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Work Order Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Department of General Services (DGS) is the agency responsible for maintaining and repairing all District government-owned and managed facilities. The work order management system is the tool DGS uses to manage maintenance work order requests. In this comprehensive FAQ, we explain how work orders are entered, prioritized, and completed, and how you can support our work of keeping our District facilities well-maintained.

Q1: How many locations/buildings does DGS maintain?

A: DGS is responsible for maintaining both leased and owned District assets, including more than 840 properties ranging from schools, government buildings, municipal centers, homeless shelters, recreation centers, parks, community gardens, indoor and outdoor pools, spray parks, dog parks, and hundreds of playgrounds.

Q2: How are work orders requests captured?

A: DGS captures requests for maintenance services through work orders, which are then tracked in the DGS Work Order system.

Q3: What information is needed to submit a work order request to DGS?

A: All work orders require a photo, an accurate location, and a brief explanation of the concern. If an accurate picture or location is not provided, it will cause a delay in creating the work order request and be rejected. This information is needed on a work order to help determine scheduling, resources (estimate costs of parts and labor), which craft team(s) is required, and whether the work order request should be considered a small or large project. More detail in the work order request allows DGS to appropriately assess and determine the most appropriate plan for abatement or resolution.

Q4: How are work orders requests submitted at a DC Government managed facility?

A: DGS relies on our partnerships with our client agencies (e.g., DCPS, DPR, DHS, MPD etc.) to inform us of maintenance requests. Our standard practice is that the client agency enters work order requests. Since the agencies are familiar with their facilities, they can most accurately enter descriptions and locations. Agency representatives who submit work orders to DGS are normally employees who manage facilities operations, such as site mangers at DPR facilities, Directors or Managers of School Logistics, Foremen, and Principals at DCPS facilities.

Q5: How can residents submit a work order request?

A: Residents have multiple options to place a work order request for facility maintenance. For staffed sites, they can ask the site facility manager to place a work order request. Residents are strongly encouraged to submit playground requests to 311 using the DGS Playground Repair Service Request.

Q6: Where can I get a listing of the types of maintenance work performed by DGS?

A: The Facilities Maintenance Division (FMD) provides a ‘Menu of Services’ that includes nearly 50 universal and property-specific services. Universal services are provided at all locations in the DGS real estate portfolio. Property-specific services are unique to each facility such as athletic field maintenance or elevator issues. To learn more about DGS Facilities Operations and Services, please visit the DGS website:

Q7: Does DGS perform all maintenance work at all municipal buildings, or do other District agencies also perform maintenance in District government buildings?

A: DGS is responsible for many District government owned and leased facilities in the District, but there are some exceptions. For example, the DC Public Library system maintains its own portfolio, except sites connected to a DPR or DCPS facility. Another example of maintenance work performed by non-DGS personnel is regular custodial responsibilities, which may be in the purview of DPR or DCPS, depending on the facility and site-specific services.

Q8: What is the lifecycle of a work order?

A: The lifecycle of a work order has four stages: intake, review, maintenance/repair, and quality assurance.
work order lifecycle
Q9: How are work orders prioritized in the DGS Work Order system?

A: When a work order request is received, it is assigned to one of three priority levels. Within each priority level, work is assigned subject to coordination of work, availability of resources, workforce, and weather.

  • EMERGENCY REPAIR: Emergencies are situations which pose an immediate threat to building operations. Emergencies are handled immediately. (e.g., loss of water in kitchen, major floods or leaks.)
  • HIGH PRIORITY REPAIR: This category includes maintenance issues that require expedited attention because it poses a potential risk to building or programmatic operations. (e.g., clogged drains that may cause flooding, suspected mold, pest control.)
  • ROUTINE REPAIR: Routine repairs are typically building repairs that will not significantly impact operations. (e.g., debris removal, or leaky faucet.)

Q10: Who prioritizes work orders for them to be repaired and completed?

A: DGS relies heavily on our partnership with our client agencies to prioritize facilities-related maintenance requests. Work orders are placed under client-agency prioritization review, after DGS internal review. Work orders that have been prioritized will be assessed, scheduled, and completed as soon as possible, contingent upon resources, workforce, and weather. Emergency work orders which pose an imminent threat to building operations are immediately prioritized and abated.

Q11: How can I find out if a work order has been submitted? How can I find out the status of a work order?

A: Residents can ask the Facilities Management Point of Contact such as the site manager at DPR sites or the Director/Manager of Logistics at DCPS sites for work order statuses. Additionally, residents can view the DGS Work Order Dashboard for status updates with the exception of safety and security sensitive repairs.

Q12: What is the timeframe to complete a work order?

A: The current timeline is 45 - 60 days for the completion of routine work orders; however, DGS is reviewing its timeline guidelines as all work orders are not the same. For example, after an agency submits a lighting work order, depending on the facility, DGS may then encounter a varying number of lighting fixtures, manufacturers, and bulb types. As a result, parts may not be readily available and would need to be procured rather than pulled off the shelf in a DGS warehouse, which would extend the time for completion.

Q13: When is a work order considered “completed”?

A: A work order is completed when the physical work is done to resolve the immediate concern as described in the original work order. Related work orders are created in the DGS system if additional work is required, and another craftsperson is required to complete additional repairs. For example, a plumber will abate a water fountain leak that has caused a ceiling leak in a room. The plumber will complete the work order to address the leak and create a related work order for another craftsperson team (e.g., painters, or carpentry to replace ceiling tiles, or to repaint the ceiling after the leak has been resolved). DGS craftspeople have specific trade expertise.

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