National School of Government
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A new series of skills seminars from the National School of Government and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will help leaders take a strategic view of property to extract maximum value from this expensive, but often ignored, asset base.
The National Audit Office recently reported that central government’s gross annual expenditure on property could be reduced by £326m by bringing cost performance of individual buildings in line with the best private sector practice. However, it has also confirmed that, despite progress, central government is still a long way from achieving value for money.
Andrew Howarth of the National School , who contributed to research into skills and capability for the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) ‘High Performing Property’ strategy, explained: “The problem is that property is not always seen as a strategic resource, with research suggesting that it has been largely ignored in mainstream public sector management thinking. We need to turn this around, and so we have designed new seminars for senior managers, property professionals and their teams.” The ‘High Performing Property’ strategy was launched by HM Treasury in 2006 in response to the 2004 Lyons report ‘Towards Better Management of Public Sector Assets’.
The half-day and one-day seminars are designed to support both the OGC initiative and the newly-published RICS publication ‘Public Sector Property Asset Management Guidance’, which applies to the wider public sector. Although primarily designed for central government staff, the seminars are also highly relevant to those operating in equivalent capacities in local government and the health sectors.
Seminar themes include introduction to property asset management, strategy development and capital planning, property programmes and business cases, performance management, team building, project management and estate rationalisation. Principally delivered by Keith Jones (co-author of the RICS guidance and OGC adviser) and Lis Carter of Performent Consulting, seminars can be attended as ‘stand alone’ events or as a series, and can be tailored for particular audiences on request.
For more information, or to discuss learning and development customised for your organisation, contact Andrew Howarth at the National School on 01344 634255 ( or visit the website
Notes for editors
1. The Office of Government Commerce’s ‘High Performing Property’ initiative was launched in 2006 and sets out high level milestones to transform the Government estate. More information can be found at
The NAO report ‘Improving the efficiency of central government’s office property’ (2007) looked at whether departments are effectively managing and achieving value for money from their own office space. More information can be found at
As government’s centre of excellence for learning and development, the National School of Government became a separate government department in January 2007. It strives to ensure the highest professional and academic standards in public service organisational and people development. Visit for more information.
For media enquiries, please contact Rob Reynolds, National School of Government; email:; tel 01344 634145; m 07881 518719, or Chris Blunkell , Media Associate; email:; tel: 01227 772747; m 07941 831341.

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