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3/7/2007 2:31:30 PM
topic: Current system review

Posts 29
Descriptions of what the current system provides that we use, what the current system does not provide that we could use, and what the current system provides that we don't use.
edited by on 6/8/2007
2/22/2007 1:52:04 PM
topic: Field changes

Posts 29
The Committee Management Comments field and the CMORemarks field in the Consultation table both need to be longer. CMOs regularly run out of text space when they try to explain any change that is not on the simple side.
2/22/2007 11:05:20 AM
topic: Business Rule: New System Business Rule: Consultations:

Posts 29
When considering a system, whether in development or production, Business rules can exist in at least two different conceptual perspectives, and sometime many more. On one hand, from a high level organization perspective, a rule can refer to a business process, like the consultation guidance that you are considering distributing to the CMOs. In a system, the business rules are the actions that are executed on a specific piece of data when it is entered into a field in a particular row in a particular table in a particular context. With each action being a separate rule, there can be dozens of rules for a single piece of data. Each rule must be tested and then executed when the data is being added, edited, updated, or deleted in a specific context. The rule states the data, the context, and the execution steps. Our current system has thousands of rules at the system level, and the new system will have even more. As we start looking at and discussing the rules, a lot will be mashed up together because we will try to say too much in too short a space with too few details. The first sentence "When edits are made to consultations, all of the actions that are executed at the creation of a consultation, need to be re-executed." was an example of mashing stuff up together. What I could/should have said was that all the rules that were considered, tested, and executed when a consultation was first created, also need to be considered, tested, and executed again against the current set of table relationships when an edit is made to any single data element in a consultation record. We do not currently do that now, with the care and completeness that we need to try to ensure exists in the new system in every instance. The rest of my statement was identifying a problem in the current system where the system level business rules do not seem to be properly applied.
edited by on 2/22/2007
2/21/2007 1:02:47 PM
topic: Business Rule: New System Business Rule: CMO emails:

Posts 29
An email alert for every consultation goes to everyone in agency who has active, up-to-date, CMO rights and everyone in Committee Management who has CMS rights.
2/21/2007 1:01:55 PM
topic: Database Component: New Database Component: Pending Committee Component:

Posts 29
Current Committee Inventory: The database currently is a Fiscal Year History of the known Federal Advisory Committee Inventory. The Inventory for each Fiscal Year begins the year with any committees carried forward from the previous Fiscal Year and includes any new committees that are established during the Fiscal Year. The inventory maintains in the list any committees that are terminated during the Fiscal Year, for the rest of the entire Fiscal Year. I see this changing to an ongoing list of current committees that exists across fiscal years. Perhaps there should also be a pending committee table that captures the data and files created by agencies during the preparations stages of establishing a new committee. Files like draft charters and balance plans and need determinations. This "pending" captured data could be transferred to an "established" committee table when the charter is filed. In a similar fashion, the "established" data could be transferred to a "terminated" table when the committee is terminated. Currently, the pending aspects/due diligence work can be lost across fiscal years (in the system), or can be left out when an agency is "in a hurry", or simply does not have its own home in the system.
2/20/2007 3:10:38 PM
topic: Business Rule: New System Business Rule: Consultations:

Posts 3
Ken, I'm not sure I understand the first concept in this post. Maggie
2/13/2007 12:55:15 PM
topic: Business Rule: New System Business Rule: Consultations:

Posts 29
When edits are made to consultations, all of the actions that are executed at the creation of a consultation, need to be re-executed. This includes resetting New Committee and Terminated Committee. Some committees are exempt from renewal and when they are exempt from renewal, the committee will normally have only a single establishment consultation, perhaps some amendment consultations if changes are made to the charter, and a single termination consultation. Committees are only a new committee in the year they are established, so if a consultation should be added or edited or deleted in later years, the New Committee Field should be set to “No” at the completion of the edit.
1/26/2007 9:19:12 AM
topic: Expanded draft of FACADatabase Charter

Posts 1
I agree with the suggestions for streamlining the charter. Maggie has done a great job.
edited by on 1/26/2007
1/24/2007 2:07:00 PM
topic: Expanded draft of FACADatabase Charter

Posts 4
I was also going to suggest some streamlining, but Maggie has done such a great job that I only have a few minor suggestions (and they really are minor):

1. Under "Description of Duties" -- instead of "Review and critique the documentation..." I would suggest "Review and recommend edits to the documentation..."
2. Under "Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings" -- I suggest just one sentence: "Members are expected to convene monthly, although a significant number of meetings will occur in an online forum." I do have a question related to this, however. Do we mean that there will be online meetings IN ADDITION to the monthly meetings? That's not quite clear to me.
3. Under "Membership Composition" -- either use the plural ("If members cannot continue...") or use "he or she" rather than "they." (a grammatical quibble, I admit)

It's going to take me a while to get used to this kind of a forum -- and I have a question related to posting messages. Is it possible to view a previous post WHILE adding a comment? It would have been helpful to me to be able to see Maggie's version of the charter while making my own comments (and I didn't think to print it out before adding my own comments) and I'm new to this process, so I imagine that I have a lot to learn about how it can work.
1/23/2007 10:46:41 AM
topic: Expanded draft of FACADatabase Charter

Posts 3
Ken, I have reviewed the Draft Charter and I suggest streamlining it a bit. See below. Maggie

U.S. General Services Administration
Committee Management Secretariat
Interagency Committee on Federal Advisory Committee Management

FACA Database Task Force Subcommittee Charter

Official Designation: FACA Database Task Force.

Purpose: The Task Force is established to provide the GSA Committee Management Secretariat (Secretariat) and the Interagency Committee on Federal Advisory Committee Management (IAC) with advice and recommendations on how best to collect, interpret, evaluate, and disseminate information on Federal advisory committees. The Secretariat’s current internet-based reporting and business processing system (FACA Database), is based on 10 year old technology and an historical view of government, which has been overtaken by changes in the functionality of the internet, changes in laws, and the evolution of management and information sharing among federal agencies. The work of this Task Force is to redesign and develop that system, version 2 of the FACADatabase.
Description of Duties: The Task Force will:
Identify all of the various and individual constituencies of the FACA community, their roles and needs in data collection, data utilization, reporting requirements, management requirements, etc.
Identify requirements of a system that address the needs of the constituencies.
Define a complete set of business rules that can be codified into a system that address the needs of the constituencies.
Conduct regular testing during the development stage to confirm that the system is functional, usable, and meets the needs of the constituencies.
Review and critique the documentation of the developed system and the Help Manuals written for the various levels of users of the system.

Official(s) to Whom the Task Force Reports: The Task Force reports to the Director and Deputy Director of the Secretariat, and the IAC.

Support Structure: The Secretariat will provide the support structure for the Task Force. The Secretariat’s Committee Management Specialist responsible for the on-line system and the Annual Comprehensive Review (ACR) will be the Designated Federal Manager (DFM) of the Task Force. This person will set the agenda, call the meetings, chair the meetings, prepare the minutes, construct the development contract and funding source for the proposed system, and otherwise coordinate the work of the Task Force.

Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years: The development contract is estimated to cost $200,000 a year. The DFM is expected to spend approximately 25% of their work time on Task Force duties. Members will spend approximately 12 work days per year on Task Force duties.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings: The meetings are expected to occur monthly, although they will not always be face to face during the work day. A significant number of meetings will occur via an on-line forum dedicated to the work of the task force.

Duration: The work of the task force is expected to take, at a minimum, two full years.

Membership Composition: The task force will be composed of no more than 20 members. The members will all be federal employees with the exception of the contractor winning the system development contract, who will function as a paid consultant to the task force. In general, the Task Force will consist of IAC members and ex officio members, as well as other FACA professionals. Membership composition is at the discretion of the Chair. Individuals that are invited to be members are expected to participate for the life of the task force. If a member anticipates or finds that they cannot continue to work with the Task Force through to the completion of the “new” system, it is expected that they will find a replacement with a similar role from the FACA Federal community, and to both enroll them and bring them up to speed on the work of the Task Force.

Establishment: This Task Force was established as of September, 2006.
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