Civil Service Administration

The Department and the Commission
CSL §5.1, 5.2 The authority and responsibility for administration of the Civil Service Law in New York State government is vested in the State Department of Civil Service. Although many in the public service make no distinction between the Department and the State Civil Service Commission, they do have separate identities and functions. The Commission consists of three members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for overlapping six year terms, with a term expiring every two years. No more than two of the members may be of the same political party. The President of the Commission is designated by the Governor from among the three members and serves as President at the pleasure of the Governor. The President of the Commission is the head of the Department.
CSL §7 As head of the Department, the President of the Commission is responsible for carrying out all of the duties and functions of the Department. These include, for example, the administration of the examinations program, which encompasses the scheduling, preparation, conduct and rating of examinations; setting minimum qualifications; establishing the type and conduct of tests; and deciding whether to hold an open-competitive or promotion examination in any given instance. Other examples of the administrative functions of the Department are the establishment and certification of eligible lists, maintenance of rosters, certification of payrolls, provision of services to local jurisdictions, administration of the health insurance program and all matters of internal management of the Department, including the appointment and assignment of personnel in the Department. The President is also responsible for the enforcement of the Rules and Regulations.
CSL §6 The functions of the Commission may be described generally as quasi-legislative, appellate and investigative. It might be characterized as the "watchdog" of the merit system. The quasi-legislative function involves the promulgation of rules and regulations, and the appellate function involves hearing and determining appeals. These include appeals in disciplinary cases for those employees not covered by contract, appeals from involuntary leaves of absence, appeals from examination ratings, and appeals of any action taken by the President, acting as the head of the Department of Civil Service. Any appeal of the President's action must be filed in writing with the Commission within 30 days of the determination. The Commission may make such investigation relative to the determination appealed, as it may deem advisable, and may affirm, reverse or modify such determination. The Commission may hold a hearing on the appeal, but is not required to do so. No appeal is allowed if the determination of the President relates solely to matters of internal management of the Department of Civil Service or if the determination was approved in advance by the Commission. Also, no appeal may be taken to the Commission from any action of the President dealing with the administration of the health insurance program.
CSL § 6.3 The Commission also has the authority to conduct investigations concerning any matter touching on the enforcement and effect of the Civil Service Law or Rules. In connection with such an investigation, the Commission or its designated representative may issue subpoenas, administer oaths and interrogate witnesses.
CSL § 145, 146 The Commission has also been given the functions formerly exercised by the Merit Award Board for making merit awards for outstanding accomplishments or suggestions by State employees.
Department and Commission Jurisdiction
CSL § 6.1 The State Department of Civil Service and the Civil Service Commission exercise direct jurisdiction over all employment in the classified service of the Executive Branch of State government, except positions (uniformed and non-uniformed) in the Division of State Police. Examinations and other civil service requirements applicable to the State Police are administered directly by the Superintendent of State Police. The Department and Commission also have jurisdiction over a number of, but not all, public authorities and public benefit corporations.

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