The Commission met on Thursday November 15 at the State Capitol. It was the longest meeting we have had in my memory, and it was also enormously fruitful for clarifying some policy expectations.
From the Desk
November is upon us and the football season in Texas is more than half done. What happens in the coming weeks makes all the difference for which teams make the playoffs. Some teams are getting better and others are struggling. I hope all your favorites are “growing stronger” as the season matures.
When I was named the Deputy Executive Director of TREC and the Deputy Commissioner of TALCB in August of this year, part of my expanded role at the agency was to focus on the agency operations, particularly the frontline customer service aspects of licensing and call center performance. I am happy to report that over the last several months, due to the implementation of technological improvements, additional staff, and the hard work of existing staff, there has been a marked improvement in the overall performance of both.
The agency has had quite a busy summer and the fall continues to bring a steady stream of challenges. As we continue working through all the issues which arise, especially through the Sunset process, know that we remain fully committed to exploring every effective option available to improve this agency’s performance. First and foremost, our mission has not changed and our dedication to accomplish it in the most effective, efficient and transparent manner is shared by our policymakers and our staff team.
The Commission held its regular quarterly meeting on Monday, May 7 at our HQ in Austin. The Executive Director was delayed for about an hour arriving for the meeting due to air travel delays on Sunday that resulted in a cross-country reroute and pushed his final flight to Monday morning. So our very able Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel Kerri Lewis delivered the Executive Director’s report.
The Inspector Committee met in Austin on January 22nd to discuss a packed agenda. Several inspectors made the trip to Austin for this meeting. I would like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend and I appreciate your important input. Inspector attendance at these meetings is invaluable because it provides the Committee the opportunity to hear the ideas and concerns of inspectors from all over the state. The Committee is meeting again on Monday, February 26th at 10am.
It was a busy year for the Inspector Committee on the education front. The major accomplishment for the committee was completing the much-needed revision on the SOP Legal and Ethics continuing education coursework, which became mandatory as of September 1 of last year.
The Commission met on Monday, May 1st for its regular quarterly meeting. In this legislative season, the Commission had a modest agenda of rules to consider as it awaits the outcome of policy decisions made by our Texas lawmakers. In addition to hearing updates on customer service, license processing, exam administration, complaint investigation and enforcement, and financial matters, other administrative business was also accomplished, including the adoption of our annual internal audit plan, updated appointment of investment officers and the annual review of the Executive Dir
The full Inspector Committee met on April 3 to review the education related rules proposed at the February Commission meeting and discuss any needed changes to those rules prior to their adoption, of which there were none. The Committee recommended the rules be adopted as proposed and the Commission did so at its May 1st meeting. In addition to reviewing the proposed rules, the Committee also discussed the exempt CE providers rule and possible ways improve the process for awarding CE credit from those providers.
I am thrilled to be able to lead with some great news – because of enhanced staffing, improved training, real-time flexibility in response management, and more precise phone system programming we’ve employed, in recent weeks the average hold times for calls received by the agency’s contact center are under five minutes! Also, the average for all of April was about five and a half minutes, so we are still improving. Our goal is to keep doing so methodically and sustainably.