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Department of Administrative Services

About DAS

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) was created on July 1, 2003, as a way to manage and coordinate the major resources of state government. The DAS mission is to provide high-quality, affordable infrastructure products and services to Iowa state government customers in a manner that empowers them to provide better service to the citizens of Iowa and support the State of Iowa in achieving economic growth. The formation of DAS is the first and largest endeavor of this kind in the country. DAS has established an alternative to privatization that provides an incentive to employees to drive down the cost of service delivery.

In 2001, Governor Vilsack and Lt. Governor Pederson initiated a review of executive branch agencies with the idea of combining four existing service agencies. They believed that any dollar not spent on administration could be better spent providing services that directly affect Iowans. They decided to create legislation that would consolidate these service departments, giving employees greater incentives to improve services, lower costs, and more flexibly meet customers’ needs – the needs of state departments providing critical services to Iowans.

While other states have made decisions to outsource, Iowa has done something different by applying the guiding principles of business, establishing businesses within state government and embracing an entrepreneurial management concept of thinking differently about the way products and services are delivered in state government. Entrepreneurial management is a customer-focused approach to delivering services in a competitive marketplace. This change reflects a growing trend in both public and private sectors to focus on the customer – to know their business and to provide the tools to deliver quality services. In turn, customer departments have more input about what services and products they buy from DAS. Business decisions are motivated by the desire to meet customer needs and by rewards or consequences for financial performance.

There are over 30 agencies in state government, specializing in services to Iowans such as natural resources, public health, public safety, economic development, the arts, education, agriculture, human services, revenue, transportation, veterans’ services and more. Until July of 2003, four different state agencies provided essential internal administrative services to these state agencies: General Services, Information Technology, Personnel, and the Accounting division of Revenue & Finance. DAS provides services in four business areas: Human Resources, General Services, Information Technology, and State Accounting. All of the services provided by DAS have been placed into three categories: utility services, marketplace services and leadership services. (Learn more about Services and Rates.)

Through innovation, entrepreneurial management and customer input, DAS strives to be Government’s Partner in Achieving Results.


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