committed to ensuring the most efficient, effective and ethical use of Commonwealth resources to achieve the best outcome for the taxpayer.”

“Office accommodation currently varies considerably across agencies, with between 15 to 25 square metres of space allocated per person. For the first time, the Australian Government will now apply an occupational density target across agencies set at 16 square metres per occupied workpoint.”

“Over time, the application of these guidelines is expected to result in net savings to the Budget of around $20 million in the next few years increasing to around $100 million per annum by 2025.”

In recent years, there was little guidance available to assist agencies with property management and this has resulted is waste and inefficiency. The Rudd Government is continuing its reform strategy to ensure better value for money in property services.

The new guidelines do not propose the centralisation of leasing arrangements or any change to Government policy in relation to ownership. This is consistent with allowing agencies to make decisions that best support delivery of Budget-funded outcomes and the devolved financial management environment of the Australian Government.

Lindsay Tanner also commended the collaborative approach taken by the Department Finance and Deregulation together with over 100 other agencies across the Australian Public Service to develop the new guidelines.

He said: “This is another example of Commonwealth agencies working together on whole-of-government approaches to improve the efficiency of their operations and deliver benefits to the taxpayer.”

The Commonwealth Property Management Guidelines are available at:


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