Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., Jan. 22, 2003

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Financial Review and Update
Staff: Suzy Whittenton
Committee Only
3. Wildlife Grant Budget Adjustment
Staff: John Herron
4. Grants
- Local Park Funding
- Indoor Recreation Grants
- Target Range Grants
Staff: Tim Hogsett
5. Kerrville-Schreiner State Park Transfer
Staff: Walt Dabney
6. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission

Finance Committee

November 6, 2002

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 6th day of November 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, Travis County, Texas beginning at 11:20 a.m., to-wit:


Ernest Angelo, Jr., Chair
Phillip Montgomery, III
Katharine Armstrong
John Avila, Jr.
Joseph B. C. Fitzsimons
Alvin L. Henry
Donato D. Ramos
Kelly M. Rising, M.D.
Mark E. Watson, Jr.

II. OPENING STATEMENT: Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. called the meeting to order.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Commissioner Angelo asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the August 28, 2002 meeting. The motion was moved by Commission Fitzsimons and seconded by Commissioner Henry. The motion passed unanimously.

1. Chairman’s Charges
Presenter: Mr. Robert L. Cook

Mr. Cook updated the Commission on the status of the Chairman’s Charges for the Finance Committee. The implementation of the Business Improvement Plan’s recommendations are on-going and are being well received. We have reconciled the revenues and expenditures for FY02 except for our license revenue, which is expected to be completed in December.

2. Financial Review and Update
Presenter: Ms. Suzy Whittenton

Ms. Whittenton gave a financial review for FY03 and an update on the license system, Legislative Appropriations Request process and the Business Improvement Plan.

For September 2002, state park revenue is down nearly 6% or $76,000 as compared to prior year. The decline is contributed mainly to flooding at Garner State Park which caused a decrease in revenue of $42,000. Additional causes were 12 rooms were being renovated at Indian Lodge and the concessionaire at Palo Duro State Park was closed.

In account 9, boat revenue was up as of October 31, 2002 as compared to prior year by approximately 5%. As far as license sales, we have sold over 1.6 million licenses (including stamps and permits) to-date. This is nearly the same amount that we sold last year at this time and about 50% of what we expect to sell all year. Hunting license sales are up as of October 31. Total hunting licenses sold, including combos, were up 2.2% when compared to the same period last year. We have also sold approximately 770,000 hunting licenses to-date. White-winged dove stamp sales were up 16% and general non-resident licenses were up 11%. Fishing license sales are down less than 1%. We have currently sold over 852,000 fishing licenses. As of October 31 revenue is up 1.3% or approximately $500,000. We have earned about 57% of all revenue expected for the year. Super-combo and senior super-combo sales combined are up 3.3% over last year. The super-combo is up 2.5% while the senior super-combo is up 20%. The deadline for Big Time Texas Hunts applications to be postmarked was November 2, 2002. We have currently entered approximately 67,000 entries into the system; however we are receiving numerous last-minute entries due to the mail house distributing the entries about a week later than usual this year. The drawing will take place on November 11. The three most popular hunts continue to be the Grand-slam, White-tail Bonanza and the Premium Buck Hunt. This year we also added the Gator Hunt.

The WorldCom system continues to be very stable and is working well. We have sold 1.2 million licenses in the first 6 weeks with a couple of those days having over 90,000 license sales each day. We have asked WorldCom to develop a number of items in Phase 3 which has been delayed. Phase 3 includes items such as the internet broker and the catalogue maintenance. We believe the delay is due to us being in contract amendment negotiations and we are discussing damages. WorldCom has a performance bond and expects to have it in place by the end of November. Currently the software is not in escrow, but that is part of the negotiations.

In the FY2002 operating budget, we spent all but 3% or approximately $5 - $5.5 million of what we had budgeted. Most of that was from the operating budget dedicated funds. However, we don’t loose that money; it is just transferred to the next year. In FY2003 we have about 82% of our budget remaining unspent and about 83% of the fiscal year to go, so we are on target for the FY03 budget year.

Our Legislative Appropriations Request was submitted on September 11 and we had our budget hearing with the staff of the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning on September 30. Staff from LBB and the Governor’s Office are preparing their recommendations for their board. They will release their recommendations to the public in January and then we will begin working from there with members of the legislature.

We are working diligently on the Business Improvement Plan. Out of the 96 items that were identified, 36 of those items are finished, which is 38%. There are an additional nine that are over 90% complete. Roughly 96% of the items are underway. There are a few that haven’t started yet because they’re dependent upon other items being completed first and they are lower priority items.

We are in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of our financial processes. We are writing a lot of policies and procedures; we’re redesigning the boat registration and titling system and processes; and getting our bank accounts reconciled. We also have four revenue systems that we are writing interfaces into the financial system for. The point-of-sale system interface is complete; the law enforcement system interface is being written at this time and we are also working on the boat and park systems. We have documented the methodology for revenue estimating and we are currently working with the Comptroller’s Office on the estimates that we turned in with our appropriations requests. In regard to our organizational issues, we have filled most of our key positions. We have recently filled the license manager position, several of the auditor positions, the budget and planning manager and the reconciliation analysts positions.

3. Artwork Approval
Presenter: Ms. Frances Stiles

Ms. Stiles presented the current year’s artwork for the waterfowl, non-game, turkey and saltwater stamps prepared by Collector’s Covey. This artwork is assembled with four other prints prepared by the Parks and Wildlife staff and combined into a collector’s version consisting of eight stamps. Mr. Bubba Wood of Collector’s Covey provided background information regarding the artists and wildlife for this year’s stamps. The item was put on the Thursday commission agenda for public comment and action.

4. Commission Policy Resolution
Presenter: Mr. Gene McCarty and Ms. Suzy Whittenton

Mr. McCarty presented a resolution to amend Commission Policy 5, which is the travel policy. The current travel policy provides for reimbursement of expenses incurred while attending meetings, which is consistent with the statute. However, the current policy also requires Commission approval for any additional travel pertaining to Department programs, which is more restrictive than the statute. Staff proposes removing this restriction in an effort to make Commission policy more consistent with the current statue on travel reimbursement for commissioners.

Ms. Whittenton presented a resolution to amend Commission Policy 9, the budget policy. We have added wording to exempt federal grants and interest on bond proceeds from any additional Commission approval. When we receive new federal grants the Commission wouldn’t have to give us additional approval to put those funds in the budget. If the bond funds earn additional interest then we could spend the funds on the same types of projects.

The item was put on the Thursday commission agenda for public comment and action.

V. ADJOURNMENT: Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. adjourned the Finance Committee.

Committee Agenda Item No. 1

Finance Committee
Chairman's Charges
January 2003

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Finance Committee
Financial Review and Update
January 2003

I. Discussion: Staff will present a financial review for the year to date FY2003, including an update on Account 9, Game, Fish and Water Safety and Account 64, State Parks. This presentation will focus on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, boat registration and titling fees, and state park fees. Updated budget and expenditure information will also be presented.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: John Herron

Finance Committee
Wildlife Grant Budget Adjustment
January 2003

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 6.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Finance Committee
January 2003

Local Park Funding
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 2 .)

Indoor Recreation Grants
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 3.)

Target Range Grants
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 4.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Walt Dabney

Finance Committee
Kerrville-Schreiner State Park Transfer
January 2003

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 5 .)

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