Georgia has a number of boards and commissions that are established under statutory law or by major departments as administrative agencies or advisory councils. The legislature creates the statutory boards and commissions and their parameters, and may change or abolish them at any time. Other offices are created by executive order. Examples of these boards and commissions are listed below.
Statutory Boards and Commissions
• The Board of Community Affairs, created in 1977, consists of sixteen members appointed by the governor. The board is composed of one member from each U.S. congressional district and five additional members from the state at large. The board provides policy and oversight for the Department of Community Affairs in the areas of local government planning and research, housing finance and development, building codes, and solid waste reduction.
• The Board of Community Health, created in 1999, sets policy and direction for the Department of Community Health, which oversees health planning, health benefits, minority health, rural health services, women’s health, and medical assistance.
• The Board of Corrections, created in 1945, establishes policy and direction for the Department of Corrections in the areas of incarceration, probation, victim assistance, and facilities. The governor appoints the members, who represent each congressional district, plus five at-large members.
• The Board of Human Resources sets policy for the Department of Human Resources and approves the department’s goals and objectives. Areas under the department’s supervision include services for the aging, services for persons with intellectual disabilities, family and children’s services, mental health, substance abuse, and public health. The board is composed of fifteen members, with at least one member from each congressional district, who are appointed by the governor with senate confirmation. Seven of the board members must be health service professionals.
• The Board of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, created in 1949, establishes policy for the Department of Economic Development in the areas of tourism, economic development, international trade, and film, music, and video. Members, one from each congressional district and nine at large, are appointed by the governor.
• The Board of Juvenile Justice, formerly the Board of Children and Youth Services, underwent a name change in 1997. This board sets policy for the Department of Juvenile Justice in the areas of supervision, detection, and treatment of youths referred to the department by the courts and also in delinquency prevention services. The fifteen board members are appointed by the governor.
• The Board of Public Safety, created in 1937, establishes policy for the Department of Public Safety, which includes the Georgia State Patrol; the Office of Highway Safety; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), although the GBI is an independent agency and not part of the Department of Public Safety; and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which is part of the GBI. The board has nine members. The governor serves as chairman. Other members are the commissioner of the Department of Corrections, one representative each from sheriff, police, firefighter, and district attorney organizations, three members from the state at large, and “an appointee of the Governor who shall not be the Attorney General.”
• The Courts Automation Commission was created by the General Assembly in 1991 to define, implement, and administer a statewide automation system, including data collection, networking, data storage, retrieval, processing, and distribution. The commission consists of eleven members representing all levels of courts who serve at the pleasure of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
• The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust was made a permanent state agency by the General Assembly in 1998. It is composed of fifteen members appointed equally by the governor, lieutenant governor, and the Speaker of the House.
• The Georgia Commission on Women was created by the General Assembly in 1992 to promote, encourage, and advise state, local, and community women’s professional, business, and civic organizations; to analyze the impact of the laws of the state on women; and to collect and disseminate information on the status of women in Georgia. Membership on the commission is by appointment and consists of fifteen members appointed equally by the governor, the president of the senate, and the Speaker of the House.
• The Georgia Forestry Commission, created in 1999, is responsible for protecting and preserving timberlands, directing all forest-fire protection work, and promoting reforestation and water quality. The governor appoints the five members to seven-year staggered terms.
• The State Board of Technical and Adult Education, created in 1988, establishes standards, regulations, and policies for the operation of the Technical College System of Georgia, which oversees the state’s system of technical colleges, the adult literacy program, and economic and workforce development programs. Board membership consists of a representative from each congressional district and nine at-large members.
Executive Boards and Commissions
• The State Board of Workers’ Compensation, created in 1920, is composed of three members appointed by the governor. It administers the Workers’ Compensation Act. Its members also share appointive power with the boards of trustees of the Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ Retirement System.
• The Governor’s Commission on Certainty in Sentencing, created by executive order of Governor Roy Barnes in 1999, is made up of representatives of various law enforcement agencies and representatives of victims of crime.
• The Georgia Lottery Corporation, created in 1992, oversees the operations of the state lottery. It is “an instrumentality of the state, and not a state agency” and is governed by a seven-member board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. The chair also appoints the Lottery Retailer Advisory Board, composed of ten lottery retailers who advise the board on retail aspects of the lottery and present concerns of lottery retailers.
• The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, created in 1975, enforces consumer protection laws, civil and criminal. It is staffed by an administrator for the Fair Business Practices Act.