Baylor University Poage Library

Scope and Content - Comptroller Series

Collection Intro | Campaign | Comptroller | Lt. Governor | Media | Personal |

Comptroller Series

From 1975 to 1990, Bullock’s political career encompassed sixteen years of public service as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The Comptroller is the state’s tax collector, chief fiscal officer managing all accounts and paying all bills, and is responsible for all legislative fiscal estimates. There is no state government agency that the Comptroller of Public Accounts does not interact with. When Bob Bullock first ran for Comptroller, his aim was to modernize the Comptroller’s office and bring more efficiency to an office which had become stagnate. Bullock felt that millions of dollars in lost taxes were due Texas and he intended to see those taxes paid.

Bullock ran a strong campaign and upon winning the election for Comptroller in 1974, he sat out to keep his campaign promises. Bullock did exactly that, and much more, for the state of Texas. He took over an outdated office and turned it into an office that became a symbol of efficiency, equal opportunity, and exemplary management, winning awards locally and nationally for initiatives and practices within the Comptroller’s Office. Bullock began collecting unpaid taxes with great success and the term “Bullock’s Raiders” was soon feared with good reason. By the end of his tenure as Comptroller of Public Accounts, he had completely turned around the office of Comptroller and the fiscal management of Texas.

The Comptroller materials represented in this series are those records that were rescued from the state records management office when they were slated for destruction. Bullock’s office was contacted, and the records that had not already been destroyed were brought to Baylor. At this point, we are unable to say how much and what types of Comptroller’s materials were deaccessioned or destroyed between the time the records left the Comptroller’s office and the time Baylor was given the option of obtaining them. Because of this, we cannot consider the records in the Comptroller’s Series complete.

The Comptroller Series (132.25 linear feet) consists of seven subseries: Correspondence, Issue Files, Itineraries, Notebooks, Policies and Procedures, Publications, and Reports.

The Correspondence section of this series is arranged into general correspondence, media correspondence (alpha and mass form mailings), and staff correspondence. During the Comptroller years, Bullock seemed to file what might be considered personal correspondence with all other general correspondence. That filing system has been retained here in the Comptroller’s Series. The Comptroller’s Office also filed 1975-1986 correspondences together, then filed 1987 and 1988 separately, and then 1989-1990 together. During the 1989-1990 period, Bullock’s office filed correspondence by month and then chronologically within each month. This system has also been retained. The staff correspondence of this section is closed to researchers due to the private nature of the papers. See note on access restriction.

The Issue Files subseries is in three sections: Education, General (the largest group), and Redistricting. These issue files contain information on the important issues during the years Bullock was Comptroller, and provide extensive evidence of Bullock’s transformation of the Comptroller’s Office from one of complacency to one of action and growth. The Education section of this Issue subseries contains correspondence, memos, reports, bills, news clippings, brochures and publications. The heaviest concentration of materials is for the dates 1982-1984 and 1989-1990. As mentioned, the General Issue section is large and encompasses any other issue that was not classified as Education or Redistricting. The dates for these General Issues run from 1974-1990, with the bulk from 1982-1990. Not all years are covered in all the issues. The Redistricting subseries consists of materials covering 1970-1981, with the majority ranging from 1970-1973 and 1979-1981 as well as some undated materials. Located in these files are information on census data, court cases, legal briefs and research, congressional district summaries, Senate maps and proposals, and news clippings on redistricting dating 1971-1972 and 1979-1980.

Found in the Itineraries subseries of the Comptroller’s Series are appointment books, appointment sheets, calendar sheets, weekly schedules and handwritten calendars for the years 1975-1985. The 1975-1985 itineraries are located in file folders and the itineraries for 1989 and 1990 are located in notebooks. The 1989 and 1990 itineraries are very detailed and are located with the rest of the notebooks on the Bullock non-circulating shelves. There are no records of itineraries for the years 1986-1988.

Notebooks, again, are prevalent in Bullock’s materials. In the Comptroller’s Series, the notebooks are predominately tied to issues. There are five notebooks containing education workshop papers and a two-volume set of notebooks titled Comptroller’s Media Books which contain information on newspapers in Texas, listed alphabetically by city. The information includes contact information for the newspapers, owners name and information, and circulation statistics and days published. A Texas Legislative Manual is also in this section, as well as Itinerary notebooks for 1989 and 1990 as mentioned above.
Also included is a Special Financial Reports Notebook dating from 1983-1990. There are many issue-specific notebooks found in the issue files, and they were separated [by a separation sheet] and cataloged [to allow for researcher use.] Note: All Bullock notebooks are non-circulating.

There are many files in the Policies and Procedures section that deal with the daily workings and organization of the Comptroller’s office. Budget, job descriptions and standards, front office policies, codes of conduct, specific divisions policies and practices, and field office policies and practices are only a few of the ones in this sub-section of the Comptroller’s series. Bullock worked hard to make sure everything was done efficiently and the policies and practices he implemented during his tenure as Comptroller became nationally recognized and emulated. These files range from 1975-1991 with the bulk dating 1979-1983.

The Publications subseries contains nine notebook volumes of Fiscal Notes, a publication of the Comptroller’s Office that Bullock began in 1976. Missing from the notebooks are April, October, and November, 1976; December, 1977; April, November, and December, 1978; December, 1979; May, 1991; June, 1995; and March, 1998.] [The last three months of 1998 are not in the notebooks. The years 1990-1998 are produced under John Sharp, who became Comptroller after Bullock left office. Also located in this Publication section is The Bottom Line, the newsletter of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, issues October – December 1984, January-February 1985, April – December 1985, and January – December issues for the years 1986-1990. The Bottom Line issues are also in the files and are copied letter-sized.

The Reports section of the Comptroller’s Series contains reports both by Bullock’s office as well as to Bullock, and range from 1979-1986 with the bulk of the reports dating 1985-1986. These reports relate to economic and revenue issues and also operational reports that deal with the different facets and divisions of the Comptroller’s Office. One small section of general reports contains non-specific reports, with “Problems of Texas…And Texans: Texas Facts and Figures,” as an example. Many of the reports were cataloged and can be found in the Baylor online catalog. Those that did not lend themselves easily to cataloging have been put into regular file folders.

The Media Series of the Bullock Collection also contains reels of Comptroller’s correspondence, work papers, and policy reports. These are discussed in detail in the scope and content description of the Media Series.

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