Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, March 26, 2008

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Land and Water Plan Update
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Internal Audit Report
    Staff: Cindy Hancock, Ed Best
  3. Implementation of Recommendations by the State Auditor's Office Audit of State Parks Financial Processes
    • General Appropriations Act Riders 30 and 31
    Staff: Scott Boruff
  4. Financial Overview
    • Strategic Plan Update
    • Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) Update
    Staff: Mary Fields, Julie Horsley
  5. Facility Use Fees at Parrie Haynes Ranch - Permission to Publish
    Staff: Ernie Gammage
  6. Internet Sales of Big Time Texas Hunts (Action Item No. 6)
    Staff: Darcy Bontempo

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Finance Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith 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 Carter Smith 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: Cindy Hancock
Ed Best

Finance Committee
Internal Audit Report
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: Staff will provide the Commission with the current status of the Internal Audit FY08 Audit Plan.

II. Discussion: Staff will also update the Commission on the recently completed audits, the active audits and the planned audits.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Scott Boruff

Finance Committee
Implementation of Recommendations by the State Auditor's Office
Audit of State Parks Financial Processes
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: In March 2007, the State Auditor's Office (SAO) issued a report titled Financial Processes at the Parks and Wildlife Department (the audit). TPWD takes the SAO's audit recommendations seriously and is committed to fully addressing the issues raised by the SAO as set out in TPWD's responses contained within the audit report. TPWD staff will brief the Commission on the audit recommendations and the status of TPWD's implementation of those recommendations and the related General Appropriations Act Riders.

II. Discussion: The 2008-2009 General Appropriations Act (GAA) contained several Riders related to TPWD's implementation of the audit's recommendations. GAA Rider 30a requires TPWD to contract with a private vendor to prepare a study of "whether repairs or new construction will increase park attendance and generate additional revenue to cover costs." Similarly, GAA Rider 31 requires TPWD to conduct a study related to the "definition of a high quality state park system." In addition to the regular audit update, staff will present information regarding the studies required by Riders 30 and 31 and will introduce the company conducting the required studies.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Mary Fields, Julie Horsley

Finance Committee
Financial Overview
March 2008

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

II. Discussion:


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Ernie Gammage

Finance Committee
Facility Use Fees - Parrie Haynes Ranch
Permission to Publish
January 2008

I. Executive Summary: The item presents proposed rulemaking that would amend and add use fees for Parrie Haynes Ranch, and waive use fees for volunteers and volunteer groups on the Parrie Haynes Ranch.

II. Discussion: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027, the commission by rule may establish and provide for the collection of a fee for entering, reserving, or using a facility or property owned or managed by the department. The Parrie Haynes Ranch is leased from the Texas Youth Commission and managed by the Department as an outdoor learning youth center, conference, environmental, and equestrian facility. It is a 4,525-acre ranch with natural settings for groups of all kinds to meet, learn, and recreate in the Texas outdoors.

The current fee ranges specified by rule are insufficient to recover the cost of operating the facility. The proposed rules will reconfigure the current fee structure to allow the Department to recover operational expenses while continuing to provide affordable use for organizations and entities whose usage is consonant with the Department's mission. Staff will present specific fee ranges at the time of the meeting.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Summary of Proposed Rules

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

Proposed Amendments to Parrie Haynes Ranch Fee Rules

The proposed fee ranges will be derived by surveying current market pricing for facilities offering similar amenities. The fee ranges will be structured according to the type of use and the specific facilities being used, with discounted prices for youth groups.


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