The Executive Department is a subset of the Executive Branch. It consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the executive offices that report to the governor. Each executive office consists of multiple agencies. The Executive Department also includes Notaries Public and various boards and commissions.
The State Auditor's office audits all state entities and related activities at least once every two years. The purpose of these audits is to review and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of state operations and to ensure that state resources are used in accordance with applicable law.
The responsibilities of the Secretary of the Commonwealth include custody of the state seal, administration of elections, maintenance of public records, filing and distribution of regulations and public documents, corporate registration, recordings of appointments and commissions, storage of historical data, preservation of historic sites, administration and enforcement of the Massachusetts Uniform Securities Act, and information and referral on all aspects of state government.
The Treasurer is the custodian of all state funds and is the only party authorized to make payment from those funds. The Treasurer is responsible for the issuance and marketing of state bonds and for the investment policy of the state. As the Chairman of the State Board of Retirement, the Treasurer oversees the retirement system for state workers, administers the Deferred Compensation Plan, and more.
The Governor's Council (or Executive Council) meets once a week and deals with issues like payments from the state treasury, criminal pardons, and approving various gubernatorial appointments. These meetings are open to the public.
The District Attorney's Office assists police departments in criminal investigations and prosecutes criminal charges for the Commonwealth against those who are accused of breaking the law. Upon receipt of a reported crime the District Attorney reviews the facts and evidence and decides whether or not to approve the charges and proceed with prosecution. After the District Attorney's Office approves the charges, the case will go to court.
Massachusetts sheriffs have three main areas of responsibility. The first is to transport and hold inmates at county houses of corrections and jails. Each sheriff also manages a civil process office, which is responsible for executing court orders and delivering legal documents — such as summonses, subpoenas, divorce papers, and garnishments — that are essential to the proceedings of state-wide and county civil cases. Last but not least, sheriffs support and assist local and State Police, fire departments, and others in law enforcement and public safety.