Transforming 22 Whitehall: How DFID Secured an Exceptional Facilities Manager for Optimal Operations


The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK's efforts to combat global poverty, delivering aid to those in need worldwide. Since its inception in 1997, DFID has helped over 250 million people escape poverty and enabled 40 million children to attend primary school. With headquarters in London and Glasgow and a network of international offices, DFID staff are united by a mission to improve lives in developing countries. DFID offers diverse, challenging roles, providing opportunities to contribute to international development both in the UK and overseas.

The Challenge

Group Operations at DFID required a dedicated Facilities Manager to oversee the daily operations at their 22 Whitehall location. The role demanded an individual who could ensure the building’s safety and security, support health and safety initiatives, and manage environmental greening efforts. Additionally, the Facilities Manager needed to monitor contract delivery, manage the facilities team, support capital projects, and ensure compliance with central government reporting requirements.

The Facilities Manager’s responsibilities included:

• Ensuring top-quality service and excellent customer communication.

• Managing the Total Facilities Management (TFM) contract to deliver high standards of hard and soft services.

• Monitoring supplier performance, conducting regular assessments, and reporting.

• Collaborating on capital projects like the 22 Whitehall Improvement and Heating and Cooling upgrade.

• Managing the Facilities Management Team and working with the Health and Safety Officer.

• Coordinating initiatives with the Environmental Sustainability Manager and Health and Safety Manager.

• Maintaining the Fixed Asset Register and supporting financial management.

• Leading on business-as-usual projects and ensuring the Forward Maintenance Register is current.

We began by understanding the specific requirements of the role and the unique environment at 22 Whitehall. The candidate needed to possess strong leadership skills, a can-do attitude, and the ability to manage multiple priorities within a complex organisation.

We targeted professionals with:

• Experience in facilities management and contract management.

• Membership with the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) or equivalent.

• IWFM Level 5 certification.

• Core budget management skills.

• Extensive knowledge of managing outsourced FM contracts.

• Experience with ICT and Business Continuity Planning.

The Results

Through a rigorous recruitment process, we successfully placed a highly qualified Facilities Manager who met all of DFID’s criteria. The new Facilities Manager began their role in June 2019, immediately contributing to the smooth operation and management of the 22 Whitehall estate. They have since been instrumental in delivering high standards of facilities management, supporting capital projects, and ensuring compliance with governmental requirements.