|2001 New Jersey Agriculture 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 managers deliver essential programs and services to the state's agriculture industry and to the non-farm constituency the department serves.
The Human Resources Office oversees a number of programs essential to support the department's personnel objectives. Among these are workforce planning, classification, compensation, recruitment, salary and benefit administration.
In addition, the division is responsible for the department's award programs, employee relations and contract administration, performance assessment reviews, personnel policy and procedures development, and training coordination.
As of June 30, 2001, the department had 382 employees including 260 full-time employees and 122 seasonal employees. The slight (six percent) increase in staff over FY00 reflected the increased responsibilities of the State Agriculture Development Committee and new departmental program initiatives.
Special attention was given to salary account monitoring, departmental organizational structure and staffing analysis resulting in the upgrade of 20 positions. Increased turnover and the addition of new positions resulted in active recruitment to fill 21 positions.
Human Resources policies and procedures relating to time and leave issues were updated to reflect changes in state and federal regulations, including the introduction of the School Volunteer Leave Policy.
Awards that recognize the outstanding contributions of employees play an important part in any organization's human resources programs and NJDA is no exception. This year three individuals and one division were recognized for their contributions to NJDA's accomplishments.
The Division of Animal Health received a Team/Partnership Award for their cohesive efforts to detect and control diseases which can endanger New Jersey's animal agriculture industry. Although specifically cited for their team effort on the emerging equine and human threat of West Nile virus, the group has also mobilized to meet the additional threats of foot-and-mouth disease and agricultural bioterrorism.
Sandy Braun received the Co-Worker Recognition Award for her interest and leadership in the coordination of a variety of intradepartmental events, such as "Take Your Child To Work Day" and the cultural cook-off through which NJDA observed "One Family, Many Faces Week." In addition, Braun organized NJDA's participation in Angel Wings, a program that assists AIDS babies, and other charitable outreach efforts.
William Conlon received the Longevity Award for 37 years of valued service to NJDA and its constituents as a horticulturist in the Division of Plant Industry.
Susan Butch was honored with the Customer Service Excellence Award for her dedication to NJDA's mission and goals. An administrative assistant in the Division of Rural Resources, Butch has demonstrated a consistent willingness to tackle the difficult assignments, including NJDA's efforts to assist farmers stricken by the 1999 drought.
NJDA's adjusted budget for direct state services was $10,998,000 with grants-in-aid funding of $3,334,000. State aid for the year amounted to $9,092,000. Capital funding of $600,000 allowed for upgrade of data and telecommunications wiring and information technology switching gear as well as the completion of needed repairs at NJDA's Beneficial Insect Laboratory in Ewing, Mercer County. Dedicated funds, those restricted to a particular purpose or program, amounted to $7,997,000. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture received $234,800,000 in federal funds.
The division's fiscal section successfully implemented two statewide systems, the E-Z Pass prepaid toll payment and the P-Card for purchase of necessary supplies. These systems significantly reduce paperwork and provide better accountability in-house while permitting more efficient delivery of services to constituents and prompter payment to vendors.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
During FY01 the Information Processing Unit undertook a variety of initiatives designed to improve the computer capability and data storage capacity of NJDA's operating units. Among these enhancements were new, faster Local and Wide Area Networks with fiber optics that significantly increase the speed and reliability of data transmissions.