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A Summary of Financial and Performance Reports Submitted by Regional Planning Commissions

November 2012

Report Number 13-008

Overall Conclusion

All 24 regional planning commissions (RPCs) in Texas submitted all applicable statutorily required financial, productivity, performance, and salary reports to the State Auditor's Office. Submitting those reports is important because, according to their most recent annual financial statements, the 24 RPCs:

- Received $973,183,172 in local, state, and federal funds.

- Spent $95,453,082 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

The 24 RPCs submitted all applicable statutorily required reports, and 18 (75.0 percent) RPCs submitted salary schedules to the State Auditor's Office within the required time periods. The information in this report covers RPC reports the State Auditor's Office received between December 2010 and August 2012 because the RPCs do not have the same fiscal years. There were 5 different fiscal year end dates among the 24 RPCs.

Financial Statements

External certified public accountants (CPAs) issued unqualified opinions on the financial statements for all 24 RPCs, and all of the financial reports contained the statutorily required elements. However, for 3 (12.5 percent) of the 24 RPCs, the CPAs identified material weaknesses and/or significant deficiencies in internal controls over financial reporting or compliance with major federal and state award programs. Those three RPCs were:

- Alamo Area Council of Governments (see Chapter 1-A).

- Middle Rio Grande Development Council (see Chapter 1-N).

- Texoma Council of Governments (see Chapter 1-W).

According to their audited financial statements, management of those three RPCs asserted that they had taken or were taking steps to address the material weaknesses and/or significant deficiencies. It is important to note that the significant deficiencies at the Middle Rio Grande Development Council and the Texoma Council of Governments were the same significant deficiencies identified in the financial statement audits from the previous year. Additionally, a material weakness at the Texoma Council of Governments was the same material weakness identified in the prior year's audit of the financial statements.

Programs and Report Requirements

The information the RPCs submitted to the State Auditor's Office indicated that the RPCs have multiple programs and functions. According to the RPCs' audited financial statements, some of the programs on which the RPCs spent the largest amounts of funds included workforce programs, transportation programs, and aging.

Following the 82nd legislative session, the Office of the Governor repealed sections of the Texas Administrative Code that contained requirements and guidance to RPCs related to the reports required under the Texas Local Government Code. Those sections contained criteria related to reporting requirements such as report due dates, program output and outcome measures, and the details on disposed assets that RPCs should report.

Without specific reporting requirements providing guidance, RPCs may report incomplete or inconsistent information, which could limit that information's usefulness because comparisons could not be made among all 24 RPCs.

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