Governor’s Office of Financial Accountability

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

An Inventory of Governor’s Office of Financial Accountability Records at the Texas State Archives, 1999-2014, undated

Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials

Overview

govPerrylogoCreator: Texas. Governor (2000-2015 : Perry)
Title: Governor’s Office of Financial Accountability records
Dates: 1999-2014, undated
Abstract: The Texas Office of Financial Accountability (OFA), a division of the Governor’s Office, promoted open and accountable government and assisted state agencies and institutions of higher education to do the same. Records of the OFA created and maintained during Governor Rick Perry’s term of office include correspondence, news clippings, reports, presentations, plans, legal documents, meeting agenda, and memorandums, that date 1999-2014 and undated. Subjects include impressions of the Governor’s Office of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), ways the office sought to shape how Texas would use federal funding, internal and external discussions regarding compliance and monitoring issues, creation of reports to and from agencies receiving funds, and information about ARRA sent to or from the Governor’s Office.
Quantity: 2.5 cubic ft. and 505.84 MB (1,903 files)
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives

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Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records described in this finding aid are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/40126/tsl-40126.html.


Organization of the Records

The records are organized into seven series:


Agency History

The Texas Office of Financial Accountability (OFA) promoted compliance with Texas Executive Order RP-36 (issued July 12, 2004 to encourage efficient and honest governance), improved responses to the State Auditor’s Office Statewide Single Audit, undertook projects to improve state compliance and responses to audit findings, assisted agencies to decrease the severity and frequency of issues discovered during the audit process, responded to federal and state audits and inquiries made to the Governor’s Office in regard to the state’s use of state and federal funds, and alerted state entities to changes in federal guidance that impact the management of federal funds.

The OFA began as a response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, often shortened to ARRA or the Recovery Act, (H.R. 1, 111th Congress, 2009-2010), and initially involved members within the governor’s executive office to coordinate state efforts. Soon after, the Texas ARRA working group, which was also called the Stimulus Working Group, was formed to ensure compliance with the appropriate reporting guidelines. The working group assisted state agencies affected by ARRA—most notably education, health, public safety, and transportation-related agencies. Also, the working group collaborated with and testified in front of the Texas House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding during the 81st Texas Legislature (2009-2010).

On August 10, 2010, President Barack Obama signed an emergency $10 billion education jobs fund into effect (Public Law 111-226, H.R. 1586, 111th Congress, 2009-2010). Part of this law declared that the states must use the funds for teacher retention and hiring during 2009-2010 school year and each state’s governor had to submit an application. States also had to provide an assurance within 30 days to the U.S. Secretary of Education that state’s education spending for the 2011 fiscal year would equal or exceed spending levels for the 2009 fiscal year. U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, representing the 25th District (covering portions of Bastrop and Travis counties and all of Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Gonzales, Hays and Lavaca counties), authored an amendment stating that Texas also had to provide assurances that the monies would be used in elementary and secondary education as well as assure supplemental funding through the 2013 fiscal year. No other state was required to provide these assurances. Texas Republicans, and the ARRA working group, responded that this could not be done due to the Texas Constitution’s statues on binding future legislatures on funding issues (Texas Constitution, Article 3, Section 6). The amendment was repealed during the 2011 U.S. Congressional budget stopgap negotiations, which prevented a federal government shut-down.

During fiscal year 2011, the State Grants Team within the Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning, and Policy was disbanded and its functions were transferred to the Texas ARRA working group. In late 2011, the ARRA working group began calling itself the Fiscal Accountability Unit and OFA interchangeably. These name changes reflect the shift from monitoring ARRA compliance to assisting, improving, and auditing state projects that use state or federal funds. The OFA was disbanded in January 2015, at the end of Governor Rick Perry’s term. As of 2016, the Office of Compliance and Monitoring, which is part of the Administration Division of the Governor’s Office, monitors grantees and awardees to make sure that they are meeting funding milestones.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); Office of the Governor Workforce Summary; accessed on June 3, 2015; various United States laws; correspondence with the Office of the Governor on January 25, 2016; and the records themselves.)


Scope and Content of the Records

The Texas Office of Financial Accountability (OFA) promoted open and accountable government by improving responses to the Texas State Auditor’s Office Statewide Single Audit, undertook projects to improve state compliance and responses to audit findings, assisted agencies and institutions of higher education to decrease the severity and frequency of issues discovered during the audit process, responded to federal and state audits and inquires made to the Governor’s Office in regard to Texas’ use of state and federal funds, and alerted state entities to changes in federal guidance that impacts their management of federal funds. Records include correspondence, news clippings, reports, presentations, plans, legal documents, meeting agenda, and memorandums. Records date 1999-2014, and undated. Paper records date 2009-2012, undated, bulk 2009-2010. Electronic records date 1999-2014. Subjects include impressions of the Governor’s Office of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), ways the office sought to shape how Texas would use federal funding, internal and external discussions regarding compliance and monitoring issues, creation of reports to and from agencies receiving funds, and information about ARRA sent to or from the Governor’s Office. Also present are discussions on how to interpret ARRA transparency reporting guidelines, as outlined in Section 1512 of Recovery Act; comments on Texas’ use of funds; impressions of federal officials, especially U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; and interactions between the ARRA working group with federal agencies and state entities—in particular the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Education Agency, and the Texas House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding.

Administrative correspondence, 2009-2014 and undated, documents communication between the OFA and how the office assisted agencies to response to ARRA as well as problems encountered while complying with federal requirements. Types of records include correspondence and accompanying documents such as reports, program summaries, executive summaries, memorandums, agenda, talking points, budgets, forms, presentations, white papers, project time lines, and news clippings. Subjects include proposed uses of ARRA monies, questions and answers about the use of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for education, the impact of federal economic stimulus provisions on Texas state government programs, rules and laws dealing with ARRA’s effect on Texas, accountability and reporting issues, vendor and transparency tool proposals, perspectives on U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett’s amendment to the EduJobs Bill (H.R. 1586, 111th Congress, 2009-2010) and its effect on the state, and the working group’s relationship with the Texas House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding and its chair Representative Jim Dunnam.

(Click here to read more of the Scope and Content Note)


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access
Paper materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Paper materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to, social security numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147); home addresses, phone numbers and personal family information of government employees and officials (Texas Government Code, Section 552.117); certain email addresses (Texas Government Code, 552.137); attorney-client working papers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.107); confidentiality of government information related to security or infrastructure issues for computers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.139); audit working papers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.116); and communication between a member of the legislature and the Texas Legislative Budget Board (Texas Government Code, Section 552.146), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).

The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (director.librarian@tsl.texas.gov), or see our web page (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/customer/pia.html). Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information. If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.

Records series described in this finding aid have access restrictions specific to them, which are included in the series-level description.

Types of restricted information as listed above apply to paper and electronic records. Some electronic records will not be available through our portal due to such restrictions. Please see Archives staff for further information.

Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Governor’s Budget, Policy, and Planning Office records, 1995-2015, undated, bulk 2010-2014 [Especially the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) files, 2006-2014, 0.33 cubic ft. and 7.35 MB (26 files)]
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, 2009 1 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid for these unprocessed records. Call number is 2011/164.]

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the series), Governor’s Office of Financial Accountability records, Texas Governor Rick Perry records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession numbers: 2015/067, 2015/117

Paper records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Governor on December 19, 2014 through March 2015. Electronic records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Governor on January 29, 2015.

Appraisal Information
An electronic folder labeled “Mike’s Projects” were transferred with Office of Financial Accountability records. It was determined that this folder, and its contents, had been misplaced and are described in the Governor Rick Perry Executive Office records, 1979-2015, undated, bulk 2000-2014 finding aid.Appraisal Information

Processing Information
Processed by Anna M. Reznik, March 2016