Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Audit Committee

Tuesday, February 11, 2003


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) Audit Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 11, 2003, at 12:30 p.m. at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission building in Austin, Texas. With a quorum present, the meeting was called to order by Audit Chairman Elizabeth Sanders at 12:32 p.m.

Audit Committee Present:

Elizabeth Sanders, Chairman

Sandra G. Holland

Chris A. Brisack

Commissioners Present:

Sandra J. Pickett

Kenneth Carr

Commissioners Absent:

Diana Cox

Staff Present:

Peggy D. Rudd, director and librarian

Edward Seidenberg, assistant state librarian

Manuel Alvarez, director, Information Resources Technologies

Ava Smith, director, Talking Book Program

Michael Heskett, director, State and Local Records Management

Deborah Littrell, director, Library Development

Donna Osborne, director, Administrative Services

Chris LaPlante, director, Archives and Information Services

Beverley Shirley, director, Library Resource Sharing

Erica McKewen, communications officer

Regina Miles, executive assistant

Vanessa H. Siordia, human resources manager

Guests Present:

Kathryn Sturtz, Alamo Area Library System

Lynne Handy, North Texas Regional Library System

Gwen Land, internal auditor, Jefferson Wells International

Audit Chairman Sanders convened the meeting at 12:32 p.m.


Gwen Land, internal auditor, addressed the commission and listed the following areas for improvement:

  1. Standards of Conduct should be updated. They had not been updated since 1993.

  2. The formal process for updating job descriptions and employee procedures manuals had not been established within the department and within TSLAC as a whole. Jefferson Wells suggested establishing this procedure in order to increase efficiencies and to make staff aware of the current standards in place for the positions.
  3. An interim employee appraisal form was implemented in 2000, but not everyone was consistently using the form. Jefferson Wells suggested getting all staff using the same form, and ensuring that the form addresses all of the different evaluation criteria for a particular position.
  4. Evaluations were not consistently being completed in a timely fashion. Jefferson Wells recommended that HR personnel be granted the authority to ensure that all evaluations are completed in a timely fashion.
  5. TSLAC has not implemented a formal employee-training program to promote professional development. Jefferson Wells suggested that TSLAC management identify and appoint a training coordinator for the agency. Jefferson Wells also recommended that the agency consider implementing a training pool.
  6. The Human Resources department had not implemented any form of management reporting or metrics for reporting to executive management. Jefferson Wells recommended that a quarterly management report be developed to inform executive management of the processing performed by the department.

Ms. Land listed the following operational efficiencies that could increase the department's value to TSLAC:

  1. The current method of maintaining applicant and employee data is inefficient. The data is maintained in several different places. Efficiency could be enhanced if the data was located in a central database/repository.
  2. The current method of processing timesheets could be improved. Jefferson Wells suggested benchmarking other agencies to find a procedure that would work well for this agency.
  3. The content of personnel files should be evaluated and reviewed in conjunction with the current filing project.

Ms. Land listed the following areas where the department is doing well:

  1. The payroll processing and reporting is accurate and timely.
  2. The department has adequate segregation of duties.
  3. The Employee Guide is very comprehensive and is updated in a timely manner.
  4. The department adheres to Employee Guide policies and legislative mandates.

Audit Chairman Sanders thanked Ms. Land for the report. Commissioner Brisack asked Ms. Land if the Standards of Conduct are agency-established and -implemented or if the state provides guidelines on how they should be handled. Ms. Land responded that the state provides guidelines, but that it is good practice for agencies to update them annually and have employees sign off on them, acknowledging that they are aware of the standards they must follow. Donna Osborne addressed the Audit Committee, adding that the Employee Guide is more law-based, whereas Standards of Conduct are more a function of the internal agency process.

Audit Chairman Sanders asked about the department's records retention procedures. Ms. Land stated that once a guideline is established, the department should review the files according to the approved retention schedule. Commissioner Carr stated that he felt the history of paychecks should be kept on a permanent basis.

Commissioner Brisack asked a question about Objective 1, Part C, which deals with performance evaluations. He noticed that several evaluations were several months behind, and it appeared that steps were taken to correct the problem (such as sending overdue notices to division directors). His question to Ms. Osborne was whether those corrective measures were in place in the past. Ms. Osborne responded that the process of sending notices was in place in the past, but that it hadn't been carried out consistently. Peggy Rudd added that in addition to the formal process of evaluating staff, the agency has a process for giving ongoing verbal feedback to staff. Commissioner Carr noted that completing evaluations in a timely manner is key to getting agency employees up to the highest level possible in the event of a staffing freeze.

Ms. Land added that Jefferson Wells finished the audit of the Information Resources Technologies division, nd that the audit would be ready for the next commission meeting. Jefferson Wells also has all of the information back from the Texas Library Systems, which will be used for the desk audit.

Commissioner Brisack moved to accept the audit and recommend it to the full commission for approval; Commissioner Holland seconded. Motion passed.

Commissioner Holland moved to adjourn the meeting of the Audit Committee; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

With no further business, Chairman Sanders adjourned the meeting at 12:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy D. Rudd

Director and Librarian


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