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  H.B. No. 2374
  relating to efficiency audits of the Department of Family and
  Protective Services.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 40, Human Resources Code,
  is amended by adding Section 40.045 to read as follows:
         Sec. 40.045.  EFFICIENCY AUDIT. (a) For purposes of this
  section, "efficiency audit" means an investigation of the
  operations of the department to examine fiscal management,
  efficiency, outcomes for children and families served by the
  department, and utilization of resources.
         (b)  During the state fiscal year ending August 31, 2022, and
  every fourth year after that date, the department shall conduct an
  efficiency audit.
         (c)  In a year in which an efficiency audit is completed as
  required by this section, the efficiency audit shall satisfy the
  department's annual internal audit requirements under Chapter
  2102, Government Code.
         (d)  The department shall pay the costs associated with an
  efficiency audit required under this section using money
  appropriated for administrative and internal audit operations in
  the state fiscal year the audit is conducted.
         (e)  Not later than March 1 of the state fiscal year in which
  an efficiency audit is required under this section, the
  commissioner, in collaboration with the council, the department's
  chief financial officer, and the department's internal audit
  director, shall select an external auditor to conduct the
  efficiency audit.
         (f)  The external auditor shall be independent of the
  department's direction.
         (g)  The external auditor shall complete the audit not later
  than the 90th day after the date the auditor is selected.
         (h)  The Legislative Budget Board shall establish the scope
  of the efficiency audit and determine the areas of investigation
  for the audit, including:
               (1)  reviewing the department's resources to determine
  whether they are being used effectively and efficiently to achieve
  desired outcomes for children and families served by the
  department, including the following outcomes:
                     (A)  ensuring the safety of children in
                     (B)  preventing entry into foster care through the
  use of family preservation services;
                     (C)  reducing the amount of time that a child is
  placed in substitute care and is in the conservatorship of the
                     (D)  increasing the placement of children with
  relative or kinship caregivers when possible;
                     (E)  ensuring sufficient state capacity for
  foster care and kinship placements;
                     (F)  reducing the number of children who age out
  of care and enhancing supports for youth at risk of aging out of
  care; and
                     (G)  increasing the reunification of children
  with the biological parents of the children when possible;
               (2)  identifying cost savings or reallocations of
  resources; and
               (3)  identifying opportunities for the department to
  partner with other state agencies and community organizations to
  improve services through consolidation of essential functions,
  outsourcing, and elimination of duplicative efforts.
         (i)  Not later than November 1 of the calendar year an
  efficiency audit is conducted, the auditor shall prepare and submit
  a report of the audit and recommendations for efficiency
  improvements to the governor, the Legislative Budget Board, the
  state auditor, the commissioner, the council, and the chairs of the
  House Human Services Committee and the Senate Health and Human
  Services Committee.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 2374 was passed by the House on April
  21, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 125, Nays 14, 1 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 2374 was passed by the Senate on May
  19, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________