Freedom of Information Act Office
IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
May 7, 2003
|From:||Director, Executive Secretariat|
|Subject:||IC Directors Meeting Highlights—April 17, 2003|
NIH Executive Committee Proposal
Following the Funding Advisory Review Board (FARB) presentation at the December 12, 2002, IC Directors meeting, Dr. Zerhouni requested options for NIH governance models that would encourage shared, transparent governance and a crisper, more fluid strategic direction to NIH corporate functions such as facilities and IT. At today's meeting, Dr. Katz introduced two options for shared governance that were developed after consultation with FARB members and Dr. Zerhouni. He noted that he had also presented these models to a sample of IC Directors and to the NIH Agenda Setting Committee.
Clarifying that "governance" refers to NIH-wide strategic direction and oversight while "management" refers to the NIH and IC execution of actions in support of respective missions, Dr. Katz stressed that the governance options would support the formulation and oversight of NIH corporate matters but not the execution of such matters. After stressing that the models are driven by the NIH scientific mission and priorities that are to be defined by all IC Directors, Dr. Katz summarized the options.
Under Option 1, the NIH Director and the IC Directors would continue to formulate NIH-wide scientific direction and priorities; an Executive Committee comprising primarily IC Directors (9 to 11 members) on a rotating basis would follow the corporate scientific direction in its governance purview of NIH corporate functions; and Governance Committees would be established for each major corporate function.
Under Option 2, as in the first option, the NIH Director and the IC Directors would continue to formulate NIH-wide scientific direction and priorities, and an Executive Committee comprising primarily IC Directors (9 to 11 members) on a rotating basis would follow the corporate scientific direction in its governance purview of NIH corporate functions; however; under Option 2, OD Deputy and Associate Directors and the NIH Chief Information Officer rather than Governance Committees would work directly with the Executive Committee.
After a lengthy discussion of whether a change in the current structure is desirable as well as the pros and cons of the options presented, Dr. Zerhouni concluded that the decision must be based on what is right for science and for the NIH's scientific mission. He summarized the consensus as recognizing that any change must preserve the integrity of the separate missions and appropriations of the individual ICs, but as supporting cohesive and shared governance where data shows that corporate-wide functions would benefit.
In order to ensure thorough input on the issue, Dr. Zerhouni and Dr. Katz agreed that rather than asking for a vote at the meeting, Dr. Katz would poll and solicit comments from all ICs on the shared governance concept and the specific options and then move forward as appropriate and with celerity.
Because of time constraints, discussion items on the agenda were postponed to future meetings.
cc: OD Staff