State Agencies Undergo Sunset Review Process – Department of Information Resources
Over the past couple of months or so, I have been outlining Texas’ sunset review process. The agencies I have covered so far include the Texas Ethics Commission, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and many others. As a reminder, in order to identify and eliminate government waste, duplication and general inefficiencies in state agencies, the Texas Legislature established the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission in 1977. The sunset review process is designed to review each of these agencies every twelve years. This review is done by taking up a certain number of the state agencies each session when the Texas Legislature convenes.
In last week’s article we examined the Texas Ethics Commission which has the constitutional responsibilities to provide recommendations for the salary of members of the Texas Legislature, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives subject to voter approval in the subsequent general election. Constitutionally, the Texas Ethics Commission is also responsible for establishing the per diem amount for the members of the Texas Legislature and the Lieutenant Governor. All other powers and duties of the Texas Ethics Commission are established by the Texas Legislature.
In this week’s article we are going to look at the Department of Information Resources. This agency is again under the sunset review process. In 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed the legislation which would have reauthorized the department for approximately twelve more years. The Department of Information Resources was first established by the Texas Legislature in 1989 and tasked with setting the overall strategic direction for the Texas State agencies’ use and management of their Information Technologies. Since 1989, the Department of Information Resources has continued to expand on its functions and scope.
Today, the Department of Information Resources has increased its Information and Technology services to also include telecommunication products and services. In addition, to providing services to our state agencies, the Department of Information Resources also assists local governments and universities. The Department of Information Resources also helps with the procurement and administration of contracts on behalf of the State of Texas.
The Department of Information Resources is overseen by a board which consists of seven members appointed by the Texas Governor and three ex officio members. One of the seven Governor-appointments must be given to an employee of an institution of higher education. The ex officio members are chosen by a rotation of the Commissioners of: Texas Department of Insurance, Health and Human Services, and Texas Education Agency, as well as the Executive Directors of the Departments of Transportation, Criminal Justice and Parks and Wildlife.
If you are interested in learning more about the Department of Information Resources, you can go to their website at https://www.dir.texas.gov.
Some of the other agencies we will review in the upcoming weeks include the State Pension Review Board, Texas Facilities Commission and a number of other agencies currently going through the sunset process.
If you would like to learn more on your own about the Sunset Advisory Commission or other agencies undergoing the sunset review process, you can go to www.sunset.state.tx.us .