The government estate is made up of properties that deliver services directly to the public, such as schools, hospitals, job centres, courts and prisons, and properties that support government activity, such as offices, warehouses, research facilities and the defence estate. The estate is valued at around £496 billion with annual running costs of £21.7 billion.

In 2022, government graded only 61% of this estate as in good or satisfactory condition. The government’s Facilities Management Strategy states that “Due to long-term under investment along with inconsistent and varied approaches to the management of the government estate, the condition has over a number of years deteriorated to the point where functionality was becoming affected.” Maintenance backlogs can have a negative impact on public safety and service delivery.

Our report will consider the non-office property estate. It will build on the NAO’s extensive back catalogue of work that includes property maintenance, including:


This study will examine the roles of the Office of Government Property and of departments in managing and planning property maintenance. We will consider:

  • how well government understands the condition of its property estate and maintenance backlogs
  • whether government has workable property maintenance plans to improve the condition of the estate

NAO Team

Director: Siân Jones
Audit Manager: Leon Bardot