Procedures Manual for Joint Committees

About the Manual

The Procedures Manual for Joint Committees outlines the procedures governing the financial, administrative, and logistical operations of joint committees.
For questions about the manual, please contact Kimberly Shields, Tammy Edgerly, or Carey Eskridge at 512-463-1143.

Interactive Forms

Sections

The manual is composed of four sections that provide specific details about completing and submitting the required forms.

Committee Staffing and Contracts

Committee Staffing

Using Existing Staff Resources. Under the terms of S.C.R. 11, joint committees must use, to the greatest extent possible, existing staff and administrative resources of committee members, standing committees, officers of the senate and house, and legislative service agencies. Use of such staff has no impact on the committee budget as long as the staff remain on the same legislative office payroll. Employers of such staff may wish to formalize an agreement on the nature, terms, and conditions of such support.

The following legislative agencies and offices may be valuable resources for the committee:

Budgeted Staff

A committee budget may include salaried or contract staff. Salaried staff included in the committee budget are placed on the Texas Legislative Council payroll and paid from council funds reserved for the committee.

Consideration for Staff on Council Payroll. If a joint committee wishes to propose staff placement on or transfer to the council payroll for the duration of a study, such prospective council employees should be aware of applicable council employment policies.

Restrictions on Political Activities. The council, as a nonpartisan service agency, prohibits employees from:

Restrictions on Vacation, Sick, and Compensatory Leave. Other restrictions relate to employee benefits:

Time Sheet Requirement. A committee employee paid by the council must fill out a council Monthly Time Report each month, have it signed by the committee’s designee for expenditure approval, and forward it to the council’s human resources department.

Advance Approval for Travel on Committee Business. A committee employee paid by the council must always obtain advance approval for travel. Read about Travel in the Administrative Support section for more information. Questions relating to council employment should be addressed to the council’s human resources department.

Procedure for Placing Staff on Council Payroll. Hiring or placement of committee staff on the council's payroll requires completion of a council Personnel Action Form, or PAF. The completed PAF, signed by the committee’s designee for expenditure approval, must be submitted to the human resources department for processing. All joint committee PAFs are subject to approval by the Texas Legislative Council executive director.

When an employee joins the council, the human resources department will provide a new employee orientation explaining the documents needed for adding the employee to the council’s payroll.

Procedure for Removing Staff from Council Payroll. When the committee budget expires, the council executive director will execute PAFs removing from the council payroll any committee staff for whom PAFs have not previously been initiated by the co-chairs’ designee. If the co-chairs wish to continue to employ such staff, they have until the next state payroll deadline (around the 20th of the month) to obtain approval for a new budget or to execute paperwork transferring the staff to a senate or house payroll.

Contract Staff, Consultants, and Expert Witnesses

Paperwork relating to contract staff, consultants, and expert witnesses will be prepared by the council’s legal division and accounting office in conjunction with the committee and will be forwarded to the committee designee for signature. All joint committee consulting contracts are subject to approval by the Texas Legislative Council executive director.

Consulting contracts with engineers, accountants, architects, physicians, and other specified professionals are governed by the Professional Services Procurement Act (Subchapter A, Chapter 2254, Government Code), which provides for the award of contracts without competitive bidding on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications and for a fair and reasonable price.