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Making connections


GovPass has given our customers both flexibility and convenience. Whether they need to book a meeting room, print off resources or connect to the Wi-Fi, Civil Servants can make use of all the facilities and AV equipment available at an office, without special permissions. It provides a hassle-free experience and allows people to use their time as productively as possible, rather than trying to grapple with tech and admin.

The system is now in operation across 47 sites, covering 110,000 Civil Servants, but when it was first conceived, nothing quite like it existed. We had a clear idea of what we wanted and we worked with expert technology providers to make it happen. Together, we bridged the gap between traditional access control platforms and aggregated data tools to push the boundaries and hit our three priorities: creating a single system that is secure; gives users tailored access to facilities with one card; and can capture data to inform our plans for the estate.


GovPass is not only facilitating joined-up working between Civil Service teams, it’s also making sure they can make the most of our wider property portfolio. If a Civil Servant is working on investment policies for different parts of the country, they can now do that from a regional hub or satellite office – bringing them closer to the local context and enabling better decision making.

In the interest of maximising flexibility, we deliberately designed GovPass so that it could be rolled out across all of our buildings – the old as well as the new. This came with its challenges, of course, but the benefits have been worth it as more people can enjoy working from some of the iconic, historic buildings in our estate. That brings a real sense of pride for many.


The inclusivity of the GovPass system has meant that all our assets can be brought on the digital transformation journey together. With that breadth of scope has also come valuable data about patterns in how people are using our buildings. The criteria for what’s best in class for workplaces will continue to change, so having this insight is vital to make sure we keep pace with behavioural trends, evolve facilities in the right way and continue to improve our buildings for the people using them in the future.

While the rate of change that we’re currently seeing in the office sector can be daunting, there is also huge opportunity for estate managers to benefit if they arm themselves with the right tools. By embracing technology and drawing on data, we are maximising value from our portfolio and helping to create environments where Civil Servants can deliver their best work.

We’ve already seen the advantages of a digital-led approach with the roll out of GovPass and hope others across the industry will follow our lead – pushing the bar of what’s possible when it comes to the workplace and employee experience.


➤ Managing nearly one million square metres of the Government’s property portfolio – 45 per cent of the government office portfolio.

➤ In 2022-23, the GPA invested £215 million in its estate, including £76 million in condition improvement works.

➤ Providing workplace services to 163 clients and over 150,000 customers.

➤ Supporting the relocation of up to 22,000 Civil Service roles out of London as part of the Places for Growth programme.

➤ Bringing forward the Government Hubs Programme – creating modern, shared workspaces where Civil Service teams can collaborate and work productively. This includes the new Darlington Economic Campus, which will be home to nine government departments including HM Treasury. It is due to be completed in 2026.

➤ Achieved Leesman+ certification for the Birmingham hub, with a score that places it as the best employee workplace experience in the UK’s public sector.

About Sarah OBeirne

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