Sir Philip Green to Review Government Property and Office Space in Efficiency Review.
The announcement today that Sir Philip Green, founder of the Arcadia Group that includes High Street brands such as Top Shop and BHS, will lead an efficiency review of government spending looks set to include the use of government property and office space as part of the its drive to identify existing inefficiencies and potential savings.
Reports have already been circulating that jobs will be under threat by the closure of regional government offices, while county councilΓÇÖs have also been examining their use of property and office space as an effective way of meeting new budgetary restrictions.
Other local government organisations such as Birmingham City Council has even taken the bold step of introducing alternative workspaces solutions that pull away from their traditional use of office space in order to increase its flexibility and reduce the overheads of largely unused office spaces.
With ┬ú20bn of earnings from property sales identified in the Operation Efficiency Programme carried out in 2007, Sir Philip Green will be tasked with assessing the progress of this project at its mid-point after originally seeking to deliver these projected earning within a 10 year period.
In a statement by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude they explained: ΓÇ£There is a pressing need to push forward with both the efficiency and transparency agendas and the best businesses have always understood that to save money you have to keep looking for ways of doing things differently.
ΓÇ£We are extremely fortunate to have Sir Philip, with his immense commercial experience and of course his fantastic track record at managing large organisations, on board. Sir Philip has made clear to the government the importance of his business remit which has always been that efficient operating is different from cost cutting and removing jobs.ΓÇ¥
Outlining his views and aims for his new role Green said: ΓÇ£I will give this efficiency review my very best effort knowing how hugely important it is to the recovery of the country. I want to help focus, motivate and energize to achieve these efficiency savings. It is these actions that will re-start growth in the UK.ΓÇ¥
The review by Green is due to be published ahead of the official spending review scheduled for 20th October, when the state and fate of government office space and property may well be revealed.