SB 138 – General Information

Senate Bill 138, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013, amends the Texas Geoscience Practice Act in order to streamline the complaint process.  The statement of intent in the Bill Analysis of SB 138 states that the bill is a product of recommendations provided in a Legislative Budget Board government efficiency and effectiveness report.

As amended, the TGPA now requires the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) to implement the following items:

  • Requires that TBPG maintain on its Internet website information regarding the procedure for filing a complaint with TBPG and a means by which a person may electronically file a complaint with TBPG.
  • Requires that a complaint from a member of the public be in writing, sworn to by the person making the complaint, and filed with the secretary-treasurer or electronically through TBPG’s Internet website.
  • Requires TBPG to accept a complaint regardless of whether the complaint is notarized.
  • Requires TBPG to work with each state agency that uses the services of a person licensed under this chapter and other appropriate state agencies as determined by TBPG, including a state agency with which TBPG has entered into a memorandum of understanding that addresses the coordination of activities or complaints, to educate the agency’s employees regarding the procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by TBPG.
  • Requires a state agency that becomes aware of a potential violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter to forward any information relating to the potential violation and any subsequently obtained information to TBPG.
  • Provides that information forwarded by a state agency under this section that is privileged or confidential remains privileged or confidential following receipt by TBPG.  Provides that the privilege or confidentiality extends to any TBPG communication concerning the information forwarded, regardless of the form, manner, or content of the communication.
  • Provides that the forwarding of privileged or confidential information by a state agency does not waive a privilege in or create an exception to the confidentiality of the information.
  • Provides that a state agency’s provision of information or failure to provide information under this section does not give rise to a cause of action against the agency.
  • Requires TBPG, not later than December 1, 2013, to adopt rules necessary to implement Sections 1002.201 and 1002.202, Occupations Code, as amended by this Act, and Sections 1002.206 and 1002.207, Occupations Code, as added by this Act.

SB 138 Resources

SB 138 Training Materials