Agency 101: Department of Administration

Sep 21, 2022 | Administration

State Capitol

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State Agency Fast Facts: 

Often referred to inside Madison as the “Department of All,” the Department of Administration (DOA) oversees all other agencies as its main function is to assist the Governor in developing, implementing, and managing the state budget.

DOA is also responsible for borrowing and managing state debt, supporting state agencies through centralized services (vehicle fleet, printing, purchasing/procurement, human resources, etc.), and managing state leased and state-owned buildings. The Bureau of Enterprise Fleet handles 30,000 fleet car reservations annually.

DOA has a budget of over $600 million, with more than 1,400 FTE employees. While the DOA budget has been generally static for a few years, it is funded largely by “charging” other agencies for the services it provides.

Taxpayer Alert

Did you know?

DOA manages state general obligation debt (borrowing, typically for long term structures), which totaled $7.6 billion as of June 30, 2021 (last date officially reported). The State occasionally will refinance debt, similar to refinancing a personal mortgage or a business debt.

Reform History:

Selling state property: In 2013, Governor Walker and Legislature established a process to sell
state property, such as buildings, heating plants, and real estate. Despite years of discussions, no major sales have occurred, in part because of an overly bureaucratic process creating uncertainty for private markets.

Close Call…

The State’s general obligation bond rating was upgraded by both Kroll (from AA+ to AAA) and S&P (from AA to AA+). Good news, right? Yes, but remember that the Governor’s last budget proposal would have changed the State’s financial position from a BALANCE of $1.2 Billion to a DEFICIT of nearly $700 million – an irresponsible change to the negative of over $1.8 billion

DOA Leadership

Keep an Eye on:

Managing state space needs in the wake of the pandemic and remote work. Does that state need all of its current space or can the footprint – and cost – of multiple agencies be downsized?

IRG Wants to Know:

If you were in charge for a day, what reforms would you make to the UW? Email Alex Ignatowski, IRG’s Director of State Budget and Government Reform, at AI@reforminggovernment.org.