The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (Board) operates pursuant to the authority of Chapter 901 of the Texas Occupations Code, short titled the Public Accountancy Act (Act). As provided in the Act, the terms “accountant” and “auditor” and any derivations of those terms imply competence in the practice of public accountancy. The public relies on that implication of competence when it employs a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The Board, in order to protect the public and ensure competence in the practice by the profession, examines, certifies and licenses CPAs and restricts the use of these terms to its licensees.
The Self-Directed Semi-Independent Agency Project Act (referred to as SDSI and cited as Article 8930 Texas Revised Civil Statutes) was originally enacted in 1999. Because of conflicts with other state laws the legislation did not actually take effect until after it was amended by the Texas Legislature in 2001. Effective September 1, 2001, the Board, along with two other occupational regulatory agencies, became SDSI state agencies in an effort to increase the efficiency of their operations. Some of the basic points of SDSI are:
· Reinvent government. Under this plan, regulatory agencies would be accountable to their stakeholders
and charged with operating as a business.
· The Governor continues to appoint board members and to designate the Board's presiding officer.
· The regulatory agency establishes the fees charged to cover all costs of its operations.
· Licensees (clients) continue to pay the costs of regulation.
· Sovereign immunity remains intact for enforcement and disciplinary functions.
· An agency under the program remains subject to the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act.
· Regulatory agencies in the project are removed from the cost of state government (appropriations).
· Applicable agencies continue to collect and remit the $200 annual professional fee for the General Revenue Fund.
· Agencies continue to be audited by the Office of the State Auditor and pay the associated costs.
· Oversight agencies such as the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning
are relieved of budget oversight responsibilities and associated costs.
· Licensees (clients) become directly involved in evaluating the cost of operating the agency.
· The state budget size is reduced.
· The number of state employees on the state payroll is reduced.
The legislation creating SDSI was amended again during the 2007 legislative session to permit the Board to continue the SDSI program until at least September 1, 2013, when it will be subject to Sunset Act legislative review.
The Public Accountancy Act provides for fifteen Board members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for six-year staggered terms. Board members are required to be citizens of the United States and residents of Texas. Board membership is structured in the following manner:
8 must be licensed CPAs who are in public practice at the time of their appointments to the Board;
2 must be other licensed CPAs who may or may not be in public practice at the time of their appointments to the Board; and
5 must be public members who are not licensed under the Act and who are not financially involved in an organization subject to regulation by the Board.