Austin–The Sunset Commission released their staff report of the LCRA on Wednesday. In the report, Commission staff praised the controversial agency on numerous points. They also faulted the agency for being non-transparent in many of their dealings.
The Commission found the Lower Colorado River Authority to be a “very sophisticated, well-functioning organization that has a difficult job of balancing many competing interests and needs.”
In the report, The Commission seemed to be concerned about how the LCRA continues to be at odds with its numerous water stakeholders that purchase water for basic needs, environmental groups with ecological concerns, and agricultural operations reliant on water for irrigation.
The often never transparent organization was criticized, albeit lightly, for their continued lack of transparency.
The Commission wants the LCRA to adopt a public engagement policy for water supply projects, provide more detailed financial information in its publicly available documents and be more transparent, consistent, and accurate agenda meeting notices.
“Transparency encourages honesty, openness, and accountability in government actions, and LCRA must do more than the bare minimum to obtain and retain public trust,” the report says.
Executive Vice President of Public Relations for LCRA, Bill Laudetback said:
“The LCRA was pleased to assist the Sunset staff in their review. LCRA agrees with each of the five legislative recommendations contained in the report. The Sunset staff report also contains a series of management recommendations, to which LCRA does not object. LCRA looks forward to participating in a public hearing in December before the full Sunset Advisory Commission.”
The Lower Colorado River Authority is the second-largest electric company in Texas and derives about 93 percent of its roughly $1 billion in annual revenue from its electric generation and transmission businesses, some of which comes from the even less transparent and possibly even more corrupted Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) headquartered in the Highland Lakes region of the Hill Country.
****Emily Pataki is the Board President for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) who also sits on the Sunset Commission as a public member.