Molly Beck’s Oct. 18 article, "DOA hiring role a key shift," on civil service changes proposed in Wisconsin makes an important observation. Wisconsin’s proposed legislation centralizes authority in the most partisan of all state agencies -- the Department of Administration, decreasing individual agencies’ ability to make decisions on hiring, discipline and firing.
Ask any state employee if DOA involvement in any state agency process makes it faster or easier. The answer will inevitably be that DOA’s involvement adds complexity and delay. And this is often caused by DOA’s analysis of partisan implications.
Over the last decades, there have been many times the leadership of the governor’s office and DOA represents a different party than one or both houses of the Legislature.
Legislators need and should want state employees to respond honestly and completely to questions from legislative staff. The Legislature needs and should want state employees to carry out tasks in accordance with laws passed by legislative majorities of a party different from the one currently occupying the governor’s office.