The Minister of State has announced details of savings made by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on expenditure on State property and outlined plans for further savings to be made in 2012.
Minister Brian Hayes TD said: “I am very encouraged to learn that the amount expended by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on rental of State properties in 2011 fell by €11 million compared to expenditure in 2010.
“Annual rental expenditure peaked in 2009 at €130 million and by 2011 the figure had reduced to €117 million, a saving of €13 million. This saving represents a 10% reduction on 2009 expenditure.”
The Minister continued: “I am confident that this trend will continue, given this country’s changed economic circumstance. It is important to stress that the savings made are not once-off figures; they are annual savings that, allied to additional savings that the OPW expect to negotiate this year, significantly reduce the annual State rental expenditure.
“By the end of 2012, I expect the annual rental expenditure to have decreased even further, to a figure of the order of €112 million, driven by a combination of lease surrenders on break option or expiry and rent reductions, a 14% decrease on the 2009 peak. OPW’s rent reduction strategy will continue to be pursued aggressively in 2012.
“The average rent being paid by OPW is consistently lower than the average market rate. I am determined to maintain this standard and generate even greater efficiencies throughout our property portfolio. A smaller public sector will mean a reduction in the total number of buildings and office space needed. How we utilise that resource is crucial. Shared services and redeployment must deliver as part of our new reformed public service. The opportunity to obtain even greater savings in the State’s property portfolio is a key policy priority for 2012,” he said.