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  #51  
Old 02-28-2018, 11:25 AM
KarenNsmith KarenNsmith is offline
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Default Really sad!

When I saw the ASB Boxscore yesterday, it made me really sad. I had hoped against hope that something would change before the ASB March meeting. Nothing that happens at that meeting will have the same legitimacy as prior meetings.

The ASB Boxscore underscores a few of the real practical problems with both the new and old policy. The Boxscore requests 10 days notice if you want to attend the meetings, but the Boxscore comes out on February 27th for meetings on March 7th - 9th. And, the Boxscore does not tell you definitively what they are discussing or when. So, for example, they may be discussing the Pension ASOP, but that is not known for sure. And, if the ASB is discussing it, they don't tell you which day so that you can arrange for travel. And, who knows how long it will take for a potential observer to be approved...

In response to Peppermint Patty, when an individual observes meetings, they have no right to speak unless invited to speak by the chair. So, all we are fighting for right now is the right to WATCH the meetings. It is nearly impossible for a guest to dominate the meeting with their comments because they don't have the ability to comment and disruptive individuals can be removed.

Very sad...
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  #52  
Old 02-28-2018, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
I suspect that most politicians deal with "sunshine" laws by "cheating", and talking one-on-one with other interested parties.
Texas is a sunshine state and that has not been my experience at all.
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  #53  
Old 02-28-2018, 12:07 PM
KarenNsmith KarenNsmith is offline
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Kenny, you are right. Here is Houston I think there was recently a criminal case about trying to avoid the sunshine laws by dividing a board into two groups that did not meet a quorum so that they could have private discussions. I don't remember all the details, but it was in the last month. Very rare to see criminal cases about sunshine laws.
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  #54  
Old 02-28-2018, 09:31 PM
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https://www.actuary.org/files/public...ruary-2018.pdf

Quote:
Guest Policy for Meetings: Assuring an Orderly Transparency

Spoiler:
ARRIVING AT STANDARDS and policies that best serve,
and uphold the high ideals of, the actuarial profession
is the goal of every meeting we hold—from individual
committees to the Actuarial Standards Board to our Board
of Directors.

Our members trust us to adhere to the highest professional
standards. They trust each other to leave their clients’ or employers’
narrow interests at the door, and to be candid in their opinions,
independent in their judgments, and civil in their discussions.
And they trust our processes to produce the right results for
the public and the profession.

Part of what helps maintain that trust is transparency. For
that reason, it has long been the Academy’s policy that members
and others with a genuine interest could be invited or ask to
attend committee and board meetings and, in some situations,
participate. Typically, this policy was implemented in a fairly
relaxed way.

But the environment in which we work is changing, most dramatically
by the intrusion of social and digital media. Recently, a
guest at one of our meetings posted an account of preliminary discussions
on a blog—candid and preliminary thinking that cannot
be broadcast around the internet if our deliberative processes are
to retain their integrity. We have also had to contend with a level
of disruption that can deprive committee members of their own
opportunity to be heard and of the collegiality to which we are all
entitled and upon which quality output depends.

Consequently, the Academy’s Board has clarified—but not
fundamentally changed—our policy on guest attendance at committee
and board meetings. Our meetings welcome requests from
Academy members and, in some cases, others to attend. We are
proud of the quality of our deliberations and are delighted to
have guests with an interest in actuarial standards and policy to
observe them and, when invited to do so, to participate.

We give our chairpersons reasonable discretion in considering
individual guest requests, and it is impossible to anticipate every
possible reason why a request might be granted or denied. But
there are some reasons for denial that we believe just about everyone
would consider appropriate:

S Conflict of interest. It has been our long-standing policy to
require acknowledgment of this policy and we reserve the
right to deny attendance if we feel that may be an issue.

S Seeking inside information that would be improperly used.

S A prior history of interrupting or disrupting the
Academy’s meetings.

S Participation in a pending or threatened lawsuit against
the Academy.

We are delighted when people take an interest in our profession,
and the important—if technically challenging and sometimes
sensitive—issues that our meetings address. It is recognition of
the impact the Academy’s work has on the public. Inclusion, not
exclusion, is what we expect will continue to be the norm. The
refinement and more diligent implementation of our meetings
policy are intended to achieve an orderly transparency that continues
to build trust in our activities and produces the best possible
outcomes.

At an increasingly fractious and polarized time in our public
life, we at the Academy are determined to maintain the civility,
professionalism, and integrity that have been hallmarks of our
committee and board meetings. We believe our current approach
achieves this goal, and we urge those of you who serve on committees,
as well as those of you who may from time to time attend as
guests, to share your thoughts with us on this important subject.
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  #55  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
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They must have a different definition of transparency than I do if actual discussion being disseminated is an issue.
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  #56  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:12 AM
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PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenNsmith View Post
...
In response to Peppermint Patty, when an individual observes meetings, they have no right to speak unless invited to speak by the chair...
Uh, if you know someone is listening who has extremely strong opinions, it affects how you speak. Well, it affects how I speak, and frankly, how almost everyone speaks.

I'm not arguing for secrecy, just recognizing that openness absolutely inhibits robust and honest conversation in many ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenNsmith View Post
Kenny, you are right. Here is Houston I think there was recently a criminal case about trying to avoid the sunshine laws by dividing a board into two groups that did not meet a quorum so that they could have private discussions. I don't remember all the details, but it was in the last month. Very rare to see criminal cases about sunshine laws.
Uh, I would see that as absolute proof that politicians find the laws stiffling, and are trying to get around them.
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  #57  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
Uh, if you know someone is listening who has extremely strong opinions, it affects how you speak. Well, it affects how I speak, and frankly, how almost everyone speaks.

I'm not arguing for secrecy, just recognizing that openness absolutely inhibits robust and honest conversation in many ways.

Uh, I would see that as absolute proof that politicians find the laws stiffling, and are trying certainly finding ways to get around them.
fyp
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  #58  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:33 AM
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This is the part that really made my eyebrows go up:

Quote:
S Seeking inside information that would be improperly used.
I'm curious what sorts of inside info are discussed at Academy board and ASB meetings.
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  #59  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:36 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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I wouldn't use politician behavior as a model for anything.

Yes, politicians definitely find strictures against self-dealing stifling, and many manage to get around it. Sometimes, they get prosecuted for bribery, but some, like Mike Madigan in Illinois, know how to keep on the legal side, and have their political position profit their private business.

So I have a very jaundiced view of people trying to set public policy under the cloak of privacy. If you can't stand to have your views aired publicly, then stay out of the public policy biz.
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  #60  
Old 03-01-2018, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
This is the part that really made my eyebrows go up:



I'm curious what sorts of inside info are discussed at Academy board and ASB meetings.
Yeah, that sounds pretty weird.

But it's not just politicians trying to steal who find "sunshine rules" sometimes stifling. Here's a recent example from my life as an officer of a small club.

We had an executive council meeting recently to review out bylaws. This is routine, and our agenda included voting on such exciting things as clarifying that the person elected to be next year's president can't be elected next year's treasurer, but the person who is currently president CAN run. The meeting is open to all club members, and as expected few showed up. As we were wrapping up, one member who came said she'd like us to post on our website that we conduct our club's activities on land stolen from native Americans.

Everyone was silent for a while. And then I said, "I'd rather the club not make political statements on our website." She replied, "what's political about that? It's just a historical fact. How can you object to a fact?"

Let's just say that a frank and open discussion would have ended with everyone hating everyone else. And indeed, some of the officers who were there talked later, off-line, and in private about what we should do about this request. And unless she just drops it, there will probably be other private talks.

By the way, we might end up adding stuff that she would like -- we are talking for example, about whether we should do more to be welcoming to blacks and other minorities are under-represented in the club. And I think she would consider that a positive outcome. But I don't think we can come up with a constructive proposal completely in public. Because we will all end up hating each other.

Fortunately, we don't have any sunshine rules, and there's no reason that various groups can't talk off-line and try to find consensus. Only our formal and binding actions take place in public.

(and after we met, we sent a list of all the stuff we actually voted on to all the members, because our rules are that the EC can change the rules, publish the changes, and if no one objects for two weeks, they take affect. If anyone objects, we have to hold another public meeting and members can vote about important stuff. But no one is going to bother replying, let alone objecting, to the changes we made.)

Last edited by PeppermintPatty; 03-01-2018 at 10:08 AM..
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