Senate Interim Committee on Finance
Evaluate the impact on Texas government finance resulting from
proposed changes in federal funding mechanisms and make recommendations
to implement changed funding mechanisms.
The legislature should accurately
assess the impact of the federal welfare reform legislation on
the state, have the Interagency Workgroup on Welfare Reform continue
to work with state agency CEOs to provide the most current information
available on actions the state must take in response to the federal
legislation, and have state agencies be prepared to project the
possible impact on the state to the year 2002.
The interagency workgroups
should continue to monitor federal action on Medicaid reform so
that the legislature and state agencies may respond promptly and
effectively to any changes in federal law.
The Office of State-Federal
Relations, in connection with the Legislative Budget Board (LBB)
and other state agency representatives in Washington, should focus
its efforts on keeping the Texas congressional delegation informed
on the impact of block grant proposals on the state.
Monitor implementation of tuition and student use fee increases
(House Bills 815 and 1792, 74th Legislature) by higher education
institutions. The committee shall issue a report identifying
the impacts and uses of tuition and student use fee increases.
Direct the Higher Education
Coordinating Board, in consultation with the Texas Education Agency,
the LBB, and the Office of the State Comptroller, to identify
the impacts and uses of tuition and student use fee increases
in relation to college entrance/admittance and retention.
Evaluate use of emerging telecommunication infrastructure for
efficiencies in collection and disbursement of state funds and
evaluate the impact of technology and its effect on the demand
for state appropriations.
Reexamine the competing roles
of the Department of Information Resources (DIR) and the General
Services Commission (GSC) in the oversight, planning, and operations
of technology and telecommunications, and consolidate statewide
telecommunications networks and operations.
Keep information technology
oversight functions independent of technology and telecommunication
operations or services. Oversight should not be conducted by
an agency also responsible for the provision of technology or
Require DIR to submit a copy
of each agency's biennial operating plan, upon review, to the
Require DIR to provide summary
information on agencies' biennial operating plans and budget requests
as they relate to information resource planning and implementation.
This information should be reported as needed to the LBB and
the Governor's Office of Budget and Planning (GOBP) to assist
in the review of a project and the potential impact on the agency's
overall objectives and strategies.
Require DIR to report to the
LBB and the GOBP as needed on the failure of an agency to submit
a biennial operating plan or agency strategic plan; any plan amendment
disapproved by DIR; any substantive changes to an agency's strategic
plan or biennial operating plan; and any activity jeopardizing
the viability of a project and the potential impact on the agency's
overall objectives and strategies.
Allocate additional funds
to DIR and the State Auditor's Office (SAO) to increase the level
of monitoring and number of major information technology projects
subject to Quality Assurance Team review.
Recommend requiring the annual
report prepared by an agency under the Internal Auditor Act to
include annual audits of certain major information technology
Require specific outcome performance
measures for major information technology projects in an agency's
Legislative Appropriations Request. Project outcome measures
should be linked to an agency's overall objectives and strategies.
Recommend developing standard
cost accounting methods to be used in the budgeting, planning
and implementation of all information technology projects.
Modify current law to recognize
digital signatures as verification for electronic messages.
Modify current law to allow
video conferences to meet open meetings requirements.
Identify instances of excess appropriations and monitor forecasted
unexpended balances of fiscal year 1996 appropriations, evaluating
the reasons for such balances. This inquiry should focus on the
major projected unexpended balances such as those at the Texas
Department of Health, Texas Department of Human Services, and
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, including managed health
cost for inmates.
The committee did not make recommendations regarding this charge
but did identify forecasted general revenue unexpended balances
for 13 state agencies totaling $972.6 million. The committee
also provided reasons for the balances.
Evaluate for the period from 1986 to present the caseload, enrollment,
and population estimating methodologies used by state agencies
and institutions to form the basis of their legislative appropriation
requests and make recommendations to improve those methodologies
and allow the legislature to make interim adjustments in appropriations
based on inaccurate estimates.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE AGENCIES
Create a contingency fund
to cover any deficiencies that occur in state agency funding due
to actual caseloads being greater than those forecast during the
Continue the improvements
made last session in having the Health and Human Services Commission
coordinate, approve, and publish quarterly caseload estimates
for all health and human services programs.
Continue the Health and Human
Services Commission's integrated database network (IDBN) for the
next two years.
Require and fund the Health
and Human Services Commission to conduct surveys that will provide
more specific information about why people leave services or fail
to seek services.
Encourage the health and human
service agencies to evaluate the forecasting value of econometric
PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENT
Transfer the responsibility
of providing average daily attendance estimates to the Foundation
School Fund Budget Committee and the legislature from TEA to the
Authorize the LBB to hire
or contract with a demographer to enhance existing pupil projection
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Continue TDCJ's Reengineering
Project currently under way to transform the agency's operation,
structure, and technology.
Ensure that all the agencies
involved in the projection process are using the same data collection
and measurement techniques.
Monitor assessment of agency performance as identified by the
Legislative Budget Board staff for major agencies and institutions
and recommend ways to further enhance the state's performance-based
budgeting system, including enhanced use of rewards for compliance
and sanctions for noncompliance with established performance measures,
such as those establishing graduation rates and target employment
Consider, legislatively, whether
the current level of sophistication of Texas' performance-based
budgeting is adequate to begin developing a rewards/penalty system
based on these indicators. The legislature should look at all
performance measures on an agency-by-agency basis in determining
the level of sophistication.