Top-to-Bottom Review Sparks Merger Of Property Divisions

Press Release from the Department of Finance and Administration; July 28, 2011: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s top-to-bottom review of state government is resulting in greater efficiency and cost savings in state property management with the merger of two closely-related state divisions. Real Property Administration will be combined with Property Services Management in the Department of General Services. To date, Real Property has been located in Finance & Administration.

“An effective state government is one that provides core services, is responsive to citizens and operates at the lowest possible cost,” Haslam said. “The benefits of merging these two areas became obvious to us early in our review to achieve more effective service and upkeep of state properties, and ultimately significant cost savings in state operations.”

In his inaugural address, the governor pledged to conduct a top to bottom review of each state department to set priorities and establish measurable goals. He called on each cabinet member to take a hard look at state operations to ensure that the best service is being delivered in the most efficient manner.

“Governor Haslam challenged me to really look at overhauling the way we manage our real estate assets, and this structural change is simply the beginning of that process,” General Services Commissioner Steve Cates said. “It just makes sense to bring together people whose duties are so closely related, and I know we’ll see positive results in short order.”

Real Property Administration, with 63 full-time positions, is responsible for all capital improvements and construction, serving to develop the state’s capital initiatives and real property assets. It is the implementation arm of the State Building Commission, responsible for all capital improvements. Property Services Management has 189 employees and operates, manages, and maintains state facilities. The division also administers comprehensive policies and procedures for the management of state-owned and leased facilities statewide.

“From the very beginning of his administration, Governor Haslam charged us to look for ways to be more effective and efficient,” Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes said. “Commissioner Cates’ strong real estate background brings significant value to this process, and we will all work to help make this a successful transition.”

The Department of General Services facilitates the operation of state government in the areas of procurement, facility management, motor vehicle and equipment management, postal services, warehousing, records management and similar services.

There are 16 state office building complexes across Tennessee, with 376 leased buildings and 135 state-owned buildings.