Office of General Services

Interagency Consolidation of Administrative and Support Services

At the time of our audit, the Office of General Services (OGS) was responsible for performing, or “hosting,” certain day-to-day administrative and/or support functions for 13 smaller State agencies. We examined OGS’s performance for ten of the agencies and found that, on balance, OGS appeared to be effective. We also found that there were clear efficiencies in the consolidation of these administrative and support services at OGS because, with the administrative responsibilities transferred to OGS, fewer staff in total were needed at the hosted agencies. We conservatively estimated that, as a result of this reduction in the number of full-time equivalent employees at the 13 hosted agencies, New York State was saving a net total of at least $716,900 a year in personal service costs through the hosting arrangements.

Because of the benefits of the hosting program, we recommended consideration be given to expanding the program to include more agencies. Staff at the New York State Division of the Budget (DOB), which works with OGS in making hosting arrangements, believed the program should not be expanded because, in their opinion, such hosting arrangements are not beneficial for larger agencies. However, in light of the State’s current fiscal difficulties and the pressing need for reductions in State expenditures, we recommended OGS work with DOB to identify opportunities for expanding the hosting program to mid-sized State agencies.

We further determined that there may also be opportunities to expand the consolidation effort in certain service areas, such as information technology, by adopting a “shared services” approach. In this approach, services are consolidated into a single stand-alone unit or agency. Other government entities have adopted this approach for their information technology services and reported significant actual or expected savings, as well as other improvements. We determined that, if New York State adopted a similar shared services approach for its information technology functions, and realized comparable savings, it could save between $31.5 million and $221.6 million annually. We recommend consideration be given to adopting such an approach in New York State.

For a complete copy of Report 2009-S-31 click here.