Same; attached boards.
Department of transportation; creation.
Same; attached board.
Department of veterans affairs; creation.
Educational communications board; creation.
Elections commission; creation.
Ethics commission; creation.
Higher educational aids board; creation.
Same; attached board.
Same; attached boards.
Office of commissioner of insurance; creation.
Investment board; creation.
Public defender board.
Public service commission; creation.
Same; attached office.
Board of regents of the University of Wisconsin System; creation.
Same; attached boards and commissions.
Same; attached council.
Technical college system board; creation.
Declaration of policy. 15.001(1)(1)
Three branches of government.
The “republican form of government" guaranteed by the U.S. constitution contemplates the separation of powers within state government among the legislative, the executive and the judicial branches of the government. The legislative branch has the broad objective of determining policies and programs and review of program performance for programs previously authorized, the executive branch carries out the programs and policies and the judicial branch has the responsibility for adjudicating any conflicts which might arise from the interpretation or application of the laws. It is a traditional concept of American government that the 3 branches are to function separately, without intermingling of authority, except as specifically provided by law.
(2) Goals of executive branch organization. 15.001(2)(a)(a)
As the chief administrative officer of the state, the governor should be provided with the administrative facilities and the authority to carry out the functions of the governor's office efficiently and effectively within the policy limits established by the legislature.
The administrative agencies which comprise the executive branch should be consolidated into a reasonable number of departments and independent agencies consistent with executive capacity to administer effectively at all levels.
The integration of the agencies in the executive branch should be on a functional basis, so that programs can be coordinated.
Each agency in the executive branch should be assigned a name commensurate with the scope of its program responsibilities, and should be integrated into one of the departments or independent agencies of the executive branch as closely as the conflicting goals of administrative integration and responsiveness to the legislature will permit.
(3) Goals of continuing reorganization.
Structural reorganization should be a continuing process through careful executive and legislative appraisal of the placement of proposed new programs and the coordination of existing programs in response to changing emphasis or public needs, and should be consistent with the following goals:
The organization of state government should assure its responsiveness to popular control. It is the goal of reorganization to improve legislative policy-making capability and to improve the administrative capability of the executive to carry out these policies.
The organization of state government should facilitate communication between citizens and government. It is the goal of reorganization through coordination of related programs in function-oriented departments to improve public understanding of government programs and policies and to improve the relationships between citizens and administrative agencies.
The organization of state government shall assure efficient and effective administration of the policies established by the legislature. It is the goal of reorganization to promote efficiency by improving the management and coordination of state services and by eliminating overlapping activities.
History: 1991 a. 316
In this chapter:
“Affiliated credentialing board" means a part-time body that meets all of the following conditions:
Is attached to an examining board to regulate a profession that does not practice independently of the profession regulated by the examining board or that practices in collaboration with the profession regulated by the examining board.
With the advice of the examining board to which it is attached, sets standards of professional competence and conduct for the profession under the affiliated credentialing board's supervision, reviews the qualifications of prospective new practitioners, grants credentials, takes disciplinary action against credential holders and performs other functions assigned to it by law.
“Board" means a part-time body functioning as the policy-making unit for a department or independent agency or a part-time body with policy-making or quasi-judicial powers.
“Commission" means a 3-member governing body in charge of a department or independent agency or of a division or other subunit within a department, except for the employment relations commission which shall consist of one chairperson, the Wisconsin waterways commission which shall consist of 5 members, the elections commission which shall consist of at least 6 members, the ethics commission which shall consist of at least 6 members, and the parole commission which shall consist of 4 members. A Wisconsin group created for participation in a continuing interstate body, or the interstate body itself, shall be known as a “commission", but is not a commission for purposes of s. 15.06
. The parole commission created under s. 15.145 (1)
shall be known as a “commission", but is not a commission for purposes of s. 15.06
“Committee" means a part-time body appointed to study a specific problem and to recommend a solution or policy alternative with respect to that problem, and intended to terminate on the completion of its assignment. Because of their temporary nature, committees shall be created by session law rather than by statute.
“Council" means a part-time body appointed to function on a continuing basis for the study, and recommendation of solutions and policy alternatives, of the problems arising in a specified functional area of state government, except the council on physical disabilities has the powers and duties specified in s. 46.29 (1)
, the state council on alcohol and other drug abuse has the powers and duties specified in s. 14.24
, the electronic recording council has the powers and duties specified in s. 706.25 (4)
, and the remote notary council has the powers and duties specified in s. 140.145 (11)
“Department" means the principal administrative agency within the executive branch of Wisconsin state government, but does not include the independent agencies under subch. III
“Division," “bureau," “section," and “unit" means the subunits of a department or an independent agency, whether specifically created by law or created by the head of the department or the independent agency for the more economic and efficient administration and operation of the programs assigned to the department or independent agency. The office of credit unions in the department of financial institutions, the office of the inspector general in the department of children and families, the office of the inspector general in the department of health services, and the office of children's mental health in the department of health services have the meaning of “division" under this subsection. The office of the long-term care ombudsman under the board on aging and long-term care and the office of educational accountability in the department of public instruction have the meaning of “bureau" under this subsection.
“Examining board" means a part-time body which sets standards of professional competence and conduct for the profession under its supervision, prepares, conducts and grades the examinations of prospective new practitioners, grants licenses, investigates complaints of alleged unprofessional conduct and performs other functions assigned to it by law. “Examining board" includes the board of nursing.
“Head", in relation to a department, means the constitutional officer, commission, secretary or board in charge of the department. “Head", in relation to an independent agency, means the commission, commissioner or board in charge of the independent agency.
“Independent agency" means an administrative agency within the executive branch created under subch. III
History: 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 34
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 29
; 1987 s. 27, 342, 399; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 27
and 9145 (1)
; 1995 a. 442
; 1997 a. 27
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 25
; 2007 a. 20
; 2009 a. 28
; 2011 a. 32
; 2013 a. 20
; 2015 a. 55
; 2017 a. 59
; 2019 a. 125
Offices, departments and independent agencies.
The constitutional offices, administrative departments and independent agencies which comprise the executive branch of Wisconsin state government are structured as follows:
(1) Separate constitutional offices.
The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and state treasurer each head a staff to be termed the “office" of the respective constitutional officer.
(2) Principal administrative units.
The principal administrative unit of the executive branch is a “department" or an “independent agency". Each such unit shall bear a title beginning with the words “State of Wisconsin" and continuing with “department of...." or with the name of the independent agency. A department may be headed by a constitutional officer, a secretary, a commission or a board. An independent agency may be headed by a commission, a commissioner or a board.
The secretary of each department may, subject to sub. (4)
, establish the internal structure within the office of secretary so as to best suit the purposes of his or her department. No secretary may authorize the designation of “assistant secretary" as the official position title of any employee of his or her department.
For field operations, departments may establish district or area offices which may cut across divisional lines of responsibility.
For their internal structure, all departments shall adhere to the following standard terms, and independent agencies are encouraged to review their internal structure and to adhere as much as possible to the following standard terms:
The principal subunit of the department is the “division". Each division shall be headed by an “administrator". The office of credit unions in the department of financial institutions and the office of children's mental health in the department of health services have the meaning of “division" and the director of credit unions in the department of financial institutions and the director of the office of children's mental health in the department of health services have the meaning of “administrator" under this subdivision.
The principal subunit of the division is the “bureau". Each bureau shall be headed by a “director". The office of the long-term care ombudsman under the board on aging and long-term care and the office of educational accountability in the department of public instruction have the meaning of “bureau" under this subdivision.
Notwithstanding subds. 1.
, the principal subunit of the department of tourism is the “bureau", which shall be headed by a “director".
If further subdivision is necessary, bureaus may be divided into subunits which shall be known as “sections" and which shall be headed by “chiefs" and sections may be divided into subunits which shall be known as “units" and which shall be headed by “supervisors".
(4) Internal organization and allocation of functions.
The head of each department or independent agency shall, subject to the approval of the governor, establish the internal organization of the department or independent agency and allocate and reallocate duties and functions not assigned by law to an officer or any subunit of the department or independent agency to promote economic and efficient administration and operation of the department or independent agency. The head may delegate and redelegate to any officer or employee of the department or independent agency any function vested by law in the head. The governor may delegate the authority to approve selected organizational changes to the head of any department or independent agency.
Limits of internal departmental reorganization discussed. 61 Atty. Gen. 306.
Attachment for limited purposes.
Any division, office, commission, council or board attached under this section to a department or independent agency or a specified division thereof shall be a distinct unit of that department, independent agency or specified division. Any division, office, commission, council or board so attached shall exercise its powers, duties and functions prescribed by law, including rule making, licensing and regulation, and operational planning within the area of program responsibility of the division, office, commission, council or board, independently of the head of the department or independent agency, but budgeting, program coordination and related management functions shall be performed under the direction and supervision of the head of the department or independent agency, except that with respect to the office of the commissioner of railroads, all personnel and biennial budget requests by the office of the commissioner of railroads shall be provided to the department of transportation as required under s. 189.02 (7)
and shall be processed and properly forwarded by the public service commission without change except as requested and concurred in by the office of the commissioner of railroads.
Heads of departments and independent agencies; powers and duties. 15.04(1)(1)
Each head of a department or independent agency shall:
Except as provided in s. 15.03
, plan, direct, coordinate and execute the functions vested in the department or independent agency.
Biennially compile a comprehensive program budget which reflects all fiscal matters related to the operation of the department or independent agency and each program, subprogram and activity therein.
In addition to any councils specifically created by law, create and appoint such councils or committees as the operation of the department or independent agency requires. Members of councils and committees created under this general authority shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and, if such reimbursement is made, such reimbursement in the case of an officer or employee of this state who represents an agency as a member of such a council or committee shall be paid by the agency which pays the officer's or employee's salary.
On or before October 15 of each odd-numbered year, submit to the governor and the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
, a report on the performance and operations of the department or independent agency during the preceding biennium, and projecting the goals and objectives of the department or independent agency as developed for the program budget report. The secretary of administration may prescribe the format of the report and may require such other information deemed appropriate. Each department or independent agency shall provide a copy of its biennial report to legislators upon request. Any department or independent agency may issue such additional reports on its findings and recommendations as its operations require. A department or independent agency may, on or before October 15, submit an annual report prepared by it, in place of the biennial report required under this paragraph, if the submission of the annual reports is approved by the secretary of administration or is otherwise required by law.
Have authority to adopt a seal for the department or independent agency.
Have authority to require that any officer or employee of the department or independent agency give an official bond under ch. 19
, if the secretary of administration agrees that the position held by such officer or employee requires bonding.
In order to determine whether there is any arbitrary discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or sexual orientation as defined in s. 111.32 (13m)
, examine and assess the statutes under which the head has powers or regulatory responsibilities, the procedures by which those statutes are administered and the rules promulgated under those statutes. If the department or agency head finds any such discrimination, he or she shall take remedial action, including making recommendations to the appropriate executive, legislative or administrative authority.
Records and forms management program.
Establish and maintain a records and forms management program.
(j) Records and forms officer.
Appoint a records and forms officer, who shall be responsible for compliance by the department or independent agency with all records and forms management laws and rules and who may prevent any form from being put into use.
Form numbering and filing system.
Establish a numbering and filing system for forms.
Notice on forms.
See that each form used by the department or independent agency to seek information from municipalities, counties or the public contains on the first page of the form, or in the instructions for completing the form, a conspicuous notice of the authorization for the form, whether or not completing the form is voluntary, if it is not voluntary, the penalty for failure to respond and whether or not any personally identifiable information, as defined under s. 19.62 (5)
, requested in the form is likely to be used for purposes other than for which it is originally being collected. This paragraph does not apply to state tax forms.
Each secretary of a department or head of an independent agency under s. 230.08 (2) (L)
may appoint a deputy who shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary or agency head outside the classified service. The deputy shall exercise the powers, duties and functions of the secretary or head in the absence of the secretary or head, and shall perform such other duties as the secretary or head prescribes. The adjutant general may appoint 3 deputies as described in s. 321.10 (1) (b)
, and (cm)
. In this subsection “secretary" includes the attorney general and the state superintendent of public instruction.
(3) Deputy approvals.
Positions for which appointment is made under sub. (2)
may be authorized only under s. 16.505