Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, March 31, 2010

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744

Commissioner Antonio Falcon, M.D., Committee Chair
Gene McCarty, Committee Liaison

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan - Delivery of Internal Affairs Report
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Financial Overview
    Staff: Mike Jensen
  3. Natural Agenda (State Agency Strategic Plan) Update
    Staff: Julie Horsley
  4. Fee Schedule Rules - Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes in the Texas Register
    • Deer Breeder Fee for those Using the Online Deer Breeder System
    • Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area Access Fee
    • Grass Carp Fee
    • Fees for Department Sponsored Program
    Staff: Julie Horsley
  5. Audit Reports
    • Concluded and Ongoing Internal Audit Activities and Reports
    Staff: Carlos Contreras

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Finance Committee
Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the
TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
March 31, 2010

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 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. In November 2009, the Commission approved a new Plan effective January 1, 2010. The 2010 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, objectives and deliverables as they relate to the Finance Committee.

The Plan consists of the following four goals:

  1. Practice, Encourage and Enable Science-based Stewardship of Natural and Cultural Resources
  2. Increase Access To and Participation In the Outdoors
  3. Educate, Inform and Engage Texas Citizens in Support of Conservation and Recreation
  4. Employ Efficient, Sustainable and Sound Business Practices

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Mike Jensen

Finance Committee
Financial Overview
March 31, 2010

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

II. Discussion:


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Julie Horsley

Finance Committee
Natural Agenda (State Agency Strategic Plan) Update
March 31, 2010

I. Executive Summary: Staff will provide an update on the development of the Natural Agenda, the legislatively mandated agency strategic plan covering fiscal years 2011-2015.

II. Discussion: Staff will review the state's strategic planning requirements, TPWD's development plan for the 2011-2015 Natural Agenda (Strategic Plan), and will provide a summary of proposed budget structure and performance measure changes for the 2011-2012 biennium.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Julie Horsley

Finance Committee
Fee Schedule Rules
March 31, 2010

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks permission to publish proposed changes to the Department's fee rules. The proposed changes are:

II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing fees for deer breeder permits is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.357. Responsibility for establishing fees for entering properties owned or managed by the department (including wildlife management areas) is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027. Responsibility for establishing fees for review of permit applications (including triploid grass carp permits) is also delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027.

The department has created an all-electronic reporting system for persons who hold deer breeder permits. Increased utilization of the system by deer breeders results in cost savings to the department and makes data more immediately available to department regulatory and enforcement personnel. Staff concludes that deer breeders who use the electronic reporting system are therefore reducing the administrative costs associated with their permits. In order to implement a renewal fee that reflects a reduced administrative cost and to create an incentive for deer breeders to use the electronic reporting system exclusively, staff recommends that the renewal fee be reduced by 50 percent for deer breeders who submit at least 85 percent of specified reports (deer births, deaths) and transfer permit activations using the department's online system.

Current entry fees at the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area are based on age and/or type of group, and children under the age of six are admitted free. In order to simplify and streamline the admissions process, staff proposes to impose a flat entry fee applied to all visitors, including children, which will be easier to administer on-site and provide for simplified bookkeeping and fiscal control.

In 2009 the department increased the fees for a number of permits, including the triploid grass carp permit. Although the fee amounts in Chapter 53 of Title 31, Part 2, of the Texas Administrative Code (relating to Finance) were changed, the fee is also referenced in Chapter 57 (relating to Fisheries). Staff recommends eliminating all references to fees in Chapter 57 to rectify the conflict and prevent it from occurring in the future.

The department hosts a number of workshops, educational programs, and other similar activities at department facilities. Staff recommends the creation of a generic fee structure to allow the department to recover the costs of providing the workshops, educational programs, and other similar activities.


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Carlos Contreras

Finance Committee
Recently Concluded and Ongoing Internal Audit Activities/Reports
March 31, 2010

I. Executive Summary: Internal Audit will discuss the status of the recently concluded and ongoing assignments to include:

Staff will also provide a brief explanation of the audit recommendation follow-up process to be implemented in April.


Back to Top
Back to Top