Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill: General Government

Department of General Services (1760)

The Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for providing a broad range of services to state departments, and providing management and oversight activities related to these services. It provides these services through three programs: statewide support, building regulation, and real estate services. The DGS is a fee-for-service entity in which the bulk of its expenditures are reimbursed from other departments as services are provided.

The Governor’s budget proposes total expenditures of $1.2 billion from various funds (including $9 million from the General Fund) to support DGS activities in 2007-08. The General Fund expenditures are almost entirely for repairs to the Capitol building. Expenditures for building regulation and statewide support services are $736 million in the budget year, an increase of $78 million, or almost 12 percent above estimated current-year expenditures. Real estate services accounts for an additional $416 million. This represents an increase of $31 million (8 percent) over last year, with about one-half of the increase ($14 million) attributable to the inclusion of the Secretary of State’s building into the DGS real estate portfolio.

Awaiting Report on the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Enhanced Radio System

We withhold recommendation on a proposed expenditure authority increase of $4.9 million for costs associated with the California Highway Patrol Enhanced Radio System pending the delivery of a March 1 annual report.

Background. In 2006-07, the Legislature approved the first stage of CHP’s proposed replacement of its aging communications system. As part of this project, DGS will provide telecommunications systems design and real estate services. The 2006-07 budget for CHP includes $57 million for the project and requires CHP to submit a report to the Legislature annually on March 1 with revised estimates of total project costs, including DGS costs.

Budget Request. The budget proposes DGS spending of $4.9 million from the Service Revolving Fund to continue work on the radio system. The request includes $1.1 million for 14 telecommunication technicians, and $3.8 million for operating expenses and equipment, primarily for telecommunication equipment. Prior to receipt of the annual report, there is little information upon which to determine if the funds requested are reasonable and consistent with CHP’s current schedule and costs.

Withhold Recommendation Pending Report. We withhold recommendation on the DGS funding pending delivery and review of the required annual report from CHP. The report will allow the Legislature to determine if the project is on schedule and budget prior to committing additional funding.

Return to General Government Table of Contents, 2007-08 Budget Analysis