Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications:
An Inventory of Meeting Files at the Texas State Archives, 1985-2005
The Texas Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications (also known as the State 9-1-1 Commission) was created in 1985 (House Bill 1655, 69th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), to develop recommendations concerning the establishment of a statewide 9-1-1 service and to establish standards by which regional plans would be developed. (The 9-1-1 telephone number is designated throughout the United States for the public to report emergencies and to request assistance.) This first advisory commission was composed of 14 members. Four of them were ex officio: the executive directors of the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (designated the presiding officer), the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council, or their designees. The Governor appointed six members (including three representatives of different leading telecommunications service providers and three public members). The Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House each appointed two members of the general public.
The Advisory Commission began its second phase in 1987 (House Bill 911, 70th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), presumably shifting from information gathering to implementation of the 9-1-1 Program that had been enacted by law. Membership of the commission increased to 17. A fifth ex-officio member was added (from the major association representing regional planning commissions). The Governor would now appoint eight members--two public members, one representative from each of three local telephone exchange carriers serving the most local access lines in the state, one official from a municipality, one member of a county commissioners court, and one director of an emergency communications district. The Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House each continued to appoint two members of the general public. The advisory commission now chose its own presiding officer. This reconstituted commission considered the December 1987 meeting to be its first. In 1995 (House Bill 2307, 74th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), the executive director of the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations was dropped as an ex-officio member.
In 1999, the name was changed to Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) (House Bill 1983, 76th Texas Legislature, Regular Session). The Commission consists of 12 members, representing various public and private sector interests in the emergency communications intergovernmental effort. Three of the members are ex-officio and represent state agencies (the Commissioner of Public Health, the executive director of the Public Utility Commission, and the executive director of the Department of Information Resources--the General Services Commission until 2001--or their designees). The remaining nine are appointed as follows. The Governor appoints one member of the general public, and one member from each of the following: a member of a regional planning commission, a member of a governing body of an emergency communications district, a member on the governing body of a county, and a member on the governing body of a home-rule municipality with a 9-1-1 system independent of the state's system. The Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House each appoint two members of the general public. As of 2001, CSEC had a total staff of 25 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).
The CSEC works with the telecommunications industry and local 9-1-1 administrators to administer the statewide 9-1-1 Program. It contracts with the 24 regional planning commissions (RPCs) for the provision of 9-1-1 service. It reviews and approves regional plans, establishes 9-1-1 fees, and allocates money for operation of the plans. It also (since 1999) provides for public education and training, and creation and support of 9-1-1 databases. Beginning in 1993, the CSEC also shares responsiblity with the Texas Department of Heath (TDH) in the administration of the Texas Poison Control Network. The Poison Control Network provides information to citizens who suspect they have been exposed to toxic substances. The network is composed of six geographically diverse poison centers residing in host hospitals, linked by a sophisticated telecommunications network. Individuals speak directly with a health care professional trained in various aspects of toxicology and poison control and preventions. The aim is to provide sufficient information to treat a poison incident at home, precluding the dispatch of emergency medical services or visit to a health care facility.
(Sources: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); the enabling legislation (1985, 1987, and 1999); and the agency website at http://www.911.state.tx.us/browse.php/defaulthome)
These records include copies of agenda, minutes, meeting summaries, transcripts, and occasional supporting documents, dating 1985-2005. They comprise the meeting files of the Texas Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications (also known as the 9-1-1 Commission) and its committees, and (beginning August 1999) of the renamed Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications. Not all minutes are accompanied by agenda (especially for the committee meetings). Beginning with the April 2001 commission meeting, verbatim transcripts (called "proceedings") are substituted for minutes in all but one of the meetings; and in these transcript files, the agenda is actually called the "index." Committee files date 1988 and 1996-1999. The following committees are represented in these files: Public Information Committee (June 1988), Joint Administration and Finance Committee (August 1988), Legislative and Regulatory Committee (1996-1998), Operations and Performance Committee (1996-1997), Operations Committee (1998-1999), Programs Committee (1998-1999), Planning and Implementation Committee (1996-1998), Poison Control Committee (1996-1998), and Sunset Review Committee (August 1997).
The earliest minutes of the Advisory Commission (1985-1986) considered the various technical, financial, and administrative issues related to the development of a statewide 9-1-1 service, including local planning and implementation issues and proposed legislation. Beginning in 1987 the minutes include various committee reports, reviews of plans and plan amendments, other discussions (on the allocation of moneys, on changes to agency rules, on strategic planning, etc.), and public comments. In 1999 the minutes begin to distinguish between Action Items and Information Items. Occasional attachments include discussion papers, draft procedures, the text of proposed rules, correspondence and memoranda, committee membership lists, etc.
The substance of committee minutes depends on the nature of the committee, although there is some overlap. For example, the Legislative and Regulatory Committee discussed Public Utility Commission (PUC) dockets, tariffs, and projects, and litigation. The Operations Committee discussed financial reports and audits, procurement of 9-1-1 equipment, PUC and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory activity, etc. The Planning and Implementation Committee discussed strategic planning, regional plan amendments, attorney general opinion requests, etc. The Programs Committee discussed administrative budget approvals for councils of government (COGs).
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the item), Meeting files, Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1998/067, 1999/009, 2001/106, 2002/038, 2003/065, 2004/027, 2004/211, 2005/119
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications on January 22, 1998; and September 29, 1998; and by the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications on March 1, 2001; October 9, 2001; October 21, 2002; September 29, 2003; and February 18, 2005; and by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on July 20, 2004.
Tony Black, August 2003, March 2004, March 2005
The Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications regularly transfers minutes and/or transcripts and agenda to the Texas State Archives; they are added to this finding aid on an annual basis.
The Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications posts online "Commission meeting notebooks" on its website ( http://www.911.state.tx.us/browse.php/commission_notebook). As of March 2005, this included notebooks for meetings dating December 1999-present.
The record copy of minutes, transcripts, and agenda are maintained by the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications.
Detailed Description of the Records