Regional Government Services Authority (RGS) was formed in 2001, by a city and a regional planning and services agency to help local governments meet three challenges: decreasing revenues, increasing demands (and costs) for services, and loss of experienced staff. Local government leaders knew that these challenges were likely to continue, so agencies would have to work together – uniting not only their voices but their resources to advocate and become more efficient. The idea behind the creation of RGS was to form an agency which would help local governments share expertise and improve efficiencies. A need was emerging for some way to help agencies get the expertise and experience needed, without each agency having to hire full-time staff when the need might be less than full-time. Agencies could, in effect, share expertise through a third-party.
Today, RGS is governed by several member agencies, all with the common goal expressed in the JPA’s mission statement: To provide quality, innovative, cost-effective services exclusively to public agencies. Current member agency representation can be found on the Board of Directors page of this website.
RGS developed a highly flexible platform of administrative support, benefit plans and programs that could serve the diverse needs of cities, special districts, counties and other joint powers authorities. Flexibility was vital because the needs of partner agencies varied and because RGS services were 100 percent fee-based. Thus, RGS costs needed to be able to ramp up or down quickly, as demand changed.
To view the RGS Org Chart click here.
RGS’ first agency client was Local Government Services Authority (LGS), another joint powers authority established by local governments to provide CalPERS-benefitted employment. LGS relies on RGS for back-office and management support so it can take advantage of the sharing concept RGS was created to perform.
In 2012, RGS and LGS furthered expanded upon the concept of sharing resources by forming a third joint powers authority – Municipal Services Authority (MSA) – to pool purchasing power for insurance and other programs such as employee 457(b) and 401(a) defined contribution retirement plans, employee dental coverage, employee major medical coverage and other opportunities to help small to mid-sized agencies obtain better pricing and services than they might otherwise be able to obtain on their own.
What is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA)?
California Government Code Article 1, Chapter 5, Division 7, Title 1, section 6500, permits two or more public agencies to form a joint powers authority. A JPA is a new government entity, separate and legally independent of the member agencies which govern it. Governments often form a JPA to collectively and efficiently address issues common to the founding members.
Regional Government Services Authority was formed under Section 6500, for the purpose of providing local governments with administrative, staffing and advisory services. RGS has now served over 135 cities, special districts, joint powers authorities and other local governments and non-profits that support local governments.