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RULE §51.601General Requirements

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Advisory committee--a committee, council, commission, board, or task force or other entity with multiple members that has as its primary function advising the department.

  (2) Chairman--the chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

  (3) Commission--the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

  (4) Department--the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

  (5) Director--the Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

(b) Creation. The Chairman may appoint advisory committees to advise the commission on issues within the jurisdiction of the department or the commission.

(c) Function. Unless otherwise provided by law, an advisory committee will address only those matters about which advice is sought. An advisory committee will have no authority to establish agency policy.

(d) Expiration of advisory committee. Unless expressly provided in this subchapter or other law, each department advisory committee will expire on the expiration date established for each advisory committee.

(e) Membership. The chairman may, in his or her sole discretion, appoint individuals to serve on an advisory committee. Membership in an advisory committee will not exceed 24 (excluding ex officio members). Unless otherwise provided by specific statute, membership of each advisory committee shall be balanced to ensure representation of industries or occupations regulated or directly affected by the department and consumers of services provided by the department or by the industries or occupations regulated by the department to which the advisory committee relates. Each advisory committee shall include at least one department employee as an ex officio member. Members may be subject to removal and/or replacement at the discretion of the Chairman.

(f) Term of members. Unless expressly provided in this subchapter or other law, the term of advisory committee members shall be as follows:

  (1) The term of each member of an agency advisory committee who was appointed prior to January 1, 2022 will expire on July 1, 2022.

  (2) The term of each member of an agency advisory committee member appointed on or after January 1, 2022 will expire July 1, 2026.

(g) Presiding officer. The presiding officer of each advisory committee shall be selected by the members of the advisory committee from its membership. The chairman may make a recommendation to the advisory committee regarding the presiding officer.

(h) Subcommittees. The chairman may also appoint one or more subcommittees of an advisory committee, so long as the membership of the advisory committee, including any subcommittees does not exceed 24.

(i) Meetings. Each committee shall meet at least once a year, but may meet as often as necessary. The department ex officio member of each advisory committee shall work with the presiding officer to schedule advisory committee meetings and provide adequate notice to department staff and to other members.

(j) Reports. On or before October 1 of each year of its existence, each advisory committee shall submit a report to the department. Upon receipt of the report, the department shall evaluate the advisory committee's work, usefulness and costs related to the committee's existence, including the cost of agency staff time spent in support of the committee's activities. Each report shall included the following:

  (1) a summary or minutes of meetings conducted during the previous fiscal year (September 1-August 30);

  (2) a summary of recommendations from the advisory committee; and

  (3) other information determined by the advisory committee or the chairman to be appropriate and useful.

(k) Expenses. Members of each advisory committee will serve without compensation or reimbursement for travel or other out-of-pocket expenses.

(l) Rules. For each advisory committee appointed, the commission shall adopt rules that address the purpose of the advisory committee and membership qualifications. Such rules may also address the terms of service, operating procedures, and other standards to ensure the effectiveness of an advisory committee appointed under this subchapter.

(m) Rulemaking Committees. Notwithstanding other provisions of this subchapter, as authorized by §2001.031, Texas Government Code (the Administrative Procedure Act), the Director may, from time to time, appoint ad hoc committees of experts or interested persons or representatives of the public to advise the Department about contemplated rulemaking. Members of such committees shall serve at the will of the Director and shall serve without compensation. Committees appointed under this subsection shall continue for no longer than one year, unless extended by the Director.

Source Note: The provisions of this §51.601 adopted to be effective September 28, 2005, 30 TexReg 6053; amended to be effective February 23, 2006, 31 TexReg 1047; amended to be effective November 12, 2009, 34 TexReg 7828; amended to be effective January 2, 2013, 37 TexReg 10221; amended to be effective June 24, 2018, 43 TexReg 4208; amended to be effective September 13, 2022, 47 TexReg 5496

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