Enforcement Information

To report conduct detrimental to public health, safety and welfare or that may be a violation of the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, please submit a Complaint Form (Form XI) to TBPG at P.O. Box 13225, Austin, Texas  78711, by mail or e-mail, or see the page File a Complaint.

Who May File a Complaint?

Any person may file a complaint against an individual or entity (firm) who is not licensed by or registered with the TBPG, but is engaged in the non-exempt public practice of geoscience (or is using the “Professional Geoscientist” license title or the initials P.G. in a professional, business or commercial identification or title or otherwise represent to the public that the individual or firm is qualified to engage in the public practice of geoscience).  However, TBPG dismisses complaints alleging unlicensed or unregistered practice by a TBPE licensed or registered Professional Engineer or Engineering Firm are dismissed.  If the subject of a complaint is a Professional Engineer or an Engineering Firm and the allegations involve practice concerns, TBPG dismisses the complaint and the complaint is referred to the TBPE.

Any person may also file a complaint against a licensed Professional Geoscientist, a registered Geoscience Firm, or a certified Geoscientist-in-Training alleging practice concerns or violation of the TBPG’s Code of Professional Conduct or other provisions of the Act or TBPG rules.

How do I file a complaint?

Per TOC §1002.202, a complaint must be in writing, sworn to by the person making the complaint and filed with the TBPG’s secretary-treasurer or electronically through the TBPG’s website. Complaints submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer are received by the TBPG Enforcement Coordinator, who has been identified as an authorized deputy to the Secretary-Treasurer to receive complaints.  TBPG provides a complaint form which should be used to submit a complaint.  TBPG also provides an online complaint form that allows a person to submit a complaint directly to the agency electronically

TBPG staff or Board Members who become aware of potential violations may also submit a complaint in writing.

In addition, a state agency that becomes aware of a potential violation is required by TOC §1002.207 to forward information relating to the potential violation and any subsequently obtained information to the TBPG.  A state agency that becomes aware of a potential violation may also submit a formal complaint instead of simply forwarding information to TBPG.

  1. In order for TBPG to evaluate and investigate a complaint, it is recommended that complainants describe the complaint in detail, including dates, times, locations, and names involved. Complainants should attach additional documentation that supports your complaint. Please do not submit original documents.
  2. If a complainant chooses to submit a hard copy of a complaint, it may be mailed/e-mailed/faxed to:

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists
ATTN: T. Wesley McCoy, P.G., Enforcement Coordinator
P.O. Box 13225
Austin, Texas 78711
E-mail: wmccoy@tbpg.texas.gov
Fax:  (512) 936-4409

How will I know the status of my complaint?

  1. At the beginning of the process, TBPG will send a letter to the Complainant and (usually) the Respondent (subject of the complaint) when a complaint is received.
  2. TBPG will communicate with a Complainant or Respondent by letter periodically as certain activities in the complaint process occur. TBPG will also send an update letter at least quarterly to the Complainant and Respondent.
  3. A Complainant or Respondent may contact the agency office in writing using the contacts provided for filing a complaint. A Complainant or Respondent may also call TBPG’s Enforcement Coordinator at (512) 936-4410.

What are the grounds on which the TBPG may take disciplinary action?

  1. The practice of fraud or deceit in obtaining a license as a geoscientist.
  2. Incompetence, misconduct, fraud, gross negligence, or repeated incidents of negligence in the public practice of geoscience.
  3. Conviction of a license holder of a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony; probation instead of a fine, for a misdemeanor relating to or arising out of the public practice of geoscience.
  4. The issuance of a cease and desist Order or a similar sanction relating to or arising out of the public practice of geoscience.
  5. The imposition of an administrative or civil penalty or a criminal fine or imprisonment or probation instead of a fine, for a misdemeanor relating to or arising out of the public practice of geoscience.
  6. Using the seal of another license holder or using or allowing the use of the license holder’s seal on geoscientific work not performed by or under the supervision of the license holder.
  7. Aiding or abetting a person in violation of this Act.
  8. The revocation or suspension of a license, the denial of renewal of a license, or other disciplinary action taken by a state agency board of registration, or similar licensing agency of geoscientists or a profession or occupation related to the public practice of geoscience.
  9. Practicing or offering to practice geoscience or representing to the public that the person or the person’s firm or corporation is licensed or qualified to practice geoscience if the person is not licensed under this Act or the person’s firm or corporation does not employ a licensed geoscientist as required under this Act.
  10. Violating this act, a rule adopted under this Act, including the code of professional conduct, or a comparable provision of the laws or rules regulating the practice of geoscience in another state or country.

What disciplinary actions may be taken by the TBPG?

The Board may take the following disciplinary actions:

  1. refuse to issue or renew a license;
  2. permanently revoke a license;
  3. suspend a license for a specified time, not to exceed three years, to take effect immediately notwithstanding an appeal if the board determines that the license holder’s continued practice constitutes an imminent danger to the public health, safety, or welfare;
  4. issue a public or private reprimand to an applicant, a license holder, or an individual, firm, or corporation practicing geoscience under this chapter;
  5. impose limitations, conditions, or restrictions on the practice of an applicant, a license holder, or an individual, firm, or corporation practicing geoscience under this chapter;
  6. require that a license holder participate in a peer review program under rules adopted by the board;
  7. require that a license holder obtain remedial education and training prescribed by the board;
  8. impose probation on a license holder requiring regular reporting to the board;
  9. require restitution, in whole or in part, of compensation or fees earned by a license holder, individual, firm, or corporation practicing geoscience under this chapter;
  10. impose an appropriate administrative penalty as provided by Subchapter J for a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter on a license holder or a person who is not licensed and is not exempt from licensure under this chapter;  or
  11. issue a cease and desist order.

What is the Complaint Process?

Please see “How TBPG Resolves a Complaint” for a description of the steps involved in the complaint process.

Assistance in Filing a Complaint 

To assist in filling out the complaint form, please refer to the Texas Geoscience Practice Act and Board Rules, which are linked on the top of this page, under “TBPG”.  If you need further assistance or a printed copy of the Statute or Rules, please contact the Board at (512) 936-4400.

Please fill out the form as completely as possible and include copies of contracts, letters, photographs, reports or any other documents that support your complaint.

To act upon your complaint, please include as many details as possible about the issue: the “who, what, when, where, how”, and, if possible, “why”.  Please provide as much information as you can, including the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other persons who know about the problem you’re complaining about.  Give the names of city and/or county staff if you have had contact with them and they know something about your complaint.  Include all the facts you can with your complaint.  Before mailing your complaint, make an extra copy of everything for your own files.  That way, if the Board has a question or needs clarification regarding your complaint, you’ll be able to find the information being asked about.

If you intend to file complaints against multiple people or entities, please file separate individual complaints against each person, business or governmental entity so that confidentiality of each complaint can be kept while the investigation progresses.

Please see the links below, or contact TBPG if you have any questions regarding a complaint or the complaint filing process.

Further Information

 

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