DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: CONSOLIDATED RESPONSIBILITIES AND CENTRALIZED SPACE PLANNING

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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS:
CONSOLIDATED RESPONSIBILITIES AND CENTRALIZED SPACE PLANNING
Problem Identification:
Dispersed responsibility for ownership and operation of capital assets limits accountability for their overall economic performance. Presently, these responsibilities are divided between the Bureau of General Services (DPW) and the Bureau of Real Estate Management (City Comptroller).

Recommended Action:
Form an intergovernmental space planning committee and charge it with reducing the City’s portfolio of unused and underused facilities through space consolidation and asset sales.


Classification:
Cost Savings, Organizational

Functional/Operational Area:
Bureau of General Services

Estimated Annual Impact:
While the immediate financial impact cannot be estimated, this action is central to realizing economies in the City’s real estate ownership. Areas for savings include: reduced space usage, more efficient space use, and sale of excess properties which would enhance the tax base.

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Project Implementation:
30 days to form space planning committee; the work of the committee would be ongoing

Next Steps:
Form committee. Set a goal’possibly a 5 to 15 percent reduction in the size of the Bureau’s portfolio of properties’toward which the committee can work.

Analysis:
There are opportunities for the Bureau of General Services and the Department of Real Estate to cooperate to reduce the inventory of properties owned and managed by the City. The present approach divides real estate property management responsibilities. While the two agencies have a good working relationship in place, the structure has the following failings:
– Does not directly attach costs to services rendered.
– Provides no incentive for economy in use of space or services on the user/lessee.
– Places General Services in the position of being the repository for an increasing portfolio of properties while budget and personnel resources are static or shrinking.
– Does not encourage the recycling of excess inventory back into the private sector where it would augment the tax base.

Significant economies in space utilization would be achieved by a centralized space planning approach. Advantages would include:

– Minimizing unnecessary moves;
– Matching properties to functional requirements;
– Consolidating operations; and
– Aggregating excess space for disposal.