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Defining roles and responsibilities

Agencies should clearly define the different roles and responsibilities involved in facilitating a co-location partnership, including the choice of a lead agency.

Roles and responsibilities in a co-location

All the agencies involved in a co-location are in partnership.

One agency is the lead agency. The lead agency is responsible for managing the lease and the operational aspects of the facility, but all partners:

  • are bound to the same commercial terms
  • pay a fair share of the establishment and operating costs, based on their space allocation
  • make joint decisions about the project and the operational aspects of the building
  • respect each other’s business needs and work together to solve issues
  • put a governance framework in place to manage the partnership at both an operational and strategic level
  • are transparent if their needs or financial constraints change.

Lead agency responsibilities

The lead agency is responsible for:

Project delivery

  • Manage the relationship with the landlord or developer.
  • Develop legal agreements specifically for the property. This includes:
    • development agreements
    • the lease
    • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
    • the co-location agreement.
  • Hold the head lease with the developer.
  • Establish and manage governance structures in agreement with participating agencies.
  • Manage project workstreams (ICT, health and safety, security, finance, people and change).
  • Manage and coordinate security assessments for the property, including leading security provision for public areas and collaborative spaces.
  • Comprehensive threat assessment of location and building.
  • Coordinate overarching move logistics – for example dates, access for participating agencies, and day one support activities as agreed with partner agencies.
  • Coordinate the opening and blessing.
  • Where the project involves a new build or refurbishment, hold the head lease with the developer and deliver Development Agreement (DA) milestones.
  • Manage the relationship with the Project Consultancy Team and Main Contractor, providing design direction and formal approvals at major milestones.
  • Manage the construction process.
  • Work with partner agency representatives to ensure functional requirements can be met.
  • Manage the procurement processes for the goods and services provided.

Formalising the co-location

Leading people and change

  • Develop a change management plan specifically for the property.
  • Adapt a change plan and collateral to suit project needs.
  • Develop a communication plan and collateral that can be used by each agency, including user guides.
  • Communicate with local cluster representatives.
  • Arrange combined induction training for systems and security operations.
  • Establish staff engagement structures in agreement with participating agencies.
  • Facilitate communication platforms for sharing project information with local users (co-location user meetings and others as required).

Building operations

  • Manage the facilities.
  • Chair and administer the Operational Group to support a sustainable co-location.
  • Lead facilities management scope, plan and resources for ongoing building management, with supporting documentation.
  • Manage building management resources like receptionist and facilities manager.
  • Take on the role of lead person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) for the physical environment.
  • Establish new agency on-boarding procedures.
  • Establish and manage governance structures for the operation of the building.
  • Implement and manage financial processes like invoicing.
  • Set up regular reporting structures to the participating agencies on operational spend.
  • Manage shared building resources and services provided as part of the co-location agreement.
  • Cooperate with health and safety working groups for the building.
  • Maintain a safe and secure physical environment for all occupants.
  • Define security escalation response requirements for heightened security threat levels.
  • Establish and maintain:
    • a site emergency plan
    • incident management plans
    • building user guides
    • any other relevant documentation to support building management.
  • Establish and manage communication channels for building and technology infrastructure notifications.

Participating agency responsibilities

Project delivery

  • Engage in approval processes as agreed with lead agency for key project, financial and design decisions.
  • Participate in the project’s operational group.
  • Participate in project workstreams (ICT, health and safety, security, finance, people and change).
  • Provide input into procurement process for goods and services provided (as agreed by the co-location).
  • Manage relationships with internal stakeholders like PSA delegates, local staff, non-local senior management and HR.
  • Manage internal parallel change projects - for example, changes in ICT, internal processes, and team and people resource changes.
  • Manage internal communication channels for the project.
  • Ensure local functional requirements are communicated to the lead agency, including providing direct contact with appropriate local stakeholders and agency specialists, for example in ICT or security.
  • Manage security requirements for public areas and collaborative spaces.
  • Manage agency-specific communications with external stakeholders and vendors, like vendor contract changes or change of address.
  • Coordinate with lead agency on internal move and relocation processes:
    • declutter days
    • move related communications
    • migration plans
    • contracting a moving company.
  • Review and feedback on design prior to major milestones.
  • Any other deliverables agreed by the Operational Group.

Building operations

  • Participate in governance structures.
  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with the lead PCBU.
  • Actively participate in health and safety working groups for the building.
  • Provide input into the relevant operational documentation of the building.

Choosing a lead agency

The lead agency is critical to the success of the co-location.

Choose a lead agency as soon as you've agreed co-location in principle, before starting the search for a building. All parties should discuss who’s best placed within the group to take on the lead agency role – we can facilitate this discussion if needed.

A lead agency should have a good track record in managing investments and assets. Also consider:

Presence on site

  • Some presence on site by the lead agency is required.
  • An agency with more people onsite is likely to ensure greater stability in the lead agency for the tenancy.

Capability in managing property and facilities

Consider agencies that:

  • align property strategies with business strategies
  • have robust property project discipline
  • have strong facilities management processes, including business continuity planning, and
  • have clear governance structures in place to manage the issues and risks associated with delivering and managing facilities.

Capability in managing ICT

Consider agencies that have:

  • good ICT resource
  • sufficient ICT infrastructure capability, and
  • robust ICT project discipline.

Capability in procurement processes

Consider agencies that have:

  • established procurement processes and practices, and
  • sufficient internal resources to help you run procurement processes.

Mature capability in security practices

Consider agencies that have:

  • security processes and plans for assessing, monitoring and responding to threats and risks
  • clear governance structures for reviewing protective security
  • security practices for assessing all staff and contractors' suitability for employment.

The agency with the most complex security needs may be best placed to lead the co-location, particularly given the requirements this will place on management of the site.

How we can help

Contact us for help facilitating discussions on roles and responsibilities, and choosing a lead agency.

If the participating agencies can’t come to an agreement on who will take the lead agency role, we can make the final decision and appoint a lead agency.

Contact us