Friday, May 18, 2012

CIRM's Improving Openness

The California stem cell agency this week once again posted in a timely fashion important information dealing with matters to be decided next Thursday by directors of the $3 billion stem cell agency.

The agency's actions are a marked improvement in openness and transparency compared to the practices prior to the election last June of J.T. Thomas as chairman of the CIRM board. Previously, background material on multimillion dollar matters was not available much of the time until shortly before the directors meeting, making it virtually impossible for interested parties or the public to comment or attend the sessions. Even CIRM directors would complain from time to time about the laggard performance.

According to the agenda, next week's meeting in San Francisco will include approval of $95 million in new grants, consideration of the first-ever performance audit of  which made 27 recommendations for improvement, action on the first-ever CIRM directors' code of conduct along with conflict of interest rules, changes in its loan policy and consideration of the agency's strategy for the next five years.

In addition to the meeting site in San Francisco, a public teleconference location will be available at UC San Francisco, two in Los Angeles and one in La Jolla. Specific addresses can be found on the meeting agenda.

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