Commissioner Bush announces new Contracts and Grants Review Committee, latest component of increased accountability initiative

Contact: Brittany Eck
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PRESS RELEASE — Sep 22, 2015

AUSTIN — Today Texas General Land Office (GLO) Commissioner George P. Bush announced the creation and implementation of the new Contracts and Grants Review Committee. The committee, which has been in the works for several months and assembles for the first time today, is part of Commissioner Bush's long-term effort to establish the highest standards of government transparency, efficiency and accountability.

"We will only earn the public trust if there are accountability protocols observed by every member of our agency's team," Commissioner Bush said. "The contracting and grant approval process must include layers of checks and balances to ensure fairness, value and transparency. This committee will ensure that all GLO grants and contracts have been scrutinized based upon these guiding principles that Texans expect from their executive agencies."

This Contracts and Grants Review Committee will examine proposed contracts and grants to determine whether they are in the best interest of the GLO. In addition to determining whether or not the agency will enter into contracts, the committee will also be responsible for designating those contracts that are in need of enhanced monitoring, a new compliance requirement for all state agencies established by the passage of Senate Bill 20, authored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson during the 84th Legislative Session.

"From day one Commissioner Bush established transparency and accountability as major priorities for how he will run the Texas General Land Office," General Counsel Mark Havens said. "While examining current procedures, Commissioner Bush sought to increase the accountability from the approval process. Committee members will draw upon their knowledge and experience to help the GLO make informed decisions on grant funds coming to the agency and using agency funds for contracted goods and services."

Members of the Contracts and Grants Review Committee will be the Chief Clerk, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, General Counsel, Compliance and Ethics Director, Asset Enhancement Director, Coastal Protection Director and Veterans Land Board Director.

Today in the initial meeting the committee will establish guidelines of purpose and process. The committee will review risk scores, dollar amounts, agency needs, safety risks, or environmental and financial impacts when making determinations. The committee will also define what an acceptable emergency situation is for the GLO and what process will be in place to review emergency contracts.


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