July 5, 2007 By News Staff
Requires the comptroller to establish a central, publicly searchable Internet database for all state expenditures; requires state agencies to give expenditures to the comptroller for use in the database. The increased access to information makes government more accountable to citizens for it's spending, according to the bill.
Allows the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to adjust permit applicant fees to encourage electronic reporting, in consultation with DIR. The use of electronic services improves the TCEQ's efficiency and effectiveness, according to the bill.
Requires doctors to submit death certificates electronically. Doctors who don't renew their licenses online, may not have to comply with the law until September 1, 2008. Providing for such filing may bring efficiency to the reporting process and increase the accuracy of death records, according to the legislature's analysis of the bill.
Requires DIR and TexasOnline to revise the online license application and renewal forms for certain health professions so state boards, agencies or associations that license health professionals can collect information about the applicant and the applicant's practice. Under current law, there's a lack of comprehensive information regarding Texas health professionals, according to the bill.
Mandates that 85-year-old licensed individuals be re-tested for their vision and driving abilities. Prohibits the electronic renewal of a license for a person 79 or older.
Allows the DIR to accept gifts, grants, services or properties for relevant agency duties. During hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the DIR was offered help from private companies, but was not allowed to accept it under to law. This statute changes that.
Requires the Health and Human Services Commission to develop a transition plan to make the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) and the System of Application, Verification, Referral and Reporting (SAVERR) fully functional, and requires the Texas State Auditor's Office, in consultation with DIR, to conduct an independent verification program to determine whether the transition plan can be met.
Prohibits state workers from accepting gifts that influence the employee's conduct. Requires agencies to adopt and distribute an ethics policy by January 1, 2008. Requires the Attorney General to develop a model ethics policy as an example for agencies by November 1, 2007.
Designates the commissioner of insurance as an ex officio member of the DIR board and allows an ex officio member to designate a senior manager within the member's agency to serve in the member's place, rather than specifically designating the information resources manager.
Discontinues the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund at the end of fiscal year 2008. The fund accumulates taxes imposed on all telephone bills in Texas, and has historically distributed the money through a grant program to purchase equipment and improve infrastructure for programs. However, the grant program was terminated in 2003, allowing the assessments to be spent for other uses.
Requires greater coordination between the Telecommunications Planning and Oversight Council (TPOC) and the DIR board of directors. Consolidates two TPOC reports into other existing DIR reports.
Requires the Health Care Policy Council, in consultation with DIR, to generate standards for the secure sharing of information among state agencies. With the DIR, the council will evaluate how information is shared among agencies, and agencies must include implementation of reported standards in their strategic plans.
Adds data related to emergency management to the Texas Natural Resources Information System - a centralized information system incorporating all Texas natural and socioeconomic data. Also requires a report from the Texas Geographic Information Council (TGIC) be provided to DIR, the governor and Legislature on the progress of each TGIC member toward GIS goals.
Consolidates state agencies' information resources planning, analysis and reporting requirements to provide a more complete understanding of the state's activities and direction.
Defines and requires the use of IT project management practices and mandates that state agencies use IT project management practices consistent with DIR guidelines.
Transfers enterprise resource planning authority, including the statewide uniform accounting project, from DIR to the comptroller.
Requires the Texas School Safety Center to establish an Internet safety course to educate students of the danger of providing personal information on a Web site because schools don't have a cohesive approach to educate students about the dangers of certain Web sites, according to the bill.
Clarifies public information law referring to "business day," and makes conforming changes to other sections currently using the term "working day."
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