Government office accommodation


The Audit Office has undertaken an audit on Government Office Accommodation. The audit examined the cost effectiveness of long-term leasing versus ownership and the housing of agencies involved with the delivery of core government activities.  Core activities are those intrinsically linked to basic and ongoing functions of Government and Parliament.

It recommends that:

  • the Government consider owning office accommodation, as opposed to leasing, for its long-term core needs, subject to a case by case analysis of the relevant financial and nonfinancial factors

  • the Government undertake an analysis of the costs/savings from proposed asset sales of office accommodation in light of the demonstrated need for long-term office accommodation (for core needs) New, Expired and Expiring Leases

  • given the findings of the own versus lease case studies presented in this report, it is recommended that the Government require agencies to undertake, in collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Services (DPWS) a cost/benefit analysis of available accommodation options prior to committing to any proposed major new leases

  • the Government direct the DPWS, in collaboration with all agencies, to negotiate the renewal of all major expired/expiring leases (where continued occupancy is warranted) in order to reduce the financial risk of above-market rent increases and the risk of cancellation of leases (Major leases are defined, for the purposes of these recommendations, to be those over $500,000 rental per annum or a net lettable area over 1,000 square metres) Management of Property Information

  •  in order to improve the integrity of the Government Office Accommodation Database, agencies be required to respond to the annual data request from DPWS by a predetermined date

  • a senior officer within each agency be required to certify to the accuracy of information provided by an agency as input to the database maintained by DPWS

  • DPWS verify, on a sample basis, information provided by agencies as input to the Government Office Accommodation Database Premier’s Memorandum No 97-2

  • the compliance by agencies with Premier’s Memorandum No 97-2 Government Office Accommodation and Property Disposal be established by DPWS.


Parliamentary reference - Report number #45 - released 11 December 1997