Thursday, August 14, 2014

8:00 AM

Capitol Extension, Room E1.012




Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.10 and 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Government Organization was held on Thursday, August 14, 2014, in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.012, at Austin, Texas.







Senator Judith Zaffirini, Chair


Senator Brian Birdwell

Senator Charles Schwertner, Vice Chair



Senator Sylvia Garcia



Senator Ken Paxton



Senator José Rodríguez



Senator Larry Taylor






The chair called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.


The Chair recognized the clerk to call roll.


There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:


The Chair invited committee members to make opening remarks.


The Chair made opening remarks and explained that the purpose of the hearing was to address interim charge two:


Interim Charge Two: Review and recommend improvements to state agency training, policies, and procedures for monitoring and reporting performance of state contracts, including a review of exemptions to state contracting oversight.


The following invited witnesses testified regarding contracting:

Panel 1: State agency contracting training, policies, and procedures for monitoring and reporting performance

a.   Amanda Arriaga, Assistant Director of Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety

b.   Cecilia Whitley, Associate Commissioner, Procurement and Contracting, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

c.   Norma Barrera, Director of Contracts, Texas Education Agency

Senator Schwertner moved that the minutes of the June 18, 2014, hearing be approved. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent.

Panel 2: State agency contracting oversight exemptions

a.   Billy Hamilton, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, The Texas A&M University System

b.   Mike Fernandez, Director of Administration, Texas Lottery Commission

c.   James Bass, Chief Financial Officer, Texas Department of Transportation

Panel 3: State agency contracting oversight trends, challenges, and improvements

a.       P.J. Vilanilam, Lead, Statewide Project Delivery Program, Texas Department of Information Resources

b.      Ron Pigott, Director, Texas Procurement and Support Services Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

c.   John Keel, State Auditor, State Auditor’s Office

d.   Julie Ivie, Assistant Director, Legislative Budget Board

At 10:12 a.m. the Chair closed invited testimony and opened the floor for public testimony.

Names of witnesses who provided public testimony are shown on the attached list. The Chair closed public testimony at 10:27 a.m.

There being no further business, at 10:27 a.m., Senator Rodríguez moved that the committee stand in recess, subject to the call of the Chair. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent.




Senator Judith Zaffirini, Chair




Jorge Ramirez, Clerk