5. General office space procedures

Acquiring office space refers to the process of:

  • acquiring new or additional space in a government-owned or 'major leased' building
  • acquiring new or additional leased space in a private sector ('other leased') building.

Reducing space refers to the process of:

  • reducing space in government-owned and 'major leased' buildings through downsizing and rationalisation as well as the consolidation or collocation of multiple tenancies into fewer tenancies or locations
  • reducing leased space in 'other leased' buildings during the term of the lease
  • vacating office accommodation in government-owned, 'major leased' and 'other leased' building
  • reassignment of space leased from the private sector

Varying space refers to the process of reconfiguring layouts and/or fitout within existing office accommodation tenancies.

There are 2 ways to initiate the process of acquiring new office space or adding office space in government-owned, 'major leased' and 'other leased' buildings:

EPW will respond to agencies' requests or advice in a consultative and constructive process incorporating options (when available) and a preferred option. More options are generally available when appropriate advance notice of the requirement is provided.

If the agreed option involves new or additional space to be leased in a private sector ('other leased') building, then all lease negotiations are to be undertaken by EPW. Proposed occupying agencies will be consulted and kept fully informed in this process.

When agencies propose to reduce or vacate office accommodation, the process can be initiated by:

EPW will respond the agencies' requests in a consultative and constructive process incorporating options, a preferred option and the conditions under which the reduction can proceed. When agencies' requests can be incorporated into office accommodation strategies with whole-of-government benefits, EPW will endeavour to contribute project funding from the Office Accommodation Program.

If it is determined from a whole-of-government perspective that continuity of rent is a condition to vacate premises, QGAO will determine and advise the occupant of the period for which rent must continue to be paid for the vacated premises. QGAO will at its sole discretion determine the period for continuity of rent as that period which represents the time reasonably required to obtain a new occupant for the space to be vacated. During this time, QGAO will take all reasonable steps to secure a new occupant. The occupant's rental continuity will cease at the time that the new occupant's rental commences, or -upon expiry of the notified period for continuity of rent, whichever is the sooner.

Reconfiguring office accommodation refers to changing the layout, fitout or functional use of an existing tenancy without changing the tenancy area.

If agencies propose to change the layout, fitout or functional use within an existing tenancy, building-owner approval is required. This approval is required in order to satisfy the building's owner that the proposed changes meet statutory and regulatory requirements, are within the terms of the occupancy agreement or lease, and will not adversely affect the building or its services. The building owner may choose to impose reasonable additional requirements as a condition in granting consent.

Expert advice should be sought if such work is proposed to ensure legal compliance and technical competence is achieved in relation to design, construction and use. Please refer to Guideline 4: Occupancy for further information.