RD343 - Department of General Services Combined Real Estate Report - November 15, 2012

Executive Summary:
This report is provided in compliance with Section 4-8.01e of Chapter 890, 2011 Acts of the General Assembly, which provides:

"e. Utilization of State Owned and Leased Real Property:

1. By November 15 of each year, the Department of General Services (DGS) shall consolidate the reporting requirements of § 2.2-1131.1 and § 2.2-1153 of the Code of Virginia into a single report eliminating the individual reports required by § 2.2-1131.1 and § 2.2-1153 of the Code of Virginia. This report shall be submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly and include (i) information on the implementation and effectiveness of the program established pursuant to subsection A of § 2.2-1131.1, (ii) a listing of real property leases that are in effect for the current year, the agency executing the lease, the amount of space leased, the population of each leased facility, and the annual cost of the lease; and, (iii) a report on DGS’s findings and recommendations under the provisions of § 2.2-1153, and recommendations for any actions that may be required by the Governor and the General Assembly to identify and dispose of property not being efficiently and effectively utilized."

Summary of Savings and Income during the Period

Lease Savings: $2,695,900
Lease Administration Savings: $181,760
Surplus Real Estate Sales Revenue: $5,704,010
Surplus Real Estate Under Contract: $484,000
Surplus Contracts Pending Execution: $12,650,000

Total Savings/Sales Revenue: $21,715,670

Lease savings throughout this report are divided between cost savings and cost avoidance. Cost savings is defined as reduced occupancy costs typically attributable to renegotiation of existing rents, reconfiguration of space to reduce rented areas, collocation efficiencies, and relocating from leased to owned properties when that is the most economical choice. These are savings which reduce the real cost of doing business for the agency.

Cost avoidance is most often attributable to improved economic terms through value added in negotiations. Examples of cost avoidance include the landlord’s agreement to pay a larger share of the cost of tenant improvements or the landlord’s agreement to pay for furnishing and equipment ordinarily paid by the tenant.

The combined report for 2012 follows:

1. Division of Real Estate Services – Program Status

Virginia Code § 2.2-1131.1 requires an annual report on progress of DGS’ efforts to establish performance standards for the acquisition, lease and disposition of real property and for the management and utilization of such property at the individual agency and statewide levels to maximize the use of the Commonwealth’s inventory of properties.

• Space Standards: The target average square feet per person in leased facilities remains at an average of 198 square feet. The number of square feet per person is a key measure under Virginia Performs. During FY12, the number of square feet per person averaged 180.5 for space leased during the period.

• Lease Administration: DRES is responsible for administering 533 leases with combined annual rental obligations of $54 Million. In addition to ensuring that rental payments are made on time and in the correct amounts, this process allows DRES to identify and correct billing errors related to annual rent escalations and applicable operations and maintenance cost, saving agencies $181,760 during the past year.

• Integrated Real Estate Management System (IREMS): We have purchased, installed and are currently using an integrated property management system. The system has the ability to track and document progress of active transactions. It provides the database for property inventories and data, and the system ties into DGS’ fiscal office to initiate lease payments and billings. During the year, the vendor went out of business and transferred the source code for the system to DGS. In the past, there have been limitations due to the vendors’ need to serve a large user population having disparate needs and interests. Controlling the source code allows us to tailor the system solely to the Commonwealth’s needs, and we have begun actions to that end.

• Real Estate Records: Since April of 2011, we have focused resources on collecting, reviewing and uploading data in order to meet the requirements of Virginia Code § 2.2-1136 as amended by the 2011 Session of the General Assembly. The amendment requires DGS to complete an inventory of all real property owned by state departments, agencies and institutions by January 1, 2012. That inventory was completed on-time, and we are now focusing on strategies to maintain current information on an on-going basis.

• Agency Strategic Leasing Plans: In 2008, DRES required certain large agencies to prepare Agency Strategic Leasing Plans. These plans focus on projected space needs to meet anticipated operational requirements. These plans provide significant detail in terms of anticipated staffing, location requirements, facility attributes, and expected program duration. The plans help agencies proactively focus on facility needs, and they provide critical information to enable DRES to develop strategic solutions to meet the needs of multiple agencies. The plans are due for a comprehensive review by DRES and the affected agencies by July 2013.

• DRES Strategic Planning: Using the Agency Strategic Leasing Plans and information on the current cost and utilization of office facilities, including current staffing levels, DRES has been able to develop long term plans that forecast leasing activities several years out and identify potential collocation and other opportunities that require longer range planning to realize. The strategic plan was updated in June of 2011.

Because markets are beginning to recover from the recession, we have initiated, with our contracted real estate broker, comprehensive strategic planning to ensure that we are prepared to meet the challenges of rising markets.

In large part, private industry has adopted teleworking and other workplace and work-pattern strategies as a way to increase productivity and mitigate space needs. While DRES has been successful in reducing the square feet per person metric for the Commonwealth, additional strategies should be considered involving increased teleworking and more creative usage of office space. Since these matters involve management styles and policies within the agencies, as well as their HR policies, DRES is not in a position to do more toward this goal than to prepare to act if and when any agencies incorporate these strategies into their overall management strategies.

• Funding: The Division became funded through an internal service fund, approved by JLARC, in 2008. The fees were revised in 2010 to effect a 10 percent reduction in fees to the agencies. At the same time, an hourly rate was established in order to allow DRES to charge for service which up to that time had not been reimbursed. We continue to monitor our performance and costs.