§33.20: Responsible Parties and Their Duties

(a) The Texas Constitution, Article VII, §§1-8, establishes the Available School Fund, the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF), and the State Board of Education (SBOE), and specifies the standard of care SBOE members must exercise in managing PSF assets. In addition, the constitution directs the legislature to establish suitable provisions for supporting and maintaining an efficient public free school system, defines the composition of the PSF and the Available School Fund, and requires the SBOE to set aside sufficient funds to provide free textbooks for the use of children attending the public free schools of this state.

(b) The SBOE shall be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the PSF and may employ any of the following parties, whose duties and responsibilities are as follows.

(1) An investment manager is a person, firm, corporation, bank, or insurance company the SBOE retains to manage a portion of the PSF assets under specified guidelines.

(2) A custodian is an organization, normally a bank, the SBOE retains to safekeep, and provide accurate and timely reports of, PSF assets.

(3) A consultant is a person or firm the SBOE retains to advise the PSF based on professional expertise.

(4) Investment counsel or consultant is a person or firm retained under criteria specified in the PSF Investment Procedures Manual to advise PSF investment staff and the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund within the policy framework established by the SBOE. Counsel is responsible for asset allocation reviews, manager searches, spending policy recommendations and research related to the management of the fund's assets.

(5) A performance measurement consultant is a person or firm retained to provide the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund an analysis of the PSF portfolio performance. The outside portfolio performance measurement service firm shall perform the analysis on a quarterly or as-needed basis. Quarterly reports shall be distributed to each member of the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund, and a representative of the firm shall be available as necessary to brief the committee.

(6) The State Auditor's Office is an independent state agency that performs an annual financial audit of the TEA at the direction of the Texas Legislature. The financial audit, conducted according to generally accepted auditing standards, is designed to test compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. The state auditor performs tests of the transactions of the PSF Investment Office as part of this annual audit, including compliance with governing statutes and SBOE policies and directives. The TEA Internal Audit Division will participate in the audit process by participating in entrance and exit conferences, being provided copies of all reports and management letters furnished by the external auditor, and having access to the external auditor's audit programs and working papers.

(7) The SBOE may retain independent external auditors to review the PSF accounts annually or on an as-needed basis. The TEA Internal Audit Division will participate in the audit process by participating in entrance and exit conferences, being provided copies of all reports and management letters furnished by the external auditor, and having access to the external auditor's audit programs and working papers.

(c) The SBOE shall meet on a regular or as-needed basis to conduct the affairs of the PSF.

(d) In case of emergency or urgent public necessity, the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund or the SBOE, as appropriate, may hold an emergency meeting under the Texas Government Code, §551.045.

(e) The SBOE shall have the following exclusive duties:

(1) determining the strategic asset allocation mix between asset classes based on the attending economic conditions and the PSF goals and objectives;

(2) ratifying the investment transactions pertaining to the purchase, sale, or reinvestment of fixed income, equity, or cash securities by all internal and external managers for the current reporting period;

(3) appointing members to the SBOE Investment Advisory Committee;

(4) approving the selection of, and all contracts with, external professional investment managers, financial advisors, financial consultants, or other external professionals employed to help the SBOE invest the PSF;

(5) approving the selection of, and the performance measurement contract with, a well-recognized and reputable firm employed to evaluate and analyze PSF investment results. The service shall compare investment results to the written investment objectives of the SBOE and also compare the investment of the PSF with the investment of other public and private funds against market indices and by managerial style;

(6) setting policies, objectives, and guidelines for investing PSF assets; and

(7) representing the PSF to the state.

(f) The SBOE may establish committees to administer the affairs of the PSF. The duties and responsibilities of any committee established shall be specified in the PSF Investment Procedures Manual.

(g) The PSF shall have an executive administrator, with a staff to be adjusted as necessary, who functions directly with the SBOE through the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund concerning investment matters, and who functions as part of the internal operation under the commissioner of education. At all times, the PSF executive administrator and staff shall invest PSF assets as directed by the SBOE according to the Texas Constitution and all other applicable Texas statutes, as amended, and SBOE rules governing the operation of the PSF. The PSF staff shall:

(1) administer the PSF according to SBOE goals and objectives;

(2) execute all directives, policies, and procedures from the SBOE and the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund;

(3) keep records and provide a continuous and accurate accounting of all PSF transactions, revenues, and expenses and provide reports on the status of the PSF portfolio;

(4) advise any officials, investment firms, or other interested parties about the powers, limitations, and prohibitions regarding PSF investments that have been placed on the SBOE or PSF investment staff by statutes, attorney general opinions and court decisions, or by SBOE policies and operating procedures;

(5) continuously research all internally managed securities held by the PSF and report to the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund and the SBOE any information requested, including reports and statistics on the PSF, for the purpose of administering the PSF;

(6) establish and maintain a procedures manual that implements this section to be approved by the SBOE;

(7) make recommendations regarding investment and policy matters to the SBOE Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund and the SBOE; and

(8) establish and maintain accounting policies and internal control procedures concerning all receipts, disbursements and investments of the PSF, according to the procedures adopted by the SBOE.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §33.20 adopted to be effective September 1, 1997, 22 TexReg 4359; amended to be effective September 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 7777; amended to be effective March 31, 2004, 29 TexReg 3174