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."
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.