Ordnance Survey to become a government company

Ordnance Survey to become a government company

Ordnance Survey’s standing as a world-leading national mapping agency must be protected when its status changes to a government company, Prospect union said today (22 January).

The union, which represents more than 500 staff in OS, was responding to an announcement by Matthew Hancock, business and enterprise minister, that the government intends to change Ordnance Survey’s status from a trading fund to a GovCo.

Negotiator Ben Middleton said: “This news follows a long period of uncertainty. Members were aware of the Ordnance Survey’s desire to move in this direction but were unclear whether it would be given the go-ahead.

“Now that Ordnance Survey has received the green light to proceed, we can begin discussions with management on what the proposed change will mean for members.

“These include issues around the transfer of undertakings (TUPE) regulations, where little to no change is anticipated, and what the proposed GovCo will mean for public sector pay restraint in Ordnance Survey.” 

Middleton said the union also intends to address broader issues like:

  • what will be in the proposed GovCo’s articles of association and shareholder framework agreement
  • how Ordnance Survey’s public task will be defined, protected and maintained
  • safeguards for the quality and security of members’ current and future employment.

“Ordnance Survey directors have assured Prospect that this move is not intended to be a precursor to possible future privatisation. The forthcoming talks must deliver on our core task of protecting and enhancing our members’ terms and conditions,” said Middleton.

“We are also determined to protect the status and standing of Ordnance Survey as a world-leading national mapping agency and provider of geo-spatial information and products.”