Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, November 4, 2009

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
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Internal Audit Reports - Recently Concluded and Ongoing Internal Activities/Reports - Approval of FY10 Audit Plan (Action Item No. 11)
    Staff: Carlos Contreras
  3. Conservation License Plate Marketing Update
    Staff: Darcy Bontempo
  4. Personnel Matters - Performance Evaluation of TPWD Executive Director
    Staff: Chairman Holt (Executive Session Only)

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
November 4, 2009

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. 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: Carlos Contreras

Finance Committee
Recently Concluded and Ongoing Internal Audit Activities/Reports
and Discussion on the FY 2010 Audit Plan
November 4, 2009

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

Introduction of the FY 2010 annual Audit Plan for further consideration of approval.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Darcy Bontempo

Finance Committee
License Plate Marketing Update
November 4, 2009

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks to brief the Commission on marketing of the Conservation License Plate Program, including marketing successes promoting the program and sales data for fiscal year 2009 and plans for fiscal year 2010.

II. Discussion: The Conservation License Plate Program is an initiative created by legislation that passed in the 76th Texas Legislature (1999) and has since generated millions of dollars ($4,254,954 through August 2009) in incremental revenue for fishing, hunting, wildlife diversity, state parks and various conservation efforts.

The Conservation License Plate Program consists of four plates that have been introduced since 1999: the Horned Lizard plate was introduced in FY 2000 and benefits wildlife diversity; the Bluebonnet plate was introduced in June of 2001 and benefits Texas State Parks; the Whitetail Deer plate was introduced in March of 2002 and benefits big game management; and the Largemouth Bass plate was introduced in March of 2002 and benefits inland fisheries.

The program represents a unique revenue-generating opportunity for the Department because TPWD does not incur any costs to produce or fulfill this product. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) handles the actual sales, receives funds, fulfills the purchases and provides TPWD with $22 for each license plate sold. The only TPWD costs associated with the program are marketing costs.

The Conservation license plate sales also provide a long-term revenue benefit to the Department since in the past TxDOT has estimated that approximately 60-70 percent of all plates sold are renewed every year for as long as a seven year period. This results in an unusually high average "lifetime value" for each license plate customer and a high return on investment (ROI), making marketing this product a very effective investment.

The beneficiary divisions approved a marketing plan providing $54,833 for marketing the plates in FY 2009. During this promotional period, sales of the plates increased by 15.32 percent versus sales in FY08. Primary marketing tactics included online banner ads, online search ads, limited print advertising, and direct mail to more than 40,000 key constituents.

On May 15, 2009, a redesigned Deer License Plate was released to the public. As these plates replace the old deer design, we anticipate that sales of the plate and funds for the Wildlife Division will increase.

We hope to secure funds from the beneficiary divisions to continue marketing the plates in FY10.


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