A Report on Executive Compensation at State Agencies
Report Number 12-708
The decisions of state agencies' executive officers directly affect the delivery of services to the citizens of Texas. Therefore, it is in the State's best interest to ensure equitable pay for executive officer positions to help recruit and retain qualified executive officers capable of effectively and efficiently managing state agencies. Executive officer salaries had a wide range�from $65,000 to $312,000�as of June 30, 2012.
A State Auditor's Office study of executive compensation identified significant disparities among the salaries of some executive officers compared with the salaries of other executive officers and/or compared with salaries of other management positions at state agencies. Specifically:
- Eleven (37 percent) executive officers were among the top 30 highest paid management employees at state agencies . The remaining 19 (63 percent) positions were employees in other management positions (see Table 1 on pages 4 and 5 for more information).
-- Ten of the 19 other management positions included deputy directors.
-- Seven of the 19 other management positions were at the Department of Transportation (including two deputy directors).
- Four executive officers and four other management positions earned higher salaries than the Health and Human Services Commission's executive commissioner (commissioner). The commissioner oversees 5 agencies with a combined annual budget of approximately $31.8 billion and 57,001 authorized full-time equivalent employees.
The recommendations in this report are intended to bring about comparable pay among similar executive officer positions at state agencies. An analysis of the 30 highest management salaries at state agencies identified the following:
- The Department of Public Safety's Colonel is not on the list of the top 30 management salaries.
- The Higher Education Coordinating Board's commissioner, the Department of Criminal Justice's executive director, and the Texas Education Agency's commissioner all tied at 27th on the list of the top 30 management salaries. (The Higher Education Coordinating Board's commissioner is eligible to receive salary supplements.)
- The Health and Human Services Commission's executive commissioner ranked 9th on the list of the top 30 management salaries.
- The Department of Transportation's executive director ranked 2nd on the list of the top 30 management salaries.
- The Employees Retirement System's executive director ranked 1st and the Teacher Retirement System's executive director ranked 4th on the list of the top 30 management salaries. (The Employees Retirement System's executive director is eligible to receive additional compensation.)
For this analysis, the State Auditor's Office placed agencies in one of three executive officer compensation tiers, which are groups of agencies according to recommended salary groups, based on factors such as the size of the agency's budget, the number of authorized full-time equivalent employees, and the complexity of the agency's mission (see Chapter 1-B for more information).
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