A Reporter's Guide to DGS

The California Department of General Services (DGS) is one of the most diverse departments in state government. Our duties range from managing state buildings, presiding over administrative hearings, providing oversight of the state’s vehicle fleet, and overseeing contracting and procurement policies, among many other functions.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions from reporters regarding many of DGS’ major responsibilities. For even more information about DGS, please see the We Are DGS Web page.

The DGS Office of Public Affairs endeavors to maintain a positive working relationship with the news media and replies promptly to all reporter contacts. To ensure that your questions receive accurate and timely responses, please contact us by email ( or by phone at (916) 376-5037.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does DGS own and manage every state building?


DGS does not manage every state building.

DGS oversees 79 state-owned properties, including 58 office buildings. Other properties include warehouses, storage facilities, the state printing plant, the state’s central heating and cooling plant, stand-alone parking structures and the state records warehouse.

Does DGS buy all goods and services for state agencies?


DGS delegates purchasing authority to state agencies, allowing them to buy on their own. DGS conducts larger purchases on behalf of state agencies when the purchase exceeds their delegated authority.

State agencies spend more than $8 billion annually for goods, services, information technology, and public works.

Does DGS maintain all contracts entered into by every state agency and department?


As mentioned earlier, DGS delegates purchasing authority to state agencies, allowing them to buy on their own and does not award all state contracts.

State agencies are required by law to report contracts they enter into if it is valued at $5,000 or more. The data is entered into the State Contract & Procurement Registration System (SCPRS).

How comprehensive is the contracting data maintained by DGS?

DGS maintains contracting information online via the State Contract & Procurement Registration System, also known as SCPRS. All state agencies are responsible for entering data for contracts valued at more than $5,000.

The data entered represents the total value of contracts but not necessarily the dollar amount spent by state agencies. To confirm spending data for a particular contract, reporters must always contact the individual agency and/or department that owns the contract.

Does DGS own every state vehicle?


DGS oversees, but does not own, the state’s 50,000-plus fleet of mobile assets to improve overall utilization and lower the cost of ownership. Mobile assets include boats, trailers, heavy-duty equipment and aircraft, as well as passenger vehicles.

Most of the approximately 5,000 vehicles owned by DGS are short-term rentals for state agencies. The balance of the mobile assets is owned by scores of other state departments and agencies.

Does DGS, through either the Division of the State Architect or Office of Public School Construction, maintain a database of schools built in California?


The Division of the State Architect (DSA) oversees plan review and approval for the construction of K-12 public schools and community colleges. The Office of Public School Construction facilitates the processing of School Facility Program construction applications to make voter-approved state bond matching funds available to qualifying school districts.

The California Department of Education maintains the California School Directory, which contains information about all California public schools, private schools, nonpublic nonsectarian schools, school districts and county offices of education. The search feature allows users to search for educational agencies in California by county, district, name, county-district-school (CDS) code, city, zip code, type or status.

What is the construction certification status of public school classrooms built in California?

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) oversees design and construction of K-12 public school and community college classrooms to ensure they comply with applicable state laws and codes pertaining to structural safety, access compliance and fire and life safety.

DSA's current project inspection process is designed to ensure that construction certification is a success for all parties involved. Rather than waiting until the end of construction to verify certain aspects of the project are complete, as work progresses the project inspector signs off the applicable blocks and sections of the DSA project inspection card. A stop work order may be issued for failure to complete a section of the project inspection card. Read more about the DSA school certification process.

In addition, DSA has implemented the online DSA Certification Box that identifies uncertified school construction projects, including information about what documents or fees are required from school districts in order to complete project certification by DSA. Read more about DSA Certification Box

Does the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) have all records generated from every case that its administrative law judges hear?

The Office of Administrative Hearings hears administrative disputes for over 1,600 state and local agencies, and maintains a case file for every matter that comes before one of its administrative law judges. While many of these documents are public record, not all documents are available online. 

Requests for documents in open cases may be directed to the OAH Public Records Officer.  Requests in closed cases may be directed to OAH or to the agency involved in the dispute.  In cases resulting in proposed decisions, the agency is the final decision maker and holder of administrative record.   

Which administrative hearing records are available online?

The General Jurisdiction Hearing Calendar (click “Calendar” under the “General Jurisdiction Division” tab) is a resource for locating information on upcoming hearings and continuances. Reporters may search by hearing date, agency name, case name or case number.

OAH issues final decisions for the California Department of Developmental Services regarding consumer appeals. These decisions may be accessed online.

Special education decisions and orders may be accessed online.

Teacher layoff decisions may be accessed online. Contact the OAH Public Records Officer for teacher dismissal decisions.

If reporters need more detailed information, or information on cases other than those listed here, they may contact the OAH Public Records Officer

Does the California Building Standards Commission oversee all building codes in the state?


The commission sets the model building code standards that local building officials use as guidance.

With the exception of buildings subject to state agency enforcement, California’s building codes are enforced at the local government level. Cities and counties have the option of enforcing stricter codes if they are considered reasonably necessary due to certain environmental conditions. 

Every three years, the commission administers and publishes the California Building Standards Code in its entirety; changes can be made halfway through that period. 

Download the Reporter's Guide to DGS here.
Don't see your question? Contact us at or (916) 376-5037.