Executive Committee Meeting Minutes April 15, 2021



Monday, April 15, 2021, 3:00 – 4:05PM

By Zoom Videoconference


Members Present: Dorella Walters (Community Co-chair), Paul Carr (Finance Officer), Saqib Altaf, Danielle Beiling, Randall Bruce, Maria Diaz, Joan Edwards, Billy Fields, Marya Gilborn, Amanda Lugg, David Martin, Jeff Natt, Guadalupe Dominguez Plummer, Claire Simon, Marcy Thompson

Members Absent: Lisa Best, Graham Harriman, Donald Powell

Staff Present: NYC DOHMH: David Klotz, Melanie Lawrence, Jose Colon-Berdecia, Kimbirly Mack, Karen Miller, Giovanna Navoa; Public Health Solutions: Andrea Feduzi; HRSA: Sera Morgan; Parliamentarian: Joan Corbisiero

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Introductions/Minutes/Public Comment

Ms. Walters and Mr. Carr opened the meeting followed by introductions and a moment of silence in honor of Terri Smith-Caronia, a long-time advocate for PWH who was remembered for her tireless work for the HIV community.  The minutes from the March 18, 2021 meeting were with approved one change from Ms. Morgan clarifying that a waiver of the 5% carry-over cap was still pending at the time (it has since been approved).  

Agenda Item #2: HRSA Project Officer Update

Ms. Morgan reported that effective October 1, 2020, all Federal Financial Reports (FFRs) for recipients of U.S. Health and Human Services grants and cooperative agreements must be submitted through the Payment Management System.  There will be a Ryan White Part A (RWPA) Reporting Requirements webinar on April 22nd, and a general HAB webinar on April 27th.  HRSA/HAB is currently undergoing a website redesign and would like to hear from stakeholders through a brief survey to allow Ryan White Program recipients and stakeholders to provide feedback about how HAB can better organize the website and improve the content. 

Agenda Item #3: Grantee Report

Ms. Plummer reported on the final notice of grant award for the EMA, which resulted in a 2.2% reduction.  Ms. Morgan noted that this is in line with most other RWPA EMAs.  Also, the FY 2021 grant application received a score of 99 (out of 100).  Ms. Morgan added that this was the highest score in the country and will positively affect the next three years’ supplemental (non-formula) awards. 

Agenda Item #4: Bylaws Amendment: Electronic Participation in Face-to-face Meetings

Mr. Klotz, on behalf of Mr. Fields,presented a proposed Bylaws amendment concerning electronic participation at in-person meetings.  Currently, the Bylaws allow members to participate electronically at face-to-face meetings, but they do not count toward a quorum and cannot vote.  That rule was made several years ago out of concern that people might just phone into every meeting and not be fully engaged.  Given the probable need for continued COVID precautions, RMC expects that when face-to-face meetings resume, they will be a hybrid of in-person and remote.  This will allow for physical distancing in the room and take into consideration that some people may need to continue avoiding exposure to groups of people.  Also, RMC considered that there are people from far-flung parts of the EMA where transportation is a barrier to attending in-person meetings, particularly Tri-County and Staten Island.  RMC believes that those barriers to participation should be removed.  It was noted that since meetings went virtual, attendance at full Council meetings is up 50%.  RMC will assess the quality of participation by members who remotely access meetings, and so the Bylaws state that the RMC will review how this is working in 2023 and recommend revisions as necessary.  The text of the amendment is:

Article IV, Section 1(e)  In-person participation at Planning Council and committee meetings is preferred, but the Council recognizes that a number of people may have barriers to engagement, such as health status, transportation and work related duties.  In-personmeetings of the Council or its committees shall allow for participation by video or conference call or other electronic means that permit simultaneous visual and/or aural communication.  Meetings may also be conducted solely by electronic means.  All meetings must comply with open meetings laws.  At all meetings with electronic participation, any ballot votes required under the rules or ordered by the Council or committee shall be conducted either by roll call vote or electronically (using an Internet service that supports electronic voting).  All meetings shall be subject to rules adopted by the Council to govern meetings, which may include any reasonable limitations on, and requirements for, members’ participation.

(f)  Members who are present electronically at an “in-person” meeting of the Council or its committees shall be considered present for the purpose of fulfilling meeting quorum or attendance requirements, may speak in debate, and may make motions or vote.  This policy will be reviewed in September 2023. 

Mr. Fields made a motion on behalf of the Rules & Membership Committee to adopt the Bylaws amendment as presented. 

Mr. Martin moved to amend the last sentence to read “September 2022”.  Mr. Fields accepted the amendment.

There was discussion on the need to assess the both how much participation increases as well as the quality of participation, while still allowing for people with transportation barriers to fully participate.

The motion to adopt the Bylaws amendment as amended was approved 15Y-0N by a roll call vote.

Agenda Item #5: FY 2021 Reprogramming Plan

Mr. Natt presented the FY 2021 Reprogramming Plan, approved by PSRA on Monday.  A reprogramming plan is approved every spring to authorize the Grantee and Master Contractor to reallocate unspent funds (accruals) within the fiscal year to maximize spending.  In most years, the first item on the plan is to enhance over-performing programs.  This is not feasible this year, as the programs are still being paid through cost-based reimbursement due to COVID.  Also, based on discussions during the recent spending scenario planning process, there was a consensus in PSRA that the priority for this year’s reprogramming be restoring the reduction made to ADAP to cover the cut to the award and new initiatives.  Should additional funds be available and contracts revert to performance-based reimbursement later in the year, the plan allows for the usual authorization to move funds between service categories up to a maximum of 20% of the original service category allocation.  ADAP is not subject to the 20% cap. 

There was a discussion on the ability to enhance programs such as Food & Nutrition in a cost-based system.  It is challenging to enhance programs without reimbursements based on performance.  It was noted that reprogramming is money freed up in the course of the year (accruals) that must be spent by the end of the same fiscal year.  There will be a larger than usual amount of carry-over (over $2M in unspent funds from FY 2020 that can be spent this year).  Once that amount is known, the PSRA and Council will approve a carry-over plan that can include program enhancements.  Ms. Feduzi added that PHS will be developing recommendations to the Council for the use of carry-over funds.

On behalf of the PSRA Committee, Mr. Natt moved to adopt the 2021 Reprogramming Plan as presented.  The motion was adopted 15Y-0N.

Agenda Item #6: FY 2021 Planning Council Support Budget

Mr. Klotz presented the draft FY 2021 Planning Council support budget.  After the award notification, the Planning Council and Grantee negotiate a budget to support Planning Council operations, which comes out of the 10% of the award set aside for grant administration.  The bulk of the budget is for personnel services, which this year will be only slightly more than 2020 despite annual salary increases, due to a lower fringe rate.  The OTPS (non-personnel) portion of the budget assumes 5 months of face-to-face meetings (from October to February).  The line items of the budget were reviewed.  The total budget is 2% less than last year’s PC support budget.  

Mr. Carr moved to adopt the FY 2021 Planning Council support budget as presented.  The motion was seconded and approved 15Y-0N by a roll call vote.

Mr. Klotz announced that at next week’s Planning Council meeting, there will be an update from the co-chair of the HIV (Prevention) Planning Group, and presentations on youth and HIV,

There being no further comment, the meeting was adjourned.