Friday, August 13, 2010

Dismal Lead-Up to CIRM Board Meeting Next Week

If CIRM wants to keep the public in the dark about what its directors are up to next week, it is doing excellent so far.

With only two business days before the directors meeting, little noteworthy has been provided via the board's agenda to inform the public about how its money is being spent. Of nine significant matters coming before the directors, only two have some explanation. One of those is appointment of new members to the grant review group, an action that is routine. The other makes changes in contract policies.

On the agenda is a plan to pay one-third of its directors up to $15,000 annually. However, an ordinary reader would never know that. All the agenda says is “consideration of amendments to ICOC bylaws.” Of course, the public would have to also know there is a meeting next week. No notice of that has been posted on CIRM's home page.

A plan to spend $1 million for an external study of CIRM operations merits only eight words: “consideration of proposal commissioning IOM report on CIRM.” We wrote 853 words on the subject on Wednesday, and it is worth more. Good arguments exist for performing the study, but the public is not going to hear them from CIRM in time to comment intelligently.

All of which makes CIRM look as if it is trying to hide something. It goes without saying that this is a sad and dismal situation for an organization that is spending $6 billion (including interest) that comes from California taxpayers. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

  1. Posted on behalf of Francisco Prieto:

    While I generally don't take issue with much of what's published here on the blog, I have to contradict this statement: "Of course, the public would have to also know there is a meeting next week. No notice of that has been posted on CIRM's home page" I went to the CIRM website and under "meetings' at the top of the page, as I suspected, it takes 2 clicks to get to the entire 2010 meeting schedule. This week's meeting is listed as being in S.F. rather than Palo Alto - a change made after the original schedule came out, but I don't think the info is hard to get for anyone interested. As for the few words on the IOM report, this was discussed in public at the last ICOC meeting and at one of our subcommittee meetings, again for those interested. This (the item mentioned) is just an agenda, after all - I don't expect it to have much content. I certainly agree that what the ICOC is doing with a substantial sum of California taxpayers' money is important, but other than this blog, most of the media apprear to have lost interest. That's unfortunate.