GG(LEGAL) - RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES AND AUTHORITIES
Restrictions on Use of State Funds
A political subdivision, including a college district, or private entity that receives state funds may not use the funds to pay:
- Lobbying expenses incurred by the recipient of the funds;
- A person or entity that is required to register with the Texas Ethics Commission under Government Code Chapter 305;
- Any partner, employee, employer, relative, contractor, consultant, or related entity of a person or entity described by item 2; or
- A person or entity that has been hired to represent associations or other entities for the purpose of affecting the outcome of legislation, agency rules, ordinances, or other government policies.
Gov't Code 556.0055(a)
To Employ Lobbyists
A state agency, including a college district, may not use appropriated money to employ, as a regular full-time or part-time or contract employee, a person who is required by Government Code Chapter 305 to register as a lobbyist. Except for an institution of higher education, including a college district, a state agency may not use any money under its control to employ or contract with an individual who is required by Government Code Chapter 305 to register as a lobbyist.
A state agency may not use appropriated money to pay, on behalf of the agency or an officer or employee of the agency, membership dues to an organization that pays part or all of the salary of a person who is required by Chapter 305 to register as a lobbyist. This provision does not apply to the payment by a state agency of membership fees under Government Code Chapter 81.
Gov't Code 556.005(a)–(b)
To Influence Passage or Defeat of a Measure
A state agency may not use appropriated money to attempt to influence the passage or defeat of a legislative measure. This restriction does not prohibit a state officer or employee from using state resources to provide public information or to provide information responsive to a request. A state employee who causes an employee to be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against for providing permitted information is subject to immediate termination of employment. Gov't Code 556.006–.007
To Compensate an Officer or Employee
A state agency may not use appropriated money to compensate a state officer or employee who violates Government Code 556.005 or 556.006(a) or who is subject to termination under Government Code 556.007. Gov't Code 556.008
Government Code Chapter 556 does not prohibit the payment of reasonable dues to an organization that represents student interests before the legislature or the U.S. Congress from that portion of mandatory student service fees that is allocated to the student government organization at an institution of higher education. A mandatory student service fee may not be used to influence the outcome of an election. Gov't Code 556.002(b)
Information on Restrictions
A state agency shall provide each officer and employee of the agency a copy of Government Code 556.004 [see BBBB], 556.005, 556.006, 556.007, and 556.008 and require a signed receipt on delivery. A new copy and receipt are required if one of those provisions is changed. A state agency shall maintain receipts collected from current officers and employees under this section in a manner accessible for public inspection. Gov't Code 556.009
Disclosure and Itemization of Lobbying Expenditures
A political subdivision that enters or has entered into a contract for consulting services with a state agency, regardless of whether the term of the contract has expired, shall prominently display on the political subdivision's internet website the following regarding contracts for services that would require a person to register as a lobbyist under Government Code Chapter 305:
- The execution dates;
- The contract duration terms, including any extension options;
- The effective dates;
- The final amount of money the political subdivision paid in the previous fiscal year; and
- A list of all legislation advocated for, on, or against by all parties and subcontractors to the contract, including the position taken on each piece of legislation in the prior fiscal year.
In lieu of displaying the items described above that would require a person to register as a lobbyist under Government Code Chapter 305, a political subdivision may post on the political subdivision's internet website the contract for those services.
Gov't Code 2254.030(a)–(b)
Disclosure of Federal-Level Lobbyists
An agency or political subdivision of the state, including a college district, shall report to the Office of Federal-State Relations any contract between the agency or political subdivision and a federal-level government relations consultant.
A state agency or political subdivision shall submit one report not later than the 30th day after the contract is executed and a second report not later than the 30th day after the contract is terminated.
The report must include:
- The name of the consultant or consulting firm;
- The issue on which the consultant was hired to consult; and
- The amount of compensation paid or to be paid to the consultant under the contract.
This section does not apply to a political subdivision whose federal-level government relations consultant is required by other law to disclose, report, and make available the required information to the public and a federal or state entity.
Gov't Code 751.016
Dual Usage Educational Complex
In accordance with Education Code 130.0103, the board of trustees of a junior college district may establish and operate a dual usage educational complex to provide a shared facility for the educational activities of the district and other participating entities, including counties and municipalities located in whole or in part in the service area of the junior college district. [See GH and GI] Education Code 130.0103(a)
Cybersecurity Training for Contractors
A state agency, including a college district, shall require any contractor who has access to a state computer system or database to complete a cybersecurity training program certified under Government Code 2054.519 as selected by the agency. The cybersecurity training program must be completed by a contractor during the term of the contract and during any renewal period. Required completion of the cybersecurity training program must be included in the terms of a contract awarded by a state agency to a contractor.
"Contractor" includes a subcontractor, officer, or employee of the contractor.
Gov't Code 2054.5192(a)–(d)
Verification of Completion
A contractor required to complete a cybersecurity training program under this section shall verify completion of the program to the contracting state agency. The person who oversees contract management for the agency shall:
- Not later than August 31 of each year, report the contractor's completion to the Department of Information Resources (DIR); and
- Periodically review agency contracts to ensure compliance with this section.
Gov't Code 2054.5192(e)
Note: For more information on cybersecurity training, including a list of certified cybersecurity training programs and compliance reporting requirements, see DIR's website at Certified Cybersecurity Training Programs.