The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has today launched a campaign to encourage the use of a new self-assessment tool for Whitehall property managers, which aims to raise asset management standards across the civil estate.

The drive is part of the Government’s plans to improve strategic property asset management in central government to achieve up to £1.5bn in efficiency savings annually by 2013, and meet sustainability targets.

The Property Asset Management Capability Assessment Model (PAMCAM) was jointly developed by the OGC and the National Audit Office (NAO) in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It is an electronic, evidence-based questionnaire that identifies shortfalls in an organisation’s current property asset management practices.

OGC’s chief executive Nigel Smith said: ‘Property and estate managers across Whitehall and the wider public sector have a duty to ensure they are conducting their operations in the most sustainable, efficient and cost effective way, to ensure better value for money for the taxpayer and better results for the environment.

'PAMCAM offers those managers a great opportunity to assess their current practices in an easy way, and paints a clear picture of where improvements can be made. Widespread use of the system will also allow OGC to assess the current progress of the total estate in achieving efficiency targets, and allow us to provide more targeted support and guidance.’

Tim Burr, head of the National Audit Office, said: ‘The recent National Audit Office report on central government office property found that much more could be done to improve value for money in this area. This new NAO/OGC tool builds on that report and offers central government and other bodies practical help in improving the use of their estates.’

So far, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Defence, the British Council and Department for Transport have all piloted PAMCAM.

The information gathered as part of the PAMCAM assessments will be used by OGC to report on the progress of milestones for delivering the HPP agenda in the civil estate assessment report State of the Estate, which will be laid before Parliament by the 1st June. Specific departmental data will be used by the departments for their internal information to assess their ongoing improvement performance.