Role details

Non-Executive Director - Government Property Agency

Application deadline 25 September 2022

Summary

Organisation
Government Property Agency
Sponsor department
Cabinet Office
Location
London
Sector
Business, Finance & Skills
Skills
Business, Commercial
Number of vacancies
2
Time commitment
30 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£25000 per annum
Length of term
4 year term (possibility of re-appointment)
Application deadline
11:59pm on 25 September 2022

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    16 August 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 25 September 2022

  3. Sifting date

    10 October 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    7 November 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

Property NED 
  • Meaningful experience in commercial property investment and development, with demonstrable financial nous and a contemporary approach
  • An outstanding record of achievement throughout their professional career, displaying strong personal credibility and strategic leadership across large and complex organisations
  • Commercial and business acumen that will make a substantive contribution to the Board’s business across a range of strategic and operational areas 
  • Excellent interpersonal and strategic stakeholder management skills coupled with the ability to work effectively as part of a highly experienced board
Client and Customer NED  
  • Leadership experience within organisations that provide excellent client and customer service
  • Substantial experience of anticipating, interpreting and responding to client/customer requirements, a demonstrable track record of improving client/customer focus throughout the organisation, championing the needs of clients/customers and managing a complex and testing client/customer base 
  • Experience of transforming large complex organisations and leading and engaging organisations through complex change
  • Strong personal credibility and strategic leadership across large and complex organisations
  • Commercial and business acumen that will make a substantive contribution to the Board’s business across a range of strategic and operational area
  •  Excellent interpersonal and strategic stakeholder management skills coupled with the ability to work effectively as part of a highly experienced board

Desirable criteria

Property NED 
  • Non-executive experience or substantial experience of working with Boards
  • Wider experience in the property sector, including any of the following: asset management, workplace services, facilities management, or development, including development appraisal and viability analysis 
  •  Experience of working in or with government
Client and Customer NED 
  •  Non-executive experience or substantial experience of working with Boards
  • Experience in the property sector, and in particular asset management, workplace services or facilities management 
  • Financial skills to be able to support and challenge commercial Board agenda items 
  • Experience of working in or with government

Role description

Introduction

The 2015 Budget announced that the government would implement a new commercially driven approach to land and property asset management across the central government estate. In response to this, the Government Property Agency was established as an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office in April 2018, responsible to the Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency). The GPA is reframing the way the government manages its multi-billion-pound annual investment in the Central Civil Estate. The agency aims to drive financial benefits through optimising usage and releasing surplus estate, while delivering an improved experience for its clients and customers. The GPA also champions transformation, providing departments with innovative solutions and property expertise that enable them to deliver wider business change. Through its national presence, the GPA’s remit is also intrinsically linked to delivering the Government Estate Strategy, including the ambitions for regional growth and strengthening the Union.
Beyond bricks and mortar, the GPA is about providing great workplaces for our people. Through programmes like Hubs and Smarter Working, we are leading on the rollout of modern working environments and flexible working practices. Real estate is at the heart of reinventing government, and the GPA is central to delivering on our vision of a ‘Brilliant Civil Service’. GPA has four areas of strategic focus: Growth across the UK; Transformation of the Civil Service; Contribution to Net Zero; and Better Value. More detail on these can be found in the 2022/23 Business Plan.

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Thank you for your interest in the Non-Executive Director roles for the Government Property Agency (GPA) Board. You may already have some idea about the important work of the GPA and the following pages will tell you more about their purpose, their Board, this
role, and the application process. The Government Property Agency is an organisation that is changing the way the Civil Service works. It is at the heart of HM Government’s post-pandemic transformation programme and plays an important role in Civil Service reform and
levelling up the country. The GPA is striving to build its client and customer base, develop capability and respond to emerging client needs. It is also central to realising savings from taking an efficient portfolio approach to government property and I would like to see it
grow into an increasingly commercial organisation. The Government Property Agency has been active as an Executive Agency since its establishment on 1 April 2018 and has already achieved a great deal. In the last year, the GPA has:
  • Kept our offices safe and secure throughout the Covid pandemic
  • Grown its office estate to be the largest in government (c.37% of government office portfolio now onboarded to GPA)
  • Achieved significant savings on behalf of clients through lease negotiations across its portfolio
  • Created hubs in London, Old Admiralty Building and Birmingham, 23 Stephenson St, providing 377,000 square feet of modern,
  • interoperable, grade A office accommodation
  • Grown its net property assets, which have increased by 304%
  • Opened new offices in London, Wolverhampton and Birmingham
  •  Developed major projects in Croydon and Peterborough to time and cost
  • Left an additional 11 Whitehall offices (609,000 square feet)
GPA needs a strong Board to be successful in delivering upon its important policy priorities and I am very keen to support in the
development of an efficient and commercial organisation. As part of this, we are looking for two individuals to join the Board:
Property NED: The successful candidate will have extensive experience of real estate investments, with an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to corporate real estate and an appreciation of the government context. This role would include chairing GPA’s Investment
Committee, responsible for the approval of GPA’s spending below delegated limits on capital projects, lifecycle replacement spending and other spending as relevant. This is a critical role in GPA’s governance and will involve working closely with management to ensure
that projects are effective in delivering government policy and represent value for money.
Client and customer NED: Regarding the second role, we are looking for an individual with extensive experience of delivering high quality client and customer service, with an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to service delivery. This role would also include
supporting and challenging the internal transformation programme, aimed at developing capability within GPA. This is a critical role in improving GPA’s stakeholder management and its internal capability to deliver on its objectives.
In both roles, the abilities to support and challenge are vital attributes to be successful. If you believe you have the experience and leadership qualities we are seeking, we very much look forward to hearing from you. I would like to thank you for your interest in these
exciting opportunities and look forward to receiving your application.
Yours sincerely,
Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister for Brexit Opportunities & Government Efficiencies 

Role description

Property NED - This is an exciting opportunity for the right individual to support and challenge GPA’s investment spend, as well as shape and improve the financial and commercial performance of the GPA, ensuring that the government’s commercial estate is developed as an asset to support transformation with improved financial returns and better value. 
We are looking for someone with the experience and capability to Chair the Investment Committee which is responsible for a) scrutinising and approving the Agency’s spend below the limits delegated to it by the Cabinet Office and b) providing Government with recommendations on the Agency’s proposed spend above its delegated limits.
Client and Customer NED  - This is an exciting opportunity for an individual with excellent customer and client experience credentials to add value as part of the Board, as GPA works to shape and improve the experience for its client departments and its customers. A key determinant of GPA’s forward success lies in mobilising a compelling strategy where customer excellence is at its heart. We are looking for someone with the experience and capability to support and challenge the agency’s Transformation Programme which is focused on improving capacity and capability.

Board composition

The Board currently comprises 8 Members listed below: 
  • Pat Ritchie CBE, Government Property Agency Non-Executive Chair 
  • Jonathan Thompson, Non-Executive Director
  • Jane Hamilton, Non-Executive Director
  • Mark Collins, Non-Executive Director
  •  Steven Boyd MBE, Government Property Agency Chief Executive Officer
  • Nigel Beckett, Government Property Agency Interim Finance Director
  • Carol Bernard CBE, member from Government Department (Cabinet Office)
  • Robert Razzell, member from Government Department (UKGI) 

Application and selection process

How to apply

The recruitment process is being delivered by Odgers Berndtson on behalf of the Government Property Agency. Cabinet office have engaged UKGI to manage this campaign on their behalf and will work closely with Odgers Berndtson throughout the campaign.

Candidate Brief Pack

If you wish to apply for one of these positions, please supply the following:

  • A comprehensive CV setting out your career history, with responsibilities and achievements.
  • A supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) highlighting your suitability and setting out how you meet the person specification. Please note that the covering letter is an important part of your application and is as much the means by which you will be assessed as your CV.
  • Diversity Monitoring Form – Once you have completed your application, you will be sent an automatically generated email asking you to complete a Diversity Monitoring Form. Your Diversity Monitoring Form will be stored separately from your application and will play no part in the selection process.
  • Political Activity and Conflict of Interest questionnaire – this can be downloaded from the advert page on our website.

Please download the form and return to: anne.neill@odgersberndtson.com

The preferred method of application is online at:

www.odgers.com/86668 for the Customer and Client NED

www.odgers.com/86669 for the Property NED

If you are unable to apply via the website, please email your application to: anne.neill@odgersberndtson.com

All applications will receive a response. The Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the

elements listed above, and that arrive before the deadline for applications listed below.

Overview of the application process

This appointment is not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. However, we remain committed to running public appointments which are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in the spirit of the principles contained within the Governance Code for Public Appointments. The public appointments process can be lengthy but we will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your application (by email if you have provided this).
  • Following the closing date, Odgers Berndtson will assess your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the criteria in the Person Specification section. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application.
  • A longlist of candidates will be agreed with the Panel and be invited for a preliminary interview with Odgers Berndtson who from this will make recommendations as to the shortlist.
  • The Panel will review interview reports on these candidates alongside CVs and statements of suitability in order to select the shortlist. The Panel will agree those candidates who best match the criteria for a panel interview to further explore their skills and experience with reference to the criteria in the person specification.
  • Two references will be taken up for shortlisted candidates in advance of final panel interviews. Furthermore, please note that due diligence is undertaken on all shortlisted candidates.
  • If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to attend a panel interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence in relation to the criteria set out in the vacancy description, key responsibilities and accountabilities and person specification. Prior to interview, you may have the opportunity for informal conversations with key personnel in order to improve your understanding of the organisation. Final panel interviews are expected to take place in person in London and will last approximately one hour. The recruitment panel will make a recommendation on recruitment to the Minister for Brexit Opportunities & Government Efficiencies who will make the final decision on appointments.
You will be able to claim reasonable travel expenses incurred travelling to and from the interview (please note you may be asked to justify travelling costs if Cabinet Office considers the claims excessive). Please let Odgers Berndtson know beforehand if you are likely to claim, along with the approximate costs. If your application is unsuccessful and you would like feedback, please contact our colleagues at Odgers Berndtson in the first instance.
Due Diligence
Please note that due diligence will be carried out on shortlisted candidates. Candidates should expect this to include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. Prior to interview, you will be asked to provide details of two professional referees together with a brief statement of the capacity and over what period of time they have known you.
GDPR
In line with GDPR, we ask that you do NOT send us any information that can identify children or any of your Sensitive Personal Data (racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, data concerning health or sex life and sexual orientation, genetic and/or biometric data) in your CV and application documentation. Following this notice, any inclusion of your Sensitive Personal Data in your CV/application documentation will be understood by us as your express consent to process this information going forward. Please also remember to not mention anyone’s information or details (e.g. referees) who have not previously agreed to their inclusion. Further information GPA and Odgers Berndtson’s privacy policy is outlined below.
The Recruitment Panel will consist of:
  • Pat Ritchie CBE, Chair, Government Property Agency
  • Rob Razzell, Chief Finance Officer, UKGI and Non-Executive Director, Government Property Agency
  • Mark Chivers, Government Chief Property Officer, Cabinet Office
  • Neil Sachdev MBE, Independent Panel Member

Eligibility criteria

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with creditors
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53)
  • you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order
  • you fail to declare any conflict of interest

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

Public Appointees play an important role in public life on the board of public bodies and in statutory offices. For this reason, it is of great importance that these boards reflect the diversity of the UK as a whole. We welcome applications from all candidates regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender identity. We ask all applicants to public appointments to complete a diversity monitoring form. This is not provided to the recruitment panel and plays no role in the appointment decision. We hope you will help us by providing this information. This will allow us to see if there are any unfair barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply. Please see the How to Apply section above.

Disability confident

Disability Confident is a voluntary scheme which replaced the Guaranteed Interview Scheme or Two Ticks Scheme that was widely used in Britain. Disability Confident supports the Government’s commitment to halve the employment gap between candidates who have disabilities and those who do not by encouraging employers to think about disability and to take positive action to improve how they attract, recruit and retain workers with disabilities.
As a Disability Confident employer, GPA is committed to ensuring that candidates with disabilities are provided with the adjustments that they require as part of the recruitment process. We will also offer an interview to a fair and proportionate
number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job - by minimum criteria you must be able to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate relevant skills and experience for each of the selection criterion set out in the Role Specification section. This does not mean that all candidates who have a disability are entitled to an interview.
The aim of this commitment is to encourage positive action for candidates with disabilities, encouraging them to apply for positions in public life by offering them the assurance that, should they meet the minimum criteria as advertised for the position, they will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities at the interview stage. It is important to note that if we receive a higher volume of applications that far exceeds the number of those expected then we may need to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered. This will include the number of interviews offered to Disability Confident candidates that meet the minimum criteria for the role.

Reasonable adjustments

If you need any reasonable adjustments to take part in the selection process, please tell us about this in your online application form. If you would like to speak to the recruitment team at Odgers Berndtson regarding this, you can contact
them on:
Anna Dickinson, Consultant: anna.dickinson@odgersberndtson.com or +44 20 7367 9798

Principles of public life

Board members are subject to the Cabinet Office’s code of conduct for board members of public bodies which also requires us to understand and comply with these principles. All Board Members are required to adhere to The Seven Principles of Public Life. 
The principles are:
  1. Selflessness - holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends
  2. Integrity - holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties 
  3. Objectivity - in carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit
  4. Accountability - holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office
  5. Openness - holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands 
  6. Honesty - holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest
  7. Leadership - holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

 Current members receive a flat rate of £25,000 (equivalent of £833 per day)
  • Remuneration is taxable under Schedule E of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (as amended) and subject to Class I National Insurance contributions.
  •  Reasonable standard travel expenses will be payable
  • The post is not pensionable

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

If you are not completely satisfied with the recruitment process, please contact Rebecca Royle, UK Head of Central Government & Housing at Odgers Berndtson at rebecca.royle@odgersberndtson.com. 
They will investigate your complaint and issue you with a response within 10 working days which addresses your concerns and recommend remedial action if required. 

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy. The Cabinet Office have asked UKGI to manage this campaign on their behalf. Candidates are asked to note the UKGI Data Privacy Notice: 
This notice sets out how UKGI (the shareholder representative) will use your personal data for the purpose of this recruitment campaign and explains your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation. UKGI is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses personal data and to meeting its data protection obligations. Odgers Berndtson’s privacy policy is outlined at https://www.odgersberndtson.com/en-gb/privacy-policy - UKGI and OB are
independent Data Controllers on this exercise.
Data Subject categories
As part of any recruitment process conducted on behalf of any Government Department or any Arm’s Length Body (ALB) of any Government Department, UK Government Investments Ltd (UKGI) collects and processes personal data relating to
individuals who apply for public appointments.
What categories of information does UKGI collect?
  • UKGI collects a range of information about you. This may include:
  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number
  • date of birth
  • references
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history
  • information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements
  • whether or not you have a disability for which UKGI needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process (where applicable)
  • information about your entitlement to work in the UK (where necessary); and
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief and socio-economic data; and
  • results from due diligence searches (including checks on social media and personal websites, potential conflicts of interests, media statements, political activities as well as checks to see if the individual appears on the disqualified director, bankruptcy and insolvency, removed trustees or financial services register)
This list of data categories is not exhaustive and may vary depending on the appointment you are applying for. UKGI collects this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms and letters,
CVs or resumes, obtained from your passport or other identity documents or those that give proof of address, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment which may include online tests. Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application record, in HR management systems and onother IT systems (including email).
Why does UKGI process personal data and what is the legal basis for doing so?
UKGI may work with suitably selected partners to carry out certain activities for this application process. Where it is necessary to use third parties to do this, these third parties should contact you separately with regard to the way in which
they will process your personal data for the purpose of the recruitment process. These activities include, but are not limited to:
  • processing your application
  • advising candidates of the outcome of their application
  • arranging interviews for successful candidates; and
  • equality and diversity monitoring
If your application is unsuccessful, UKGI will keep your personal data on file for 24 months to allow it to provide feedback on request and to defend itself against any legal challenge, as well as to allow it to evidence its fulfilment of its obligations
to the relevant instructing Minister/Department. UKGI may also keep your personal data on file in case there are future roles for which you may be suited. UKGI will ask for
your consent before it keeps your data for this purpose, and you are free to withdraw your consent at any time.
Recipients of Personal Data
Personal data of applicants will only be made available to those in the appointments process and to the organisations listed below. The organisations with whom this information will be shared will vary depending on the position being applied for. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments
  • Cabinet Office as Sponsor Department
  • Relevant appointing Arm’s Length Body
  • HM Treasury
  •  Office of the Prime Minister
The legal bases for the sharing of this personal data with these relevant organisations are the same as those set out in
section (3) above.
Protection of Personal Data
UKGI takes the security of your data seriously. It has internal policies and controls in place to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and that it is not accessed except by our employees in the proper
performance of their duties.
Retention of Personal Data
If your application is unsuccessful, UKGI will keep your personal data on file for 24 months to allow it to provide feedback on request and to defend itself against any legal challenge, as well as to allow it to evidence its fulfilment of its obligations
to the relevant instructing Minister/Department. At the end of that period, your data will be deleted or destroyed. A small amount of basic information on the recruitment (candidate name, position applied for, year of application, outcome) will be retained for such time as is required to allow UKGI to properly provide full and comprehensive information to Ministers in respect of ministerial appointments or for 9
years, whichever is shorter.
If your application is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be shared with the relevant ALB which will retain this information during your appointment. The periods for which your data will be held will be
notified to you by the ALB in a new privacy notice. UKGI will also retain this information for the period of your appointment.
Your data protection rights
You have the right to request:
  • information about how your personal data is processed and to request a copy of that personal data;
  • that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay; and
  • that your personal data is erased if there is no longer a justification for it to be processed.
You also have the right:
  • in certain circumstances (for example, where accuracy is contested) to request that the processing of your personal data is restricted; and
  • to object to the processing of your personal data where it is processed for directing marketing purposes.
To submit a Data Subject Access Request
To request access to personal data that UKGI holds about you, contact the UKGI Data Protection Officer:
Email: privacy@ukgi.org.uk
Complaints
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your personal data, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted to the UKGI Data Protection Officer:
Email: privacy@ukgi.org.uk
If you still consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled, you may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
0303 123 1113
Any complaint to the Information Commissioner is without prejudice to your rights to seek redress in the courts.

Contact details

If you would like an informal conversation about these roles, please contact Odgers Berndtson:
Anna Dickinson on +44 20 7367 9798 or anna.dickinson@odgersberndtson.com
Rebecca Royle on +44 20 7529 3054 or at rebecca.royle@odgersberndtson.com