Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Would California Stem Cell Backers Do It Differently?

California's Little Hoover Commission, which is looking into governance and conflict of interest issues involving the $3 billion California stem cell agency, has raised some interesting questions that it wants answered in writing.

The questions are the subject of a meeting this Friday afternoon of a meeting of the Legislative Subcommittee of the CIRM board of directors.

In a Nov. 26 letter to CIRM Chairman Robert Klein, Stuart Drown, executive director of the bipartisan state agency, said:
"We’d like to follow up on the discussion about governance that came up during your testimony, in which you agreed to submit additional written remarks in response to Commissioner Loren Kaye’s questions:

"Would you write anything differently in the initiative, particularly in the governance area regarding the structure of the board, the composition, the ratio of independent or outside directors to the interested directors, the appointment processes, removal, conflicts? Is there anything you would, based on your practice now, do differently?

"Are there further changes, since the 2005 adjustments, that you would make now?

"Given the Institute’s very large board of busy people, do you think the ratio of the authority between you and the board as a whole is appropriate?

"The Commission would appreciate your response by December 15."
CIRM said Klein scheduled the meeting of the legislative committee in order to receive input from directors before responding to the Little Hoover request.

If you are interested in hearing the discussion or making comments, teleconference location sites can be found in San Francisco(two sites), Sacramento, Menlo Park, Healdsburg, Elk Grove and Palo Alto. The specific addresses can be found on the agenda. Locations may be changed or added so check the agenda for the latest information.

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