Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hoover Commission Recommendations

Here is the text of the recommendations for CIRM from California's Little Hoover Commission:

Recommendation 1: The Legislature should restructure the CIRM governing board around principles of efficiency and transparency.
  • The Legislature should amend the Health and Safety Code to reduce the board size, shorten terms and restructure membership.
  • Decrease board size to 15 from 29. Keep diversity of membership but add independent voices to the board: five patient advocates from unspecified disease groups, two independent business leaders and two independent scientists with no ties to CIRM-funded institutions; two University of California officials, one university official (non UC); two private sector biotechnology executives, and one leader of a California research institution.
  • Reduce terms to four years for all members.
  • The Legislature should amend the Health and Safety Code to streamline the appointment process for CIRM board members.
  • Allow the governor to appoint 11 of 15 board members, subject to Senate confirmation. Legislative leaders should continue to appoint two members. The UC system presidentshould appoint two UC representatives.
  • The Legislature and CIRM should realign the roles of chair and president to eliminate overlapping authority and to enhance clarity and accountability.
  • The Legislature should modify all statutory references inthe Health and Safety Code to the nominating process, job duties and qualifications for the chair and vice chair to invest this authority with the board.
  • The CIRM board should elect a chair and a vice chair from within the existing board, subject to set terms and conditions for re-election/removal.
  • The CIRM board should clarify that the president manages all day-to-day operations.
  • The Legislature should amend the Health and Safety Code to rename the board to more accurately reflect its composition. The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee should be called the Board of Directors.
Recommendation 2: The Legislature and CIRM should improve efficiency and transparency for distributing grant and loan funds.
  • The Legislature should amend the Health and Safety Code to remove the 50-employee cap on staffing.
  • The Legislature should amend the Health and Safety Code to remove the 15-person limit on peer reviewers. CIRM should modify its triage plan to review grants internally.
  • CIRM should explore options for greater disclosure of the peer review process.
  • CIRM should poll CIRM’s peer reviewers anonymously about their willingness to participate in the review process if their financial disclosure statements are made available
  • to the public. The results of this poll should be made public.
  • CIRM should conduct a trial grant application round that identifies all applicants.
  • CIRM should provide full grant evaluations to applicants.
  • CIRM should amend all meeting minutes to specify individual board members’ votes and recusals, and continue the practice moving forward.

Recommendation 3: The CFAOC and the CIRM governing board should use their authority to enhance oversight.
  • The Citizen’s Financial Accountability Oversight Committee (CFAOC), chaired by the State Controller, should exercise its existing authority, or be statutorily authorized if necessary, to conduct performance audits and hold regular meetings to review CIRM’s programmatic and strategic performance, in addition to overseeing CIRM’s annual financial audits.
  • The governing board should hold its members accountable by adopting removal provisions in its bylaws.
Recommendation 4: The CIRM governing board should begin planning for CIRM’s future through an open process.
  • The CIRM governing board should create succession plans for board leadership.
  • CIRM’s strategic plan should provide clear transparent
  • CIRM should develop a transition plan for the eventual expiration of bond funding.
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