InForm News, views and updates from GPA

Alan Whitelaw, Property Director

Our mission in the GPA is to provide great places to work for civil servants. We do this by driving industry-leading deals, procuring the best-in-class suppliers, and hiring people that are inspired to deliver some of the most high-profile initiatives on the Government's agenda. Through our quarterly newsletter, we hope to keep you InForm(ed) on a number of key pieces of work and priority activities we have underway.

Our role in delivering the Government's property strategy covers the management of the Government's office and warehouse portfolios, and the roll-out of the property elements of the Levelling Up agenda and Net Zero initiative.

We combine public sector know-how with commercial acumen and provide a service to central government departments through the management of an integrated and shared estate (currently 700,000 sq m) working with commercial partners to deliver property strategies, asset management, property technology, facilities management and security services.

Through the Government Hubs Programme, we are delivering modern, sustainable and digitally-connected workplaces that focus on supporting productivity and wellbeing in a hybrid-working world. Through the Workplace Services Transformation Programme, we are introducing regional, people-centred, data-driven facilities management contracts that will support civil servants across the United Kingdom.

In this issue:

SOCIAL VALUE IN GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT: The differentiating factor in bid evaluation

In today's world, the achievement of Social Value outcomes is a key priority for the UK Government. The Government Commercial Function in particular has enabled wider public benefit as a central target of its approach to public procurement activities. As the Government's delivery body for its office and warehouse portfolio, we intend to remain at the forefront of Social Value achievement. We are ensuring our work brings a Social Return on Investment to the Civil Service and all UK citizens.

The new requirement for mandatory evaluation of Social Value within procurement activities gives us an excellent opportunity to be at the forefront of Social Value creation. From January 2021 all commercial procurements should specifically evaluate Social Value within their award criteria when conducting competitive tenders, as per Procurement Policy Notice (PPN) 06/20. This PPN applies to all procurements covered by the Procurement Contracts Regulations 2015 and applies to all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies (including the GPA) and Non Departmental Public Bodies.

This policy is a significant step forward from the Social Value Act (2012) which set out that Social Value only had to be 'considered' during commercial activities. A minimum of 10% weighting should now be given to Social Value in each procurement, to give meaning to and allow Social Value to potentially be the differentiating factor in bid evaluation. We intend to go a step further in strategic procurements by applying a 15% weighting to Social Value where possible. This will undoubtedly further the public benefits gained from our procurement activities.

Given our planned growth in the construction and property sectors, there is huge scope and opportunity for Social Value creation across all disciplines and directorates. We are exploring the opportunity to potentially extend this requirement to all property transactions, such as leases.

When considering Social Value and how they might put themselves in the best position to achieve high marks , we recommend that suppliers familiarise themselves with the Government's Social Value Model (SVM). The SVM is the foundation on which all government departments build their Social Value requirements and target outcomes. It is used to draft both Social Value evaluation questions for tender, and Social Value performance indicators for the life of the contract.

When drafting an answer to the Social Value question, suppliers will be asked to describe the commitment their organisation will make to ensure that opportunities under the contract deliver the chosen Policy Outcomes and Award Criterium from the Social Value Model. Having a good understanding of each policy outcome prior to tender will allow suppliers to ensure that they have plans in place, and the ability to make the strongest Social Value commitments.

Suppliers could also be asked to include:

  • A Method Statement stating how they will achieve this and how their commitment meets the Award Criteria
  • A timed project plan and process, including how they will implement their commitment and by when. Also, how they will monitor, measure and report on their commitments/the impact of their proposals
  • Details of how they will influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support the Policy Outcome, e.g. engagement, co-design/creation, training and education, partnering/collaborating, volunteering.

We are planning to publish a Social Value Plan, which will highlight our key priorities for the year ahead and include details of our Social Value achievements so far.

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The Workplace Services Transformation Programme (WSTP) is a strategic investment programme for the GPA. This will help to build and run workplace services that evolve to respond to clients' needs and our growing property portfolio. The Programme will promote productivity, drive delivery and space optimisation, and ultimately deliver savings.

The WSTP's Supply Chain Project (SCP) will replace the existing set of inherited and tactical workplace services contracts with a consistent set of GPA-procured supply chain contracts. This will enhance our capability through the appointment of a strategic delivery partner - the Workplace Services Performance Partner.

We held a number of events with suppliers to share our approach as well as gather their feedback. We looked at three Crown Commercial Service (CCS) frameworks:

  • RM6168 Estate Management Services - for our Performance Partner
  • RM6089 Workplace Services (FM Marketplace Phase 2) - four our Security Contracts
  • RM3830 - Facilities Management Marketplace - for our Hard FM and Soft FM Contracts

Sessions were held over six months in three stages:

  • Stage 1: Market Engagement Sessions - to explore the Target Operating Model (TOM) for the Performance Partner Solution
  • Stage 2: Introductory Market Engagement - supply chain activity (excluding. Performance Partner)
  • Stage 3: Focused Market Engagement - all supply chain activity
  • Stages 3b & 3c: SFG20 Functional Model webinars with interested suppliers from the RM3830 and RM6089 frameworks

We are also planning two additional sessions:

  • Stages 3d Supply Market Update Event (proposed Spring 2022)
  • Stages 3e Supply Market Update Event (to be held if required)


The indicative high-level timeline for the procurement competition pipeline of activity is:

CompetitionTenders Issued
Competition 1 - Regional Supply Chain Performance Partnermid-June 2022
Competition 2 - Security Contract for (Technical Services)end-June 2022
Competition 3 - Regional Security Contract for (Security Services)end-June 2022
Competition 4 - Regional Hard FM & Soft FM Contracts (including Catering) Lot 1Bmid-July 2022
Competition 5 - Regional Hard FM & Soft FM Contracts (including Catering) Lot 1Cend-July 2022

NB: We are sharing these dates as a best endeavours basis and therefore these dates may be subject to change.

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In December 2021, the Government Property Agency (GPA) successfully issued a tender using the CCS RM3830 framework Lot 1B. This opportunity is to deliver a Total Facilities Management (TFM) service at two of our upcoming Government Hubs - Peterborough and Darlington - as well as a recently transferred site in Manchester.

This contract will provide an interim TFM solution to these buildings whilst we continue planning our long-term Strategic Workplace Services Supply Chain Contract. We have taken lessons learnt from our previous contracts as well as feedback from the market to improve the specification, pricing and performance measures included in this opportunity.

Rachael James GPA's commercial lead for the project said; "The commercial team and workplace services colleagues, with some great support from the Crown Commercial Service, have worked hard to deliver a solution at pace. The new contract will be critical in providing the GPA with additional TFM capacity to provide continuity and meeting customer needs.

We continue to improve how we attract and work with partners and suppliers to ensure we appeal to best in class service providers, which allows us to continue to deliver the most suitable solutions to our clients."

Tenders have been received and evaluated. We are awaiting final approvals before proceeding to contract.

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The Government Property Agency (GPA) is currently building the Workplace Services Transformation Programme (WSTP) Supply Chain Procurements in partnership with Commercial Crown Services (CCS). These new procurements will ensure we deliver a transformed, shared, sustainable and value for money government estate which supports civil servants to work productively in every nation and region of the UK.

We have inherited, and will continue to inherit, mixed commercial arrangements for service delivery as we expand our portfolio across the UK. These pre-existing arrangements include a range of ineffective and unsustainable contract periods, specifications and performance levels.

We are introducing a new set of disaggregated regional workplace service contracts covering: Customer Comfort and Safety (broadly replacing hard facilities management); Customer Support and Community (broadly replacing soft facilities management including catering and ICT services); and Customer Security and Response.

To facilitate this, we are building five procurements which include: Performance Partner (Integrator); Hard and Soft facilities management; Security Services; and Security Technical.

Progress to date has included the enhancement of existing specifications, three stages of market engagement, and multiple internal and external engagement sessions. All of this is working towards staggering the Procurements through June and July 2022.

We are keen to have input from key stakeholders as the end users of these future contracts, and will soon be reaching out to understand their appetite in taking part in the evaluation of these procurements.

Sam Welch, commercial lead, said; "We're using lessons learned from inherited contracts, as well as feedback from suppliers, GPA clients and the wider market, together with guidance from the CCS to evolve how we procure and deliver services across the Government's office portfolio."

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Our vision is a transformed, shared, sustainable and value for money government estate supporting civil servants to work productively in every nation and region of the UK.

Our strategic objectives are:

  • Supporting growth across the UK
  • Supporting Civil Service Reform
  • Contributing to Net Zero
  • Better value

We are delivering these strategic objectives through a number of inter-related programmes:

  • Government Hubs Programme
  • Whitehall Campus Programme
  • Smarter Working Programme
  • Lifecycle Replacement Programme
  • Net Zero Programme
  • Workplace Services Transformation Programme

Our Capital Projects team is recognised as the delivery partner for a number of our client government departments. We are also leading the Government Hubs and Whitehall Campus programmes. We have structured our team to provide a regionally-focused approach (North including Scotland and Northern Ireland; Central and South including Wales; and London). This ensures the continued delivery of our committed, large-scale and complex programme portfolio and projects. This provides a clear alignment with clients and colleagues and supports our regional and portfolio planning.


The Government Hubs Programme is more than just buildings. It is a catalyst for a more fundamental change leading to the modernisation of the Civil Service.

  • Support the Government's strategic requirements to relocate 22,000 civil servants out of London and consolidate 37,000 FTE in the regions by 2030
  • Closure of c134 government buildings (c60 offices in central London, c74 regional offices)
  • Development of 16 office Hubs in the regions to accommodate the c 53,400 staff
  • Refurbishing 3 buildings 3-8, 22-26, and 55 Whitehall plus a partial restack of 100 Parliament Street and 1 Horse Guards Road
  • Achieve a shared vision of transforming central government's ageing office estate, ensuring it is more efficient, digitally connected and will support modern ways of working

In addition, a number of our client-funded projects are significant in scale and greatly increase the scope of the built infrastructure programme we are delivering. For example, we provided advisory support to BEIS in its successful bid to retain the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) in the UK, and to relocate it to the University of Reading campus. We are continuing to support BEIS with the development plans for this landmark Net Zero Carbon new facility.

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