CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

ADMINISTRATION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


DEPARTMENT OF FISCAL & ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Established in 1966, the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services began as the Department of Fiscal Services. The Department assumed its present name when it was restructured in 2009 (Chapter 136, County Acts of 2009).

The Department is headed by the Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services who supervises the financial administration of each County office, department, board, commission, institution, or other agency. Each agency is directed to adopt and follow the method of conducting the agency's office, and keep books and accounts, and make reports in the form that the Director prescribes. Periodically, the Director studies and investigates the organization and management, and the bookkeeping and accounting procedures of each agency. In addition, the Director supervises and directs preparation of each agency budget submission, and helps prepare the County budget.

For all appropriations, revenues, and disbursements made by the County Commissioners, the Director establishes and maintains current accounts, showing in detail the appropriations made to each account, the sources thereof, the amounts drawn thereon, the purpose for which such amounts were expended, and the unencumbered balance. At each meeting of the County Commissioners, the Director submits a summary showing the amounts received, expended, and on hand in each account as of that date. Moreover, the Director advises the County Commissioners on the County's financial condition, including the investment of county moneys, and purchase and issuance of bonds.

At least once a year, the Director submits to the County Commissioners a complete financial statement of the County's assets and liabilities (County Code, sec. 48-1).

The Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services oversees five divisions: Accounting, Budget, Information Technology, Purchasing, and Treasury.

ACCOUNTING DIVISION
Responsible for the County payroll, the Accounting Division records revenue, expenditures, and changes to the financial accounts of the County. For County agencies, the Division performs financial audits, and coordinates the annual independent audit of County finances.

Annually, the Division reports to the Board of County Commissioners on the County’s financial assets.

BUDGET DIVISION
With the Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, the Budget Division develops the County’s annual budget. The Division also administers County grants, and oversees the disbursement of budgeted funds. Capital improvements are recorded by the Division, which annually reports to the Board of County Commissioners on improvements approved for the following five years.

The Enterprise Fund is administered by the Division. The Fund is composed of monies collected for public services, such as trash collection and water. To minimalize general fund expenditures, the Fund pays exclusively for maintenance of and improvements to those services.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIVISION
Within the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services, the Information Technology Division was created in 2009. The Division develops and procures hardware and software necessary to maintain and improve the County’s digital infrastructure. Also, the Division is responsible for the telecommunication network for County agencies (Chapter 136, County Acts of 2009).

PURCHASING DIVISION
The Purchasing Division regulates procurement of supplies and services for County agencies, and supervises the Minority Business Enterprise Program. The Division approves all County purchases over $1,000, and solicits quotes and accepts bids for any purchase over $15,000. Competitive bidding is conducted by the Division which makes results publicly available. To the Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, the Division provides details of purchases. With the Director, the Division reports all purchases over $15,000 directly to the County Commissioners.

Other duties of the Division include disposal of County government surplus, obsolete, or scrap supplies and equipment. In this, the Division may conduct sales, trades, or sell-backs towards replacement materials for all County agencies, except the Sheriff’s Office, which conducts its own procurement, following regulations established by the County Commissioners and the Purchasing Division (County Code of Ordinances & Resolutions, secs. 203-1 through 203-4).

TREASURY DIVISION
Functions of the Treasury Division date back to the Revolution. From 1776 to 1843, the financial supervision of Maryland counties was overseen by two State Treasurers. One served the Eastern Shore, and the other, the counties west of the Chesapeake. In 1843, the two positions merged, and a single State Treasurer began to oversee each county's finances.

In Charles County, the first County Treasurer was authorized in 1882 (Chapter 454, Acts of 1882). Appointed annually by the Board of County Commissioners, the County Treasurer served as clerk to the Board. In 1905, the County Treasurer became an elected position separate from that of clerk to the Board of County Commissioners (Chapter 199, Acts of 1904). Elected by the voters to a four-year term, the Treasurer continued these duties until 2009 when the Treasurer’s Office reorganized as a division under the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services. Since then, the County Treasurer has been appointed by the Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services with County Commissioners consent (Chapter 136, County Acts of 2009).

Responsible for all monies due the State and County, the Treasury Division bills citizens, businesses, organizations, and agencies for County services and utilities, and collects taxes levied. The Division also provides vehicle registration renewals, and receives payment of parking and red-light tickets.


DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES

Founded as the Office of Personnel, the Department of Human Resources coordinates County job openings, and administers benefits for County employees and retirees. Partnering with the College of Southern Maryland and private companies, the Department provides necessary training for County employees. The Department, however, does not perform duties for the County Courthouse, the Sheriff’s Office, or the State’s Attorney’s Office of the County, which maintain their own personnel departments.


RESILIENCE AUTHORITY OF CHARLES COUNTY

Authorized by the General Assembly in July 2020, the Resilience Authority was formed by the Board of County Commissioners in December 2020 to respond to the impacts of climate change happening in communities across the State, including changes in temperatures, major rain and storm events, sea level rise, and changes in precipitation patterns (Chapter 236, Acts of 2020).

The Resilience Authority undertakes and supports resilience infrastructure, which can range from flood barriers, green spaces. and building elevations to stormwater infrastructure; and resilience infrastructure projects to finance or refinance the capital costs associated with resilience infrastructure. To mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, the Authority offers a range of financing structures, forms, and techniques that leverage public and private investment.

The Resilience Authority builds on climate preparedness efforts, including professional education for County employees; planning efforts to devise a Climate Resiliency Plan and Nuisance and Urban Flood Plan; and projects to transition County energy consumption from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Powers of the Resilience Authority are vested in and exercised by the Board of Directors, which shall direct and govern the finances and management of the Authority. The Board of Directors consists of nine members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to three-year terms. The Board Chair also is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The initial Executive Director of the Authority is the head of the Department of Capital Projects Management (Code Local Government Article, secs. 22–101 through 22–113; Resilience Authority Bylaws).

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