State of Maine
ANGUS S. KING, JR.
TO: INFORMATION RESOURCES OF MAINE (InforME) BOARD
FROM: MARY N. CLOUTIER, STAFF
DATE: October 4, 1999
RE: MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 13, 1999 InforME BOARD MEETING
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, Chair
Deborah B. Carson, Financial Operations Officer, Judicial Branch
Richard Davies, Public Member
Tamara Dukes, President, New England Interactive
Major Jeffrey Harmon, Department of Public Safety
Sam Levy, University of Maine System
Marilyn Lutz, Maine Library Association
Robert A. Mayer, Chief Information Officer, Bureau of Information Services
Linda Monica, Maine Trial Lawyers Association
Rudolph Naples, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Human Services
Gary Nichols, Maine State Librarian
Michael Pizzo, Maine Bankers Association
Anne Schink, Maine League of Women Voters
Lesley Sprague, Maine Association of Realtors
Mary N. Cloutier, Staff to InforME Board, Bureau of Information Services
Rebecca Wyke, (Staff to the Chair) Assistant Secretary of State, Office of Secretary of State
Janet Grard, Office of Secretary of State
Jon Hardie, Rockefeller Technology Project
Following greeting comments, Chairman Gwadosky, relayed Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner’s opinion, that members may legally vote during a meeting via conference call and speaker telephone. Chairman Gwadosky had sought her guidance following the July meeting, which did not have a quorum physically present. Ms. Gardiner had emphasized that the Freedom of Access Law requires the conduct of the meeting in public, so observers can view the process. Therefore the use of speaker telephones, and video conferencing equipment during meetings is permissible. She could be invited to a future Board meeting, if the members want to explore this in more depth.
Tamara Dukes reviewed the August/September General Manager’s report, which was accepted by the Board. Tamara said the financial reports would be mailed as soon as they are available from her accountant. Tamara gave a brief oral financial report, and noted that revenues are behind projections, as actual sales volumes have not reached anticipated levels.
Bob Mayer told the Board that he had recently received mailings from other companies who provide essentially the same services as New England Interactive (NEI), and said the “competition is heating up” in this arena. He noted that other companies could purchase all the drivers records in order to compete against NEI. Agreeing, Jeff Harmon observed the InforME Board needs to move aggressively to maintain the partnership relationship with its contracted vendor, NEI.
Tamara noted that the fourth service for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles would be launched shortly, and complimented BMV staff on their active partnership. The September presentation to Governor King and the cabinet went very well, and the Governor endorsed NEI hosting the State’s home page, and has several priority initiatives. The Governor suggested that his office prioritize departmental needs to keep NEI from being overloaded.
To accommodate the anticipated growth, Tamara has purchased a second server, and Dick Davies inquired as to the “future implications” of this purchase. Tamara reassured him that this earlier than expected hardware purchase will not have a deleterious impact on the schedule, and that there were no corresponding staffing implications.
After a review of the Web Design Proposal, (which could not be adopted at the July meeting since a quorum was not present), Robert Mayer moved to accept the proposed solution. The motion, seconded by Dick Davies, was carried by unanimous vote.
Subscription Fee: Saying the subscription fee should not be a deterrent to use, Tamara recommended a $50 annual subscription and renewal fee, be approved by the Board. These fees, needed to cover NEI billing and other administrative expenses, would entitle subscribers to receive ten user names and passwords. Bob Mayer suggested that ten user passes were too generous, and recommended five with an additional fee for each additional user name and password.
In response to a question, Tamara said in other states’ networks, companies often distribute the ten user names and passwords throughout the firm. Several Board members recommended this practice not be instituted in Maine. Members want to ensure that users are responsible for their own passwords, and that InforME use can be tracked to a physical address, or individual if needed. Jeff Harmon moved, and the Board unanimously approved the proposed $50 annual subscription and renewal fee per account. The Board will further discuss its desire for a restriction on concurrent use (e.g. each user id and password may only be used by the subscriber him/her self) at a coming meeting, following research by Tamara Dukes. Dick Davies seconded the motion.
Non-profit Access: Becky Wyke noted that the Secretary of State currently waives the $5/record fee for state funded, or donation funded non-profit agencies, and she distributed a list of these Non-Profit Accounts. Estimating there were approximately 6,000 driver record checks each year from these organizations, Becky distributed a draft policy for the Board’s review. Jeff Harmon predicted that the exemption of fees will become a major InforME Board issue when criminal history records are accessed via the network, because “there are thousands of entities who do not currently pay the access fee.”
Members expressed reservations with cost shifting (paying customers absorbing the costs of providing free access to others), and the potential for these organizations to sell records. Tamara said other National Information Consortium states required non-profit organizations to only pay a network fee, and waived the record fee. She recommended evaluation on a “case by case” basis. Instead, members preferred a consistent policy and unanimously adopted the amended Policy Regarding the Exemption of Certain Governmental Entities and Nonprofit Agencies From Payment of Fees Associated with Copies of Motor Vehicle Records, following a motion by Jeff Harmon, and a second by Gary Nichols. (The amendment set a limit of up to 50 records/year for non-profits to qualify for subscription exemption, and prohibited resale or further dissemination of the records.)
Demo: Chairman Gwadosky gave the Board an interactive demonstration of the new InforME Board website, BMV subscription service and coming title and registration services. See http://www.informe.org/interactive for details.
Project Prioritization Flowchart: Tamara reviewed the prioritization flowchart handout, and said that it can be a useful tool to help the Board decide on the priority of competing projects. She has given the flowchart to agencies and thinks that she can work with them to complete the form for Board approval. Anne suggested inclusion of the “broader benefit”, and Tamara pledged to incorporate this into the form. A mechanism is needed to juggle requests, and to attempt to have NEI take on projects which are a “good fit”, so the company can become profitable on schedule in the third year of its contract. The Board approved the use of the flow chart as it is, but changes may result from its application.
Strategic Planning: Becky Wyke facilitated the Board in a discussion of their thinking regarding the strategic direction over the next three years. Tamara is charged with developing a one-three year strategic plan before January 2000, and will prepare working drafts based upon the members’ comments. The Board will further discuss Tamara’s drafts at upcoming meetings.
The next InforME Board meeting will be held Wednesday, October 20th at 1:00 p.m. in the Secretary of State conference room on the first floor of the Nash School Building. The Nash School (#20 on this map: http://janus.state.me.us/images/augusta.gif) is a antique looking red brick building, adjacent to the State Office Building and the parking garage. The conference room is on the first floor.
Mary N. Cloutier
Staff to the Board