To support Resource Management Guide 500 Commonwealth Property Management Framework (RMG-500), this page provides further guidance on the Planning, Budgeting and Financing, and Leasing sections of RMG-500.
|Key topics in each section
|Budgeting and Funding
What is a Property Management Plan?
A Property Management Plan (PMP) is mandatory for all non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs). PMPs inform the Whole of Government Leasing Strategy. NCEs are responsible for the development and management of the PMPs.
How often does it need to be updated?
PMPs are updated as required - generally at least on an annual basis to align with changing business requirements – this may include:
|Machinery of government changes
|Update to Corporate Plans
|Changes or amendments to a lease
|New office fit outs
|Significant organisational structure or function changes
|New Policy Proposals
Where can the Property Management Plan template be found?
Download the Property Management Plan template.
Entities should consider other government policies when considering property-related changes and decisions – such as APS Net Zero – and entities should also consider the Commonwealth Property Management Framework.
Natural Disaster consideration
To support entities, consider emergency planning (including for natural disasters), there is considerable guidance available:
|A framework (developed by the then Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment) designed to help Australian Public Service staff manage the risks of the changing climate with regard to policies, programs and asset management.
|Climate Change in Australia
|This website focuses on using climate change projections to help support understanding of Australia’s natural resource management activities to identify the potential impacts in different regional areas.
|Geoscience Australia houses key interactive maps which entities can use to identify their natural disaster risk based on real-time and previous events; including interactive maps on floods, cyclones, earthquakes and sentinel hotspots.
|Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub
|This is an open-source platform that can support and inform policy, planning and decision making to support disaster resilience good practice. It is supported by The Department of Home Affairs, the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services and Red Cross Australia.
|WoAG Property GovTEAMS communities
The WoAG Property GovTEAMS communities also contain useful information to assist entities under the PSCP Arrangements.
WoAG Property – Ventia
Budgeting and Funding
Whole-of-Life Costs (WoLC) are a key element of budgeting, which must be used in the preparation of business cases for property-related plans and proposals.
Thresholds and processes impact WoLC requirements
|Fit out included
Lease Notification and Endorsement
Endorsement: Over $30 million (non-defence) and over $100 million (NCEs in the Defence portfolio)
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
Medium Work Notification: Between $5 and $15 million (non-defence purposes) and between $5 and $75 million (defence purposes)
Referral: Exceeding $15 million (non-defence purposes) and $75 million (defence purposes)
|Two Stage Capital Works
Non-defence: An estimated WoLC of $30 million or more
Defence: The Department of Defence maintains its own Two Stage Capital Works Approval Process
Fit-out costs are excluded from the Two Stage Capital Works process as it is not considered in capital works calculations. This is because fit-out cannot be capitalised as it does not form part of the base building and therefore is not considered to add value to the structure.
What are the benefits of WoLC?
|WoLC provide the basis for comparing and assessing the options outlined in a Cost Benefit Analysis.
|Long-term asset planning
|NCEs are best placed to understand future resource requirements for public works under their control.
|Consistent costing approach across options
|Costings that are based on common metrics allow for more robust analysis and comparability.
|Transparency and accountability
|Visibility of the WoLC associated with a proposed investment allows for scrutiny of the project and ensures that decision-makers are able to prioritise the use of public resources. WoLC provide a baseline for considering how best to manage resources and costs over the useful life of the asset.
|Robust test of the value of the asset
|When comparing it with the opportunity cost of capital, this test allows decision-makers to assess the different priorities, policy outcomes and environmental and social factors with the WoLC of the capital investment.
How do I calculate a WoLC for leasing purposes?
Refer to the WoLC Calculator template which is available through your PSP for assistance.
How is sustainability considered?
As highlighted in Section 4.5 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, environmental sustainability of the proposed goods should be considered. This may include consideration of:
- Product design
- Waste diversion at the end of useful life
The Australian Government has a commitment to sustainable procurement practices where there is an opportunity for sustainability or use of recycled content.
What is the Lease Endorsement Process?
The lease endorsement process supports entities in decisions consistent with the Commonwealth Property Management Framework (CPMF) (Resource Management Guide 500), which includes the Commonwealth Leasing Strategy developed by the Strategic Property Adviser (SPA). This process factors in:
- value for money analysis (e.g. WoLC); and
- consideration of occupational density.
All lease transactions should be planned allowing sufficient time for all relevant processes, including consultation where a joint approach to market is required, and approval processes once a lease has been identified. Fit outs, or other public works, may be subject to consideration by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.
Is there an expectation that leases for non-office accommodation go through the Lease Notification/Endorsement process?
There is no requirement to undertake the lease notification or endorsement process for property that is wholly used for operational purposes or is non-office accommodation, examples include:
- use of property specifically used to detain, examine, interview, observe, assess or counsel members of the public.
- areas used to store equipment or items that are needed for operational activities.
- operational areas within airports.
The CPMF stipulates that the Lease Notification/Endorsement processes specifically for properties where office activity is undertaken at a desk, counter, office or meeting room (as per the AGPR Data Collection manual).
What is in place to support entities for accommodation with operational requirements (i.e., not office accommodation)?
As the CPMF does not stipulate process for these acquisitions/leases, entities require the relevant approval as per the financial delegation in place and should refer to:
What is the Commonwealth National Lease Suite?
The Commonwealth National Lease (CNL) Suite contains templates and guidance designed to assist Commonwealth entities with lease negotiations for office accommodation. It is not mandated but encouraged.
It has been developed on the basis that using standard form documents can reduce the time and costs associated with negotiations and improve the commercial office market’s understanding of the Commonwealth’s position in leasing transactions, and in doing so, achieve desired Commonwealth outcomes.
Where can I locate the suite?
- CNL User Guide
- CNL Template
- CNL Heads of Agreement Template
- Lease Divestment Guide
- Deed of Surrender of Lease Template
- Deed of Assignment of Lease Template
- Sublease Template
What other resources are available in the leasing process to support entities?
Lease notification process (WoLC between $2 million and $30 million (or $100 million for Defence and Australian Signals Directorate)
Note: until the two parts of the process are complete, NCEs may only seek a non-binding expression of interest from the market
Lease endorsement process (WoLC more than $30 million (or $100 million for Defence and Australian Signals Directorate), or where the Minister for Finance or Assistant Minister has ‘called in’ a lease
The lease endorsement process is likely to take a minimum of six weeks, once all relevant information has been provided. This timeframe should be considered in lease planning process.