OFFICE OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Public Hearing on the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2009 Proposed Budget
Testimony of Robin-Eve Jasper
Office of Property Management
Adrian M. Fenty
COMMITTEE ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
Councilmember Carol Schwartz, Chairperson
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-3003
Good morning Chairperson Schwartz and members of the Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations. I am Robin-Eve Jasper, Acting Director of the Office of Property Management (OPM).
OPM is responsible for stewardship of the District’s real property assets. Chief among our goals are reducing our portfolio of leased property, maintaining the District’s facilities and constructing new, 21st century facilities that will allow District agencies to operate efficiently and effectively for many years to come. Through these actions we can support District agencies, improve public access to government and assist in the delivery of services to the District as a whole.
FY 09 Operating and Capital Budgets
OPM’s proposed FY09 operating budget is $83,195,884. This consists of:
• $19,208,000 in Local funding;
• $8,321,000 in Special Purpose Revenue;
• $55,667,000 in Intra-District funding; and
• A Capital budget of $26,890,000.
As an agency, we have 285 FTE positions to support our facilities, security and agency management roles in FY09. OPM is confident that the proposed budget and FTEs will meet the agency’s needs for the fiscal year.
There are several substantial changes in the proposed FY09 budget, but none will affect OPM’s ability to achieve the Mayor’s goals for the District.
• 31 FTEs from OPM’s operating budget are being reprogrammed to the capital budget. This is reflected in the 9% decrease in Intra-District funds in the FY09 budget. These employees will remain with OPM and continue to perform their responsibilities.
• Comptroller Source Group 32 (Rental – Land and Services) has been reduced by almost 97%, as a result of the expiration of Anacostia Waterfront Corporation’s lease at 1100 New Jersey, SE .
• The agency supply budget (Comptroller Source Group 20) will be adjusted to reflect historical usage; a savings of $408,000.
• An increase in Local funds by 15% to cover fixed costs and maintenance at recently closed DCPS schools.
• A decrease of less than 1% of Special Purpose Revenue due to lower collection projections.
• Elimination of 12 vacant funded FTE positions; saving $717,000. These positions have been long vacant and will not impact the operations of the agency.
FY09 Budget Highlights and Initiatives
At OPM we have learned that providing resources does not always lead to better outcome. In the five months I have been at OPM, I have seen the effect that years, and in some circumstances decades, of lax management has on the District’s facilities. We have allowed the warehouses to fill up with low value items and junk, thereby requiring us to lease private warehouse space. We have allowed critical capital building needs to go unmet until certain District-owned facilities are nearly untenantable, and in some cases dangerously unstable. And we have allowed agencies to pursue costly, highly-individualized space planning and furnishing strategies. Fixing these problems will save significant amounts of money. Moreover, fixing these problems will manifest through all our District facilities the professionalism and dignity that District government should demonstrate in all of its efforts and interactions. We have begun the work to address these conditions and Mayor Fenty’s proposed FY09 budget allows us to continue this work.
For example, OPM is working aggressively to rationalize the leased space currently being used in the District, which we recognize as one of your top priorities as well Chairperson Schwartz. We are developing new space programming standards and applying them to new leases and new build-outs in District-owned buildings. By adhering to our District-wide space standards and continuing to re-examine District leases, OPM expects to provide a uniform space standard for agencies while reducing use of leased space.
A similar process is currently underway at District warehouses, where OPM has worked to consolidate usage and terminate three leases for privately-owned space. We continue to work to ensure that, leased and District-owned warehouses are cleaned out so that valuable space is available for appropriate uses. One example of this effort is at DC Village, where OPM is implementing a reuse strategy that will provide effective storage and distribution space.
Another way in which we seek to improve District-owned space and reduce costs is through proper facility maintenance. $750,000 in the Capital budget has been allocated for implementing a preventative maintenance program in FY09, which will reduce emergency service calls and improve care to District properties. The procurement process is underway to obtain the facilities’ assessments necessary to develop this District-wide plan. This preventative maintenance program will result in savings to the District and an improvement in working conditions.
The Consolidated Forensic Laboratory, the Mayor’s number one public safety priority, is currently on track, on budget and on time for occupancy in late 2011. The Office of Contracting and Procurement and OPM awarded the construction management services contract in February 2008 and bid-ready construction documents will be ready in summer 2008. Recently, the CFL was also recognized for being on track to be certified LEED Gold, by the US Green Building Council.
As a result of a recently completed District-wide security assessment, OPM’s Protective Service Division (PSD) will implement a new strategy to provide high quality and more efficient security at District facilities. Under this strategy OPM is working to deploy officers more efficiently and effectively. To do this, OPM’s PSD will increase the use of technology to monitor facilities, reduce the reliance of contracted security guards and increase PSD presence in District facilities as well as in the neighborhoods around our facilities.
Another addition to OPM’s FY09 budget is the inclusion of $4 million for fixed costs for schools to be repurposed as a result of DCPS school consolidation. Repurposing some of these vacant facilities will allow District agencies to move into neighborhoods and be closer to the people they serve and provide an opportunity to shift more agencies out of leases into District-owned space. OPM will also assist the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the Office of Planning in reuse alternatives and providing usage and lease agreements to future tenants.
The FY09 budget presents OPM with the opportunity to focus its attention on projects that will have a significant impact on the future of the District. We look forward to working with you, Chairperson Schwartz, and the entire Council to provide the stewardship that our facilities and projects require.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify. I welcome any questions you have at this time.