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​​Approving and refreshing property plans

​Property plans are approved by Government Property Group (GPG), and chief executives or boards as relevant to each agency.

GPG will provide feedback and advice to help agencies develop and refine plans, and will use the final plans to inform ministers of property portfolio progress and direction.

Updating property plans

Property plans need to be updated regularly to maintain their relevance as the foundation for the agency’s property planning, management and budgeting. This means a process for both planned and reactive updates are necessary.

Property plans should be updated at least once every two years (biennial). Some circumstances may require the plan to be updated sooner, such as a ministerial decision on a key policy setting leading to a significant accommodation change, or a multi-agency accommodation project being established by GPG. Circumstances that result in significant departure from the plan may require a reactive update to ensure the plan remains relevant and meaningful.

Agencies should embed appropriate processes within their corporate structure to support planned or responsive updates in an integrated manner with other planning products such as strategic intentions, medium-term plans such as 4YP’s, and workforce planning. Property plans should include a summary of how they will be updated and re-signed out.

Planned updates

Agencies are encouraged to update their property plan when strategic intentions and plans are refreshed. Strategic planning informs the detail of property planning. This integrated thinking and planning system is summarised in our ‘Strategic and functional planning context’ download. Using this system, agencies might check over their property plan annually to check its continued accuracy and relevancy to organisational planning and budgeting, and only intend to complete a full update of the plan every second year.

Property planning engages across strategic planning processes early to inform the basis of property plans, as well as to input property related information, risks and pressures into strategic planning such as a department’s 4YP. Using early engagement and information gathered, property plans will usually be developed and signed out between January and June.

Reactive updates

The property plan needs to be updated when circumstances have caused a significant departure from it. This may result from a policy change, a significant demand or service change, or a change in government or ministerial priority. The process will vary between agencies, however GPG should be engaged with in the first instance to discuss the type and scope of update that might be required.