Over the past couple of years the agency has been looking at its operation. It has a very large footprint from coast to coast with our various tax centre offices, the office buildings where our people work. We found vacancies in some of our buildings.
Like every other government department, we pay rent to support those facilities. We wanted to think about how to reduce our overall accommodation footprint, to bring our people closer together, and to think about synergies associated with some of the work.
At previous committees you would have heard about the revitalization of our service, by bringing people together, by centralizing our services. By virtue of bringing those groups together, we were able to reduce our footprint. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, doing that resulted in 36,000 square metres of vacant space. We were able to turn to our colleagues in Public Services and Procurement Canada and say we no longer needed this space, that we would like the equivalent of whatever rent it would have been paying for those buildings to be returned to the agency.
It's one of those things we would very much like to consider going forward, but it is a policy in government that another government department makes those rules associated with it. We will continue to try to do our best to maximize people in our existing footprint, and look for cost savings wherever we can.