Texas Attorney General Opinion: DM-96 Page: 4 of 6
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Honorable James F. Hury, Jr. - Page 4 (DM-96)
the agency, subdivision, or public funds investment pool to be
responsible for the investment of local funds.
(b) No person may deposit, withdraw, invest, transfer; or
otherwise manage local funds of a state agency or political
subdivision that are eligible for investment without express
written authority of the governing body or chief executive officer
of the agency or subdivision.
Since chapters 113 and 116 of the Local Government Code deal only with
county investments, while article 4413(34c), V.T.C.S., addresses the subject of
investment by a variety of state agencies and political subdivisions, the provisions of
the Local Government Code constitute the more specific statutes. Although, in a
direct conflict, a specific statute controls over one which is more general, it is also
the case that statutes dealing with the same subject matter should be construed
together and, if possible, harmonized. Trinmmier v. Carlton, 296 S.W. 1070 (Tex.
1927). We believe that article 4413(34c) may be read in harmony with chapters 113
and 116 of the Local Government Code. Nothing in article 4413(34c) would permit
the commissioners court to entirely remove the county treasurer from the
investment process. While the ultimate responsibility for designating the type and
amount of investment, under the terms of section 116.112(a), lies with the
commissioners court, the court, in effecting the investment, may act only through the
agency of the treasurer.
Article 4413(34c) does, however, appear to allow the commissioners court to
delegate its own role in the investment process. The general rule is that absent an
enabling statute, a commissioners court may not delegate powers that involve the
exercise of judgment or discretion. Guerra v. Rodriguez, 239 S.W.2d 915 (Tex. Civ.
App.--San Antonio 1951, no writ). The court may, however, appoint an agent to
make a contract on behalf of the county for, inter alia, "any ... purpose authorized
by law." Local Gov't Code 262.001(a)(3). Under section 3(a) of article 4413(34c),
the commissioners court may "designate one or more officers or employees... [as]
responsible for the investment of local funds." The court is required to "adopt rules"
which "shall clearly specify the scope of authority" of those persons "that are
designated to invest the local funds." V.T.C.S. art. 4413(34c), 2(a). Furthermore,
no individual may direct such investment "without express written authority" of the
commissioners court. Id. 3(b). Thus, so long as it conforms to the guidelines set
forth in article 4413(34c), a commissioners court may appoint an investment officer
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: DM-96, text, 1992; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth273905/m1/4/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.