Policies of the Telecommunications Relay Services Advisory Council
Pursuant to the authority to establish policies as set forth in 5 MRSA § 12004-G, the Telecommunications Relay Services Advisory Council (hereinafter “the Council”) adopts the following policies to govern the internal practices of the Council.
- Officers of the Council
- Categories of Officers. The Council shall have four Officers, the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Clerk and the Treasurer.
- Election of Officers. At the first quarterly meeting of a calendar year the Council shall elect the Chair, Vice-Chair, Clerk and Treasurer for the Council.
- Duties of the Chair. The Chair of the Council is responsible for presiding over all meetings of the Council. The Chair shall develop an agenda for each meeting of the Council and shall either assign an individual to develop minutes of each meeting to take minutes, or the Chair may retain a transcription service for the meeting of the Council which shall serve as the minutes for the meeting. The Chair shall review all invoices submitted to the Council within 10 days of receipt of the invoice pursuant to Section 4.
- Duties of the Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair of the Council shall assume the duties of the Chair of the Council in the event the Chair is unable to perform his or her duties. The Chair shall notify the Vice-Chair and the Council if the Chair is unable to preside over a meeting or perform any other duty of the Chair. Upon such notice, the Vice-Chair shall take up the duties of the Chair until such time as the Chair is able to resume his or her duties.
- Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer of the Council is responsible for maintaining the financial statements for the Council and reviewing invoices and paying invoices pursuant to the provisions of Section 4. The Treasurer of the Council shall be a signatory to any bank account in which funds for the Council are held and shall have authority to withdraw funds from any such bank account for the purposes set forth in Section 3. The Treasurer is responsible for hiring an auditor to audit the financial statements of the Council at least every two years.
- Duties of the Clerk. The Clerk shall be responsible for making the annual filings that are required of the Council and of Maine TRS. Specifically, the Clerk will file (1) in December of each year, the Annual Report due at the Maine Secretary of State; (2) in July of each year, the Advisory Council’s report to the Federal Communications Commission; (3) in January of each year, responses to the FCC’s federal-TRS data request; and (4) every seventh year, or whenever designated by the Maine Legislature, the report to the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA).
- Duties of the Council
- Quarterly meetings. The Council shall meet as a whole no less than four times every calendar year. The Council may meet more frequently as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the Council as set forth in 35-A MRSA § 8704(5).
- Subcommittees. The Council may authorize the formation of permanent or ad hoc subcommittees comprised of members of the Council for specific purposes. Subcommittees shall be authorized to meet as necessary to accomplish the specific task set forth by the Council in the formation of the subcommittee. Subcommittees shall report to the Council at each quarterly meeting on the progress of their activities. Subcommittees shall continue until explicitly dissolved by the Council.
- Quorum. A quorum for purposes of conducting business as the Council shall be equal to at least 50% of the positions set forth in 35-A MRSA § 8704(1) that are filled at the time at which the Council is seeking to conduct business.
- Approval of actions. The Council may approve of any action within the scope of authority of the Council as set forth in Chapter 87 of Title 35-A of the Maine Revised Statutes and 5 MRSA § 12004-G or any action otherwise authorized by this Section by a simple majority vote of the members in attendance.
- Use of Funding
- Compensation not permitted. Funding allocated to the Council may not be used to compensate members of the Council for their participation in the Council.
- Expenses not permitted. Funding allocated to the Council may not be used to reimburse members of the Council for travel, meals or lodging costs or other necessary costs incurred by a member of the Council in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the Council.
- Quarterly meetings. Funding allocated to the Council may be utilized to pay for the cost of holding quarterly meetings, including but not limited to any costs associated with renting space in which to hold a quarterly meeting, costs for interpreter services, costs for transcription services, and costs for light refreshments.
- Ad Hoc meetings. Funding allocated to the Council may be utilized to pay for the cost of holding any ad hoc meeting of the entire Council or any subcommittee of the Council authorized by the Council, including but not limited to any costs associated with renting space in which to hold any ad hoc meeting, costs for interpreter services, costs for transcription services, and costs for light refreshments.
- Attendance at conferences. Funding allocated to the Council may be used to pay the cost of sending individuals from the State who are members of the Council or who have otherwise been authorized by the Council to attend conferences or events that pertain to the provisioning of telecommunications services to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities in order to fulfil the obligation of the Council under 35-A MRSA § 8704(5) to evaluate the quality and availability of relay services to Maine citizens and to ensure that Maine’s citizens have access to services that are at or above the national standards for telecommunications services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
- Auditing costs. Funding allocated to the Council may be used to pay for the costs associated with a professional auditing of the financial data of the Council.
- Authorization of Expenditures
- Submission of Invoices. Any entity or individual seeking payment from the Council for an authorized use of funding as set forth in Section 3 shall submit an invoice to the Council within 30 days of the completion of the activity, purchase, or service for which the entity or individual is requesting funds.
- Payment of Invoices. Upon receipt of an invoice submitted pursuant to this Section, the Chair of the Council and the Treasurer of the Council shall review the invoice within 10 days of submission of the invoice to ensure that it conforms to the acceptable use of funds as set forth in Section 3. If either the Chair of the Council or the Treasurer of the Council believes that the invoice is not eligible for payment in whole or in part, the Chair of the Council or the Treasurer of the Council must inform the entity or individual submitting the invoice within 10 days of the submission of the invoice that the invoice was not approved for payment. If neither the Chair of the Council nor the Treasurer of the Council objects to payment of the invoice in whole or in part within 10 days of the submission of the invoice, the Treasurer of the Council shall pay the invoice 10 days after the date of the submission of the invoice.
- Auditing. The Council shall periodically engage an auditor to review the financial information pertaining to the Council and to prepare a report for the Council regarding the findings of the Audit. The Council shall audit its financial statements at least every two years.
- Maintenance of Past Advisory Council Records.
The officers of the Advisory Council will arrange with the Secretary of State’s Office and the Maine State Archives to maintain records of the past meetings and contracts of the Advisory Council.