According to a source who can be identified only as a CIRM insider, the situation is “a bit alarming.”
The source said,
“Frankly, the budget documents were not provided in time for anyone, either board members or the public, to digest and understand them in order to conduct a meaningful decision-making process. What is surprising and a bit alarming is that the same problem occurred last year and staff committed then to timely dissemination of the budget for this year. The cavalier 'aw shucks' attitude towards preparing and disseminating on a timely basis the budget, which one knows a year in advance will be due, reflects either incompetence or an intentional effort to avoid meaningful oversight by the directors."Another reader, who also must remain anonymous and who works elsewhere in state government, said that the problems indicate that CIRM needs help and organizational changes. He said his own agency has been successfully putting its budget together for months now with the assistance of the state Department of General Services and Department of Finance.
CIRM has not responded to our request earlier this week for explanation of why it cancelled yesterday's meeting of the directors' Finance Subcommittee. The cancellation came after we published on Tuesday an item headlined, “CIRM Stiffs Public on Spending Plan.”
Our comment: It is clear that this is a matter that reaches the highest levels of the stem cell agency. Failure of an orgtanization to perform routine tasks – which is what budget preparation is – in a routine fashion is a strong indicator of pervasive management problems.