Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

February 4, 2002

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
                    COMMISSION HEARING ROOM
                  AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, TEXAS
                       FEBRUARY 4, 2002

	BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 4th day of 
February 2002, there came to be heard matters under the 
regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of 
Texas, in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and 
Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin, Texas, beginning at 3:03 
p.m. to wit:


CHAIRMAN:	Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, Texas

VICE CHAIR:	Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas
			John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas (absent)
			Joseph Fitzsimons, San Antonio, Texas (absent)
			Al Henry, Houston, Texas (absent)
			Philip Montgomery, III, Dallas, Texas
			Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas
			Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas

Robert L. Cook, Executive Director, and other personnel of the 
Parks and Wildlife Department

                             3:03 p.m.
                            *  *  *  *

CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Good afternoon.  We've got – is everyone 
here?  Greetings.  The meeting is called to order.  Before 
proceeding with any business, I believe that Mr. Cook has a 
statement to make.

MR. COOK:  Madame Chairman, Commissioners.  A public notice 
of this meeting containing all items on the proposed agenda has 
been filed in the Office of the Secretary of State as required 
by Chapter 551, Government Code, referred to as "The Open 
Meetings Law."  I would like for this action to be noted in the 
official record of this meeting.

CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Thank you Mr. Cook.  The first order of 
business is the approval of the agenda which we have before us.  
Is there a motion for approval?



CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Motion by Mr. Montgomery, second by Mr. 
Ramos.  All in favor, please say aye.  


CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Any opposed?  Hearing none – motion 


CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  This brings us to agenda item number 1.  
Commissioner Angelo, will you please make the presentation?

COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Thank you, Madame Chairman.  You 
appointed a search committee last fall and the search committee 
enlisted the services of Dorothy Drummer to help us in the 
search for our new executive director.  The opening was posted 
according to state procedures.  We received approximately 90 
applications, the search committee reviewed those applications 
and selected the first 10 or so to formally review following 
which 4 were selected for a personal interview.  After the 
interviews the committee members unanimously recommend to the 
Commission for your consideration the name of Robert L. Cook to 
be our new next executive director.  And by this Madame Chairman 
I would move approval of that recommendation.

CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Thank you, Mr. Angelo.  I would like to 
amend the motion of appointment of Bob Cook as executive 
director to be retroactive to February 1, 2002. 


CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  We have a motion.  Do we have a second?


CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Second by Commissioner Montgomery.  All in 


CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  All Opposed?  Hearing none – motion 

CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Thank you.  Mr. Cook.


MR. COOK:  I was much relieved when I heard that there will 
be no testimony on this particular action item.  And I want to 
say just a few words.  First of all, thank you, thank you very 
much.  The committee was very nice to work with and as always 
Dorothy Drummer was pleasant to work with and I appreciate that.  
I appreciate your confidence – I'm truly honored to accept this 
position.  I want to say thanks to the staff at Texas Parks and 
Wildlife Department.  We have worked together for many years and 
through this interim that we have had the last several months – 
every one of them has done their job, they know what their job 
is, they've done and done it well and I appreciate that very 
much.  They have been very supportive and with that I say let's 
go to work.  Thank you.

CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Thank you, Executive Director Bob Cook.

MR. COOK:  Thank you.


CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  The next item on the agenda is the 
briefing on the management review by Mr. Elton Bomer.

MR. BOMER:  Thank you very much Madame Chairman and members 
of the Commission.  It's a pleasure to be here and with you 
today, I have with me the two members of my project team,  T. C. 
Mallett and Sidney Hacker.  I want to introduce – I think most 
of you have met them, but Mr. Watson, I don't think you have met 
them and I'm pleased to have them here with me today.  
Bob congratulations to you and congratulations to the 
Commissioners for making – I think – a very, very good choice 
and I took want to thank the staff for the cooperation that 
we've received so far -- it has been very good.  They're very 
dedicated, they're very cordial in our working relationship and 
that makes it much easier and I appreciate it.
	We completed our background work on fees and I think you 
and the staff did an excellent job with the decision you made on 
that. -- in our initial look at fees, I think it showed the 
executive staff and us including the CFO, that you're currently 
not receiving adequate management reports with respect to 
revenue, expenditures, and budgets.  And I think a correction 
would probably be in order with that and I think we can get that 
	With respect to the state auditor's report we expect to 
have our response completed by the end of February.  And our 
goal is to identify and to recommend the best solutions to 
problems raised in the auditor's report.  In addition, Madame 
Chairman, we propose that we look at the last three audit 
reports that have been provided 1995, 1998, and 1999 from the 
state auditor concerning management controls of the department – 
state park system audit, and the catalog operations audit.  
	We've interviewed the staff and others on the auditor's 
report including Bob Parker of WorldCom and the Comptroller's 
Office – several people down there in the treasury division and 
the financial management division as well.  With respect to the 
staff certainly all the division directors, Jayna Burgdorf, 
Terry Lewis and the point-of-sale project and the internal 
auditor Dennis O'Neal as well as Suzy Whittenton the CFO, and 
the Chief of Staff Gene McCarty, and the Revenue and Purchasing 
Section staff as well as other people in the agency.  And then 
we met with Larry Alwin the State Auditor and three top staffers 
with his department on the Parks and Wildlife audit.  You know -
- we don't always have to agree with the State Auditor, but we 
do have to deal with the state auditor.  They can be very 
helpful and I'm saying to you that this not an indictment.  I 
don't think that you should look at it as an indictment at all.  
That's not the way I look at it.  I think it's like an 
accountant or CPA or an outside auditor telling you that you 
have a problem.  Need to correct it.  We've clarified the 
auditor's concerns and we've explored acceptable solutions with 
the auditor.
	So first of all, we are going to recommend that the CFO 
report progress on the audit correction plan, if our plan is 
approved, on a periodic basis to the executive director, and to 
the legislative staffs as well as leadership staffs so that they 
know that we are taking the audit seriously and we're making 
corrections and improving the agency.
	And I must tell you that reconciliation of revenue and 
expenditures with the Comptroller's Office is a major problem 
for Parks and Wildlife.  In visits with the legislative staffs 
early on, the questions asked more than one time – why is Parks 
and Wildlife asking for fee increases before you made the other 
decision, if you can't reconcile existing revenues?  The 
Department missed the 12/31/01 deadline on dealing with the 
backlog of unreconciled transactions because it is a big, big 
problem.  There are $380,000 in revenue right now that is not 
reconciled.  And I have to remind you that that is a net figure.  
There are 50 pages of transactions that get you to $380,000. 
Some of those numbers are positive numbers, and some of them are 
negative numbers. That's the middle number.  That's the net 
number.  So it's not an issue in my opinion of missing money – 
it's an issue of credibility.  Also there were unreconciled 
expenditures that we found which was not cited in the auditor's 
report.  It wasn't something they dwelled on, but there are 
several hundred pages involved here in length with many many 
transactions.  And in a few words our bank balance is simply out 
of balance.  Our bank statement is certainly out of balance and 
we have to keep it in balance.  And if I was in your position, I 
think I'd be asking for help.  Because all you have to do is ask 
and I think I can get you some help.  I think I can get you help 
free of charge.  There are sources that you can use.
	Let's go the auditor's report findings.  The Auditor says – 
sweep the licensed deputies every three days and this would gain 
us interest on money as they point out.  Probably not as much 
now as it did a few months ago because the interest rates being 
so low but it will come back up again.  The contracts with 
vendors specify five days, however.  So we can't change the 
contracts, but we can change the contracts on renewal.  We can 
change it to three days then  if we want to or we can change it 
to less than three days.  A decision will be made by staff and 
I've talked to the executive director about this – and he will 
have to make a decision.  How much is this going to cost us in 
addition to money with the contractor and how much are we going 
to gain in interest by sweeping the accounts more often and 
hopefully not losing any deputies in the process?  I don't agree 
that license sale sweeps violates the 3-day deposit rule as the 
allegation was in the report.  However I thought we should ask 
for a waiver.  I think staff agrees with me.  They've done that.  
I think you'll get the waiver, because I think the Comptroller 
is going to agree with our assessment on the 3-day rule and I 
think the auditor will work with us on that as well.  
	Now, with respect to the allocation of the Supercombo 
money, the various stamp sales.  The staff raised allocation to 
the stamp funds by 8 percent in the year 2000 hadn't been any 
since, I think, they tried to do the right thing, but I have a 
suggestion to make you – I made this suggestion to the auditor 
to see what they thought.  My suggestion was that annually the 
staff should come to the Commissioners, make a presentation on 
proposed allocations – cause that's based on the survey.  They 
know about surveys – how many people out there are turkey 
hunting, and how many are interested in white-wing hunting 
within a reasonable parameters, how many archers that are out 
there and that sort of thing.  And then the Commission could 
pass a resolution which will empower the staff greatly.  And 
with your resolution it brings a lot of credibility.  The 
auditor likes this idea.  You've been appointed by the Governor, 
you've been confirmed by the Senate, and so your resolution is 
important to this process.  Doing without your resolution is 
always going to bring questions, but if you do it in open court, 
like open hearing here, then I think it has a lot of weight to 
it.  We will review our final recommendations on the audit 
issues with the executive staff and with the state auditor.  And 
with the appropriate legislative leaders and leadership staffs.  
We are suggesting that Parks and Wildlife staff go with us on 
those visits.  Those are important visits.  And then when the 

Legislature meets again there shouldn't be any contradictions 
with the state auditor.  We should be at one voice and that's 
when they start regaining that credibility that I've always 
talked about.  
	We'll likely propose organizational structure changes and 
examine legal staff organization -- we'll also examine the legal 
staff organization.  Right now it is very decentralized.  We'll 
probably recommend a general counsel.  I think a business of 
this size needs one.  We won't do this in a vacuum, we'll be 
working with the executive staff when we come up with these 
recommendations.  We'll also examine some business practices for 
improvement.  If you would ask me which one – I wouldn't be able 
to answer all, but I would tell you – I know we looking at 
procurement cards right now.  I think that's kind of out of 
control.  While there are a lot of purchasing agents out there – 
about everybody is a purchasing agent in the department.  Travel 
advances, petty cash – just to name three areas that we'll take 
a look at.
	Now, we're also going to examine long-term obligations of 
the Department.  A lot of money involved -- you have many many 
worthy projects:  the World Birding Center, the River Center, 
and many many others.  I heard a great presentation the other 
day by Scott Boruff of your organization.  He had it on a single 
piece of paper.  The single piece of paper was a 4 by 8 foot 
piece of cardboard for the wall, but it shows every project up 
there and how much it's going to cost, and it shows where all 
the revenues are going to come from and pay for it by source and 
by quarter.  And then it shows where all the expenditures are 
going to go out by quarter, and what it's going to be for.  And 
it gives you some idea of the time of these projects and it also 
gives you the expected start dates.  Now I know that you're 
paying attention to these huge and worthy projects because 
they're very politically charged and believe me they're heavy 
lifting.  But these projects aren't going to happen unless 
you're involved.  I can't tell you how to do them, but I can 
suggest to you that one of the things that I would do, I think, 
would be to ask individual commissioners to be assigned to some 
of these projects so that they can get their attention.  You're 
used to getting things done in your business and your daily work 
and if you're on point on a particular project – it has a way of 
moving along better in my opinion.  So I'd get people assigned 
to it.  I want somebody worrying about those at night as I tell 
people in our project team – somebody needs to be worried about 
this.  And I'd like to see that happen if you agree with me.
	We expect to deliver our final report by the end of March.  
We're certainly here to help and not to hurt.  My contract and 
pay will end at that time, but my interest won't.  I'll be with 
you in January of 2003 when we go back down to the Legislative 
Session and I'll follow your implementation schedule with great 
interest.  I want to thank you for the opportunity to work for 
you and for the opportunity to give you this update today and 
I'll offer our project team up for any questions that you might 

	CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  This is a briefing only, but if there is 
any discussion by the Commission.  Ernie is the Chairman of the 
Finance Committee – so I'm going to turn it over to you Ernie.

	COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  In that capacity as well as a member 
of the Commission, Elton, I mentioned earlier – in the early 
part of your presentation that the resources that you could put 
your hands on to come in and help us with the reconciliation 
which is certainly something we've been grappling with without a 
great deal of success as you've pointed out.  I think that 
without question the Commission would welcome that type of 

	MR. BOMER:  I'll be happy to work with the Executive 
Director in trying to procure some of those.  There are several 
sources that I think that I can use in discussions with friends 
of mine in the Comptroller's Office – there's a large state 
agency, the executive director – several thousand people working 
there, there's a lot of financial expertise that they will be 
glad to lend to us.  In addition to that, I was talking to Jack 
Martin who runs Public Strategies, a very successful company 
nationwide - worldwide, if you will, has a lot of financial 
expertise down at his organization.  He's done work for the 
Department before, he's done pro-bono work for the Department 
also. And for the University of Texas and other state agencies 
and he understands the importance of this and offered me some 
free help there if you chose to ask for it.  So we might ask all 
of them, but we'll get the appropriate help and if you are in 
agreement with me and Bob's in agreement with me – it won't 
overwhelm staff because I don't want to – you know -- try to 
overwhelm them, but if the state can use these folks I think 
that it would be appropriate and healthy.

	COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Madame Chairman would there be any 
objections to doing that since it sounds like a good idea.  I 
think to know the percent.

	MR. BOMER:  Okay, very good.  We'll go to work on that 

	COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I guess one question that I would 
have with respect to that just kind of to put things in 
perspective.  As a percentage of the funds that are involved – 
like a reconciliation is relatively small.  Is that correct? 

	MR. BOMER:  Right, yes.

	COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Is this a – reconciliation problem -- 
with similar agencies I know – none of the agencies are exactly 
like ours – we are probably more complicated that most, but is 
this a problem that others have had too or is this something 
that we stand out in the level of problems?

	MR. BOMER:  You kind of stand out.

	COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Okay.  I wanted to hear that one word 
of evidence.

	MR. BOMER:  You stand out because you are a fee-based 
agency.  You have lots of funds.  You have to deal with fund 
accounting so you stand out because of that.  Most agencies 
don't have the unique problems that you have.  If there were a 
lot of agencies out there that had your kind of problems then 
you wouldn't stand out so much.  You stand out because even 
though the numbers are small if I tell you as the chairman of 
the legislative committee today the number is $380,000 then I'll 
tell you tomorrow it's $300,000 that sounds like millions to 
them because they are interested in being able to reconcile –
just like you balance your bank statement – they're interested 
in getting it down to the penny.  And so the numbers are small, 
but the pages are long, we made hundreds and hundreds and 
hundreds and thousands of transactions and I've seen my bank 
statement out of balance before by $10.00.  That may involve 5 
or 6 transactions – some of them pluses, some of the minuses, 
but that's what happened here.  But it's not a problem that's 
not solvable.  I mean this problem is solvable and in a 
reasonable period of time.  December 31st 2001 was not 
reasonable.  Because you missed that deadline I don't think – 
I'm not indicting anybody.  I think that I probably would have 
missed that deadline too.  But I think you can be in a 
reasonable period of time – it can be fixed.

	COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Do you -- as part of your report, do 
you intend to present internal controls that will prevent this 
from reoccurring in the future – is that part of your analysis 
on what you intend to present to us?

	MR. BOMER:  We hope that we can get to that level of 
detail, yes sir.  That we can make suggestions and put in place 
some of our recommendations may be generic – it may be – you 
have many inputs, for example, in your internal financial system 
– that internal financial system has to match up with the 
comptroller's system and because we have four different inputs, 
for example, in the financial system, one error makes you out of 
balance with that statewide financial system.  Many agencies 
have automatic entries into the USAS system – the statewide 
system and yours is not.  Our recommendation might include 
approaching better -- you know, trying to get that done.


	CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Mr. Bomer I don't think the Commission has 
any further questions.  I want to thank you and Mr. Mallett and 
Ms. Hacker for the excellent job you're doing and I think the 
staff appreciates and understands your concern for the agency 
and the Commission appreciates that as well.  Thank you very 

	MR. BOMER:  Okay, we're available anytime for you.

	CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Thank you.

	MR. BOMER:  Thank you.

	CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Mr. Cook is there any other business to 
come before this Commission.

	MR. COOK:  No Madame Chairman there's not.

	CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  No further business, I declare ourselves 

I, LORENZA A. ESTRADA, a Notary Public in and for the State of 
Texas, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing 14 pages 
constitute a full, true and correct transcript of the minutes of 
the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 
Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas.
	I FURTHER CERTIFY that a tape record was made by me at the 
time of the public meeting and said tape was thereafter reduced 
to computerized transcription under my control.
	WITNESS MY HAND this the 7th day of February 2002.
					LORENZA A. ESTRADA, Notary Public
					Expiration Date:  05-23-02
					4200 Smith School Road
					Austin, TX  78744
					(512) 389-4814

SWORN AND SUBCRIBED TO ME on this _____ day of ___________, 2002 
by Lorenza A. Estrada, a Notary Public for said Department.
					Dee A. Skelton
					Commission Expires:  01-31-2004

	ADOPTED AND APPROVED this the 4th day of April 2002.
	Katharine Armstrong Idsal, Chairman
	Ernest Angelo, Jr., Vice Chairman
	John Avila, Jr., Member
	Joseph B. C. Fitzsimons, Member
	Alvin L. Henry, Member
	Philip Montgomery, Member
	Donato D. Ramos, Member
	Mark E. Watson, Jr., Member