Walker moves most CFEC duties to Fish and Game

Feb 16, 2016

Administrative duties at the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, like issuing fishing permits at the start of the season, are being moved to ADFG.

Gov. Bill Walker issued an administrative order Tuesday that transfers most functions of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission into the Department of Fish and Game. A governor’s press release says the reorganization will save the state more than $1.3 million a year.

The CFEC, an autonomous state agency, is responsible for deciding what commercial fisheries to limit, who gets to participate in them and adjudicating appeal cases. It also issues permits and licenses, which bring in the majority of the agency’s revenue.

The administrative order moves CFEC’s licensing, permitting, research, IT, accounting, payroll, procurement and budget services to Fish and Game. This transfer would affect about a dozen of the commission’s 25 employees.

Until now, the roughly 30-person agency was mostly autonomous. The administrative order moves the CFEC’s licensing, permitting, IT, accounting, payroll, procurement and budget services to Fish and Game. This transfer would affect the majority of the commission’s employees.

No one at CFEC or Fish and Game could be reached for comment by deadline.

A report by the Legislature’s audit division released in October suggested similar changes.

A different report by Fish and Game drew attention to backlogged permit application cases, a slow work pace by the three commissioners who head the agency, and alternatives to the agency’s organizational structure.

Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, and Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, both have tried to change CFEC with bills in 2014 and 2015.