Guidelines for the Disbursement of Funds

Professional Memberships

A state agency may pay a membership fee to a professional organization if:

  • The agency has specific or implied statutory authority for the payment; and
  • The payment would serve a proper public purpose; and
  • The agency would receive adequate consideration in exchange for the payment; and
  • The agency head reviews and grants prior approval for the expenditure.

Membership fees are not allowed on state funds if any portion of the membership is contributed to a lobbyist.

  • To determine if a portion of the membership is contributed to a lobbyist, refer to the state of Texas Ethics website and confirm that the organization is not listed under the search "By Client Name".

If it is on the list or the membership form lists a portion paid to a lobbyist:

  • The membership payment is allowed on local funds only and the portion contributed to a lobbyist has been documented and deducted.
  • Document that the lobbyist list was checked, state the full name of the organization, beginning and ending dates of the membership, and if in the individual's name that the membership serves a public purpose and the agency will receive adequate consideration.
  • This type of payment is perfectly suited for the payment card.

These are coded to 5211.