California executive branch

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The California executive branch consists of elected officers and other offices and officers. The elected executive officers are:


Total number of employees is 227,536 excluding California State Universities. [1] In 2004, there were 4,462 job classifications, many of which had no employees occupying the position, as a workaround for certain hiring practices. [2] As part of a civil service reform initiative beginning in 2013, 700 job titles were eliminated. [3]

The California Department of Human Resources primarily oversees the state's civil service system, with some additional functions handled by the California State Personnel Board. [4]

1979 Little Hoover Commission report

In 1979, then-Governor Jerry Brown requested a report on the State's personnel system from the Little Hoover Commission, an independent government oversight agency, which resulted in several recommendations of which some were implemented, including the creation of the Department of Personnel Administration but other recommendations such as the dissolution of the California State Personnel Board were not. [5] [2] In the 1980s, a recommendation to decentralize hiring to departments was implemented. [2]

2010s modernization initiative

In 2012, California Department of Human Resources was created by combining the functions the former Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) with most of the operations of the State Personnel Board, largely implementing recommendations by experts in the prior decades. [4]

In 2012, the California Government Operations Agency was created under Governor Jerry Brown. Its director, Marybel Batjer, launched an initiative of civil service reform intended to make state employment more attractive to talented employees relative to the private sector. [6]

In 2015, the first engagement survey of state employees was conducted using a sample of 5,000. [7] The survey showed that employees largely believed that their work was important, but did not strongly believe that workers were held accountable or that they received proper recognition for good work. [7]

In 2016, the state rolled out a new hiring website, for the first time allowing for electronic job applications for state jobs. [8] Unusually, it was programmed by state employees rather than an external contractor. [8]


Agencies under the direction of a secretary that report directly to the governor are cabinet-level agencies. Some agencies such as the state controller, attorney general, and insurance commissioner are headed by independent elected officials. The state auditor is appointed by the governor with confirmation by the legislature, but operates independently of both. [9]

One relatively new top-level agency, California Government Operations Agency, was created in 2012 to help modernize the government. [6]

Agencies under the governor [10] [11] [12]
Agency Abbreviation
Office of the Governor GOV
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development Go-Biz
Governor's Office of Emergency Services Cal OES
Governor's Office of Planning and Research OPR
Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency BCSH
Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board ABCAB
Horse Racing Board CHRB
Housing Finance Agency CALHFA
Department of Fair Employment and Housing DFEH
Department of Consumer Affairs DCA
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control ABC
Department of Housing and Community Development HCD
Department of Business Oversight DBO
Seismic Safety Commission SSC
Environmental Protection Agency CalEPA
Air Resources Board ARB
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment OEHHA
Department of Pesticide Regulation CDPR
Department of Toxic Substances Control DTSC
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery CalRecycle
State Water Resources Control Board SWRCB
Government Operations Agency CalGovOps
Franchise Tax Board FTB
Department of General Services DGS
California Department of Technology CDT
Office of Administrative Law OAL
California Victim Compensation Board CalVCB
Department of Tax and Fee Administration CDTFA
Department of Human Resources CalHR
State Personnel Board SPB
Public Employee's Retirement System CALPERS
Teacher's Retirement System CalSTRS
Health and Human Services Agency CHHS
Department of Aging CDA
Department of Public Health CDPH
Department of Child Support Services DCSS
Department of Community Services and Development CSD
Department of Developmental Services DDS
Emergency Medical Services Authority EMSA
Department of Health Care Services DHCS
Department of Managed Health Care DMHC
Department of State Hospitals DSH
Department of Rehabilitation DOR
Department of Social Services CDSS
Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development OSHPD
Labor and Workforce Development Agency LWDA
Employment Development Department EDD
Department of Industrial Relations DIR
Agricultural Labor Relations Board ALRB
California Public Employment Relations Board PERB
Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board CUIAB
Workforce Investment Board CWDB
Employment Training Panel ETP
Natural Resources Agency Resources
Department of Water Resources DWR
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection CAL FIRE
Department of Conservation DOC
Department of Parks & Recreation PARKS
California Conservation Corps CCC
Department of Fish and Wildlife CDFW
California Coastal Commission Coastal
California Energy Commission ENERGY
State Lands Commission SLC
Native American Heritage Commission NAHC
Wildlife Conservation Board WCB
Central Valley Flood Protection Board CVFPB
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission BCDC
California Water Commission CWC
Colorado River Board of California CRB
California Tahoe Conservancy Tahoe
Santa Monica Mountains Conservency SMMC
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy DeltaConservancy
Sierra Nevada Conservancy SNC
State Coastal Conservancy SCC
California State Transportation Agency CalSTA
California Highway Patrol CHP
Department of Motor Vehicles DMV
Department of Transportation CALTRANS
Board of Pilot Commissioners BOPC
High Speed Rail Authority CAHSRA
California Transportation Commission CTC
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation CDCR
Department of Finance DOF
Department of Veterans Affairs CalVet
Department of Food and Agriculture CDFA
Military Department Calguard

Independent entities


Generally, a Cabinet-level head of an agency in California holds the title of "secretary", while the head of a department holds the title of "director." Exceptions include the head of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, whose title is actually "commissioner."

The vast majority of state government agencies and departments are headquartered in Sacramento or in parts of Sacramento County near the city of Sacramento; in turn, the larger agencies and departments also have local offices around the state which report to headquarters in Sacramento. Notable exceptions include the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Department of Industrial Relations, which are both headquartered in San Francisco.


Other defunct statewide elected offices that no longer exist include the comptroller (which became controller in 1862), the surveyor general (1849–1926), and the clerk of the Supreme Court.

In June 2012, Governor Jerry Brown obtained approval from the legislature to proceed with a reorganization plan. [13] By July 2013, the business and housing components of BTH will be consolidated with the consumer components of SCSA to form the new Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; the remainder of SCSA and the Technology Agency will merge into the new Government Operations Agency; and the transportation components of BTH along with the formerly separate California Transportation Commission will become part of the new Transportation Agency.

See also


  1. ^ State Employee Demographics Archived 2016-11-27 at the Wayback Machine. California State Controller
  2. ^ a b c "State civil service reform: California's Human Resource Modernization project in a comparative perspective - SEIU Local 1000". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  3. ^ "California's civil service changes aim for a millennial workforce". sacbee. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  4. ^ a b "About CalHR". 2017-09-23. Archived from the original on 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  5. ^ "Personnel Management in the State Service" (PDF). Little Hoover Commission. Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy. August 1979. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Californians to watch in 2014: Marybel Batjer's goal is an efficient, tech-savvy government". sacbee. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  7. ^ a b "Survey: California state workers like their work, management not so much". sacbee. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  8. ^ a b "The State Worker: California launches overhauled government jobs website". sacbee. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  9. ^ "California State Auditor - Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  10. ^ California state government. The executive branch. 2008 Dec 18. Accessed 2008 Dec 29.
  11. ^ California, State of. "CA.Gov : Agencies". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  12. ^ "California Executive Branch Organizational Chart". CalGovOps.
  13. ^ Office of the Governor, Governor Brown's Government Reorganization Plan Becomes Law Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, 3 July 2012.