Proposed Amendments to 7 TAC §5.101

Title 7. Banking and Securities
Part 1. Finance Commission of Texas
Chapter 5. Administration of Finance Agencies
7 TAC §5.101

NOTE: This document was submitted to the Texas Register on the date indicated below. This is not the actual publication; the editorial staff of the Texas Register sometimes edits the submission. The Texas Department of Banking therefore does not guarantee the exact accuracy of this document.

Date: August 29, 2014

The Finance Commission of Texas ("the commission") proposes new §5.101, concerning education and training of employees of the Texas Department of Banking, the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, and the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (collectively, "finance agencies.") The new rule is proposed to implement Texas Government Code, §656.048 on providing assistance for education and training of finance agency employees under certain conditions.

Charles G. Cooper, Commissioner, Texas Department of Banking, Caroline Jones, Commissioner, Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, and Leslie L. Pettijohn, Consumer Credit Commissioner ("the commissioners"), have determined that for the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be nominal fiscal implications for state government, and only as part of the costs of training and education as allocated within each finance agency's respective budget. There will be no fiscal implication for local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rule.

The commissioners have also determined that, for each year of the first five years the rule as proposed is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule is that the finance agencies will have a regulation in place to coordinate with policies stating the circumstances under which the finance agencies will support the job-related education and training of employees, which should, in turn, improve employees' performance.

For each year of the first five years that the rule will be in effect, there will be no economic costs to persons required to comply with the rule as proposed. There will not be any anticipated costs to persons required to comply with the rule as proposed.

There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses or micro-businesses. There will be no difference in the cost of compliance for small businesses as compared to large businesses.

To be considered, comments on the proposed rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 29, 2014. Comments should be addressed to General Counsel, Texas Department of Banking, Legal Division, 2601 North Lamar Boulevard, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78705-4294. Comments may also be submitted by email to legal@dob.texas.gov.

The new rule is proposed under Government Code, §656.048, which requires state agencies to adopt rules relating to the eligibility of the agency's administrators and employees for training and education supported by the agency; and the obligations assumed by the administrators and employees on receiving the training and education.

§5.101. Employee Training and Education Assistance Programs.

      (a)  For purposes of this rule, "finance agencies" means the Texas Department of Banking, the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, and the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner. Pursuant to the State Employees Training Act, Chapter 656, Subchapter C of the Texas Government Code, it is the policy and practice of the finance agencies to encourage employees' professional development through training and education programs sponsored or supported by the finance agencies.

      (b)  The finance agencies may provide assistance for education and training that will enhance an employee's ability to perform current or prospective job duties and will benefit both the respective finance agency and the employee.

      (c)  Approval to participate in a training or education program is not automatic and is subject to eligibility of individual employees as established in the respective finance agency's policy, and the availability of funds within the respective finance agency's budget.

      (d) The employee training and education program for the finance agencies may include one or more of the following:

(1)   agency-sponsored training provided in-house or by contract;

(2)   seminars and conferences;

(3)   technical or professional certifications and licenses; or

(4)   reimbursement for tuition, fees and required course materials.

      (e)  The finance agencies will develop and maintain policies for administering the employee training and education program of each respective finance agency. These policies will include:

(1)        eligibility requirements for participation;

(2)        designation of appropriate level of approval for participation; and

(3)        obligations of program participants.

      (f)  Approval to participate in any portion of a finance agency's training and education program will not in any way affect an employee's at-will status.