A Report on Executive Compensation at State Agencies
Report Number 16-706
The State Auditor’s Office conducted a study of 73 executive officers’ salaries and assigned salary ranges at state agencies and determined that the market competitiveness of salaries for those executive officers had improved since fiscal year 2014. However, some disparities still exist among the salaries and assigned salary ranges of some executive officers compared with the salaries and salary ranges of other executive officers and/or the salaries of other management employees at state agencies. Specifically:
- Salaries for 68 of the 73 executive officers reviewed increased by an average of 13.4 percent since fiscal year 2014. Executive officer annual base salaries had a wide range—from $72,972 to $327,443—as of June 30, 2016.
- Twenty-three executive officers were among the top 100 highest paid management employees at state agencies. The remaining 77 positions were employees in other management positions, including 19 positions at the Department of Public Safety and 16 positions at the Department of Transportation.
- A total of 28 employees at 13 state agencies had annual base salaries that exceeded the annual base salary of their executive officers. That has improved since fiscal year 2014 when 116 employees at 12 state agencies had annual base salaries that exceeded the salaries of their executive officers. However, pay compression still exists at some state agencies. For example, 138 employees at 21 state agencies had annual base salaries that were within 10 percent less than their executive officers’ salaries.
- Forty-eight executive officer positions are placed within a salary range that may limit the ability to offer a market-competitive salary.
For this analysis, the State Auditor’s Office placed agencies in one of three executive officer compensation tiers, which are agencies grouped according to recommended salary groups, based on factors such as the size of an agency’s budget, the number of authorized full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, and the complexity of an agency’s mission. For example, the agencies placed in Tier I include health and human services, education, and public safety agencies (see Chapter 1-B for more information).