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RULE §2.1Preparedness Coordinating Council

(a) The Preparedness Coordinating Council (PCC).

  (1) The PCC shall be appointed under and governed by this section.

  (2) The PCC is established under the Health and Safety Code, §11.016, which authorizes the Health and Human Services Commission (commission) to establish advisory committees and Title 42 United States Code §247d-3a (b) which requires an advisory committee (or similar mechanism) to obtain input on preparedness planning.

(b) Applicable law. The PCC is subject to the Government Code, Chapter 2110, concerning state agency advisory councils.

(c) Purpose. The purpose of the PCC is to advise and assist the Department of State Health Services (department) as a multidisciplinary strategic review forum concerning topics related to preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities in Texas at the state-level as they pertain to Emergency Support Function (ESF)-8 (Public Health and Medical).

(d) Tasks.

  (1) The PCC will assist the department by providing strategic guidance to promote better consensus and coordination of state and local efforts to improve public health and medical preparedness.

  (2) The PCC shall carry out any other tasks assigned by the department as part of department's strategic and operational planning processes.

(e) Composition. The PCC shall be composed of no fewer than 18 external members and no more than six ad hoc internal department members, so long as total membership does not exceed 24 total members.

  (1) The composition of the external membership shall reflect a broad spectrum of key preparedness partners.

  (2) The external members of the PCC shall be appointed by the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (commission).

(f) Terms of office. The term of office of each member shall be six years. Members shall be appointed for staggered terms so that the terms of six members will expire on December 31 of each even-numbered year.

(g) Officers. The PCC shall select from its members the presiding officer and an assistant presiding officer.

  (1) The presiding officer shall serve until December 31 of each even-numbered year. The assistant presiding officer shall serve until December 31 of each odd-numbered year. Both the presiding officer and the assistant presiding officer may holdover until his or her replacement is elected by the PCC.

  (2) The presiding officer shall preside at all PCC meetings which he or she attends, call meetings in accordance with this section, appoint subcommittees of the PCC as necessary, and cause proper reports to be made to the department. The presiding officer may serve as an ex-officio member of any subcommittee of the PCC.

  (3) If the office of presiding officer or assistant presiding officer becomes vacant, it may be filled by vote of the PCC.

  (4) A member shall serve no more than two consecutive terms as presiding officer or assistant presiding officer.

  (5) The PCC may reference its officers by other terms, such as chairperson and vice-chairperson.

(h) Meetings. The PCC shall meet as necessary as determined by the department, but no less than quarterly, to conduct business.

  (1) A meeting may be called by agreement of department staff and either the presiding officer or at least three members of the PCC.

  (2) Meeting arrangements shall be made by department staff. Department staff shall contact PCC members to determine availability for a meeting date and place.

  (3) The PCC is not a "governmental body" as defined in the Open Meetings Act.

  (4) Each member of the PCC shall be informed of a PCC meeting at least five working days before the meeting.

  (5) A simple majority of the appointed external members of the PCC shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting official business.

  (6) The PCC is authorized to transact official business only when in a legally constituted meeting with a quorum present.

  (7) The agenda for each PCC meeting shall include an opportunity for new business or for any member to address the PCC on matters relating to PCC business.

(i) Attendance. Members shall attend PCC meetings as scheduled.

  (1) A member shall notify the appropriate department staff or presiding officer if he or she is unable to attend a scheduled meeting.

  (2) PCC members who anticipate the inability to attend or have the need to be represented by an alternate for more than half of the PCC and subcommittee meetings in a 12-month period, should notify their agency of the need to nominate a replacement representative for the duration of their term.

  (3) The validity of an action of the PCC is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a member exists.

(j) Staff. Staff support for the PCC shall be provided by the department or its contractors.

(k) Procedures. Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall be the basis of parliamentary decisions except where otherwise provided by law or rule.

  (1) Any formal statement, recommendation, or agency level concern taken by the PCC must be approved by a majority vote of the external members present once a quorum is established.

  (2) Each external member shall have one vote. Ad hoc members and proxies may not vote.

  (3) The PCC shall make decisions in the discharge of its duties without discrimination based on any person's race, creed, gender, religion, national origin, age, physical condition, or economic status and shall strive to consider the needs of populations with functional and access needs in their deliberations.

  (4) Minutes of each PCC meeting shall be taken by department staff or its contractors.

    (A) A draft of the minutes approved by the presiding officer shall be provided to the department and each member of the PCC within 30 days of each meeting.

    (B) After approval by the PCC, the minutes shall be signed by the presiding officer.

(l) Statement by members.

  (1) The commission, the department, and the PCC shall not be bound in any way by any statement, recommendation, or action on the part of any PCC member except when a statement or action is in pursuit of specific instructions from the commission, department, or PCC.

  (2) The PCC and its members may not participate in legislative activity in the name of the commission, the department, or the PCC except with approval through the department's legislative process. PCC members are not prohibited from representing themselves or other entities in the legislative process.

  (3) A PCC member should not accept or solicit any benefit that might reasonably tend to influence the member in the discharge of the member's official duties.

  (4) A PCC member should not disclose confidential information acquired through his or her membership.

  (5) A PCC member should not knowingly solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the member's official powers or duties in favor of another person.

  (6) A PCC member who has a personal or private interest in a matter pending before the department shall publicly disclose the fact in a council meeting and may not vote or otherwise participate in the matter. The phrase "personal or private interest" means the member has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter but does not include the member's engagement in a profession, trade, or occupation when the member's interest is the same as all others similarly engaged in the profession, trade, or occupation.

(m) Reports to the department. The PCC shall file an annual written report with the department.

  (1) The report shall list the meeting dates of the PCC, the attendance records of its members, a brief description of actions taken by the PCC, a description of how the PCC has accomplished the tasks given to the PCC by the department, the status of any rules which were recommended by the PCC to the department, and anticipated activities of the PCC for the next year.

  (2) The report shall identify the costs related to the PCC's existence, including the cost of agency staff time spent in support of the PCC's activities and the source of funds used to support the PCC's activities.

  (3) The report shall cover the meetings and activities in the immediately preceding fiscal year and shall be filed with the department each January. The report shall be signed by the presiding officer.

(n) Reimbursement for expenses. In accordance with the requirements set forth in the Government Code, Chapter 2110, a PCC member may receive reimbursement for the member's expenses incurred for each day the member engages in official PCC business if authorized by the General Appropriations Act or the budget execution process.

  (1) No compensatory per diem shall be paid to PCC members unless required by law.

  (2) A PCC member who is an employee of a state agency, other than the department, may not receive reimbursement for expenses from the department.

  (3) Each member who is to be reimbursed for expenses shall submit to department staff the member's receipts for expenses and any required official forms no later than 14 days after each PCC meeting.

  (4) Requests for reimbursement of expenses shall be made on official state travel vouchers prepared by department staff.

Source Note: The provisions of this §2.1 adopted to be effective February 6, 2003, 28 TexReg 952; amended to be effective August 8, 2007, 32 TexReg 4765; amended to be effective May 19, 2013, 38 TexReg 2839

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