Exclusive: Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Gleeds, Mace and Mott MacDonald will work across Home Office estate

The Home Office has appointed Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Gleeds, Mace and Mott MacDonald to a £20m consultancy framework to rationalise its estate.

The consultants on the four-year professional services framework will manage new-build, fit-out and refurbishment across the government department’s estate. The services they will provide will include building surveying, quantity surveying, project management and architecture and engineering support.

Building understands the appointments were finalised this month. The Home Office declined to comment.

The 268,884m² estate is dispersed across all four home nations, but is concentrated in Sheffield, Croydon and Liverpool. The estate will be cut by 16% this year alone, netting operational savings of £14m a year.

This is the only silver lining to the cloud of the public sector cuts

Anonymous bidder

One of the losing bidders said: “[This is a big job] because the Home Office is one of the biggest central government departments. It has got quite a big estate and a fairly radical programme of rationalisation over the next few years. It’s the only silver lining to the cloud of the public sector [cuts].

“Most public sector organisations are not making great use of their space and there are empty desks. What every government department is looking to do is move towards desk-sharing, which means you can get shot of a large amount of your buildings.”

He added that making existing buildings fit for desk-sharing often meant a large programme of refurbishment. The Home Office programme is part of a wider government initiative to get all departments using only eight desks for every 10 members of staff.

The communities department, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education have already begun such rationalisation programmes.

The Metropolitan Police is expected to tender a large contract for a consultant to help it manage its own estate very soon.