Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.
March 30, 2011

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
    • Internal Affairs Report
    • State Parks Recognizes National Volunteer Week
    Staff:  Carter Smith
  2. Legislative Update
    Staff:  Carter Smith, Gene McCarty
  3. Financial Overview
    Staff:  Mike Jensen
  4. Combination and Super Combo Allocation Rules – Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes (Action Item No. 2)
    Staff:  Mike Jensen
  5. Internal Audit Reports
    • Revised Internal Audit Charter
    • Concluded and Ongoing Internal Audit Activities and Reports
    Staff:  Vandita Zachariah
  6. Big Time Texas Hunts Program Update
    Staff:  Linda Campbell, Carly Montez

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 30, 2011

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
Presenters:  Carter Smith
Gene McCarty 

Finance Committee
Legislative Update
82nd Texas Legislature (2011)
March 30, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  Staff will present a legislative update for the 82nd Texas Legislative Session for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 biennium.

II.      Discussion:  Staff will provide updates regarding the deliberations of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.  Staff will also discuss other major legislation initiatives affecting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter:  Mike Jensen

Finance Committee
Financial Overview
March 30, 2011

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

II.      Discussion:

  • Staff will update the Commission on revenue collected by TPWD through the second quarter of FY 2011, including state parks receipts, boat titling and registration revenue, and license sales revenue including the number of licenses sold.
  • Staff will review the revenue collected by fund (Game Fish and Water Safety Fund, State Park Fund, Local Park Fund, and Other).
  • Staff will compare the FY 2011 budget to FY 2011 expenditures through the second quarter and summarize budget adjustments.

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter:  Vandita Zachariah

Finance Committee
Internal Audit Charter
Concluded and Ongoing Internal Audit Activities and Reports
March 30, 2011

I.                    Executive Summary:  Internal Audit will present the Commission the revised Internal Audit Charter.  In addition, Internal Audit will discuss the status of recently concluded and ongoing assurance and advisory projects.


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenters:  Linda Campbell
Carly Montez

Finance Committee
Big Time Texas Hunts Program Update
March 30, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  Staff will brief the Finance Committee on marketing efforts to reduce costs and increase the return on investment of Big Time Texas Hunts in 2010, including new direct mail segmentation strategies, email marketing and online advertising efforts.

II.      Discussion:  Since 1999, the Big Time Texas Hunt (BTTH) program has been one of TPWD’s most successful fundraising projects for the Wildlife Division, with proceeds going toward wildlife conservation, habitat management, and public hunting on both public and private lands.  The program allows anyone to enter to win one of seven prize hunt packages, and TPWD sets no limits on the number of entries.

In 2010, the program generated $437,530 in net revenue and achieved a 240% return on investment (ROI), the highest in the program history.  This high ROI was achieved by reducing overall program costs by 53%, primarily by using segmentation to target direct mail to only the customers most likely to respond.  In addition, low-cost marketing strategies such as email and online advertising were utilized to increase online sales and build the program’s customer base.

In 2010, 64,759 total entries were sold, with an average of 4.8 per participant.  The percent of online sales increased dramatically from 29% to 41%.  Increasing online sales is important because online buyers purchased an average of 6.1 entries, spending an average of $55, compared with 4.3 entries or an average of $43 for mail-in buyers.  Call-in and license retail sales accounted for only 4% of total sales.

Given the higher average sale of online purchases and the rising cost of direct mail, staff plans to continue to reduce marketing costs by targeting only our best customers with direct mail, growing email marketing efforts and using cost-effective advertising to drive customers to purchase online.  Efforts will also continue to control hunt costs while providing a diversity of high quality guided hunting opportunities.























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