From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jennifer Wichmann
(512) 463-0123
February 14, 2003

Senator West dissatisfied by report showing poor state agency HUB performance

AUSTIN - State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) says that state agencies must do a better job of meeting requirements that govern how agencies do business with Texas Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB). Today (Feb. 14, 2003) the State Auditor's Office (SAO) released a report (03-018) evaluating the compliance of twelve state entities with HUB requirements. The report showed that all but one agency evaluated failed to provide a sufficient level of opportunities to HUBs.

"I am shocked and gravely disappointed to see the complete disregard for legislative intent that these eleven agencies have shown,"said Senator West in reaction to the auditor's report. "HUB contracting with the state has been steadily declining for the past three years. Now I think we know the reason why - agencies do not care to follow the will of the legislators elected by the people of the State of Texas."

Of the twelve agencies evaluated, only one, the State Preservation Board, is in full compliance with language enacted by SB 178, passed during the 76th Legislative Session. The auditor's report established four categories in determining compliance. An agency that satisfies auditor criteria in all four areas is in compliance.

Seven agencies were determined to be noncompliant, although they did make a good faith effort. Three agencies, including two previously listed, were determined to be noncompliant and not making a "good faith effort." Material noncompliance in three or more areas is determined as "a lack of good-faith effort."

"A good faith effort is not solely based on gaining a numerical goal, but in engaging in certain activities that show that an agency is making an earnest attempt at extending opportunities to all companies qualified to do business in our state," said Senator West. "From this report it is obvious, for whatever reason, that these agencies did not extend such efforts."

Three agencies (TEA, TDPRS, Health and Human Services) evaluated by the report were determined not to be in compliance by the Fall 2001 SAO report (01-035) on HUB programs. The auditor's report includes specific recommendations that will bring all noncompliant agencies into compliance.

A news conference is scheduled for Monday, February 17, 2003 at 12:45 p.m in the Lieutenant Governor's Press Room. For more information, please contact Jennifer Wichmann or Kelvin Bass at 512-463-0123.