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An Audit of the Red River Authority of Texas

June 2022

Summary Analysis

The Red River Authority of Texas (Authority) has taken steps to address the operational challenges identified in the Sunset Advisory Commission’s Report to the 86th Legislature (Sunset Report) issued in June 2019. Among the challenges discussed in the Sunset Report was that three of the Authority’s water systems did not meet the federal minimum safety standards for nitrate levels. The Authority has taken some action to address the water quality issues of those three water systems. However, as of March 2022, only one of those systems was in full compliance with the federal standards. To assist it in continuing to address the water quality concerns, the Authority has developed a comprehensive asset management plan that incorporates all the elements recommended in the Sunset Report.

In addition, to address weaknesses identified in the transparency of its operations, the Authority has adopted policies and processes to implement best practices to increase openness and public involvement in its operations, including its rate setting process.

The Authority has also taken steps to address identified weaknesses in its complaint tracking and documentation, workforce planning, and governing board oversight. However, it should continue to prepare for workforce changes and update its bylaws and certain policies and procedures.

 Jump to Overall Conclusion

During the Sunset Commission’s review of the Authority, the following three water systems were in violation of the drinking water standards for nitrates: Truscott- Gilliland Water System, Guthrie-Dumont Water System, and the Hinds-Wildcat Water System. The Authority has taken action to address the excessive nitrates in all three water systems. However, as of March 2022, only the Truscott Gilliland Water System was in full compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Jump to Chapter 1-A 

The Sunset Report had determined that the Authority lacked a comprehensive asset management approach, which could improve the Authority’s ability to address water quality concerns. In response, the Authority developed a comprehensive asset management plan in July 2020, and has since updated it, pending its governing board's approval. The Authority’s Board of Directors reviewed and approved the initial plan, which incorporates all of the elements and activities recommended by the Sunset Report.

Jump to Chapter 1-B 

The Sunset Report concluded that the Authority, had not implemented several best practices that would improve openness and transparency. The report recommended several operational improvements the river authorities should make to “encourage transparency of, and meaningful public involvement in, river authority operations.”

The Authority has adopted policies and processes to implement those best practices and increase transparency and openness.

Jump to Chapter 2 

The Sunset Report identified weaknesses in the Authority’s operations related to complaint tracking and documentation, workforce planning, and governing board oversight. It also determined that the Authority should strengthen its policies and procedures for ethics and contracting. While the Authority has taken steps to address those weaknesses, it should continue to strengthen certain processes.

Jump to Chapter 3 

Graphics, Media, Supporting documents

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