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Sunday 18 February 2018

State reduces annual rental costs by €30m over four years

Brian Hayes: ‘We need to do more on cutbacks agenda.’
Brian Hayes: ‘We need to do more on cutbacks agenda.’
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE STATE will have reduced its annual office rental bill by more than €30m by the end of next year, the Office of Public Works said today.

In 2009, some €131m was spent leasing offices and accommodation for public bodies which fell to €108m this year, and will reduce to under €100m by the end of 2014, junior minister Brian Hayes said.

And he said the OPW was not paying rent for any unoccupied buildings. 

Some 150 leases had been surrendered in 2012, comprising almost 14,000 square metres (500,000 square feet) of accommodation.

Speaking at the launch of a new property management system by the OPW, he said his departments was looking at delivering further efficiencies and savings.

“It's a very important part of the work of the OPW,” he said.

“This is in a clear context of the public sector reform plan.  A key question is property and uses of property."

By the autumn, an online database of the 2000 buildings under the control of the OPW and other state organisations will be made available.

This will allow agencies in need of accommodation to consult the register to see if there is available space held by a public body, instead of seeking property from the private sector.

The site will be accessible to the public, he added.

"The property asset management delivery plan shifts away from our own individual needs.  A key strategy of the plan is the effective use of scarce property resources,” OPW chairman Clare McGrath said.

Irish Independent

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