Presenter: Ann Bright
Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Policy Amendments
I. Executive Summary: To ensure that Commission policies are consistent with current practice and state law, staff is recommending revisions to Commission Policies CP-010 and CP-005.
II. Discussion: Under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, employees of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department serve at the will of the Executive Director. Therefore, staff recommends that Commission Policy CP-010 be revised to reflect the at-will status of Department employees. Staff also recommends that Commission Policy CP-010 be revised to clarify the authority of the Executive Director to execute a variety of contract types, rather than only contracts for services. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Code authorizes the Executive Director to appoint staff as “necessary for administering the duties and services of the department.” Tex. Parks & Wild. Code §11.018. Staff therefore recommends that Commission Policy CP-010 be revised to clarify the authority of the Executive Director to delegate administrative functions. Also, staff recommends that the word “directives” be replaced with the word “policy” to reflect current agency nomenclature. In addition, based on the legal definition of “officer,” there would be no officers to whom the Executive Director would delegate functions; therefore, staff recommends that the word “officer” be deleted.
Commission policy CP-005 addresses reimbursement for Commissioners’ travel expenses. The level of reimbursement of Commissioners’ travel expenses is dictated by the biennial General Appropriations Act. Rather than amend the Commission travel policy with each adjustment in reimbursement rates, staff recommends that specific reimbursement rates be deleted and that language be added to clarify that only those Commission expenses authorized by the General Appropriations Act may be reimbursed.
III. Recommendation The staff recommends that Commission Policy CP-010 and CP-005 be revised as set forth in the attached resolution by adoption of the following motion:
“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts by resolution (Exhibit A) the revisions to Commission policies CP-010 and CP-005 (Exhibit B).”
A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Adopting Amendments to Commission Policies
Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) is authorized to adopt policies governing the activities of the Commission;
Whereas, the Commission has adopted policies governing the functions of the Executive Director and reimbursement for Commissioners’ travel expenses;
Whereas, staff has recommended that the Commission policies governing the functions of the Executive Director (CP-010) and reimbursement for Commissioners’ travel expenses (CP-005) be amended to more accurately reflect current law and agency practice;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt
s the changes to the Commission policies CP-010 and CP-005 as attached hereto.
In official recognition hereof, we hereby affix our signatures this 3rd day of November 2005.
Joseph B. C. Fitzsimons, Chairman
Mark E. Bivins, Member
J. Robert Brown, Member
T. Dan Friedkin, Member
Ned S. Holmes, Member
Peter M. Holt, Member
Philip Montgomery, III, Member
John D. Parker, Member
Donato D. Ramos, Member
The Role of the Executive Director in Relation to
the Commission and the Public
The Executive Director is accountable to the Commission for the overall operation of the Department. He/She acts as liaison between the Commission and the staff in accordance with the policies hereinabove set forth.
- The Executive Director shall take the initiative in interpreting the programs to the Commission, in suggesting new ideas or plans, and presenting matters for Commission consideration.
- The Executive Director shall be responsible, together with the Chairman and the members of the Commission, for preparing agendas for Commission meetings and for preparing reports for the meetings.
- The Executive Director shall act as the official representative of the Department with the public and as such shall have authority to designate other staff members to act in this capacity.
- The Executive Director has responsibility to ensure compliance with all Commission policies and State and Federal laws and regulations concerning the Department.
- The Executive Director shall notify the Commission of any instance in which his actions are at variance with Federal and State laws, regulations, and Commission policies.
- The Executive Director shall be responsible for informing the Commission of the Federal and State constitutional provisions, statutes and regulations directly affecting the Department.
- The Executive Director has responsibility to exercise control over all divisions of the Department, and to appoint, supervise and remove staff, and subordinate employees of the Department [for cause].
- The Executive Director shall make such recommendations to the Commission concerning the affairs of the Department as may be desirable.
- The Executive Director shall keep the Commission advised of the financial condition and future needs of the Department.
- The Executive Director, with the aid of the Commission or its duly appointed Committee, shall be responsible for preparing the budget requirements for the Commission to submit to the Legislature and be responsible for budgetary administration of all appropriations to the Department including Federal funds.
- The Executive Director shall prepare and submit to the Commission such reports as may be required or desired by the governing body and keep the Commission continuously advised of the functions of the Department.
- The Executive Director shall prepare program and financial reports, and be responsible for the accuracy thereof, which shall provide the Commission with the information required to fulfill its responsibilities. In these reports, the Executive Director shall point out any significant trends that may be indicated and shall be especially alert to advise the Commission of any potential problems.
- The Executive Director shall keep the public informed through reports to the Commission regarding the operations of Department programs.
- The Executive Director shall prepare and submit the State plans for services to be provided by Department programs in accordance with Federal requirements and regulations.
- The Executive Director shall have authority to execute contracts [for services] on behalf of the Department.
- The Executive Director shall be responsible for development of administrative manuals to provide uniform guidance and operational procedures which accord with applicable state and federal laws.
- The Executive Director shall be responsible for developing and maintaining an adequate and qualified internal audit unit and an internal affairs office. The Internal Affairs Office is responsible to the Executive Director for the construction, renovation and major repair projects and investigation of complaints, problems and allegations of misuse of state resources involving these projects or any other aspect of the Department's operations.
- Except as otherwise provided by law or directed by the Commission, [T]the Executive Director may[,with the approval of the Commission,] delegate to any [officer or] employee of the Department such of his powers and duties, except the issuance of [directives] agency policy [and the appointment of personnel], as he finds necessary to carry out [his] the Executive Director’s assigned powers and duties.
- The Executive Director shall be responsible for representing and explaining to the Commission public reaction to Department programs and administrative procedures.
Travel of Commission Members
Members of the commission are entitled to reimbursement for their actual expenses incurred in attending meetings and to the per diem as provided in the General Appropriations Act. § 11.016, Parks and Wildlife Code. Only those expenses authorized by the General Appropriations Act may be reimbursed.
Travel to Regular and Special Commission Meetings
Commission members are entitled to receive reimbursement for their actual expenses, not to exceed $110.00 per day for meals and lodging, plus transportation costs:
- Personally owned automobile - $0.345 per mile
- Leased or owned aircraft –
- Single-engine: $0.40 per highway mile
- Twin-engine: $0.55 per highway mile
- Turbine-powered: $1.00 per highway mile
- Commercial Airline –
- Actual cost with contracted airline, except the air transportation shall not exceed the next available airline fare below first class unless such is not available.
- Rent Automobile –
- Actual cost with contracted company, except personal accident insurance or safe trip insurance and personal effects insurance.
In addition, Commission members are entitled to receive compensatory per diem in the amount of $30.00 in accordance with § 11.016, Parks and Wildlife Code, and the appropriations bill.
Travel to Committee Meetings
Each Commission member shall be entitled to attend authorized committee meetings dealing with programs of the Department and receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred. No compensatory per diem is allowed.