Consolidating state offices would save millions

Blount’s plan is simple: consolidate all office leasing responsibility under the Department of Finance and Administration and put an emphasis on locating state agencies in the metro area in areas designated as the Capitol Complex.

Currently, each state agency handles its own leasing. Over the years, this has led to a number of problems and inconveniences, the most important being wasted money and wasted space.

Blount’s bill comes in response to a 2013 report by the Else School of Management at Millsaps College. According to the report, the state spends $16 million per year on leases for agencies that employ a total of 4,700 people. That equates to 321 square feet of space per state employee. Reducing that amount to the federally recommended 218 square feet per employee would save state taxpayers approximately $5 million per year.

The state could see additional savings by consolidating state agencies into the Capitol Complex, a geographically designated area in downtown Jackson. The average lease rates in downtown are significantly lower than those in other metro areas. For instance, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is moving several of his agency offices to Capital Towers. Doing so, he said, will save the state $10,000 per month in lease costs.

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Clarion Ledger
3/3/14