Texas Attorney General Opinion: JC-206 Page: 2 of 6
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The Honorable Michael P. Fleming - Page 2 (JC-0206)
be made by the Corporation and that the County will not be party to the contracts. Telephone
Conversation with John R. Barnhill, Assistant County Attorney, Harris County, Texas
(Mar. 3, 2000). The lease agreement between the County and the Corporation dated April 7, 1999
provides that all purchases made by the Corporation with funds provided by the County will be made
in accordance with the County Purchasing Act. See Contract, art. 6, para. 6.10, at 13-14 (County
Purchasing Act). You ask whether the County Purchasing Act applies to expenditures of funds by
the Corporation "irrespective of any requirement in the Lease to comply with such Act." Request
Letter, supra, at 1. An attorney in your office explains that when the parties entered into the lease,
there was some question regarding whether the County Purchasing Act would apply to the
Corporation. Telephone Conversation with John R. Barnhill, Assistant County Attorney, Harris
County, Texas (Mar. 3, 2000). The Corporation believes that this question has been resolved by
1999 legislation and would like to ask the County to amend the lease if the Corporation is not
required by law to comply with the Act. Id.
We note that the legal memorandum submitted with your request raises issues other than
whether the Corporation is subject to the County Purchasing Act. For example, the memorandum
observes that subchapter D of chapter 431 of the Transportation Code does not expressly authorize
the local government that creates a local government corporation to fund the operation of the
corporation and suggests that this authority may be implied. See Request Letter, supra, at 4-5.
However, you have not asked us to address this issue or any other issue regarding the County's
authority to contract with a local government corporation or to lease property to a local government
corporation. See, e.g., TEX. Loc. GOV'T CODE ANN. 263.001, .007 (Vernon 1999 & Supp. 2000)
(competitive procedures for leasing county property). Accordingly, we limit our analysis to the
question asked, which you state as follows: "Our specific question is whether the County Purchasing
Act, irrespective of any requirement in the Lease to comply with such Act, applies to expenditures
of funds by the Corporation." Request Letter, supra, at 1.
The County Purchasing Act generally applies to county purchases. Section 262.023 of the
Local Government Code provides that beforeoe a county may purchase one or more items under a
contract that will require an expenditure exceeding $25,000, the commissioners court of the county
must comply with the competitive bidding or competitive sealed proposal procedures prescribed by
this subchapter." TEX. Loc. GOV'T CODE ANN. 262.023(a) (Vernon Supp. 2000). These
requirements apply "only to contracts for which payment will be made from current funds or bond
funds or through time warrants." Id. 262.023(b); see also id. 262.022(1) ("'Bond funds' means
money in the county treasury received from the sale of bonds, and proceeds of bonds that have been
voted but that have not been issued and delivered."), (3) ("'Current funds' means funds in the county
treasury that are available in the current tax year, revenue that may be anticipated with reasonable
certainty to come into the county treasury during the current tax year, and emergency funds."), (9)
("'Time warrant' means any warrant issued by a county that is not payable out of current funds.").
As the Texas Supreme Court has recognized, however, the requirements of the County Purchasing
Act may also extend to the purchases of entities separate from but under the supervision of a county:
Public policy strongly favors protecting taxpayers with strict
oversight of governmental financial transactions .... It would be
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: JC-206, text, 2000; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth274515/m1/2/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.