States to pay £19k a week renting empty office space

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In July, the Chief Executive’s Office announced that it would begin moving staff from Cyril Le Marquand House and other key offices to the former RBC building at 19-21 Broad Street in autumn this year but the refurbishment of the building has not yet been completed.

The government press office has said that the final cost of the ‘fit-out’ of, and transfer to, the new ‘One Gov’ headquarters was not yet known but that the project budget would be ‘in the range of £2 million to £3 million’.

The intention had been to move 500 staff into the building months before any rental payments were due. However, government officials did not factor into their original plans the disruption to the refurbishment process that might be caused by trying to move staff into the premises at the same time.

‘When we announced the move to Broad Street, we’d hoped to start to move during the autumn,’ a government spokeswoman said.

‘We’d originally planned to move in floor by floor after each level was refurbished. However, this approach would have split us across even more buildings in the short-term, and it would have taken longer to complete the refurbishment.’

Senior government sources have told the JEP that the delay to the move was also due to the fact that ‘nobody thought about the vault’.

Cyril Le Marquand House, which is the current base of the Treasury, contains a secure vault for currency and other valuable artefacts.

When asked about this, the States press office said that a ‘workable solution’ for the location of the vault had been found.

‘The States Treasury and Exchequer is aware that there is no provision for a vault at Broad Street,’ their statement said.

‘Alternative arrangements for the location of the vault have been investigated and a workable solution identified, which will not delay any move to Broad Street. For security reasons, we are not publicising the future location of the vault.’

Payments are due to start on the Broad Street lease on 1 January, at a cost of more than £83,000 for that month, when the building will stand empty.

Staff will begin moving there ‘week by week during February’, according to the latest estimate from the Chief Executive’s Office.

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