You are here

Port of Houston Authority

      Next Review Date: none
    • Last Review Date: 2012-2013 Review Cycle - 83rd Legislative Session

    Sunset Review Documents for 2012-2013 Review Cycle, 83rd Legislative Session

    Legislative Documents

    Final Results from Last Sunset Report

    The following material summarizes results of the 2012-2013 Sunset review of the Authority, including statutory changes made through House Bill 1642 (83R) and management actions directed to the Authority that did not require statutory change. For additional information see the Port of Houston Authority Sunset Final Report with Legislative Action.

    Governance

    • Maintains a locally appointed, seven-member Port Commission, but adds term limits of 12 years, replaces long-serving members by October 2, 2013, and adds procedures to encourage timely appointments.
    • Requires the Commission to develop and implement policies clearly separating the policymaking responsibilities of the Commission and the management responsibilities of the Authority’s Executive Director and staff.
    • Requires standard best practices to promote ethics and good governance for the Commission and Authority staff.

    Public Engagement

    • Requires the Authority to develop and implement a policy to guide and encourage more meaningful stakeholder involvement efforts.
    • Requires the Authority to develop a standard process to receive, respond to, document, and analyze complaints.

    Strategic Planning

    • Requires the Authority to create a comprehensive strategic planning process, including long-range strategies and shorter-range implementation plans tied to financial and capital planning.

    Audit Oversight

    • Requires the Authority to establish an internal audit function following accepted internal auditing standards.
    • Authorizes audit oversight of the Authority by the Harris County Auditor based on risk and clarifies related statutory provisions.
    • Removes outdated provisions prescribing the Harris County Auditor’s Authority-related audit duties.

    Financial Controls

    • Requires the Port Commission to adopt comprehensive and publicly available policies and provide detailed reporting on the Authority’s use of the Promotion and Development Fund.
    • Requires the Authority to adopt travel and expense policies to include generally accepted expenditure control elements with clear lines of accountability for both staff and Commissioners.
    • Requires the Port Commission to accept gifts more than $500 in an open meeting, and to document the purpose of these gifts in the Commission’s minutes, similar to standards applying to state agencies.

    Procurement

    • The Authority should take steps to better manage and align its organizational approach to procurements. (management action – nonstatutory)
    • The Authority should review small business goals and selected functions. (management action – nonstatutory)
    • The Authority should eliminate or better manage ongoing professional services contracts. (management action – nonstatutory)
    • The Authority should improve disclosure and communications policies for solicitations. (management action – nonstatutory)
    • The Authority should take steps to improve the evaluation and award of contracts. (management action – nonstatutory)
    • The Authority should establish a training program on conflicts of interest and other aspects of contracting. (management action – nonstatutory)

    Safety

    • The Authority should take aggressive steps to implement a coordinated and comprehensive safety program. (management action – nonstatutory)

    Pilot Oversight

    • The Port Commission, acting as the Pilot Board, should take a more active role in oversight of the Houston Pilots. (management action – nonstatutory)

    Codification

    • Transfers the Authority’s un-codified source law into the Special Districts Local Laws Code for clarity, repeals obsolete provisions, and makes technical changes.

    Additional Sunset Review

    • Subjects the Authority to Sunset review but not abolishment in four years, and requires the Authority to pay the cost of the review.