Thursday, January 27, 2011

CIRM Directors to Post Their Statements of Economic Interest Online

Directors of the California stem cell agency today decided to post their statements of economic interest on the CIRM web site along with those of the executives of the $3 billion enterprise. Also to be posted will be the expense claims filed by the same officials.

The action was approved on a unanimous voice vote. It came at the request of Citizens Financial Accountability Oversight Committee (CFAOC) one year ago when it urged more openness and transparency at the agency. The committee is chaired by the state's top fiscal officer, Controller John Chiang. It is a sister to CIRM, created also by Prop. 71 in 2004, and is the only state body specifically charged with overseeing CIRM's finances.

Chiang's office said the controller called the action "good news and a long-overdue step toward
transparency and accountability."
The postings will begin in April, the deadline for the 2010 statements of economic interest. Other state agencies, including the governor's and controller's office, already have been posting their own statements and expense claims. CIRM plans to confer with the CFAOC to be sure to comply properly with its request.

Director Sherry Lansing, chair of the Governance Subcommittee and a former Hollywood studio chief, said that CIRM  "has nothing to hide, and it (the information) is already out there."

CIRM Director David Serrano Sewell, a deputy city attorney in San Francisco, was delegated to work with staff and the CFAOC to implement the postings.

The California Stem Cell Report posted the statements for the directors and staff last August after CIRM balked at complying with the unanimous request from the CFAOC. The postings by the stem cell report were  noted more than once by directors today. Last month we began the process of gathering CIRM expense claims for posting but will suspend that effort.

Our take on today's board action? We applaud the CIRM directors. Today's vote represents a significant step forward in improving the agency's openness and transparency. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment