November 8, 2010Will Help Lead Administration's Cost-Savings and Consolidation Efforts
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Edna Wells Handy as Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. She will play an integral role in the Administration's ongoing cost-saving, consolidation and shared services initiatives being led by Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith. Handy will also lead the Department of Records and Information Services, which will be consolidated into the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, creating opportunities for cost savings. Commissioner Handy currently serves as Deputy Attorney General for Administration in the Office of the New York State Attorney General and has a distinguished career in government and in the nonprofit sector that includes stints as an administrator at the City's Department of Education and Health and Hospitals Corporation, at Hofstra University and the NAACP, and as a prosecutor. Commissioner Handy replaces Martha K. Hirst, who left her post as Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services this summer. Donald Brosen has served as Acting Commissioner of the department since Hirst's departure. The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor Goldsmith at the announcement in the Blue Room of City Hall.
"The Department of Citywide Administrative Services is an agency often unseen by the general public that plays a major role in the operations of City government," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It oversees hundreds of millions of dollars of back-office and shared operations and is a key part of our effort to consolidate City operations, make them more efficient and less costly. I believe we have brought in the right person to help lead those efforts - Edna Wells Handy. She has a distinguished record in government and she will be able to help us seize opportunities to take innovative new approaches to reducing our expenses and delivering better services. By consolidating the Records Department into the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, we will create efficiencies in record retention and document management, and capitalize on new technologies to improve City operations."
"The department's role as the City's backbone for critical agency operations places it at the nexus of our reform strategy," said Deputy Mayor Goldsmith. "Edna is going to help lead our efforts to reshape fleet management, human capital, real estate management, procurement and other areas as we rethink how we use our talent, assets, and tools to create a more efficient, 21st Century government."
"I am humbled by this opportunity to work in Mayor Bloomberg's Administration and to work directly with Deputy Mayor Goldsmith, a renowned innovator," said Commissioner Handy. "I know that together, with the dedicated men and women of the department, we can achieve the goal of providing world class services at reduced costs."
The Department of Citywide Administrative Services ensures City agencies have the resources and support needed to provide the best possible services to the public. The agency supports City agencies' workforce needs in recruiting, hiring and training City employees; establishes and enforces uniform procedures to ensure equal employment opportunities for employees and job candidates at City agencies; and provides overall facilities management, including security, maintenance and construction services for tenants in 54 public buildings. The department also is responsible for the purchase, sale and leases of City property, as well the purchase, inspection and distribution of City supplies and equipment. The department monitors City agency vehicle fleets; establishes, audits and pays utility accounts that serve 80 City agencies and more than 4,000 buildings; and implements energy conservation programs throughout City facilities. The agency has a $1.2 billion budget for the current fiscal year and has 2,400 employees.
Commissioner Handy will also lead the Department of Records and Information Services, which will be become a part of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. The consolidation will provide significant operational and administrative benefits through streamlined management and more effective records management and archival services. The Records Department will benefit from more effective space management planning, which will result in real estate related savings on storage facilities, and more cost-efficient procurement. The Department of Records and Information Services provides Citywide records management services, including processing, conservation and storage of agency records. It also operates the Municipal Archives and the Municipal Reference and Research Center. Commissioner Handy will replace Records Commissioner Brian G. Andersson, who has joined NYC & Company and has been working to help identify marketing opportunities for the City's records and archival assets. Eileen Flanelly has been serving as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Records and Information Services. The agency consolidation will require passage of a Local Law.
Prior to her service in as Deputy Attorney General, Commissioner Handy served as Deputy Executive Director for Human Resources at the City's Department of Education, where she led a redesign of the Division of Human Resources and a series of diversity initiatives. She has served as General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and as General Counsel for the New York State Conference of NAACP Branches and the St. Paul Community Baptist Church of Brooklyn. Commissioner Handy also has served as the Interim Executive Director of the Hale House a Harlem based nonprofit dedicated to building better futures for children and families in need.
Additionally, Commissioner Handy served as a prosecutor, as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and as a Bureau Chief and Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Handy has taught law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, City University of New York, Harvard Law School, Hofstra Law School, New York Law School and St. John's School of Law School.
Commissioner Handy attained a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, where she was a member of the Coat of Arms Honor Society and attained a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School, where she was Associate Editor of the Black Law Journal. Commissioner Handy resides in Brooklyn and has four daughters. She is the widow of Michael J. Handy, a United States Air Force Vietnam veteran who directed the City's Office of Veterans' Affairs for 10 years under Mayors Dinkins, Giuliani and Bloomberg until his passing in 2003.
The Mayor thanked Nathan Leventhal, Chairman of the Mayor's Committee on Appointments and Andrea Shapiro Davis, Special Advisor to the Mayor, for their efforts on the appointment search.