|2000 Annual Report|
The Division of Administration provides a wide range of support services to the department's operating units, including fiscal and general administrative services, employee services and management, and information technology services. The division's primary mission is to help the NJDA's managers deliver essential programs and services to the state's agriculture industry and to the many and varied non-farm constituencies the department serves.
The Human Resources Office oversees a number of programs essential to support the department's personnel objectives, including workforce planning, classification, compensation, recruitment, salary and benefit administration, award programs, employee relations and contract administration, performance assessment reviews, personnel policy and procedures development and training coordination.
As of June 30, 2000, the department had 358 employees including 254 full-time employees and 104 seasonal employees. The slight increase in staff over FY99 reflected the increased responsibilities shouldered by the State Agriculture Development Committee as a result of Governor Christie Whitman's initiative to preserve one million acres of open space and farmland.
Staff development and training was a special focus this year. In response to Governor Whitman's Executive Order #49 declaring a "zero tolerance" policy for workplace violence, managers and supervisors attended a two-day training course while all other department employees attended a one-day course designed to raise employee awareness of workplace violence and make them aware of established policies and procedures on the subject.
In addition, following the introduction of new standardized computer software, all employees attended training in a variety of software applications aimed at improving NJDA's ability to serve and communicate with its clients.
NJDA's FY00 adjusted budget for direct state services was $10,167,000 with grants-in-aid funding of $22,629,000, $20 million of which was for the emergency drought relief program. State aid for the year amounted to $8,867,000. Capital funding of $1,153,000 permitted the department to make needed repairs at the Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Laboratory in Ewing, Mercer County, and begin construction of a covered work area at the Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern, Monmouth County.
Dedicated state funds amounting to $9,967,000 included $1,514,000 in fees charged to agencies receiving federally-donated commodities; $6,605,000 from equine and commodity promotion programs; and $1.5 million for administration of the state Farmland Preservation Program.
In addition, NJDA received $206,964,000 in federal funds, including $205,301,000 for child nutrition programs; $1.4 million for federal commodity distribution programs; $160,000 for plant and animal disease control; and $103,000 for commodity inspection services.
During FY00 the Information Technology Unit took on several critical efforts to build a solid foundation for NJDA's telecommunications future.
Key to this was the smooth transition to the new millennium with no disruption in client services or loss of data relevant to department programs.
As the new year progressed, NJDA installed a new office automation server, enabling the department to abandon the technically outdated systems it had depended upon for the previous five years.
The change offered NJDA greater capability, computing power and speed and will result in considerable savings in operational and maintenance costs in the years ahead.