12 January 2012

Feedback Requested: Draft Charter of the BioSense Governance Group

ASTHO, in association with the  Interim BioSense Governance Group, created a DRAFT Charter of the BioSense Governance Group and is requesting comments and suggestions from ISDS members.

You may view the Draft Charter below or download the pdf document here

Please write your comments in the "Post a Comment" section at the end of this entry or email your comments to Amanda at aschulte@syndromic.org by February 6, 2012.

Thank you for your feedback.
Draft Charter of the BioSense 2.0 Governance Group

BioSense 2.0

BioSense 2.0 is the web-accessible platform used to receive, store, maintain, process, analyze, and display data. It is a service for state, local, and territorial health agencies for data sharing and analysis. BioSense 2.0 can also be utilized as a tool for sharing data that it contains between public health agencies.

BioSense Program

The BioSense Program, run by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), facilitates recognition and tracking of health problems as they evolve, and provides public health officials with the data, information and tools they need to better prepare for and respond, in a coordinated way, to threats to the health of the American people.

Participating Jurisdiction

The term “participating jurisdiction” will be either a local or state health jurisdiction operating under either statutory or regulatory authority to provide data to BioSense 2.0 and has agreed to the terms and conditions of the BioSense 2.0 Data Use Agreement (DUA).   The formal designation of a participating jurisdiction in the BioSense 2.0 DUA is “Data Source”,


The term "User" is any authorized user of data available through BioSense 2.0. All users must be affiliated with a participating jurisdiction and be held to Terms and Conditions of Data Use and Security standards by the Data Source.

BioSense 2.0 Governance Group

The BioSense 2.0 Governance Group was created in accordance with a cooperative agreement between ASTHO and the CDC to ensure key stakeholder involvement in BioSense 2.0. The purpose of this group is to oversee the development and use of BioSense 2.0.

Roles of the BioSense 2.0 Governance Group:

·       To provide representation from a diverse set of public health stakeholders from state, local, and federal levels
·       To set strategic priorities, overall policy, and direction for BioSense 2.0
·       To assure that overall system development is responsive to data contributor and user input
·       To serve as a conduit for feedback and recommendations from the constituents that the Governance Group’s members represent
·       To identify and recommend new categories of data sources to be added to BioSense 2.0
·       To make recommendations for resolving disputes about or violations of data use agreements for BioSense 2.0
·       To form governance sub-committees and policy workgroups as needed.

Governance Group members are expected to represent their participating jurisdiction organizations and:
·       Solicit input from their respective constituencies
·       Act as a conduit of information among their organizations and constituencies and the Governance Group
·       Actively participate in conference calls and face to face meetings

Desired attributes of Governance Group members include:
·       Interest and commitment to improving national surveillance efforts
·       Ability to fairly represent the views of their constituencies
·       Familiarity with the assets and needs of their constituencies
·       Knowledge and experience in syndromic surveillance and policy
·       Skill in collaboration and consensus
·       Ability to attend face-to-face meetings and monthly teleconferences

Composition of the BioSense 2.0 Governance Group

The Governance Group shall be composed of 15 people, each with a single vote on all matters under the purview of the Governance Group:
·       4 Individuals shall represent the various public health associations that will utilize BioSense 2.0.  Specifically, there shall be one representative each from:
o   The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
o   The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE)
o   The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
o   The International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS)
·       3 Individuals shall represent the following federal data submitting agencies:
o   The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC)
o   The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
o   The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
·        8 Individuals shall represent the various groups which will be submitting data to the BioSense 2.0 system:
o   3 shall be from state or territorial public health agencies
o   3 shall be from county or city public health agencies
o   2 shall be from data contributors which are non-public health agencies (such as healthcare facilities, pharmacies, etc)

Selection of Governance Group Members:

Representatives of ASTHO, CSTE, NACCHO, ISDS, CDC, VA, and DOD shall be chosen by their respective groups using whatever means each group sees fit to use.

Representatives of the 8 non-federal data submitting groups shall be chosen by secret-ballot election, facilitated by ASTHO, among the population of BioSense 2.0 participating jurisdictions.  Elections shall be held separately for state/territorial, county/city, and non-public health representatives.

For state/territorial and county/city elections, each participating jurisdiction is permitted to nominate one representative as a candidate for election in their respective categories.

For non-public health agency representative elections, the participating jurisdictions may nominate one candidate from a data-contributing facility located within their jurisdiction. 

State and territorial data submitters may only vote in the state/territorial elections, city and county may only vote in city/county elections.  All participating jurisdictions can vote in elections for the non public health agency representatives. 

For all elections, each participating jurisdiction may cast one vote. 

The top 3 vote-receivers from the state/territorial and county/city elections, and the top 2 from non-public health elections, shall be the representatives on the Governance Group for the upcoming Term. 

Governance Group Terms of Service

Governance Group members will serve a term of two years to begin just following their elections. 

These terms will be staggered as follows:
1)     ST and CC agencies: 2 members shall serve in the same 2-year term while 1 member will serve an overlapping 2-year term, staggered by one year.
2)     NPH groups: each of the two members shall serve overlapping 2-year terms, staggered by one year.

The first Governance Group will hold elections for all 8 positions, with one each of ST, CC, and NPH groups to be designated with a term of only one year.  Upon expiration of the one-year terms, new elections will be held for these positions which will then have a normal term of two-years.

If any scheduling conflict prevents a member from attending any meeting, the member is permitted to designate a substitute, with voting rights, on a case-by-case basis.

Permanent vacancies created for any reason will be filled by selection of an interim member as chosen by the four public health associations and, if available, the member that has vacated the role. 

Governance Group Co-Chairs

To facilitate aspects of Governance Group function, a chair shall be elected.  The term of the Chair shall be one year, followed by one year as Past-Chair. The Past Chair shall serve as a backup when the chair is unable to participate for any period.
The Chair will be elected – by secret ballot of the Group membership – with the Chair-elect  having accumulated the most votes.  In the case of a tie between two members, a second vote will be held until one receives a majority.
Upon completion of a Chair’s term, the Group will hold elections for a new Chair.
The first Governance Group will hold elections for both a Chair and a Past-Chair, with the position of Past-Chair having a term of one year. 

Special procedures for the initial launch of the Group: 

Representatives of the 8 non-federal data submitting groups shall be chosen by an interim group consisting of members from ASTHO, CSTE, NACCHO, and ISDS.  These shall be temporary memberships until elections can be held.  One of the first decisions of this Governance Group shall be to determine when there will be sufficient numbers of data submitters enrolled in BioSense 2.0 to make elections feasible.
The resulting Group will be a Transitional Governing Group.
The Transitional Group will elect Co-Chairs.  These will also be Transitional positions and will expire once Governance Group elections are held and the proper terms of office begin.

Policy Formation by the Governance Group

The BioSense 2.0 Governance Group shall meet, in person or by conference call, on a periodic basis as determined by the Group in order to discuss policy issues surrounding use of and participation in BioSense 2.0.  Meeting frequency should be at least twice per year, but as many meetings may be held as necessary. 

Policies under the purview of the Group include development of the roles and responsibilities for participants in BioSense 2.0.  Policy proposals to be considered by the Governance Group may be suggested by a member of the Group or by other BioSense participants.. If an issue is to be considered by the Governance Group, documents outlining policy proposals will be drafted (facilitated by ASTHO) and supplied to the Group for comment, revision, and, votes for approval, if warranted. 

Voting on Policy

Votes will be held at arranged meetings of the Governance Group (in person or via teleconference). 
In order to assure a voting member of the Governance Group receives sufficient informed input from those they represent, any issues for which a vote is required shall be presented to the Group at least two weeks in advance of any scheduled vote.  
A vote may only proceed when a quorum of at least 60% of the governance group participates.   
Sufficient time will be given to discuss each issue scheduled for a vote prior to the vote itself.   The vote itself will be an open-ballot vote (ie, by show of hands or verbal assent), but will not be recorded unless specifically requested.
Passage of an issue shall require a majority of at least 60% (sixty) percent of votes in the affirmative, however the goal shall always be to strive for consensus. 

Changes to the BioSense 2.0 Governance Charter

Changes to this charter document shall be proposed to the Governance Group by providing the written amendments for the Group to consider.  After sufficient time for discussion and debate, the Group shall vote on the written amendments. 
Participation of all Governance Group members, or appointed substitutes, shall be required for a vote on charter amendments to proceed. 
 Passage of an amendment shall require a vote of 2/3 of the complete membership of the Governance Group in the affirmative. 
Changes to the charter will be reflected in a new draft of this document, with a recording of the date of revision.  An archive will be kept of all official previous versions of this charter.

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