Housing Complex

D.C. to Get Its Own GSA

More budget chunks! Mayor Vince Gray is using his budget to quietly announce major policy changes. For example: Merging the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization with the Department of Real Estate Services as well as the capital construction and real estate management functions of the Department of Parks and Recreation and Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

With an operating budget of $637.8 million, this new super-agency–called the "Department of General Services"–will manage postal services, building maintenance, parking, leasing, energy purchasing, contracting and procurement for all District-owned real estate, as well as "provide for the operations and management of Eastern Market through the revenue-generating Eastern Market Enterprise Fund." That gets closer to the very expansive mission of the federal General Services Administration, which provides all sorts of assistance to U.S. government agencies. (It also explains why permanent directors haven't yet been appointed for OPEFM or DRES).

From combing through the proposed budget, it doesn't look like there are significant staff cuts, but it's hard to tell when so much is being consolidated. More as more is available.

  • Rake

    Given Gray's experience running a "super agency", does it seem a little odd that he's intent on creating another? I guess he won't have the job of running this new agency into the ground like he did DHS, but still - talk about not learning from your mistakes...

  • T

    This makes a lot of sense... there's no reason to duplicate administrative functions for building leasing and construction. I know this has been talked about for years, and it's great that it's finally getting done.

  • Observer

    Makes sense but I hope someone is watching the contracting process. McKissack & McKissack were basically employees at OPEFM and handed contracts with no questions asked. I have a feeling they will have something to do with this new super agency without an honest bidding process.

  • drez

    People have been bitching about the contract process forever. That it's been left an obscure and untransparent mess for so long is reflective of the political nature of it.
    In otherwords, good luck.

  • Get Real

    the DRES contract process is pretty clear - OPEFM (and more recently Allen Lew) leadership does not believe Government workers can perform construction.

    I'm surprised the media hasn't gone after OPEFM by now. McKissack and McKissack have been making money hand over fist on those projects. Their project staff members receive regular project bonuses that are all paid for in invoices by OPEFM staff. DRES staff can't even get step increases in pay because of the pay freeze.

    A lot of the staff will be let go in the merger as the District will likely adopt the OPEFM model, but the District will try to push it's muscle onto the "consultants" they hire to hire staff deemed "too good to lose".

    At the end of the day, the OPEFM model will win out while the District residents will lose out.

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