Governor Susana Martinez has signed an executive order aimed at improving the capital outlay process for state government properties by requiring every agency under the Governor's authority to submit a 5-year facilities master plan.
The directive aims to improve planning and cut costs by requiring the agencies to annually update and justify proposed capital projects, outline maintenance plans and justify new construction. Agencies will use a criteria-based weighted ranking system to determine priority.
For years, New Mexico has rated poorly in managing the capital outlay process. The Governor's executive order will help ensure that all capital projects relating to state agencies are properly vetted and deemed worthy before lawmakers are asked to provide funding.
"New Mexico taxpayers foot the bill for these projects and it is important that we have a better system in place to identify the state's needs so we can avoid wasteful spending," Governor Martinez said. "Frankly, this sort of prioritization and vetting should be an integral part of every dollar that the Legislature appropriates for capital outlay. Unfortunately, for too long that hasn't been the case."
The executive order calls for the Property Control Division at the General Services Department to work with the Department of Finance and Administration to prepare and update a 5-year capital improvement project master list.
The master plan must be submitted to the Governor and Legislature by November 1 each year. It will identify projects where the initial planning and design phase has been completed and approved by the appropriate planning entity to await consideration for a legislative appropriation.
At the same time, the plan will chart projects that need funding for initial planning and design work where the programming, delivery method, partial schematic design and construction cost estimates have not been fully determined.
"This practice is a much more effective approach to capital planning," General Services Secretary Ed Burckle said. "Facilities management should be planned and budgeted with the costs of operation and maintenance considered along with construction costs."
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