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California Department of General Services. (Photo: www.dgs.ca.gov)

California’s Department of General Services

The ‘business manager for the State of California’

By Chris Micheli, August 10, 2020 6:25 am

The Department of General Services (DGS) is found in the California Government Code Title 2, Division 3, Part 5.5, which includes Sections 14600 to 14985.11. Section 14601 establishes DGS in the executive branch of state government under the Government Operations Agency and specifies that it is under an executive officer who is known as the Director of DGS. The Director serves at the pleasure of the Governor and is confirmed by the Senate.

Government Code Section 14600 sets forth the following legislative declarations: “A centralization of business management functions and services of state government is necessary to take advantage of specialized techniques and skills, provide uniform management practices, and to insure a continuing high level of efficiency and economy.

“A Department of General Services is created to provide centralized services including, but not limited to, planning, acquisition, construction, and maintenance of state buildings and property; purchasing; printing; architectural services; administrative hearings; government claims; and accounting services. The Department of General Services shall develop and enforce policy and procedures and shall institute or cause the institution of those investigations and proceedings as it deems proper to assure effective operation of all functions performed by the department and to conserve the rights and interests of the state.”

Pursuant to Section 14612, DGS is committed to achieving improved levels of performance and is required to provide: 1) Services that the Legislature or Governor requires state agencies to purchase from the department. (2) Services that state agencies are not required to purchase from the department, but that the department can provide on a cost-competitive basis.

DGS is the “business manager for the State of California.” The department provides important services to other state agencies dealing with procurement; acquisitions; real estate management and design; environmentally friendly transportation; professional printing, design and web services; administrative hearings; legal services; building standards; oversight of structural safety; fire and life safety and accessibility for the design and construction of K-12 public schools and community colleges; and, funding for school construction.

According to DGS, they have an annual strategic planning process in which each division and office identifies a few select strategic goals and then determines what they can achieve within the calendar year. In the interest of transparency, DGS publishes their goals through an annual Strategic Plan.

DGS has the following Divisions and Offices:

Procurement Division (PD)
Real Estate Services
Facilities Management Division
Division of the State Architect
Office of Administrative Hearings

Interagency Support Division (ISD)
  Office of Fleet and Asset Management (OFAM)
Office of State Publishing (OSP)
Building Standards Commission (BSC)
Office of Public School Construction (OPSC)
California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA)

Administration Division
  Enterprise Technology Solutions (ETS)
Office of Fiscal Services (OFS)
Office of Human Resources (OHR)
Office of Business Acquisition Services (OBAS)
Office of Risk and Insurance Management (ORIM)

Director’s Office
Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO)
Office of Sustainability (OS)
Office of Audit Services (OAS)
Office of Legal Services (OLS)
Office of Strategic Planning, Policy and Research (OSPPR)
Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA)
Office of Public Affairs (OPA)

DGS has numerous statutory duties under Part 5.5 of the Government Code. It has extensive powers and duties and succeeded to specified functions and responsibilities. Specifically, under the Governor Code, DGS is responsible for:

Government claims duties

State property

Buildings and grounds

State projects

State burial grounds

State land settlement

State building energy retrofits

Rector dam

Integrated pest management

Administration of state records

State forms management

California State Contracts Register

Small business procurement and contract

Operation of the Office of State Printing

Golden State Financial Marketplace Program

State Architect

Purchase of prescription drugs for government agencies

California Commission on Disability Access

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