Friday, January 21, 2011

CIRM Clarifies Directors' Pay Proposal

Directors of the California stem cell agency next week are expected to approve a plan to compensate some members of its board up to $15,000 a year, but confusion about the pay rate has arisen because of a footnote in the proposal.

The plan would affect six patient advocate members of the 29-member CIRM governing board. The proposal posted on the CIRM web site for the board's Jan. 27 meeting in Burlingame states:

"A regular Patient Advocate member of the Grants Working Group would be eligible to receive 75% of the daily compensation paid to a regular Scientific member of the Grants Working Group and the Patient Advocate Vice Chairs would be eligible to receive 75% of the daily compensation paid to the Review Chair."

The compensation for a scientific member of the group is $750 a day. Seventy-five percent of that is $562.50.

However, CIRM says the formula in the footnote does not exactly represent what is being proposed.

James Harrison, outside counsel to the board, said in an email,
"First, the footnote has understandably caused confusion -- we plan to delete it and repost.

"Second, under the policy, the rate of the stipend would be the same for the regular Patient Advocate members and for the Patient Advocate Vice Chairs -- $562.50 per day. The variable is the number of days required for preparation and participation in a particular review session.

"If the Board were to adopt the policy, the Chair of the Board would consult with the Scientific Staff regarding the volume and complexity of applications for a particular review session and their expectation regarding the number of days required for the scientific members of the Working Group for that session. The Chair would then determine the number of days required for the regular Patient Advocate members and for the Patient Advocate Vice Chairs. The Chair could determine that the Vice Chairs will require additional preparation time, so the total amount paid to the Vice Chairs could be different than the total amount paid to the regular Patient Advocate members for a particular review session."
Regarding the deletion, we would recommend that CIRM note on the document that it has been altered since its first public posting. Given that it is an official government document and part of the public record, it is important that an accurate record of its history be maintained.

For additional background on the plan, see this item. Sphere: Related Content

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