Thursday, September 23, 2010

Text of CIRM Comments on October Review of its Operations

Here is the text of what CIRM has told the California Stem Cell Report (CSCR) concerning the California stem cell agency's October review of its operations. All responses were given via email by Don Gibbons, CIRM's chief communications officer, in response to questions, also via email.

CSCR query Sept. 13, 2010
“Please send me the schedule and location for the external review sessions in October.”
CIRM response Sept. 13, 2010
“It will be at CIRM headquarters October 13, 8:00-6:15; October 14, 8:30-7:15; and October 15, 9:00-5:00”
CSCR query Sept. 13, 2010
“Is there a particular agenda or order of business? Will the strategic plan or elements of the plan be examined page by page or section by section or ?”
CIRM response Sept. 20, 2010
“The first day will be presentations by staff about various aspects of our operations and goals, with ample time for discussion during each session.
“The second morning will be presentations by the Chair and his staff about governance and bonds, with the afternoon being given over to a series of discussions with small groups: members of the Grants Working Group, biotech execs, cirm grantees, and patient advocates.
“The third day will begin with a Q&A session with Alan (Trounson) and then the reviewers will begin to outline the draft of their report with only a facilitator present.”
CSCR query Sept. 20, 2010
“I assume that all of these sessions are open to the public, right?”
CIRM response Sept. 22, 2010
“The reviewers will not meet in public. A review of this nature will only be valuable if the reviewers can ask tough questions and receive candid, unfiltered responses.
“The reviewers are not public officials and have no governmental authority; they were asked to serve by staff not the CIRM board. They have been asked to give their opinion, not make decisions. Their opinions will be placed in a public document not edited by CIRM.
“If CIRM board members, as public officials, seek to take any action on the basis of the report, they would do that through public meetings.”
CSCR query Sept. 22, 2010
“Do any board members plan to attend the meeting? Will they be barred from the sessions?”
CIRM response Sept. 22, 2010
“A small group of board members will be interviewed by the group the second afternoon.”

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