Law:Title 10. General Government. Subtitle D. State Purchasing And General Services from Chapter 2170. Telecommunications Services (Texas)

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Subtitle D. State Purchasing And General Services

Contents

Chapter 2170. Telecommunications Services

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  2170.001.  Definitions.

(a) In this chapter:

(1)  "Telecommunications services" means intercity communications facilities or services. The term does not include single agency point-to-point radio systems or facilities or services of criminal justice information communication systems.

(2)  "Consolidated telecommunications system" means the network of telecommunications services serving the state government.

(3)  "Department" means the Department of Information Resources.

(b)  In this section, any dedicated circuits included as part of the consolidated telecommunications system are considered to begin and end at the main connecting frame.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.15, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



For expiration of this section, see Section 2151.0041

Section 2170.0011.  Transfer Of Duties; Reference.

(a) Any remaining powers and duties of the commission under this chapter are transferred to the comptroller.

(b)  Subject to Section 2151.004(b), in this chapter a reference to the commission means the comptroller.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.33, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 2170.0012.  Authority To Adopt Rules.

The comptroller may adopt rules to efficiently and effectively administer the comptroller's powers and duties under this chapter.  Before adopting a rule under this section, the comptroller must conduct a public hearing regarding the proposed rule regardless of whether the requirements of Section 2001.029(b) are met.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.33, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  2170.002.  Department Responsible For Obtaining Telecommunications Services.

The department is the state agency responsible for obtaining telecommunications services.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.16, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 2170.003.  Ownership Or Lease Of Necessary Equipment.

(a) The department may own, lease, or lease-purchase in accordance with Chapters 2155, 2156, 2157, and 2158 any or all of the facilities or equipment necessary to provide telecommunications services.  The department may acquire telecommunications services without competitive bid from the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) or its successors for the purposes established in Subsection (b).

(b)  During an emergency, a single node failure or a systemwide failure of the consolidated telecommunications system, the department may divert telecommunications services traffic to the Lonestar Education and Research Network to avoid service interruption.  Upon resolution of the emergency and upon determination that the consolidated telecommunications system is operational, traffic will be diverted back to the consolidated telecommunications system.  The department may also use the Lonestar Education and Research Network for the purposes of latency tolerant data transfer of files to or from a consolidated state data center established and operated by the department.  The Lonestar Education and Research Network shall be exclusively used by the department only for the purposes set out in this section.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.17, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1068, Sec. 1.09, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 2170.004.  Contracts With Entities Other Than State Agencies.

The department may contract for use of the consolidated telecommunications system with:

(1)  each house of the legislature;

(2)  a legislative agency;

(3)  an agency that is not a state agency as defined by Section 2151.002;

(4)  a political subdivision, including a county, municipality, or district;

(5)  a private institution of higher education accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code, that:

(A)  engages in distance learning, as defined by Section 57.021, Utilities Code; and

(B)  receives federal funds for distance learning initiatives; and

(6)  an assistance organization, as defined by Section 2175.001.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.18, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 393, Sec. 2.05, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  2170.005.  Policies, Guidelines, And Operating Procedures.

(a) To ensure efficient operation of the consolidated telecommunications system at minimum cost to the state, the department shall adopt and disseminate to all agencies appropriate guidelines, operating procedures, and telephone directories.

(b)  Each agency shall comply with the policies, guidelines, and operating procedures.

(c)  Telephone directories published by the department under this section and Section 2170.059 must be revised regularly and must list state telephone numbers alphabetically by the subject matter of agency programs as well as alphabetically by agency. The subject matter listing of programs and telephone numbers in the telephone directories must be consistent with the categorization developed by the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council under Section 441.203. The department may authorize, under procedures and rules considered appropriate by the department, a yellow pages advertising section in the directories to recover development, publication, and distribution costs of the directories.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1186, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.19, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.008.  Rate Intervention.

(a) If the department determines there is sufficient economic impact on state government, the department may intervene on behalf of state agencies in telecommunications rate cases and may hire special counsel and expert witnesses to prepare and present testimony.

(b)  The attorney general shall represent the department before the courts in all appeals from rate cases in which the department intervenes.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.21, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.009.  Pay Telephones Authorized.

(a) A pay telephone may be located in the capitol complex only with the approval of the department. The department shall collect the revenue from the installation and operation of the pay telephone and deposit it to the credit of the general revenue fund.

(b)  In a state-owned or state-leased building or on state-owned land to which Subsection (a) does not apply, a pay telephone may be installed only with the approval of the governing body of the state entity that has charge and control of the building or land. The entity shall collect the revenue from the installation and operation of the pay telephone and deposit it to the credit of the general revenue fund unless the disposition of the revenue is governed by other law.

(c)  The department or other state entity shall account for the revenue collected under this section in the entity's annual report.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1499, Sec. 1.29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.22, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.010.  Unlisted Telephone Numbers Prohibited.

A state agency and its officers and employees may not buy, rent, or pay toll charges for a telephone for which the telephone number is not listed or available from directory assistance to the general public unless the unlisted telephone number is used:

(1)  to provide access to computers, telephone system control centers, long-distance networks, elevator control systems, and other tone-controlled devices for which restricted access to the telephone number is justified for security or other purposes;

(2)  in narcotics undercover operations;

(3)  in the detection of illegal sales of securities; or

(4)  in the investigation of motor fuels tax fraud.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1499, Sec. 1.29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Subchapter B. System Of Telecommunications Services

Section  2170.051.  Management And Use Of System.

(a) The department shall manage the operation of a system of telecommunications services for all state agencies. Each agency shall identify its particular requirements for telecommunications services and the site at which the services are to be provided.

(b)  The department shall fulfill the telecommunications requirements of each state agency to the extent possible and to the extent that money is appropriated or available for that purpose.

(c)  A state agency shall use the consolidated telecommunications system to the fullest extent possible.  A state agency may not acquire telecommunications services unless the department's executive director determines that the agency's requirement for telecommunications services cannot be met at a comparable cost by the consolidated telecommunications system.

(d)  A state agency may not enter into or renew a contract with a carrier or other provider of telecommunications services without obtaining a waiver from the department's executive director certifying that the requested telecommunications services cannot be provided at a comparable cost on the consolidated telecommunications system.  The executive director shall evaluate requests for waivers based on cost-effectiveness to the state government as a whole.  A waiver may be granted only for a specific period and will automatically expire on the stated expiration date unless an extension is approved.  A contract for telecommunications services obtained under waiver may not extend beyond the expiration date of the waiver.  If the executive director becomes aware of any state agency receiving telecommunications services without a waiver, the executive director shall notify the agency and the comptroller.  The state agency shall have 60 days after notification by the executive director in which to submit a waiver request documenting the agency's reasons for bypassing the consolidated telecommunications system and otherwise providing all information required by the waiver application form.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1499, Sec. 1.30, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.23, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1068, Sec. 1.10, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  2170.052.  Balancing Technological Advancements And Existing Facilities.

In the planning, design, implementation, and operation of the consolidated telecommunications system, the department shall maintain an appropriate balance between the adoption of technological advancements and the efficient use of existing facilities and services to avoid misapplication of state money and degradation or loss of the integrity of existing systems and facilities.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.24, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.053.  Sharing Of Services.

(a) To avoid waste of state money and personnel, telecommunications services shall be provided on an integrated or shared basis, or both, to the extent feasible and advisable, among entities authorized to use the consolidated telecommunications system under this chapter.

(b)  Sharing or integrated use does not constitute the resale or carriage of services and does not subject the system to regulation or reporting under Title 2, Utilities Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.27, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  2170.056.  Costs To State Of Parallel Tolls.

All contracts with telecommunications carriers shall provide that the department or any participating agency may obtain any information relating to the costs to the state of parallel tolls.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.25, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.057.  Payment For Services.

(a) The department shall develop a system of billings and charges for services provided in operating and administering the consolidated telecommunications system that allocates the total state cost to each entity served by the system based on proportionate usage.

(b)  The comptroller shall establish in the state treasury a revolving fund account for the administration of this chapter. The account shall be used as a depository for money received from entities served. Receipts attributable to the centralized capitol complex telephone system shall be deposited into the account but separately identified within the account.

(c)  To provide an adequate cash flow as necessary for purposes of this chapter, using state agencies and other entities, on proper notification, shall make monthly payments into the telecommunications revolving fund account from appropriated or other available money. The legislature may appropriate money for operating the system directly to the department, in which case the revolving fund account shall be used to receive money due from local governmental entities and other agencies to the extent that their money is not subject to legislative appropriation.

(d)  The department shall maintain in the revolving fund account sufficient amounts to pay the bills of the consolidated telecommunications system and the centralized capitol complex telephone system. The department shall certify amounts that exceed this amount to the comptroller, and the comptroller shall transfer the excess amounts to the credit of the statewide network applications account established by Section 2054.011.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1499, Sec. 1.31, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.26, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.058.  Use Of System By Certain Students.

(a) An institution of higher education under Section 61.003, Education Code, that is authorized to use the system of telecommunications services established under this chapter may allow students of the institution who reside in housing for which the institution provides telephone service to use the system of telecommunications services. An institution shall recover from a student who chooses to use the system the full pro rata cost attributable to that student's use, including costs identifiable for interconnection to and use of the local publicly switched network.

(b)  The department shall adopt rules that govern student access to the system, including:

(1)  times of access to the system; and

(2)  the full recovery of actual costs from each student who uses the system.

(c)  In consideration of the duties and responsibilities given the department under this chapter, it is the policy of this state that a state agency or unit of state government may not provide telecommunications products or services to the general public in competition with private enterprise unless there is a finding that providing the products or services is in the public interest. This subsection does not prohibit students who reside in housing for which institutions of higher education provide telephone service from using service provided under this section.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.27, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2170.059.  Centralized Capitol Complex Telephone System.

(a) The department shall provide centralized telephone service for state agencies, each house of the legislature, and legislative agencies in the capitol complex. State agencies in the capitol complex shall use the service. Each house of the legislature and each legislative agency shall use the service at the discretion of the legislature. The department may provide the service to other state agencies that subscribe to it.

(b)  Each using entity shall make monthly payments to the department when billed by the department.

(c)  Each using entity may arrange for its own terminal telephone equipment, but the equipment must be compatible with the centralized telephone service. The department shall make terminal equipment available for using entities that choose to use that terminal equipment.

(d)  The department annually shall prepare and issue a revised centralized telephone service directory not later than March 31.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 4.28, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.


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