Announcement Date: January 17, 2015
This motion and its rationale is derived from the motion K4AC made on 7/22/2014. That motion was referred to the Administration and Finance Committee where it was killed.
In the intervening six months, IT problems had not improved and there was no real plan to do anything about them.
This motion failed by a vote of 4 to 11—and the IT problems continued…
Here is what K4AC wrote to the members of his Division concerning this motion:
Minute 43: (Creation of the Information Technology Review Committee—Failed) I made the Motion and voted in favor of it. The committee would have examined both the existing Information Technology operations and network architecture. Using the information obtained, the committee would have created a plan in conjunction with staff that maximizes the IT services provided to League members and Headquarters staff, both currently and in the future. This was similar to my Motion at the July 2014 Board Meeting to create an IT Strategic Planning Committee (see Minute 32 above) which ultimately failed to create such a group.
IT has become a bottleneck to most projects. Additionally the League suffered two network intrusions in the past 6 months, at least one of which could have been prevented if proper network monitoring protocols were in place. Several members of the Board are faculty members in the IT field at colleges, myself included. The committee could have leveraged this knowledge to improve the League’s IT.
I have already been asked by members why this Motion failed. It failed for a number of reasons, but the primary one is that it is seen by some as an intrusion into the turf of the Administration and Finance Committee. Bylaw 38 describes the A&F Committee’s duties and states, “Monitor and review key infrastructure projects, including capital improvements and significant information technology changes”. This has been misinterpreted to mean that anything dealing with IT is the sole purview of A&F.
The requirements for the proposed IT committee include that the members have a high level of IT knowledge. This was done so that politics could be removed from the committee’s considerations and instead attention could be paid to IT Best Practices. As such, the committee membership requirements would have excluded most Board members from consideration as members.
WHEREAS Information Technology plays an ever increasing critical role in both the internal functioning of the League and the providing of services to our membership;
WHEREAS Standing Order 63 states, “Insofar as possible, the President and Executive Vice President of the ARRL shall endeavor to maximize the utilization of qualified volunteer services in conduct of League affairs, such volunteers to include the Officers, Board of Directors and members of the ARRL.”;
WHEREAS there are members of the Board, including Vice Directors, that are faculty members of colleges, teaching in their Information Technology programs;
WHEREAS there are numerous open Information Technology projects in progress;
WHEREAS the Board of Directors must have regularly updated status reports of ongoing Information Technology projects to ensure that Board policies and directives are being carried out, as well as to be able to make informed decisions about current and future projects and needs;
WHEREAS it is imperative that the Information Technology processes and infrastructure be maximized for efficiency so that projects can be timely completed;
THEREFORE the ARRL Board of Directors shall establish an Information Technology Review Committee consisting of three (3) members having a current background and experience in IT best practices that are elected by the voting members of the ARRL Board of Directors.
At least one member will be a Director and the remaining members may be Directors or Vice Directors. Any committee vacancies will be filled at an election by the voting members of the ARRL Board within 30 days of the vacancy. If said election is not done at a board meeting, the Executive Committee shall authorize a special board election.
The committee shall select one of the members on the committee as chairman, shall begin its work as soon as practical, and report monthly to the ARRL Board. Committee deliberations and votes may occur independent of the times established for meetings of the Board of Directors or its standing committees. The committee shall conduct its work, to the greatest extent feasible using electronic means. In-person meetings are to be held only if the need for one overrides the cost consideration of the meeting. In-person meetings may be held in a manner that minimizes extra expense, such as in conjunction with meetings of the ARRL Board of Directors, or standing board committee meetings at which one or more members of the committee would otherwise attend.
The committee will examine both the existing Information Technology operations and network architecture. Using the information obtained, the committee will create a plan in conjunction with staff that maximizes the IT services provided to League members and Headquarters staff, both currently and in the future. The committee, with the assistance of staff, will create a list of all outstanding IT projects, together with their current status and any related issues, and present the list to the Board with a suggested prioritization.
Findings of the committee, along with recommendations for changes will be presented to the Board and the CEO as they are determined.