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 State Controller is the State’s Chief Fiscal Officer. The Controller serves as an independent resource to protect the financial integrity of the State and to promote accountability in an objective and efficient manner. The Controller’s office does this through its accounting, disbursing, payroll, internal control, data management, eCommerce and financial reporting systems.

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Elections, State Board of

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The State Board of Elections is charged with the administration of the elections process and campaign finance disclosure and compliance. The Governor appoints the members from a list of nominees submitted to the Governor by the State party chair of each of the two political parties having the highest number of registered affiliates. Not more than three members of the State Board shall be members of the same political party.

The State Board of Elections works with the state’s 100 county boards of elections to ensure that elections are conducted lawfully and fairly.

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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 State Ethics Commission is responsible for interpreting and administering the State Government Ethics Act, including issuing formal advisory opinions, administering the financial disclosure process (Statement of Economic Interest or “SEI” filings) for individuals covered by the State Government Ethics Act, providing education, and investigating complaints. The Commission is also responsible for interpreting the Lobbying Law and shares administrative responsibilities for that law with the Secretary of State’s office.

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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 Department of Health and Human Services manages the delivery of health- and human-related services for all North Carolinians, especially the most vulnerable citizens – children, elderly, disabled and low-income families. The Department works closely with health care professionals, community leaders and advocacy groups; local, state and federal entities; and many other stakeholders to make this happen.

The Department is divided into 30 divisions and offices. NCDHHS divisions and offices fall under four broad service areas - health, human services, administrative, and support functions. NCDHHS also oversees 14 facilities: developmental centers, neuro-medical treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, and two residential programs for children.

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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 more than 282,080 affordable homes and apartments, totaling more than $23.2 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 Department of Insurance regulates the state’s insurance industry, handles insurance-related complaints, licenses insurance agents, adjusters and bail bondsmen. In addition to regulating the insurance industry, the N.C. Department of Insurance houses the Office of State Fire Marshal. Under state law, the Insurance Commissioner serves as State Fire Marshal. The Office of the State Fire Marshal provides training for fire and rescue personnel, awards grants to fire and rescue departments, and works to improve building codes.

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Judicial Branch (NC Courts)

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The Judicial Branch is established as an equal branch of state government with the Legislative and Executive branches. North Carolina’s court system, called the General Court of Justice, is a state-operated and state-funded unified court system. The General Court of Justice consists of three divisions: appellate, superior court, and district court.

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) is the administrative agency for the Judicial Branch. It provides services and resources to help the unified court system operate more efficiently and effectively, taking into account each courthouse’s diverse needs, caseloads, and available resources. Services include providing administrative support to the nearly 6,400 employees of the Judicial Branch, which includes 547 independently elected judicial officials. The Judicial Branch has more elected officials than the Executive and Legislative branches combined. These include justices, judges, clerks, and district attorneys. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is head of the Judicial Branch and appoints a director to supervise the NCAOC.

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Justice, Department of

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The North Carolina Department of Justice is led by the Attorney General. The department works to prevent crime and support law enforcement, to safeguard consumers and to defend the State, its people, and their constitutional rights.

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Labor, Department of

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The Department of Labor’s mission is to foster a safe, healthy, fair and productive North Carolina. There are more than 4 million workers in more than 270,000 private and public sector businesses in the state. The department serves the needs of the workplace though a variety of programs aimed at making the employees of North Carolina safe.

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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 overall mission of the Department of Public Safety is to safeguard and preserve the lives and property of North Carolinians through prevention, protection and preparation. Services of the department include: adult correction, juvenile justice, emergency management, the NC National Guard, State Highway Patrol, State Capitol Police and victim services.

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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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NCDOT is responsible for all modes of transportation in North Carolina. This includes highways, rail, aviation, ferries, public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian transportation. NCDOT also oversees the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles and Governor’s Highway Safety Program. It also has oversight of the NC State Ports, the NC Global TransPark and the NC Turnpike Authority.

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Treasurer, Department of State

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The Department of the State Treasurer administers the public employee retirement systems for more than 900,000 North Carolinians, as well as the 401(k), 457, and 403(b) supplemental retirement plans for public employees. The Department also administers the State Health Plan for more than 700,000 state employees, retirees, and their dependents. The Department provides fiscal assistance and expertise to local governmental units by assisting them in the sale of local government debt obligations and maintaining good budgeting, accounting, reporting, and other fiscal procedures. It also administers NC Cash, the unclaimed property database that holds approximately $340 million.

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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 institutions, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first public residential high school for gifted students. More than 225,000 students are enrolled in the 16 universities. 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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