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TABC in 2018: My Review

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) just published their review of 2018. Most of you know I’ve been pretty straight forward about the agency’s successes as well as failures, regardless of from inside or outside the agency.  What is it they say, “the first step is admitting you have a problem?”


My intent is not to throw stones.  As you may recall I lived in that green glass house for over 2 decades.  I know what it feels like.  My intent is to give credit where it is due and constructive criticism where it is warranted. All of this in the hopes of us all becoming a more engaging group.  So, starting with –


# 1 BEST OF TABC 2018

  • Without a doubt, the BEST of 2018 goes to the team for the implementation of the Open Records Center! This system not only allows for you to submit your request for agency records in a designated electronic format; you are able to choose how you would like to receive your documents, including electronically.  It is an amazing system, and I know it didn’t happen without a lot of work on the backend.  Kudos to all involved!  Unfortunately, this incredible achievement didn’t even make the TABC self-review.


#2 BEST OF TABC 2018

  • The second best of 2018 goes to the rewrite of the Protest Policy. It’s the “right of passage” for every general counsel.  TABC took in an interesting approach to the protest of applications.   It’s a well-written policy and relatively easy to follow.



  • Like the “BEST” was easy to identify, the “WORST” of 2018 is as well. The difference is, it pains me to write.  The worst is clearly the average processing time for original applications to be processed.   Don’t think I have long term memory loss; I know the TABC has been behind before.  The difference this time is the administration is doing nothing to get the number of days down.  Past administrations went into triage mode, including having other employees work apps while developing a plan for the longer-term solution.  This administration apparently sees no need for triage or a longer-term solution which is proven by #2 of the “Worst.”



  • The Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) was a missed opportunity for the agency. They are requesting 66 new law enforcement officers in their appropriations request to legislators.   The state and businesses all over the country are losing revenue in the delays being experienced in issuing licenses/permits and label approvals.  This is directly tied to a lack of resources, and yet the agency is requesting officers?  If licenses/permits aren’t issued, there is nothing to police!



  • I didn’t want to write a third worst, but I did say I would be honest. The #3 of WORST goes to communications and transparency to the public.  Policies are made and communicated to a select few.  Meetings are scheduled but by invitation only may a person attend.  Hard questions are asked and go unanswered.  The Board even votes on rules, not allowing for public comment before voting!


As E. A. Bucchianeri wrote, “An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interest at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.”

Your friend TABC,