Thanks to the generous support of CRI donors and the professional cooperation of the Delaware Office of Management and Budget, the payroll and vendor data in Transparent Delaware has been updated to include 2011. A review of the data shows that some things continued and some things changed substantially.
Orlando George Jr., president of Delaware Tech, remains the highest paid state employee with compensation nearly three times that of Governor Markell. Georges base pay continues to be boosted a whopping 26% by what the state terms "other" pay. "Other" pay is a catch all for everything from uniform purchases to vacation day rebates.
Compared to 2008, the boost to base pay from "other" and "overtime" pay for 2011 remains 9.3%...amounting to $153 million extra dollars of compensation. The mix of this supplemental pay, however, is shifting rapidly from "overtime" to the mysterious "other" category, with "other" pay now accounting for 70 cents of every dollar of supplemental pay. One wonders if "overtime" pay is restricted to the states General Fund while "other" pay can come from the $5 billion largely unsupervised Special Funds.
The number of state employees with total compensation of $100,000 or greater has jumped by 121 since 2008 and this top group from 2008 has seen a hike of 11% in compensation. Overall, the compensation of state employees since 2008 is up only 3%.
In keeping with the apparent sleight of hand in the rewarding of the highest paid persons, the top five highest paid state employees in 2011 together had their base pay of $532,443 boosted by an additional $453,000 in "overtime" and "other" pay. An astounding hike of 85%!
The use of supplemental pay to increase compensation continues to vary substantially by state department. The average increase is a little over 9%, but the 2011 base pay boost in the Department of Corrections was 29%, Safety and Homeland Security was up 19%, and Fire Prevention Committee was up "only" 16%.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Department of Health and Social Services comes in slightly above 6% and the Department of Education slightly below 2%. All of the states school districts come in at lowest a 9% raise and 15% at the highest. No one in the Governors office receives supplemental pay of any significance.
In 2011 the states contracts with vendors continued to be a major source of action for the Delaware business community and nonprofits. Total payments to vendors exceeded $4.4 billion (compared to the total $3.6 billion General Fund), including $237 million in grants and $124 million in grants in aid. The Department of Health and Social Services held the most sway with over $1.8 billion in vendor payments. But even the Executive branch had $443 million to disburse.
The objective of Transparent Delaware has been to allow Delaware citizens to see how their tax money is being spent. There is obviously some interest as TransparentDelaware.org has had well over 100,000 page views since it was launched in February of 2012.
It remains a concern that no one in state government is charged with systematically reviewing the patterns in individual supplemental pay or vendor contracts. This task falls to all the citizens who take the time to dig into the wealth of data available through www.TransparentDelaware.org.
Dr. John E. Stapleford, Director
Center for Economics and Policy Analysis
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