Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the importance of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) following the release of an audit of the program by the State Auditor's Office (SAO). The SAO report finds no fraud or violation of state law in the operation of the TETF, nor does it find any political basis for the awarding of TETF money. The Governor's Office (OOG) is already implementing many recommendations from the report, and will continue utilizing the TETF to invest in emerging technology companies and bring top researchers to Texas.
"In Texas, we've fostered an environment that encourages individuals to risk their capital and create innovative, groundbreaking technologies that have the potential to impact lives, not just in our state, but around the world," Gov. Perry said. "The program has continued to improve research at our universities by bringing world renowned research teams to Texas, and is helping put Texas on the path to becoming the next Silicon Valley. My office looks forward to implementing additional recommendations to improve the accountability and transparency of this important program."
The Governor's Office and SAO have been working together on the audit for several months. Additionally, the OOG has completed an internal review and consequently created a Compliance and Oversight Division (COD) consisting of experienced auditors and contract compliance staff within the OOG to improve the office's review of companies that receive TETF funds, and strengthen decision-making processes.
The creation of the new COD is just one step that the OOG has taken in its continual efforts to improve the operations and results of the TETF program. The SAO has identified several additional recommendations, and the OOG looks forward to implementing those that will maintain public confidence in and promote the legislative purpose of this important program.
The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized in 2007 and again in 2009. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $196.2 million in funds to 132 early stage companies, and nearly $173 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities.
The Governor's Office has issued a response to the State Auditor's Office report, which can be viewed by clicking the link below.
To view the State Auditor's Office report, please visit http://www.sao.state.tx.us/reports/main/11-029.pdf.
For more information on the TETF, please visit http://www.emergingtechfund.com