Presentation from Dept. of Personnel & Admin
INTERIM COMMISSION TO STUDY FISCAL STABILITY
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03:24 PM -- Presentation from the Department of Personnel and Administration
Jennifer Okes, Deputy Executive Director of the Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA), provided an overview of the department. Ms. Okes described the department as the business arm of the state government and described the services that the department provides. She directed commissioners to a DPA report responding to the questions the commission posed to the department (Attachment M).
Adrienne Benavidez, Director of the Division of Finance and Procurement, provided an overview of the services offered by the division and also discussed the use of price agreements. She provided a written summary of her testimony to the commission (Attachment N). She described the bidding process and the use of procurement cards, which she stated improved efficiency of the division. Ms. Benavidez also described expense reporting in the Colorado Financial Reporting System (COFRS).
Tom Montoya, Deputy Director of Human Resources, discussed the number of employees working for the state which totalled 38,740 excluding higher education employees. He estimated that there were approximately 40,000 additional employees within the higher education system. He also provided information on the total cost of benefits for state employees, employee cost relative to total department costs, and surveys comparing Colorado's salaries and benefits to other states. He responded to questions regarding the cost of pensions for state workers and the expected impact of retirements on the cost of employee pension programs. He commented on the concern for loss of institutional knowledge when retiring workers but noted cost savings in hiring replacement employees at lower wages.
Mr. Montoya indicated that turnover rates for the state's employees are below the market average. In regard to the recent audit on the state compensation system, he explained that the state has a bimodal compensation structure, in which older employees are paid more due to the step system which was once used for all state employees. He indicated that this system was abandoned 10 years ago and that state is now using a compensation structure based more on achievement.
Mr. Montoya also indicated that the compensation audit did not address benefits that employees receive and that the state is near the market rate for compensation when accounting for total benefits. Mr. Montoya and Ms. Okes provided further detail regarding the audit in response to commissioners' questions.
The commission took a brief recess.