Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Office of Public Works

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

130. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if there is a plan or strategy in place for the Office of Public Works to reduce the reliance on leased properties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5765/24]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The OPW has a significant and diverse office accommodation portfolio distributed throughout the country, comprising of circa 867,000 square meters. This portfolio includes a range of differing types of office provision, from prestige heritage buildings to brand new grade A office accommodation.

Due to the range of accommodation requirements across Government, there is a variety of solutions available depending on the circumstances and it is important to keep a dynamic portfolio that has flexibility to meet the evolving long term needs of Government.

When the State is acquiring significant property for office accommodation, the new build or purchase options are considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the parameters of the Public Spending Code, particularly if there is a long-term requirement, but subject always to the prevailing market conditions and available funding.

The OPW’s preference is that functions of infrastructural importance or operations viewed as a long-term commitment should, where possible, be accommodated in State-owned properties. This would include headquarters for central Government Departments, State security services, etc. as is the case with the deep retrofit of the state owned Tom Johnson House in Dublin which will become the home for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications who will be relocating from a leasehold property later this year. Separately, the relocation of An Garda Síochána from a leasehold premises in Harcourt Street to a state owned development in Walter Scott House in Military Road in 2022 was further evidence of key functions of the state relocating from leasehold to state owned properties.

The OPW will continue to assess potential value for money opportunities for investment that align to OPW Strategy and wider government policy including the National Development Plan and Climate Action Plan. The recent purchase of a large office building close to Government Buildings is an example of OPW identifying a strategic purchase in a location where there is high demand for office accommodation. The purchase of Trinity Point fully aligns with OPW’s investment objectives, OPW Strategy and wider government policy, and will result in significant savings to the Exchequer over the long term.

Lastly, the OPW will continue to appraise development and redevelopment opportunities on existing state owned sites with a view to seeking additional funding for investments that will meet the operational needs of client departments and agencies in modern energy efficient buildings. A final example of this is the development of a new energy efficient Office building on a state owned site on Leeson Lane which will become operational in 2024. Again, this will allow for the state to manage an exit from other leased buildings in the portfolio over time.

/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2024-02-08_pq130-08-02_en.docx ">Projects


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.