The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 29, 2009
Never again, General Services boss says after $580,000 leasing fiasco
Never again, says Department of General Services Director Will Bush.

Bush has released a response to State Auditor Elaine Howle's report on a leasing deal - signed long before he joined the department - that saw DGS and the Department Corrections and Rehabilitation squander $580,000 on rented office space in San Diego that stayed vacant for four years.

"This is not the kind of efficiency in state government that everyone has a right to expect," Bush said in his statement, which is posted on the DGS Web site. 

"I am committed to improving our leasing program so that this never occurs again."

WillBush.jpg
 
"I have directed our internal auditor to independently review the DGS leasing portfolio, our processes and procedures for inefficiencies and to recommend improvements to our systems to prevent taxpayer money from being wasted," Bush added.

Bush says that over the past few years, DGS has taken a number of what he described as "tangible steps" to improve the department's leasing programs:

  • Hired 15 new space planners to reduce leasing workload backlog.
  • Converted the older manual paper process for tracking leasing activities to an online system.
  • Implemented a single intake office for all real estate move and change requests.
  • Developed clear policies and procedures for disagreements with landlords including specific time periods for dispute escalation to management.
  • Expanded the authority for the director of DGS to direct state agencies to use state-owned space, rather than leased space from the private sector.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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