I asked the Texas Attorney General a couple question regarding the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON). I asked if the AG oversees or in anyways investigates complaints of misconduct of the Board. I further asked does the TBON have any oversight or regulation. I asked if any Government agency or authority oversees the conduct and application of law of TBON.
I was most appreciative the AG's office willingness to answer my inquiries. Basically the answer to all my questions was a stern "No." The AG responded as below that the TBON governs themselves. In other words the TBON makes their own rules, interprets their own rules and law in matters of discipline, and investigates nurses without oversight of their appropriate application of law. The TBON is a state agency and yet they have no oversight.
Until recently there was no mechanism to file a complaint against the Board. Thanks to the efforts of Sheila Hemphill from Texas Right to Know you can file a complaint against the Board. This mechanism however, still protects the Board's self governance as complaints are filed with the TBON and investigated by the TBON defense attorneys. A conflict of interest I would say.
Please see the AG's office answer to my questions as posted below. Also,included in their answer was that complaints of Board misconduct can be made to The Special Investigations Unit within the State Auditor's Office.
Dear Ms. Nelson:
Thank you for your recent email. We appreciate your contacting the Office of the Attorney General.
Please understand the role of this office is to advise and represent state entities and interests as specified in the Texas Government Code. Under Texas law, the Office of the Attorney General is prohibited from providing legal advice, analysis or representation to private individuals.
The policies and procedures of The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) are developed and overseen by the administrators of that agency and are not subject to review by this office. You may wish to continue working with BON regarding your complaint.
The Special Investigations Unit within the State Auditor's Office investigates allegations of impropriety and illegal acts affecting state resources. You may wish to contact that agency regarding your concerns as follows:
State Auditor's Office
Special Investigations Unit
P.O. Box 12067
Austin, TX 78711
Again, thank you for writing. Please feel free to contact the Office of the Attorney General if we may be of further assistance.
Constituent Affairs Division
Office of the Attorney General of Texas