Presenter: Ann Bright

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Action
Use of Technological Solutions and Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures
Recommended Adoption of Proposed Policies
November 5, 2009

I. Executive Summary: TPWD staff will be asking that the Commission approve a resolution to adopt a policy to ensure appropriate use of technological solutions and public access to TPWD through the Internet, and a policy to encourage the use of negotiated rulemaking and appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures.

II. Discussion: The TPWD Sunset Bill, as enacted by 81st Texas Legislature (2009), included the addition of Section 11.0163 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code requiring the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) to implement a policy to ensure the appropriate use of technological solutions and public access to TPWD through the Internet. The Sunset Bill also added Section 11.064 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code requiring the Commission to implement a policy that encourages the use of negotiated rulemaking that conforms to the guidelines of the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and that encourages the use of appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under TPWD's jurisdiction.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts by resolution (Exhibit A) a policy to ensure appropriate use of technological solutions and public access to TPWD through the Internet and a policy to encourage the use of negotiated rulemaking and appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures (Exhibit B)."

Attachments - 2

  1. Exhibit A - Resolution
  2. Exhibit B - Commission Policy CP-018, Use of Technological Solutions; Commission Policy CP-019 Alternative Dispute Resolution

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Adopting a Policy Regarding the Use of Technological Solutions and a Policy Regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Sunset Bill, as enacted by the 81st Texas Legislature (2009), added Section 11.0163 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code requiring the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) to implement a policy to ensure the appropriate use of technological solutions and public access to TPWD through the Internet; and,

Whereas, the TPWD Sunset Bill also added Section 11.064 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code requiring the Commission to implement a policy that encourages the use of negotiated rulemaking that conforms to the guidelines of the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and that encourages the use of appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under TPWD's jurisdiction; and,

Whereas, Commission Policy CP-018, titled Use of Technological Solutions, attached as Exhibit B, was developed to ensure the appropriate use of technological solutions and public access to TPWD through the Internet; and,

Whereas, Commission Policy CP-019 titled Alternative Dispute Resolution, also attached as Exhibit B, encourages the use of negotiated rulemaking consistent with SOAH guidelines and encourages the use of appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under TPWD's jurisdiction;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission hereby adopts Commission Policy CP-018, titled Use of Technological Solutions and Commission Policy CP-019 titled Alternative Dispute Resolution, attached as Exhibit B;

Adopted and approved this the 5th day of November 2009.

In official recognition of the adoption of this resolution in a lawfully called public meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, we hereby affix our signatures this 5th day of November 2009.

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Peter M. Holt, Chairman

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T. Dan Friedkin, Vice-Chairman

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Mark E. Bivins, Member

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Ralph H. Duggins, Member

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Antonio Falcon M.D., Member

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Karen J. Hixon, Member

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Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

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Margaret Martin, Member

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S. Reed Morian, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit B

Exhibit B
Policies Required by the TPWD Sunset Bill
HB 3391, §4, 81st Texas Legislature (2009)


Policy CP-018
Use of Technological Solutions

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) shall use appropriate technological solutions to continue to improve TPWD's ability to carry out its mission. TPWD shall ensure that the public is able to interact with TPWD on the Internet. TPWD will continue to explore methods for providing information to the public and obtaining public input as technological innovations and methods of communication evolve.

Reference: Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §11.0163


Policy CP-019
Alternative Dispute Resolution

Use of ADR
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures to resolve agency disputes as provided in the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, Chapter 2009, Government Code.

ADR Coordinator
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) General Counsel, or designee, shall serve as the TPWD ADR Coordinator. The ADR Coordinator shall implement this policy, serve as a resource for training needed to implement this policy, and collect data concerning the effectiveness of ADR used by TPWD. In addition, in accordance with the Guidelines for the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution by Texas State Agencies, as developed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings, the ADR Coordinator shall do the following:

In addition, as appropriate and to the extent that funds are available, TPWD may contract with a qualified third-party neutral to facilitate an ADR process. In facilitating an ADR process, the ADR Coordinator and any neutral third party with whom TPWD contracts, shall comply with applicable professional standards and guidelines.

Types of Disputes and Types of ADR
Among the matters that should be considered for ADR are rule development, contract disputes, contested cases, employment disputes, and litigation. The types of ADR that may be employed include, but are not limited to, mediation, arbitration, conciliation, consensus building, information exchange, public hearings, and facilitated meetings.

Rulemaking
To the extent possible and practicable, in developing rules, TPWD staff is encouraged to seek input from the public and from persons and groups that may be impacted by the rule. Such input should be obtained in a manner that is likely to provide the most meaningful participation by the public and by impacted persons or groups. Such input should be in addition to the notice and comment requirements of the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 2001, Government Code. The mechanisms that staff are encouraged to employ in seeking input, include, but are not limited to the following:

In determining whether to solicit input in developing a recommendation for proposed rule, staff should consider the significance of the anticipated rule and the scope of its impact. If it is determined that the solicitation of input is appropriate in developing a rulemaking recommendation, staff should strive to select a method of soliciting input that is most likely to obtain meaningful and representative input. In determining the appropriate method of soliciting input, staff should consider, among other things, the size and location of the population impacted by the rule (including whether the impact is localized or state-wide), the nature of the impact (e.g., financial, recreational), the extent of the impact, whether there are competing interests, and the degree to which persons impacted are sophisticated in the rulemaking process.

Reference: Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §11.0164.


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