Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, May 24, 2006

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item No. Subject Commission Meeting Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes.  
1. Land and Water Plan Update
Staff: Robert Cook
Committee Only
2. State Parks Funding Issues
Staff: Walt Dabney
Committee Only
3. State Parks Advisory Committee Update
Staff: Scott Boruff
Committee Only
4. Legislative Preview
  • Update on the Strategic Plan
  • Update on the Legislative Appropriations Request
Staff: Robert Cook, Mary Fields
Committee Only
5. Financial Overview
  • Update on the State Auditor's Office (SAO) Fund 9 Audit
Staff: Mary Fields
Committee Only
6. Survey of Organizational Excellence
Staff: Al Bingham
Committee Only

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Finance Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency’s efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Finance Committee on TPWD’s recent progress in achieving the Plan’s Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Finance Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Walt Dabney

Finance Committee
State Park Funding Issues
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: State Parks Director Walt Dabney will present a briefing on the current operational challenges related to inadequate state park funding and the long-term challenges to meet Texas needs in years to come.

II. Discussion:This briefing has been presented to park partners and community leaders across the state to share information about park facilities, equipment, and operations that are suffering due to budgetary shortfalls. Reduced appropriations have resulted in reduced access and services, fewer grants awarded to local governments for indoor and outdoor recreational land or facilities, and fewer community outreach grants to introduce under-served populations to the services, programs, and facilities of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. State Parks have become heavily dependent on park volunteers, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) workers, and community service workers to achieve staffing and maintenance needs. The final portion of the State Parks Economic Impact Study was completed and further illustrates the importance of the parks to the local communities and to the State.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Scott Boruff

Finance Committee
State Parks Advisory Committee Update
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Staff will update the Commission on the organization and activities of the Texas State Parks Advisory Committee.

II. Discussion: The Texas State Parks Advisory Committee was recently appointed by Chairman Fitzsimons. The Committee met for the first time on April 13, 2006. Former Texas Senate Finance Committee Chairman and current AT&T Senior Vice President John Montford was elected advisory committee chairman. A key issue discussed was identifying and specifying priority funding needs of the state park system. Committee members also discussed options for increased park funding through the state sporting goods sales tax, and they began looking at how other states have funded parks. Staff will also report on the committee's May 19 meeting.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Robert Cook
Mary Fields

Finance Committee
Legislative Preview
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Staff will preview legislative issues of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

II. Discussion:


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Mary Fields

Finance Committee
Financial Overview
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Staff will present a financial overview of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

II. Discussion:


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Al Bingham

Finance Committee
Survey of Organizational Excellence
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Human Resources Division Director, Al Bingham will provide a briefing on the results of the Survey of Organizational Excellence, which was administered to TPWD Employees during the period January 23, 2006 to February 11, 2006.

II. Discussion:The Survey of Organizational Excellence (SOE), which is administered by the UT School of Social Work, was begun in 1979 to assess how the average state employee felt about working for the state. The survey has since evolved into a strategic planning tool and is used as a means to assess organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement from the perspective of agency employees. The survey looks at five workplace dimensions capturing the total work environment. For 2006, 54 percent of TPWD employees responded to the survey. Overall responses indicated improvements in 17 of 20 constructive areas since the last survey was administered in 2004.


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