California State Controller's seal

Chief Administrative Officer, CEA Level C (JC - 181109)


State Controller's Office

$11,505.00 - $13,063.00


Crystal Mar (916) 322-2791


If you are an individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced environment, surrounded by enthusiastic, self-motivated co-workers, and functioning in the capacity of a chief, then consider competing in our examination for the Chief Administrative Officer, CEA Level C position with the State Controller’s Office. Competitors must understand that the individual appointed to this position will be responsible for overseeing the administrative services programs for the State Controller’s Office.

The Chief Administrative Officer, Level C is required to exercise independence in daily and long-term planning for program growth and development. He/she must also interact effectively with other senior level management of other “control” agencies such as the Department of Finance and General Services. He/she may represent the State Controller at various commissions and board meetings.

With general direction provided by the State Controller/Chief of Staff, the Chief Administrative Officer, CEA Level C will function as co-lead of Senior Level Management at the second organizational level to provide direction and policy for the administrative services programs of the State Controller’s Office: the Information Systems Division, Administration and Disbursements Division, and the Personnel/Payroll Services Division. In addition, this position will apprise the Controller/Chief of Staff of major state and national developments affecting issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the Controller’s Office.

Typical tasks assigned to this position include but are not limited to the following:

Duties and Responsibilities:
(Candidates must perform the following functions with or without reasonable accommodations.)

  • With approval from the State Controller/Chief of Staff, set department policy using independent judgment regarding administrative matters such as program restructuring, reorganizing/re-engineering, and program direction;
  • Make management decisions affecting the provision of administrative support to all divisions and programs within the Office of the State Controller. Administrative support includes, but is not limited to, (a) budget management, (b) purchasing, (c) contracting, (e) facilities lease, (f) accounting, and (g) risk management; 
  • Provide recommendations based on informed knowledge of the Office’s mission and statutory requirements for technologically advantageous methods to accomplish the goals of the Office; 
  • Develop and implement a succession planning strategy to ensure that the SCO has an effective workforce planning model and leadership skill assessment process for managers and supervisors;
  • Develop and implement a business resumption plan to ensure that the SCO’s critical functions can continue during and after a disaster, and to re-establish full functioning as swiftly as possible;
  • When required, represent the Controller at assigned boards and/or commission meetings; defend and support the position of the Controller and his/her mission;
  • Travel to various locations to attend meetings, to present position statements, or to represent the Controller during budget hearings.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Understanding of Public Administration as it relates to California;
  • Degree in Business Administration/Public Policy, or related field;
  • Knowledge of California Legislative processes;
  • Understanding of the State Controller’s Constitutional Authority.

CEA examinations are open to all applicants who possess the knowledge and abilities, and any other requirements as described in the examination bulletin. 

Eligibility to take a CEA examination does not require current permanent status in civil service.

Applicants must also satisfy the minimum qualifications as shown below:
A.    Ability to perform high administrative and policy influencing functions effectively; such overall ability requires possession of most of the following more specific knowledge and abilities:

  1. Knowledge of the organization and functions of California State Government including the organization and practices of the Legislature and the Executive Branch; principles, practices, and trends of public administration, organization, and management; techniques of organizing and motivating groups; program development and evaluation; methods of administrative problem solving; principles and practices of policy formulation and development; personnel management techniques;
  2. Ability to plan, organize, and direct the work of multi-disciplinary professional and administrative staff; analyze administrative policies, organization, procedures and practices; integrate the activities of a diverse program to attain common goals; gain the confidence and support of top level administrators and advise them on a wide range of administrative matters; develop cooperative working relationships with representatives of all levels of government, the public, and the Legislative and Executive branches; analyze complex problems and recommend effective courses of action; prepare and review reports; and effectively contribute to the department’s Equal Opportunity Office objectives;

B.    These knowledge and abilities are expected to be obtained from the following kinds of experience with substantial participation in the formulation, operation, and/or evaluation of program policies (experience may have been paid or volunteer; in State service, other government settings, or in a private organization):

  • CEA Level A: Supervisory/administrative experience in a line or staff activity, including the execution and/or evaluation of program policies;
  • CEA Level B: Broad administrative or program manager experience with substantial participation in the formulation, operation, and/or evaluation of program policies;
  • CEA Level C: Extensive managerial and program administrative experience which has included substantial responsibility for a combination of management functions such as program planning, policy formulation, organization coordination and control, and fiscal personnel management. Where high technical professional qualifications are of primary importance in performing the duties of a given high-level position, then the above required experience may have been in a staff capacity exercising professional skills to influence and contribute to program, policy, and methods of providing those professional services. 

C.    Strong verbal and written communication/advocacy skills.
D.    Well-developed administrative, managerial, and interpersonal skills and abilities.

  1. Current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD. Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position. The Job Control number and examination title (JC – 181109 Chief Administrative Officer, CEA Level C) must be indicated on the application.
  2. Resume is required and must be included.
  3. Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) - Please see the Statement of Qualifications Instructions section below for specific instructions.

Note: Applicants who fail to submit all the required documents as instructed may be eliminated from the examination/hiring process.

Applications (STD 678) must be postmarked or received no later than the final filing date. Applications postmarked, received via inter-office mail, or personally delivered after the final filing date will not be accepted. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

*File by Mail:
State Controller’s Office
HR – Examination Unit    
P.O. Box 942850-5877
Sacramento, CA 94250-5877
Attn: Crystal Mar

*File in Person:
State Controller’s Office
HR – Examination Unit
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attn: Crystal Mar

*Candidates are responsible for obtaining proof of mailing or submission of their application to the Examination Unit.

This examination consists of an evaluation of your Training and Experience weighted 100%.

Your Training and Experience will be evaluated based on the information indicated on your STD. 678 application. This examination will utilize an evaluation of each candidate’s experience and education/training compared to a standard developed from the class specification. For this reason, it is especially important that each candidate take special care in accurately and completely filling out his/her application. List all experience relevant to the minimum qualifications shown in this announcement, even if that experience goes beyond the seven-year limit printed on the application. Supplementary information will be accepted, but read the “Minimum Qualifications” carefully to see what kind of information will be useful to the staff doing the evaluation.

A minimum total rating of 70% must be attained to obtain list eligibility. Hiring interviews may be conducted with the most qualified candidates. All candidates will receive written notification of their examination results. The results of this examination will be used only to fill the position of Chief Administrative Officer, CEA Level C with the State Controller’s Office. Applications will be retained for twelve (12) months.

Following a selection, those individuals remaining on the list may be contacted for subsequent interviews should a vacancy occur in this position within the next twelve (12) months.

Your Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) will be evaluated by the hiring manager using pre-determined criteria based on the minimum and desirable qualifications for the position. The SOQ should include detailed and concise information specifically addressing how the candidate's education, training, experience, and competencies relate to each of the items listed.

The SOQ items must be numbered and addressed in the same order as listed; do not consolidate the responses. The SOQ should be no more than three pages in length, single-spaced, with one-inch margins and a minimum font size of Arial 12. 

Applicants who fail to submit the SOQ as instructed may be eliminated from the hiring process.

Your SOQ must provide responses and specific examples for each item listed below to be considered for the position:

  1. Provide a brief statement regarding your knowledge and understanding of the structure and functions of California State Government. Specifically identify the branches of the government, and your experience and/or involvement with the Legislature and/or the Executive Branch.
  2. Describe your experience, and the number of years engaged in, organizing and directing multiple divisions, and/or units providing diverse services on behalf of an organization. Include in your response your strategy in staff development, staff accountability, and setting priorities, goals, and objectives. 
  3. Describe your knowledge and experience in overseeing the fiscal management of multiple program areas, or on behalf of a department. Your response must identify your specific involvement and direction-setting efforts, as well as the outcome of your involvement. 
  4. Discuss your experience, including the number of years engaged in gaining the confidence and support of executive leadership, and providing effective advice regarding specific issues related to administrative matters. Provide at least two examples in your presentation.
  5. Provide an example of your experience providing leadership over an enterprise-wide implementation, and your specific involvement with setting directions and/or establishing parameters by which the implementation was to occur. Please include whether your efforts were successful or not.

For more information regarding this examination, please contact the Examination Manager Crystal Mar at 916-322-2791.

For an examination without an advertised examination date, it is the candidate's responsibility to contact the State Controller's Office Examination Unit, (916-324-0811), three weeks after the final filing date if he/she has not received a progress notice.

Applications are available at, CA Department of Human Resources (CalHR) offices, local offices of the Employment Development Department (EDD), and the State Controller's Office.

If you meet the requirements stated in this bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described on this bulletin will be compared with the performance of others who take this test, and all candidates who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

General Qualifications: Candidates must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, and ability to work cooperatively with others.

The State Controller’s Office reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service law and rules and all competitors will be notified.

California Relay (Telephone) Service for the Deaf or Hearing Impaired: From TDD phones: (800) 735-2929, from voice phones: (800) 735-2922