The Texas Monitoring of Vital Events (TxMOVE) Project is the second initiative focused on self-assessments and desk audits.
In December 2012, SAO released A Follow-up Audit Report on the Issuance of Birth Certificates at the Department of State Health Services, which found that, "While the Department has made progress in implementing the prior audit recommendations, it should continue its efforts to improve controls related to (1) its monitoring of local registrars' compliance with applicable laws and regulations, (2) its compliance with its Internal Security Manual, and (3) reviewing user access to its Texas Electronic Registrar (TER) system." Specifically, the SAO recommended that:
The Department should strengthen its monitoring of local registrars by updating its policies and procedures, requiring local registrars to submit self-assessments, documenting its selection process for monitoring visits, and maintaining an accurate list of completed monitoring visits.
The Department should ensure that its Vital Statistics Unit complies with policies and procedures related to the destruction of birth certificates and obtaining all required employee signatures for confidentiality and computer use agreements.
Additionally, a Sunset Advisory Commission Report released in August 2014 recommended that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) require all local registrars to submit a self-assessment report to DSHS annually, and that DSHS "should develop a formal desk audit policy and increase the use of desk audits in monitoring local registrars’ offices."
Under these recommendations, statute would require local registrars to submit a self-assessment report to the state registrar annually. The Vital Statistics Unit (VSU), with input from local registrars, would develop the self-assessment to ensure it provides the information necessary to conduct a thorough desk audit of a local registrar. As a management action, DSHS would be directed to develop a formal desk audit policy to assess a registrar office’s compliance with vital statistics laws, rules, and policies, and to conduct more desk audits. By requiring the self-assessments, VSU would have information from all local registrars’ offices, which would improve the efficiency of VSU's monitoring process, enabling more local registrars’ offices to be monitored more frequently. DSHS should ensure the self-assessment includes the information necessary to conduct a reconciliation of records and elevate the risk of any entity whose records do not reconcile appropriately.
Both recommendations were approved by the Sunset Committee in August 13, 2014.
The success of the TxMOVE Project depends on collaboration to help us understand your needs. We are looking for a pool of "volunteer" sites that can serve as subject matter experts and assist in beta testing revised and new monitoring procedures for self-assessments and desk audits. Join our scheduled conference calls for more information and to help us collaborate on making the TxMOVE Project a success!