Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., June 2, 1999

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Financial Review/Legislative Update
Staff: Jayna Burgdorf
Committee Only
3.

Sale of Lists
Staff: Judi Doran

9
4. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Finance Committee
April 14, 1999

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 14th day of April 1999, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 11:46 a.m., to-wit:

I. FINANCE COMMITTEE:

Dick Heath, Chair
Lee M. Bass
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Carol E. Dinkins
Alvin L. Henry
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Nolan Ryan
Mark E. Watson

II. OPENING STATEMENT:

Commissioner Dick Heath called the meeting to order. The opening statement was read into the record by Executive Director Andrew Sansom.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Dick Heath asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the January 20, 1999 meeting. The motion was moved by Commissioner Carol Dinkins and seconded by Ernest Angelo, Jr. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE:

1. BRIEFING - Chairman's Charges

Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Most of the charges have been completed. The first charge related to the issuance of revenue bonds for critical repairs, and we recently received $18 million as a result of the authority granted by the 75th Legislature. Mr. Bob Cook presented an update and our responses to the State Park management audit conducted by the State Auditor's Office, later in the meeting. This was noted by Mr. Sansom.

2. & 3. BRIEFING ­ Financial Review & Legislative Appropriations Status

(Items were combined)

Presenter: Jayna Burgdorf

Account 9 Game, Fish, and Water Safety comparisons showed the following: License revenue is up $1.2 million compared to prior year. To date, 92% of expected revenue for the year has been collected. Adjustments to the revenue will be recommended at the June meeting as the budget process begins. Boat registration and titling is down $98,000 compared to fiscal '98. The peak boating season is about to begin, so no adjustment is recommended at this time.

Account 64, State Park, September through March the revenue is up almost 6%. Adjustments to the revenue projections will be recommended at the June meeting.

Ms. Burgdorf discussed the appropriations process. The bills as introduced to the House and Senate were basically at current level budget (excluding employee benefits). Based on the 3 major reports received in the fall, an exceptional item request of approximately $35 million was made to the Legislature. In addition, the Senate has recommended a 3% across-the-board pay increase for all state employees. The Board will continue to be apprised of our appropriation's status.

FY 2000's budget kickoff meetings will begin next week. Budgets are prioritized using 95% budgeting and following established salary to equipment and operating ratios.

4. ACTION ­ Reciprocal Licenses

Presenter: Mr. Jim Dickinson

Mr. Dickinson requested the authorization to publish the proposed changes in regards to our reciprocal agreements. This item deals with two subjects. The primary one involves existing reciprocal agreements with Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana on fishing rights on their senior citizens and our senior citizens. This item proposes notifying these three states that we would like to end these reciprocal agreements and subsequently draw up new fishing agreements with them. This change will also address the distribution of red drum tags to individuals who are not required otherwise to have a license. These individuals will purchase the special resident $6.00 fishing license. The Commission's authorization to publish the proposed amendments in 31 TAC 53.1 and 53.3 concerning fishing license fees and exemptions in the Texas Register for public comment was requested.

The motion was moved by Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. and seconded by Commissioner Mark Watson. The motion passed unanimously.

5. BRIEFING ­ Update on State Park Audit

Presenter: Mr. Robert L. Cook

Mr. Cook reviewed the audit and commented that we were already aware of many of the facts and findings, and that efforts were initiated to correct or improve many of the areas of concern identified in the report, prior to the audit being initiated and during the audit. Three major conclusions were presented in the report. The first was the need to review the structure and functions involved in the State Parks Division. A total of 11 positions were moved from the Austin headquarters into the field where the need for staff was greater. The remaining positions in Austin were studied and defined with clear responsibilities involving high-priority functions that are best handled at the headquarters level. The second item was consistent with the Texas A&M University study. Their report encouraged us to consider the natural, historic and cultural resources managed by TPWD as a unified system of holders. The transfer of Governor Hogg Shrine State Historical Park to the City of Quitman in December of 1998 is the first action relative to this issue. The state auditors recommended that we curtail the new park program until more stable funding for state parks was in place. This recommendation was consistent with our current Commission and department philosophy regarding new state park acquisition and development. The auditor did not agree with our methods for calculating the profitability of individual state parks, and questioned our ability to assess the relative worth of sites included in the state park system. Revised calculations for park profitability were designed to include full allocation of indirect administration down to the park level. This change was in place prior to January 1, 1999. Another element of this recommendation focused on the scoring and awarding of local park grant projects that might be in direct competition with nearby state parks. Staff is currently working with regional directors and park managers to determine if this concern is valid. Consistent with the auditors recommendation, the revenue reporting function within the State Parks Division "R" cubed, central reservations program, was transferred to the Administrative Resources Division. Work is underway to provide us with more complete information in several areas for use in decision-making. One of those items related to measuring total visitation at the parks. Also, as a follow-up to recommendations that we improve workload management in our Infrastructure Division, a new project management system should be completed by July 31, 1999 with new contracting procedures being integrated into the system. A facility information system will be on-line by the end of July.

There was an agreement that the auditors would be involved with the work currently underway serving as advisors or members of work teams, as appropriate, or relative to the projects. The next status report is due to the state auditor by June 30, 1999. The state auditor's report on TPWD's state parks contained 61 recommendations. We have addressed all these recommendations partially or in full, and anticipate that the process will be completed in a timely manner.

A new State Parks Director, Mr. Walt Dabney, was hired and will report to work on May 1.

V. ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Lee Bass adjourned the committee.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Finance Committee
Briefing
Chairman's Charges
June 1999

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Jayna Burgdorf

Finance Committee
Action
Financial Review/Legislative Update
June 1999

I. Discussion: Staff will present a briefing of the current and upcoming financial picture for TPW.

The briefing will include:


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Judi Doran

Finance Committee
Action
Sale of Lists
June 1999

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 9.)


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