Miscellaneous Expenditures — Payments and Fees
A state agency may pay a membership fee to a professional and/or non-professional organization if:
- The agency has specific or implied statutory authority for the payment,
- The payment would serve a proper public purpose, and
- The agency would receive adequate consideration in exchange for the payment.
A state agency may pay a membership fee to a private entity to purchase goods or services at a discount. The agency must show the cost of the goods or services plus the membership fee is less than the cost of purchasing the goods or services elsewhere.
A state agency may not use appropriated money to pay for membership in or dues for a professional organization unless the administrative head of the agency, or that person’s designee, first reviews and approves the expenditure.
Note: A state library is exempt from this prohibition.
See also: Chapter 2: Membership fees paid to a chamber of commerce
- Appropriated money
- Money appropriated by the Legislature through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or other law.
- State agency
- A department, commission, board, office or other entity in the executive branch of state government.
- The Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, another entity in the judicial branch of state government with statewide authority or a court of appeals.
- A university system or institution of higher education as defined by Texas Education Code, Section 61.003, except a public junior college, which is excluded from the meaning of the term.
Texas Government Code, Section 2113.001
Texas Government Code, Section 2113.104. Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 51; Article VIII, Section 3; Article XVI, Section 6(a). Texas Attorney General Opinion NO. JC-0080 (1999).
- This voucher requirement applies when a state agency wants to pay a membership fee to a private entity so the agency may purchase goods or services at a discount. The agency must retain documentation in its files to show the total of the membership fee plus the cost of goods or services purchased from the private entity is less than the lowest cost of those goods or services from any other source.
- A state agency must retain documentation in its files showing the proper public purpose served by paying the membership fee, and how the payment relates to the statutory duties of the agency.
- A state agency must retain documentation in its files showing the type of membership being purchased and the proper approval of that purchase.
- If the type of membership purchased by a state agency does not clearly relate to the agency’s statutory duties, the agency must also retain documentation in its files showing the proper public purpose served by the membership fee payment and how it relates to the statutory duties of the agency.
- Comptroller object 7201 must be used.