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3000th PSMA member reaffirms power of geographic data in public sector proficiency

07 August 2013

More Public Sector organisations than ever across England and Wales are improving service delivery and benefiting from cost efficiencies by accurately mapping their property assets. Ordnance Survey’s innovative geographic data, provided under the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA), is underpinning this vital work.

Over 3,000 public sector organisations have now registered for the PSMA, a ground-breaking licensing agreement between government and Ordnance Survey. The PSMA allows geographic and address data to be widely available, free at the point of use and shared between all public sector organisations across England and Wales.

John Kimmance, Director of Sales and Market Development at Ordnance Survey says: “Deloitte research shows that the public sector has £385 billion worth of property under management. Knowing where these assets are, and crucially where they need to be, has proven to be essential to an effective estates management programme. The potential for cost savings is substantial and the availability of open and shared geographic data through the PSMA is providing a platform to make a real difference to collaborative working and effective planning.”

Joining the PSMA has given York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the opportunity to explore how geographical information systems (GIS) can support the Trust’s estates and facility management.

Tom Whitfield, CAD Technician at the Trust says: “As an existing CAD user, I am keen to understand how GIS can complement our existing systems and help us map asset locations to understand how facility location can improve service delivery. I can also see benefit from geographic analysis across other areas of trust, particularly business intelligence teams. This would not have been possible without the PSMA and the support provided by Ordnance Survey.”

Cambridgeshire was one of the first areas in the country to put all of its local public sector assets, land and buildings, onto a digital map and collect a common dataset about those assets. Collectively the local public sector in Cambridgeshire controls assets with a book value of over £1billion. The result is a county-wide property portfolio involving all five district councils, police, the fire and rescue service and healthcare as part of a public sector asset management strategy, called Making Assets Count (MAC).

The county’s geographic information systems (GIS) team has been working with government bodies to look at options to share facilities and improve services. This includes working constructively with organisations such as Jobcentre Plus, the Highways Agency, and the Ministry of Justice to consider their local assets and how co-locating services could save money and benefit local communities.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Seeing the map of the nine organisations’ estates across the county shocked us into action. I would guarantee the same reaction anywhere else if you invest the time in getting the facts.”

The National Audit Office (NAO) has estimated that the government’s office estate alone occupies around five million square metres (which is approximately 13.2 square metres per person), and costs an estimated £1.8 billion each year to occupy. It also suggests that reducing the average office space per person to 10 square metres could release a further two million square metres of office space and save £830 million in annual costs.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) response has been to establish an Estates Transition Programme with the aim of delivering £100 million of efficiency savings by the end of 2014–15. Its three-pronged approach to achieving this includes consolidating the number of facilities management suppliers BIS uses, rationalising the estates team and, crucially, reducing the number of premises used by BIS from around 200 to between 50 and 70. Geographic information supplied through PSMA has played an important role in the programme’s success to date.

For more information and to join the PSMA, visit the public sector homepage of the
Ordnance Survey website at: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/psma

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