Wednesday, 9:00 am, November 1, 2006Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
- Land and Water Plan Update
Staff: Robert Cook
- Legislative Preview and Update – 80th Texas Legislature (2007)
Staff: Mary Fields
- Employee Performance Evaluation System
Staff: Al Bingham
- Nonprofit Partner Rules – Permission to Publish
Staff: Ann Bright
- Proposed Print Artwork (Action Item No. 2)
Staff: Frances Stiles (Martin Wood, Collectors Covey)
Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook
Land and Water Plan Update
I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook 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 November 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 Robert L. Cook 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:
- Goal 1: Improve access to the outdoors.
- Goal 2: Preserve, conserve, manage, operate, and promote agency sites for recreational opportunities, biodiversity, and the cultural heritage of Texas.
- Goal 3: Assist landowners in managing their lands for sustainable wildlife habitat consistent with their goals.
- Goal 4: Increase participation in hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor recreation.
- Goal 5: Enhance the quality of hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor recreation.
- Goal 6: Improve science, data collection and information dissemination to make informed management decisions.
- Goal 7: Maintain or improve water quality and quantity to support the needs of fish, wildlife and recreation.
- Goal 8: Continuously improve TPWD business management systems, business practices and work culture.
Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Mary Fields
Legislative Preview and Update
80th Texas Legislature (2007)
I. Executive Summary: Staff will present a legislative preview and update for the 80th Texas Legislative Session for the Fiscal Year 2008 – 2009 biennium.
- Staff will provide updates regarding the joint budget hearing with oversight offices and the Senate Finance Committee hearing held October 9, 2006.
- Staff will discuss legislative issues and initiatives that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department would like to pursue in the upcoming session.
Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Al Bingham
Employee Performance Evaluation System
I. Executive Summary: Section 11.024 of the Wildlife Department Code requires the TPWD Director (or designee) to develop a system of annual performance evaluations. Human Resource Director, Al Bingham, will provide a briefing on recent changes to the employee evaluation system to be implemented during fiscal year 2007.
II. Discussion: TPWD is a high performing organization and it is the performance of individual employees that drives the Department's success. Over this past summer, Parks and Wildlife Human Resource (HR) staff, with the assistance from an outside consulting firm, initiated an appraisal system re-design project aimed at identifying specific job competencies that are applicable to all positions across the agency. These competencies, which are reflective of the agency's mission, culture and values, are deemed as "mission critical"; they communicate the characteristics and behaviors that all Department employees must demonstrate to be successful in their jobs, and to drive organizational success.
Through a series of individual and focus group interviews and employee surveys, HR staff identified six "core" competencies and four "leadership" competencies applicable to all Department positions. Beginning fiscal year 2007, employees will be evaluated on these mission critical core/leadership competencies, as well as certain job-specific functional tasks. All employees are to be evaluated on the "core" competencies, and in addition, all individuals holding manager, supervisor or team leader positions will be evaluated on the leadership competencies. These mission critical competencies are described below.
- Core Competencies – Applicable to all employees:
- Mission Focus – Understands the mission, goals, objectives and values of the agency and respective divisions/programs; has an appropriate awareness of how one's role contributes to the mission.
- Integrity/Accountability – Acts with integrity and demonstrates it through honest, fair, and ethical behavior. Adheres to applicable policies and procedures; sees things that need to be done and follows through to completion; takes ownership.
- Service Focus – Focuses efforts on serving internal and external customers (e.g. visitors, landowners, constituents, etc.) in a way that satisfies their needs, exceeds their expectations and aligns with agency mission.
- Effective Communication – Adapts communication (verbal, non-verbal, and written) in an effort to relate effectively with others. Ensures understanding by listening, asking questions that uncover interest and presenting a clear, concise and accurate message.
- Teamwork – Is cooperative, respectful, and responsive, and is able to lead, follow and/or contribute to get work done with others.
- Continuous Learning/ Adaptable to Change – Learns new skills and knowledge, accommodating other viewpoints, or adjusting one's approach to changing conditions and constraints that occur within the agency and in the external environment (political/social/scientific) to further the agency's goals and objectives
- Leadership Competencies – Applicable to all managers, supervisors and team leaders
- Setting Direction and Standards – Communicating and clarifying goals and providing direction in a manner that reaches each individual in the group; demonstrates honesty and integrity as a role model representing TPWD.
- Ensuring Accountability – Setting up and implementing tracking systems to ensure accountability; regularly communicating progress and following through with rewards and consequences that are fair and consistent.
- Coaching and Feedback – Providing information, performance feedback, coaching and skill development; delivering positive reinforcement and addressing performance problems promptly.
- Optimizing Decisions and Solutions – Ensuring that decisions are made and effectively communicated based on both service and cost-effectiveness; encouraging employees to provide input and continuously improve their work processes.
There are numerous benefits to the Department from using a competency-based performance evaluation model; key benefits include:
- Provides employees with clear expectations of behavior that leads to successful organizational outcomes.
- Easier to build learning/development plans around competencies
- Provides a uniform set of behavior outcomes that serve as a common element across HR systems and processes.
- Greater alignment between the evaluation system and organization's mission, culture and values.
Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ann Bright
Nonprofit Partner Rules – Permission to Publish
I. Executive Summary: The Parks and Wildlife Code authorizes the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to work with nonprofit organizations to carry out TPWD's mission and to adopt rules regarding the official nonprofit partner and best practices of all nonprofit partners. Therefore, staff is requesting permission to publish proposed revised rules regarding nonprofit partners in the Texas Register.
II. Discussion: TPWD maintains beneficial relationships with a number of nonprofit organizations. Such organizations provide vital financial and other support for TPWD. The proposed rules categorize TPWD's nonprofit partners as general nonprofit partners, closely related nonprofit partners, or the official nonprofit partner. Currently, the official nonprofit partner is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (the Foundation). Closely related nonprofit partners are defined as organizations that exist for the purpose of supporting a specific TPWD facility or program. All other nonprofit organizations that provide some type of support to TPWD are considered general nonprofit partners. The proposed rules address the mechanism for designating nonprofit partners. In addition, the proposed rules establish general best practices for nonprofit partners, as well as best practices related to officers and directors, fundraising, and sponsorships. In addition, the proposed rules set out department procedures and requirements for nonprofit partners.
The staff recommends that proposed rules regarding nonprofit organizations be published in the Texas Register for public comment.
Attachments - 1
- Exhibit A – Proposed Nonprofit Organizations Rules
Committee Agenda Item No. 4
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (the department) proposes the repeal of current sections §§51.161-51.166 regarding nonprofit organizations and proposes the adoption of new §§51.161-51.167 regarding nonprofit organizations. The proposed new sections are necessary to implement the requirements of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 11, Subchapter J, §§11.201-11.207.
The Parks and Wildlife Code authorizes the department to work with nonprofit organizations to carry out the mission of the department. Section 11.202 of the Parks and Wildlife Code requires the Parks and Wildlife Commission (the commission) to adopt rules to “establish the best practices for nonprofit partners.” Section 11.203 of the Parks and Wildlife Code requires the commission to adopt rules regarding “state standards and safeguards for accounting for state assets held by the nonprofit partner.” Section 11.205 of the Parks and Wildlife Code authorizes the commission to designate an official nonprofit partner dedicated to meeting department goals. Section 11.205(f) of the Parks and Wildlife Code requires the commission to establish by rule guidelines for the official nonprofit partner’s solicitation and acceptance of sponsorships and the best practices of the official nonprofit partner.
Nonprofit partners serve an important function for the department. These organizations provide valuable financial and in-kind support to the department.
The proposed rules categorize each of the department’s nonprofit partners as a general nonprofit partner (GNP), a closely related nonprofit partner (CRNP), or the official nonprofit partner (ONP). A general nonprofit partner is a nonprofit partner that is not a closely-related nonprofit partner or the official nonprofit partner and has an agreement of any kind with the department, has a representative serving on a department or commission advisory committee, or otherwise has a relationship with the department. A closely related nonprofit partner is a nonprofit partner whose sole purpose is to benefit a specific department property or facility. Closely related nonprofit partners are often referred to as “friends groups” (e.g., Friends of Cedar Hill, Friends of San Angelo State Park). The official nonprofit partner is the entity designated as the official nonprofit partner of the department by the commission in accordance with Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.205. In 2001, the Commission designated the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation as the department’s official nonprofit partner. Because the ONP and CRNPs enjoy a closer relationship with the department, the proposed rules impose additional requirements on those organizations.
To ensure clarity, proposed section 51.161 defines terms used in the proposed rule, including closely related nonprofit partner, commission, department, donor, director, friends group, general nonprofit partner, IRS 990, in-kind donation, local sponsorship, nonprofit entity, nonprofit partner, official nonprofit partner, program, regional director, sponsor, sponsorship, and statewide sponsorship.
Proposed section 51.162 sets out the general criteria for all nonprofit partners, including designation by the commission, receipt of a nonprofit determination letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), support of department’s goals, and disposition funds raised for the benefit of the department. In addition, proposed section 51.162 provides that the ONP and each CRNP must enter an agreement with the department, must be incorporated in accordance with the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act (Chapter 22, Business Organization Code), and must notify the department of any change in tax status.
The rules describe four types of best practices: general best practices, best practices regarding officers and directors; best practices regarding fundraising; and, best practices regarding sponsorships. Section 51.163 describes the general best practices. Proposed subsection (a) applies to all nonprofit partners. Proposed subsection (b) applies only to CRNPs and the ONP. Proposed subsection (c) applies only to the ONP. The proposed general best practices applicable to all nonprofit partners prohibit a NP from holding or obligating department funds, prohibit a NP from using department intellectual property without the department’s written agreement, prohibit a NP from using department facilities without approval, and require a NP to comply with applicable law and department guidelines and with anti-discrimination laws. In addition, general best practices for CRNPs and the ONP include a requirement that each CRNP and the ONP file and make available an annual IRS 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Tax); file an annual report and organizational documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, financial statements) with the department and make those documents available to the public; and, notify the department of each meeting and allow a department representative to attend. The proposed rules also prohibit CRNPs or the ONP from lobbying or supporting a political candidate. Under the proposed rules, the ONP must also have an annual audit and maintain adequate officers and directors liability insurance.
Proposed section 51.164 describes the best practices related to officers and directors. Proposed subsection (a) applies to all nonprofit partners. Proposed subsection (b) applies only to CRNPs and the ONP. Proposed subsection (c) applies only to the ONP. All nonprofit partner officers and directors must be provided a copy of the department’s Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan) or a link to the Plan on the department’s web site. This requirement is also contained in section 11.204, Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. In addition, proposed section 51.164 requires that each CRNP and the ONP have a conflict of interest policy, prohibit transactions with officers and directors, pay only reasonable compensation to executives and managers, prohibit a department employee or commissioner from being an officer or director (except in a non-voting capacity), hold regular board meetings, and provide organizational and related documents to new board members and directors.
Proposed section 51.165 describes the best practices related to fundraising. Proposed subsection (a) applies to all nonprofit partners. Proposed subsection (b) applies only to CRNPs. Proposed section 51.165 allows all nonprofit partners to conduct fundraising and undertake programs to benefit the department as agreed in writing by the department, but prohibits a NP from obligating the department unless agreed in writing in advance by the department. This proposed section also requires that all nonprofit partners to have financial procedures governing the handling of restricted and non-restricted funds raised for the benefit of the department and engage in reasonable and prudent financial management practices. In addition, this proposed section requires that funds raised and projects undertaken by a CRNP benefit the facility with which the CRNP is associated. These fundraising restrictions are not intended to limit the ability of a nonprofit partner to make an unrestricted donation to the department.
Section 51.166 describes the best practices related to sponsorships. Proposed subsection (a) applies to all nonprofit partners. Proposed subsection (b) applies only to CRNPs and the ONP. Under proposed 51.166, a nonprofit partner must have prior written approval from the department to sponsor a department program and the department will only provide the level of sponsorship recognition approved in advance by the department. Proposed section 51.166 requires that statewide sponsorships have the written approval of the director and that local sponsorships have the written approval of the appropriate regional director. In addition, the proposal places other limits on the sponsorship of department programs, including prohibiting a sponsorship by certain persons or entities where a conflict of interest may result, prohibiting sponsors signage on department vehicles, limiting sponsorship recognition to the programs for which sponsorship support has been provided, and prohibiting a department employee from acting as an agent for a nonprofit partner in the negotiation of a sponsorship package with the department. The proposal also limits the level of sponsorship recognition that the department will provide to a level that does not overshadow the department and is appropriate when considering the amount of sponsor support.
2. Fiscal Note.
Ann Bright, General Counsel, has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules beyond those currently existing.
3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.
Ms. Bright has also determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect:
(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be the provision of clear guidance to nonprofit entities that are engaging in activities for the benefit of the department. Nonprofit organizations provide important in-kind and financial support to the department.
(B) The proposed new rules will result in no adverse economic effects to small or micro businesses. Texas Government Code, Chapter 2006 defines small and micro-businesses as entities “formed for the purpose of making a profit.” Tex. Gov’t Code §2006.00(1)(A), (2)(A). Since the proposed rules apply to nonprofit organizations, the proposed rules will not apply to small or micro-businesses.
(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.
(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.
(E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed rules.
4. Request for Public Comment.
Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted by phone, written correspondence or e-mail to Ann Bright, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-8558; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Statutory Authority.
The new rules are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §§11.202, 11.203, 11.205.
The proposed new rules affect Parks and Wildlife Code, §§11.201-11.207.
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Closely related nonprofit partner (CRNP)—A nonprofit partner whose sole purpose is to benefit a specific department property or facility.
(2) Commission—The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
(3) Department—Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
(4) Donor—A person who makes contributions to the department.
(5) Director—Executive director of the department.
(6) Friends group—A closely related nonprofit partner.
(7) General nonprofit partner (GNP)—A nonprofit partner that is neither a closely-related nonprofit partner nor the official nonprofit partner.
(8) IRS 990—United States Internal Revenue Service Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Tax.
(9) In-kind donation—A non-cash donation, such as services, personal property or real property.
(10) Local sponsorship—A campaign to raise funds in support of a department program that is intended to benefit a single department facility.
(11) Nonprofit entity—An incorporated entity that is exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Title 26, United States Code).
(12) Nonprofit partner (NP)—A nonprofit entity that has been designated by the commission as a nonprofit partner of the department pursuant to Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.202. “Nonprofit partners” include general nonprofit partners, closely-related nonprofit partners and the official nonprofit partner.
(13) Official nonprofit partner (ONP)—An entity designated as the official nonprofit partner of the department by the commission in accordance with Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.205.
(14) Program—An activity, event or project undertaken by a nonprofit partner for the benefit of the department.
(15) Regional director—A department manager who reports directly to a department division director and is responsible for the management of the portion of a division covering a defined geographic segment of the state.
(16) Sponsor—A person, corporation, company, or other organization that provides funds in support of a specific project, program or event.
(17) Sponsorship—The payment of money, transfer of property, or performance of services by a person, corporation, company, or other organization with respect to which there is no arrangement or expectation of any substantial return benefit, other than recognition.
(18) Statewide sponsorship—A sponsorship or campaign to raise funds in support of a department program that is intended to benefit more than a single department facility or is intended to reach the majority of the population of the state.
51.162 Criteria and General Requirements:
(a) All NPs must meet the following requirements and criteria:
(1) In order to be considered a NP, the nonprofit entity must be designated by the commission voting in a public meeting. The commission will designate an ONP, as necessary.
(2) In order to maintain a current list of all nonprofit entities associated with the department, the commission will seek to designate as a GNP all non-profit partners, other than CRNPs and the ONP, that have an agreement of any kind with the department, have a representative serving on a department or commission advisory committee, or otherwise have a relationship with the department.
(3) The commission may remove a nonprofit entity from the NP list.
(4) All NPs must carry out the fiscal, business, legal, and tax responsibilities of a nonprofit entity.
(5) All NPs must have obtained from the Internal Revenue Service a valid determination letter that it is an organization described in Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Title 26, United States Code), as amended. Such a letter must be obtained no later than 180 days after being designated by the commission as a NP.
(6) All NPs must work with the department in support of the department’s mission and goals.
(7) Upon dissolution, a NP may be required to dispose of funds raised for the benefit of department in a way that will benefit the department, in accordance with applicable law.
(b) In addition to the requirements and criteria stated in (a) above, CRNPs and the ONP must comply with the following requirements and criteria:
(1) CRNPs and the ONP must be incorporated in accordance with the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act.
(2) Each CRNP and the ONP must enter into an agreement with the department, which details its responsibilities and duties within 60 days of its designation as a non-profit partner, and must maintain an agreement within the department for as long as the entity is designated as a CRNP or the ONP. Provided, however, obligations of a CRNP or the ONP upon dissolution may survive the termination of its agreement with the department.
(3) Each CRNP and the ONP must promptly notify the department of any change in its legal or tax exempt status.
51.163 Best Practices (General)
(a) All NPs must comply with the following general best practices:
(1) NPs shall not hold or obligate department funds.
(2) NPs shall comply with all applicable rules, regulations and laws, including but not limited to department guidelines for NPs.
(3) NPs shall not use or authorize the use of department intellectual property, including trademarks, logos, name or seal, without the express written agreement of the department.
(4) NPs shall comply with all applicable laws regarding discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability.
(5) NPs shall not employ a department employee in a paid position or otherwise provide compensation or a direct personal benefit to a department employee. Provided, however, unless otherwise prohibited by law, benefits authorized by Chapter 36, Texas Penal Code, are not prohibited by this subsection.
(6) NPs may use equipment, facilities, or services of employees of the department only in accordance with an agreement that provides for the payment of adequate compensation and/or identifies the benefit to the department for such use. Notwithstanding this subsection, a NP may use department facilities to the same extent and for the same fee as members of the public.
(b) In addition to (a), above, CRNPs and the ONP must comply with the following general best practices:
(1) CRNPs and the ONP shall conduct business in a way that will ensure public access and transparency.
(2) CRNPs and the ONP shall file with the department and make available to the public an annual report that includes a list of the primary activities undertaken by the CRNP or ONP during the previous year, a summary of significant achievements and challenges over the previous year, and other information requested by the department.
(3) CRNPs and the ONP must file an IRS 990 with the Internal Revenue Service and with the department each year, regardless of income, and must make its IRS 990 available to the general public, upon request.
(4) CRNPs and the ONP shall file with the department its articles of incorporation, by-laws, and most recent financial statements, and any updates to these documents and shall make these documents available to the public, upon request.
(5) CRNPs and the ONP shall not engage in activities that would require it or a person acting on its behalf to register as a lobbyist under Texas law, Chapter 305, Texas Government Code. However, this subsection does not prohibit a CRNP or the ONP from providing information to the legislature or to other elected or appointed officials.
(6) CRNPs and the ONP shall not donate funds to a political campaign or endorse a political candidate.
(7) CRNPs and the ONP shall notify the department of all meetings and allow a department representative to attend all meetings, including, but not limited to, meetings of its general membership, managing board, and committees. Meeting notices must be provided to the department sufficiently in advance of the meeting so that the department representative has ample opportunity to attend. Such notice may be by letter, email, or telephone.
(c) In addition to (a) and (b), the ONP must comply with the following general best practices:
(1) The ONP must have an annual audit by an independent accounting firm and shall make the results of that audit available to the department.
(2) The ONP must maintain an adequate directors and officers liability insurance policy.
51.164 Best Practices (Officers and Directors):
(a) All officers and directors of NPs must receive a copy of or a link to the department’s Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan.
(b) In addition to (a) above, CRNPs and the ONP must comply with the following best practices regarding officers and directors:
(1) CRNPs and the ONP must adopt and maintain a conflict of interest policy, which includes safeguards to prevent board members from benefiting financially from any business decision of the CRNP or the ONP.
(2) CRNPs and the ONP shall not engage in transactions with directors or officers. Provided, however, nothing in this subsection is intended to prohibit an officer or director of a CRNP or the ONP from making a donation for the benefit of the department.
(3) CRNPs and the ONP shall ensure that any compensation paid to executives or managers is reasonable.
(4) CRNPs and the ONP shall not elect or designate or otherwise select a department employee as an officer or director, other than as a non-voting uncompensated representative of the department.
(5) CRNPs and the ONP shall hold regular meetings of its Board of Directors.
(6) CRNPs and the ONP shall ensure that each board member and/or director is fully informed of activities and shall provide the following information to new board members:
(i) articles of incorporation and by-laws;
(ii) most recent financial statements;
(iii) department rules on NPs and sponsorship;
(iv) current agreements with the department.
51.165 Best Practices (Fundraising):
(a) All NPs must comply with the following requirements regarding fundraising:
(1) NPs may conduct fundraising to provide additional funds for department operations, to enhance department programs, to provide long-term endowments for department programs, to facilitate special projects, or otherwise support the department in carrying out its mission, but only as agreed in writing by the department in advance.
(2) NPs may undertake programs for the benefit of the department, so long as such programs are directly related to and supportive of the department’s mission and are agreed to in writing by the department in advance. A single agreement may cover multiple programs.
(3) NPs shall decline donations that require actions by the department for which the department has not given prior written consent.
(4) NPs shall adopt financial procedures that govern acceptance of and access to donor-restricted and unrestricted funds raised for the benefit of the department.
(5) Funds accepted by a NP on behalf of the department are to be managed as a reasonably prudent person would manage funds if acting on his or her own behalf and such funds are to be accounted for according to generally accepted accounting principles.
(b) In addition to (a) above, CRNPs must comply with the following:
(1) All projects undertaken for the department by a CRNP must be directly related to and supportive of the facility with which the CRNP is associated.
(2) All donations to the CRNP must benefit the facility or property with which the CRNP is associated.
(c) Nothing in this subchapter shall limit the ability of a NP to make an unrestricted cash donation to the department.
51.166 Best Practices (Sponsorship):
(a) NPs may solicit and accept sponsorships for department programs, so long as the NP complies with the following:
(1) All sponsorships of department programs and the level of sponsorship recognition provided by the department must have prior written approval of the department. A statewide sponsorship and the associated sponsorship recognition must have the prior written approval of the director. A local sponsorship and the associated sponsorship recognition must have the prior written approval of the regional director whose area of responsibility includes the facility to be supported by the local sponsorship.
(2) NPs shall not solicit or a accept a sponsorship in support of a department program from the following persons or entities:
(i) a person or entity that has been determined by the department to conflict with either the department's mission or legislative mandates;
(ii) a person or entity that holds a commercial license issued by the department to the extent the department is prohibited from accepting funds from such a person or entity under §11.026, Texas Parks and Wildlife Code;
(iii) a person or entity that is in litigation with the department at the time of consideration.
(3) Sponsor recognition shall be limited as follows:
(i) Sponsor recognition shall be solely in the context of the department program that the sponsor has supported with a financial or in-kind contribution.
(ii) Sponsor recognition shall be permitted only when the financial or in-kind contribution is greater than the costs associated with providing such recognition.
(iii) Sponsor recognition shall not include signage of any kind on state-owned motor vehicles or trailers.
(iv) Sponsor recognition shall not overshadow the project, the purposes of the project, or the mission of the department or result in the role of the department being less prominent than that of the sponsor.
(4) In determining the level of sponsorship recognition to provide, the department will consider the following:
(i) the level of contribution as a percentage of the total funding required to execute or produce the program, event, or material;
(ii) the level of contribution as a percentage of total sponsorship dollars received;
(iii) the scope of exposure (e.g. statewide, regional, local, or a single location); and
(iv) the duration of exposure (e.g. one day, one month or one year).
(5) Sponsorship recognition may include the broadcast or display of the sponsor’s logo or name and a reference to the sponsor’s location, so long as the broadcast or display does not promote the sponsor’s products, services, or facilities.
(6) No officer or employee of the department shall act as the agent for any NP or donor in the negotiation of the terms or conditions of any agreement relating to the provision of funds, services, or property to the department by such NP or donor.
(b) Nothing in this subchapter shall limit the ability of a NP to make an unrestricted cash donation in support of a department program when no sponsorship recognition is provided.
51.167 Department Procedures
(a) The department will maintain and periodically update a list of GNPs and a separate list of CRNPs. This list will be made available to the public.
(b) The department will not hold or obligate NP funds or property.
(c) The ONP may reimburse department employees for legitimate, documented expenses. Additionally, the ONP may award scholarships to department employees from private, donor-directed sources, so long as there is a benefit to the department.
(d) All donations to the department of $500 or more must be approved by commission, voting in public session.