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Better design monitoring 'could save MoD £4m a year'

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The Ministry of Defence needs to tighten up its monitoring of the design and use of its 4300 office buildings, says a new report.

The National Audit Office has estimated that a reduction of 1m2 in the average amount of space occupied by each person could save the department up to £4 million in annual running costs. The mod's £1.2 billion of offices take up just over 3,000,000m2 in floor space; about 27 times the floor space in the Canary Wharf tower. The nao found occupancy density was higher by at least 30 per cent in open-plan areas than in enclosed offices. It recommends that the department develop further guidelines on the allocation of space; and monitor and compare the way office buildings are designed and used.

Other recommendations include that the department should:

review how the need for enclosed offices was determined

examine the scope for using flexible working practices such as desk sharing

strengthen its overall administrative arrangements for managing office space through clear strategy and targets

give management of office space more attention than in the past.

mod Management of Office Space, £10.15, Stationery Office, tel: 0171 873 0011

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