Function: The Department serves as the central personnel agency for Minnesota state classified service. Recruits, examines, and certifies for placement all personnel in the classified service; analyzes and classifies state jobs and determines pay rates; maintains central personnel records.
The Loaned Executive Action Program (LEAP) convened by Governor Wendell Anderson in 1972 was a significant impetus behind the creation of the department. LEAP was a group of 100 business executives who were assigned to scrutinize all aspects of state government from a businessperson's standpoint. One of the LEAP recommendations was the creation of a Commissioner of Personnel. That commissioner was envisioned to have responsibility over personnel matters, pay plans and retirement provisions for state employees and assuming various duties then met by the Civil Service Department, Department of Administration and five retirement boards. The LEAP Central Management [Personnel] task force recommendation dated November 20, 1972 advocating the creation of the Commissioner of Personnel post stated that "we anticipate no major dollar savings [in the creation of a government personnel department]."
In 1973, the legislature passed enacting legislation for the Commissioner of Personnel position as recommended by the LEAP group, with the codification that public pensions were removed from the new commissioner's jurisdiction.
All the powers, duties, and responsibilities vested in and imposed upon the director of civil service, and the civil service board are hereby transferred to, vested in, and imposed upon the department of personnel (1973 Minn. Laws Chap. 507).
In November, 1973 Michael C. O'Donnell was appointed Deputy Director of the Personnel Department.
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