Authority/Reference(s) Texas Government Code 402.0212;Texas Government Code §2254
Revision Date December 20, 2019

POLICY

DFPS Office of General Counsel is responsible for providing legal services to DFPS to ensure that the agency complies with all applicable state and federal laws.  

Outside legal counsel is a type of consulting/professional services contract and must follow Texas Government Code §2254, subchapter D. If the Legal Services are contingency based, then Texas Government Code §2254, Subchapter C must be followed.

In the rare instance the agency enters into a contract for outside legal services, there are specific steps that must be followed when processing invoices and payments for these services.

The invoice must be submitted to the Attorney General by the DFPS Office of General Counsel no later than 25 days after the date DFPS receives the invoice unless DFPS disputes the invoice.

If DFPS disputes an invoice for outside legal services, it must be done within 21 days after receiving the invoice by notifying the attorney or law firm with a request for a corrected invoice. Once the corrected invoice is received, the 25 days for submission to the attorney general begins.

Before providing written certification, DFPS Office of General Counsel must determine that the following are documented:

  1. Amount and type of expenses billed under the invoice,
  2. Rates for legal services under the invoice, and
  3. Number of billable hours for legal services under the invoice.

When submitting the invoice to the Attorney General, a written certification from the DFPS Office of General Counsel must be included, which certifies that:

  1. the legal services billed were performed within the term of the contract,
  2. the services were within the scope of the legal services authorized by the contract, and
  3. the services were reasonably necessary to fulfill the purpose of the contract.