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Scope and Contents of the Records

Scope and Contents 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.

General correspondence, 2009-2011, consists of communications addressed to or from Governor Rick Perry regarding ARRA documenting high-level ARRA activities and impressions. Records include correspondence and accomplanying documents such as reports, tracking tool data, time lines, news clippings, and memorandums of understanding. Subjects include the use of state stabilization funds; ARRA’s effect on education, environment, transportation, and public health programs; reporting activities; and plans and comments on how Texas would spend federal recovery monies.

Office of Financial Accountability plans and planning records, 2007-2014, reflect projects the OFA undertook to improve state agency and institutions of higher education compliance with federal and state open government initiatives as well as background information gathered to plan for these projects. Record types include correspondence, reports including audit reports, summaries, budgets, memorandums, time lines, agenda, meeting attachments, audits, presentations, questionnaire responses, and contact lists. Subjects include information about specific federal or state funding projects, the fund reporting process and tools, available grants, background information about specific programs, and regional planning committee activities. These records document how the Governor’s Office planned on complying with ARRA.

State Grants Team plans and planning records, 1999-2011, document efforts to help organizations and Texans identify appropriate sources of funding as well as provide technical support in obtaining these funds. Records include correspondence, reports, guides, work flows, enabling legislation, risk assessments, and other planning documents. Subjects revolve around the role of the Grants Team, the audit risk of entities receiving federal or state funds, and the operation of the Texas Review and Comment System. These records were transfered by the Governor’s Budget, Policy, and Planning Office to the OFA for reference.

Reports, 2008-2012 and undated, consist of reports of state agencies spending ARRA funds, audit reports from the federal government for Texas and other states, and reports generated by the OFA dealing with the reporting process. Record types include reports, correspondence, meeting agenda, and preparatory notes for meetings. This series primarily reveals the OFA staff’s thoughts on the reporting process and education spending.

Meeting minutes and agenda, 2008-2012, undated, document OFA’s activities through meeting agenda, meeting summaries, briefing materials, talking points and notes, memorandums, contact lists, reports and correspondence. Records correspond to various types of meetings and cover topics such as the reporting process, the evolving role of the working group, the distribution of education funds and the relationship between the OFA and federal government.

Litigation, 2009-2011, reflects the legal actions and discussion had by OFA in response to U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett’s amendment to the EDUJobs Bill. Record types include correspondence, reports, memorandums, court briefs, clippings, legislative records, background information, transcripts, and talking points. Subjects reflected include the OFA’s reactions to and actions taken to overturn the Doggett amendment, perspectives of state education agencies and associations on education funding, and reports on how Texas spent funds prior to 2010.

Correspondence for this division of the Governor’s Office may exist that is not represented in this finding aid. Beginning in 2009, most correspondence generated or received by the Governor’s Office is in electronic form only. In addition, all correspondence not already in electronic form has been scanned without attachments by the Governor’s Office. The original correspondence in paper form may no longer be present. A searchable electronic database of this correspondence is available. To access this database, please contact Archives staff.

Electronic records described in the finding aid that are part of the Texas Digital Archive are indicated as such in the inventory. Restrictions on access to the content of records are applicable to paper and electronic records.

Formats of the original electronic files include word processing or plain text files (.doc, .docx, .txt, .pdf), email (.msg), spreadsheets (.xls., xlsx), photographs and graphic images (.jpg, .tif, .gif, .png), databases (.mdb), slide presentations (.ppt), webpages (.htm, .html), and desktop publishing files (.pmd). Digital files presented for public use will generally be PDF for text documents or spreadsheets, .jpg for photographic or graphic images, and .mp3 for audio files. Files in their original format are available on request; restrictions may apply.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

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