State Government Agencies

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Administration, Department of

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Created in 1957, the Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. The department oversees Government Operations such as building construction, purchasing and contracting for goods and services, managing state vehicles, acquiring and disposing of real property, and operating auxiliary services such as courier mail delivery and the sale of state and federal surplus property.

In addition, the department provides Internal Services and Programs. Internal Services include the maintenance of state-owned buildings and grounds, police security for state government facilities in Wake County, and leadership in managing the department's information resources. The department's programs provide advocacy, assistance and services to diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved.

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Administrative Hearings, Office of

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The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is an independent quasi-judicial agency that was established to provide a source of independent Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) to preside in administrative law contested cases and to ensure that the functions of rulemaking, investigation, advocacy and adjudication are not combined in the administrative process.

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Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of

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The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' divisions have responsibilities in regulatory and service areas covering agronomy; animal health; weights and measures; gas and oil inspection; crop and livestock statistics; USDA commodity distribution; state farm operations; food, drug and cosmetic testing for purity; agricultural marketing and promotion; agricultural marketing grading; international agricultural crop and livestock marketing; operation of the North Carolina State Fair and North Carolina Mountain State Fair; operation of five state farmers markets; research station operations; seed and fertilizer inspection; nursery and plant pest eradication activities; regulation of the structural pest control industry; agricultural environmental issues; state and federal agricultural legislation; and agricultural economic analysis.

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Auditor, Office of the State

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The North Carolina Office of the State Auditor serves as the watchdog for State government by providing citizens, legislators, and government officials with professional, independent evaluations of the State's financial records and public program performance. The State Auditor also assesses the security and integrity of the State's information technology systems, as well as providing monitoring and technical assistance for private non-profit recipients of State grant funds. The Office of the State Auditor independently evaluates State programs and provides guidance to the legislature on the operation of all aspects of state government, clerks of court, the University system and the community colleges.

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Budget and Management, Office of State

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The Office of State Budget and Management provides fiscal advice to the Governor; formulates the recommended state budget; executes the legislatively authorized budget; monitors and estimates revenues; produces population estimates/projections; provides economic/demographic analysis; collects, disseminates, and explains data; develops information systems; and helps agencies to work more effectively.

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Commerce, Department of

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The North Carolina Department of Commerce is the state's leading economic-development agency, working with local, regional, national and international companies. The department's mission is to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for all North Carolinians. The mission is carried out by serving existing business and industry, including providing international trade assistance; recruiting new jobs and domestic and foreign investment; encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation; marketing North Carolina and its brand; supporting workforce development; strengthening communities; and promoting tourism, film and sports development. The Department also provides data, statistics, information and reports for state government and agencies, which regulate commerce in the state.

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Community Colleges System

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The mission of the North Carolina Community College System is to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce, and improve the lives and well-being of individuals by providing: 1. education, training and retraining for the workforce, including basic skills and literacy education, occupational and pre-baccalaureate programs; 2. support for economic development through services to and in partnership with business and industry and in collaboration with the University of North Carolina System and private colleges and universities; and 3. services to communities and individuals which improve the quality of life.

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Controller, Office of the State

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The Office of the State Controller provides financial management services to North Carolina state agencies, ensuring that state funds are spent, accounted for and reported consistent with national accounting standards. The Office acts as the business office for the State of North Carolina, overseeing functions like financial accounting, cash management, payroll and other business-related activities. Included in this responsibility are the development, management, and operation of computer systems necessary to meet the business requirements outlined above.

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Elections and Ethics Enforcement, State Board of

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The bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement is charged with the administration of the elections process, campaign finance disclosure, and ethics compliance in North Carolina. The Governor of North Carolina appoints the eight members of the Board. On June 1, 2017, a panel of superior court judges dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state law creating the State Board. The new agency assumes duties formerly overseen by the N.C. State Board of Elections and the N.C. State Ethics Commission, along with lobbying compliance carried out by the Secretary of State. Though the lawsuit is now being appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court, this agency is now the consolidated State Board and continues to enforce North Carolina’s elections, ethics and lobbying laws.

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Employment Security, Division of

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For more than 50 years, the DES has played a key role in North Carolina's economic vitality, helping employers find the staff they need to carry out their business; serving as a career resource center for workers at all skill levels and age groups; supplying labor market data to government officials, researchers and others; and providing unemployment insurance to people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

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Environmental Quality, Department of

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The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality administers regulatory programs designed to protect air quality, water quality, and the public's health. DEQ also offers technical assistance to businesses, farmers, local governments, and the public and encourages responsible behavior with respect to the environment through education programs provided at DEQ facilities and through the state's school system.

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Ethics Commission, North Carolina State

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The North Carolina State Ethics Commission was formed in August 2006 as part of the State Government Ethics Act. The Commission is responsible for receiving and conducting inquiries of complaints alleging unethical conduct by legislative employees and public servants (defined in N.C.G.S. 138A-12). The Commission also gives advisory opinions to public servants, legislative employees, and legislators in matters related to the State Government Ethics Act. Finally, the Commission oversees mandatory ethics training for all legislators and legislative employees within three months of their election, reelection, appointment, or employment.

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General Assembly

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The North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) is made of two bodies or houses; the Senate, which has 50 members; and the House of Representatives, which consists of 120 members. Each legislator represents either a Senatorial District or a House District. Laws of North Carolina, known as statutes, are made by the General Assembly.

The General Assembly meets in regular session beginning in January of each odd-numbered year, and adjourns to reconvene the following even-numbered year for a shorter session.

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Governor, Office of the

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The Governor of North Carolina is the top executive of the government of the state of North Carolina. Among other responsibilities, the governor heads the Council of State. The Governor of North Carolina was the last state chief executive to receive veto power; the Governor did not have this power until 1996. The Governor of North Carolina has extensive powers of appointment of executive branch officials, some judges, and members of boards and commissions.

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Health and Human Services, Department of

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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the largest agency in state government, responsible for ensuring the health, safety and well being of all North Carolinians, providing the human service needs for fragile populations like the mentally ill, deaf, blind and developmentally disabled, and helping poor North Carolinians achieve economic independence.

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Housing Finance Agency of North Carolina

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The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. The Agency's mission is to create affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians whose needs are not met by the market. Since its creation in 1973 by the General Assembly, the Agency has financed nearly than 176,000 affordable homes and apartments, totaling more than $10 billion.

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Human Resources, Office of State

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The primary purpose of the Office of State Human Resourcesl (OSHR) is to establish and maintain a system of human resources administration under the direction of the Governor, which is based on accepted and successful principles of human resources administration used in government and industry.

The office provides leadership and supports agencies and universities in creating and sustaining dynamic human resource systems to attract, retain, develop, and motivate a diverse and competent workforce.

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Information Technology, Department of

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The Department of Information Technology (DIT) provides technology services to state agencies, local governments, and educational institutions across North Carolina. IT services include hosting, network and video services, telecommunications, and enterprise services such as e-mail and calendaring.

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Insurance, Department of

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The General Assembly created the North Carolina Department of Insurance in 1899. Licensing and supervision of insurance companies were previously delegated to the Secretary of State's office, but a group of insurance agents felt a specific state agency dedicated to overseeing the insurance industry was needed. Lawmakers agreed, and the Department of Insurance was established on March 6, 1899.

Now, more than 100 years later, the Department of Insurance provides valuable services to the people of North Carolina by regulating the insurance industry, licensing insurance professionals and others, educating consumers about different types of insurance, handling consumer complaints, and much, much more. The Department also houses the Office of State Fire Marshal, which is responsible for a host of other services that improve North Carolinians' daily lives.

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Judicial Branch (NC Courts)

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The North Carolina court system is critical in upholding our own state laws and preserving our orderly and free society. The courts provide a fair hearing to all disputing parties.

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Justice, Department of

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The Attorney General and the Department of Justice provide legal representation and advice to all state government departments, agencies and commissions. The Attorney General also provides legal opinions at the request of other public officials and handles all criminal appeals from state trial courts. When public interests are at stake, the Attorney General can take legal action on behalf of the State and its citizens.

Through the Consumer Protection Division, the Attorney General works to educate North Carolina consumers and protect them from frauds and scams. The Victims and Citizens Services Section also works to protect the rights of victims and help citizens better understand the criminal justice system.

In addition to legal services, the Department of Justice provides assistance to law enforcement agencies across North Carolina. The State Bureau of Investigation works with local law enforcement to investigate crimes. The North Carolina Justice Academy provides training for local law enforcement officers. The Department of Justice also oversees standards for officers through the Sheriffs' Standards Training Commission and the Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission. In addition, the Department oversees standards for private security, private investigators and other related professions through the Private Protective Services Board as well as burglar alarm businesses through the Alarm Systems Licensing Board.

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Labor, Department of

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The N.C. Department of Labor is charged with promoting the "health, safety and general well-being" of more than 4 million workers in the state. The department serves the needs of the workplace through a variety of programs aimed at making the employees of North Carolina safe.

A commissioner of labor is elected every four years as head of the department and also serves on the Council of State. The commissioner has broad regulatory and enforcement powers to carry out the department's duties and responsibilities.

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Lieutenant Governor, Office of the

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Established in 1868, North Carolina's Lieutenant Governor is the only elected official to have powers in both the legislative and executive branches of state government. Under the constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is first in line to succeed the governorship should that office become vacant. Thus, the Lieutenant Governor must have a thorough knowledge of state government as well as the many duties performed by the state's chief executive, the Governor.

In the Legislature, the Lieutenant Governor is the President of the state Senate, serving as its chief presiding officer which requires directing the debate of bills on the Senate floor.

The Lieutenant Governor is also a member of the Council of State. The Council of State oversees the expenditure of tax dollars and transacts business on behalf of all of state government and the state's people. The Lieutenant Governor serves on many boards and commissions including the State Board of Education, the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges and the Board of Economic Development. The Lieutenant Governor also makes appointments to various boards and commissions to advise the legislature and executive branches of state government on policy matters.

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Military and Veterans Affairs, Department of

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Established in 2015, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will focus on protecting North Carolina's military installations, working with the communities around military bases, helping military families and veterans get the support and services they need, and helping connect veterans with jobs. This cabinet level deparment brings together services that were previously split among several state agencies including veterans affairs in the Department of Administration and military affairs in the Department of Commerce.

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Natural and Cultural Resources, Department of

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The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources was formed in 1971 to serve North Carolina's citizens across the state in an outreach to broaden minds and spirits, preserve history and culture, and to recognize and promote our cultural resources as an essential element of North Carolina's economic and social well-being. It was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

On September 18, 2015 the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources became the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. In addition to the 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the State Archives, the State Library, the State Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the N.C. Arts Council and the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the Department now includes the N.C. Zoo, two natural science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, plus the Division of Land and Water Stewardship (which includes the Clean Water Management Trust Fund).

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Public Instruction, Department of

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The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is the agency charged with implementing the State's public school laws and the State Board of Education's policies and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education. The elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction heads the Department and functions under the policy direction of the State Board of Education.

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Public Safety, Department of

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The Department of Public Safety's mission is to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians by reducing crime and enhancing public safety.

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Revenue, Department of

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The Department of Revenue administers the tax laws and collects the taxes due the state in an impartial, uniform, and efficient manner.

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Secretary of State, Department of the

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The Department of the Secretary of State is the second-oldest government office in North Carolina. The department serves and protects citizens, the business community and governmental agencies by facilitating business activities, by providing accurate and timely information and by preserving documents and records.

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Transportation, Department of

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The N.C. Department of Transportation is one of North Carolina's largest state government agencies, with more than 14,000 employees. NCDOT works hard to provide high-quality transportation for travelers throughout North Carolina, including highways, rail, aviation, ferries, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and public transit. NCDOT has a long history of public service with its roots dating to 1915 in the establishment of the State Highway Commission.

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Treasurer, Department of the State

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The State Treasurer is an elected office established by the State Constitution. The Treasurer serves as the state's banker and chief investment officer. The Treasurer's primary duties include: managing more than $75 billion in public funds; serving as sole fiduciary for the North Carolina Retirement Systems (NCRS), which provide retirement benefits for more than 700,000 North Carolinians; investing public funds to earn consistent returns; supervising the state's banking system, which processed more than 14 million checks last year; administering NC Cash, the state's unclaimed property fund, which contains more than $500 million and has funded college scholarships for more than 189,000 students; helping state and local government units maintain fiscal health by assisting with financial management and debt issuance; issuing the annual Debt Affordability Report to inform the Governor and lawmakers about the amount of debt that the state can manage; serving on the State Boards of Education and Community Colleges; serving on the Boards for the State's public employee retirement systems, as well as the 401k and 457 plans offered to public employees; and chairing the State's Banking Commission.

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University of North Carolina System

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In North Carolina, all the public educational institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees are part of the University of North Carolina. The multi-campus state university encompasses 16 such institutions, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first public residential high school for gifted students. Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1789, the University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States to open its doors and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century. The first class was admitted in Chapel Hill in 1795.

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