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Home October 20, 2004 Agenda & Minutes
MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
a) Identifying mission and strategic intent
b) Identifying immediate action items in support of mission and strategic intent
(Note: We will move to item 7 at 11 am regardless of whether we have completed items 1-6.)
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 – Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 107
Maine GeoLibrary Board Meeting
Members in attendance
Item #1: Approval of the Sept. 15th Board Meeting Minutes
After a few minutes pause for members to review the minutes, the Chair entertained a motion to accept the minutes. Bob Faunce moved to accept the minutes as written, Ray Halperin seconded The Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes as written.
Item 2: Subcommittee Structure – Future Agendas
Jim Page drew the Board's attention to section 2 “Board Structure” of the memorandum of 10/14/04 in their documents package. He explained that the object in proposing a standing committee structure was to free the Board from having to act as a “committee of the whole” on all issues, which makes it difficult for the Board to act efficiently. The Committees would have a Chair, regular membership and a regular slot on the monthly agenda. Every Board member would be expected to be on at least one committee. The suggested standing committees were as follows:
A. Finance Committee
In discussion it was noted that this would require additional effort on the part of the Board members to meet, deliberate and prepare presentations. This could be offset by technology using internet conferencing, teleconferencing and e-mail. It was noted that although these electronic methods were not legally viable for meetings of the Board, their use by the Committees could be perfectly acceptable. It was also suggested that the Board's more regular visitors could be invited to attend Committee meetings of interest to them or serve on the Committees. It was also suggested that the meeting times and locations of the Committees be published on the GeoLibrary website and pushed out on the listservers. Both suggestions drew positive responses.
Ray Halperin moved to establish three standing committees: Finance, Policy and Technical, each Committee to have a Chair, and a Vice Chair and to make regular reports to the Board. Marilyn Lutz seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.
At this point wall charts were used to list the members on each committee and the Chairs at least initially. The results were as follows.
Finance Committee Policy Committee Technical Committee
Jim Page – Chair
Will Mitchell - Chair
Item #3 Payment of Data Storage FY05 to BIS
Dan Walters reported on the history of the budgeted infrastructure improvements. These fell into two areas, data products such as the orthoimagery and enterprise services such as the Internet Mapping Sites for base maps and orthoimagery. The difficulty is that the GeoLibrary bond money cannot be spent or even contracted out on storage and maintenance of data products, only their initial purchase. The question is how to support BIS and/or other operations on behalf of the GeoLibrary. The proposed solution, at least temporarily, is that subject to State confirmation that this is a legitimate use of these bond funds, that the GeoLibrary Board will increase the amount of matching funds to the Land Use/Land Cover project. In return, the state agencies already contributing to that project will use some of their LU/LC funding to pay for data storage and maintenance.
In discussion questions were raised on whether or not the GeoLibrary should continue to essentially rent enterprise services or purchase its own. Again, the inability to use bond money to pay for maintenance activities was pointed out. Dan was asked if the cost of storage would go down over time. He replied that although there are economies of scale, the total cost will increase as the size of the data increases. The consensus was that the details were a finance committee issue.
Barbara Charry moved that the Board increase support to the Land Use Land Cover project and direct the Finance Committee to work out the details. Bob Faunce seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Item #4: GPCOG Report
Dick Thompson reported on the findings of the Panel in the dispute hearing on the Greater Portland Council of Government's request for compensation in regard to the GeoLibrary purchase of orthoimagery. He drew the Board's attention to a letter of 10/18/2004 in their document packages describing the information presented and the Panel's conclusions and recommendation and he discussed the salient points of the hearing. The recommendation was as follows: “The Panel recommends that GPCOG be compensated to cover unrecovered expenses to a maximum of $48,676 and that GPCOG reimburse the Board for any revenue recovered beyond expenses for the next two years. As an alternative, the Board and GPCOG (by mutual agreement) should be authorized to agree to a fixed amount transaction less than the $48,676 to close the matter immediately.”
In general discussion the question was raised as to whether or not GPCOG could still sell products if recompensed as suggested; the answer was apparently yes. Another question was what products exactly GPCOG was selling and to whom; for this there was no immediate answer. It was suggested that the matter be negotiated as noted in the recommendation. Jim Page noted that what needed to be decided were precedent and policy issues, including: 1) the hearing procedure appeared to fall outside the guidelines set forth in the bylaws, and the Board needs a policy on how future appeals should be handled. 2) The Board needs to decide how to handle future claims concerning “stranded or opportunity costs” and whether the GPCOG matter constitutes precedence in this area. 3) Is the Board in fact competing with the private sector as noted in the letter of finding? 4) Under what circumstances and conditions does the Board authorize Staff to negotiate for the GeoLibrary? Dick Thompson said he agreed. However, GPCOG was considered a “non-state data custodian” and the GeoLibrary statute calls for cooperation with such. He also noted that the letter of finding does describe a relationship between GPCOG and the Board in the matter. There was further discussion on how to proceed, whether to negotiate, to refer it to committee or vote on the recommendation now.
Dick Thompson moved to empower the Chair with selecting a person or persons to negotiate with GPCOG and return to the Board with an amount for approval. Ray Halperin seconded. There was further discussion with respect to setting a precedent, whether or not this was a matter of conscience and whether or not this was a simple fairness issue. There was still further discussion about limiting the negotiated amount in advance, which was not viewed favorably and what would happen if the Board rejected the negotiated settlement. The Board voted 8 in favor, none opposed. The motion carried. Jim Page appointed Dick Thompson and Bob Faunce to negotiate on behalf of the Board and report back at the next meeting. It was also agrees that the 4 policy issues would be referred to the Policy Committee for consideration.
Item #5: O.I.T Overview
Dick Thompson reported briefly on the ongoing restructuring of the Bureau Information Services, combining it with the Office of Chief Information Officer to create the Office of Information Technology with the CIO in charge of the new agency. The OIT is proposed to be in three parts: Operations and Production Services, Strategic Management and Operations and Production Services. All sections will be looked at to see if their services can be provided more efficiently and more cost effectively, and whether some services may be more effective if housed in client agencies instead of in a central IS department. The immediate effect is a physical move of the CIO's office to the facilities at 26 Edison Drive.
In discussion it was asked if the Service Level Agreements (SLA) between MEGIS and state agencies would change. Dick replied that an alternative means of funding would be more desirable. It was noted that the Finance Committee needs to review the history of SLAs which are essentially voluntary contributions to support the base level of MEGIS services.
Item #6: Budget Review
Dan Walters passed out a one page summary of the current budget and gave a very brief review of it for the Board. Of the $2.3 million of bond money, $1,041,516 has been expended or encumbered, leaving a balance of $801,057. Jim Page noted that he and Dan were working on a new format to present the GeoLibrary's finances to the board. They have made progress on that but work remains. There will be an updated version available for board review at the next meeting.
Item #7: GeoLibrary Portal RFP /Orthophoto Project RFP
GeoLibrary Portal Project RPF: Will Mitchell had asked to address the internet Portal RFP at this point and he reported that the RFP was ready for publication and he was asking for approval to publish it. He added that the original budget of $40,000 might not be adequate for the task and the proposals might be over $40K. It was noted that language in all State RFPs gives the state the right to reject all or any bids. Ray Halperin moved to approve the RFP as written with comments allowed until the end of next week (the week of the 24th). Barbara Charry seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.
Orothophoto Project RFP: Dan Walters reported that due to a number of developments, the Federal match required for the GeoLibrary bond money to be encumbered could be attained without the US Geological Survey work-in-kind match proposed for the next phase of orthophoto production. This gives the Board an opportunity if they wish to issue their own RFP for part or all of the remaining image collection and orthoimage creation. In a brief discussion it was decided by general consensus to refer the matter to the Technical Committee to review the options and report at the next Board meeting.
Item #8: Strategic Planning Exercise
Jim Page put two questions to the Board. 1) What is the Board's definition of the GeoLibrary mission? 2) What is the strategic intent of the Board and what action items are needed to support the intent? The Staff put up several wall charts and informally facilitated what developed into a wide-ranging brain storming session on the GeoLibrary present and future. The wall chart bullets are reproduced below:
There was not time to begin organizing and prioritizing these ideas. Jim Page and Larry Harwood will attempt to summarize and write up all this based on the group discussion and circulate the results before the next meeting. The meeting adjourned at 12:35.
The next meeting of the GeoLibrary Board will be Wednesday November 17th from 10:00 to 12:30 in room 107 of the Cross (state) Office Building, unless otherwise posted.
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