HC Deb 13 November 2001 vol 374 c699W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the number, value and location of properties newly leased in each of the last five years by his Department, broken down by those leases by the Department itself, its next step agencies and its non-departmental public bodies, differentiating between purchases made as a result of the creation of new bodies and those purchases made by established bodies. [7822]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

Tables of information have been placed in the Library. The tables include details of both the freehold and leasehold accommodation that has been acquired by the former Employment Service (ES) in the last five years. Information about "PRIME leases" taken on by the former Department of Social Security (DSS) is provided from 1 April 1998, as details are currently available only from when the PRIME contract commenced. The PRIME PFI contract transferred the ownership of the former DSS freehold properties and all obligations for leasehold accommodation to our private sector partners Land Securities Trillium.

As modern leases have no intrinsic value as such, the rental cost of the former ES accommodation is given together with the market value of the freehold accommodation where appropriate. For the former DSS, details of the Facilities Price that we pay to Land Securities Trillium for the additional serviced office accommodation that has been taken on is provided. The Facilities Price covers not only the space we occupy but also a large number of building related services such as building management and maintenance, internal and external cleaning, and security.

The only additional accommodation that has been taken on as a result of the creation of a new body is for the Pension Service.

While we have taken on new accommodation in recent years, the flexibility in the PRIME contract has allowed us to reduce overall office space on the former DSS part of the estate from 1,488,701 sq m to approximately 1,300,000 sq m, as at October 2001. Taking the average 2001–02 Facility Price of £182 per square metre, this equates to a saving of approximately £34.34 m per annum.