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More budget chunks! Mayor Vince Gray is using his budget to quietly announce major policy changes. For example: Merging the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization with the Department of Real Estate Services as well as the capital construction and real estate management functions of the Department of Parks and Recreation and Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
With an operating budget of $637.8 million, this new super-agency—called the “Department of General Services”—will manage postal services, building maintenance, parking, leasing, energy purchasing, contracting and procurement for all District-owned real estate, as well as “provide for the operations and management of Eastern Market through the revenue-generating Eastern Market Enterprise Fund.” That gets closer to the very expansive mission of the federal General Services Administration, which provides all sorts of assistance to U.S. government agencies. (It also explains why permanent directors haven’t yet been appointed for OPEFM or DRES).
From combing through the proposed budget, it doesn’t look like there are significant staff cuts, but it’s hard to tell when so much is being consolidated. More as more is available.