Minutes of APARSEN General Assembly Meeting Thursday 21 June 2012

These minutes were amended following the decisions of the subsequent GA meeting on 17 September 2012.

Attendees:

  • David Giaretta
  • Krystina Giaretta
  • Simon Lambert
  • Christoph Bruch
  • Heiki Helin
  • Rene van Horik
  • Eefke Smit
  • Barbara Bazzanella
  • Veronika Praendl-Zika
  • Ash Hunter
  • Kirnn Kaur
  • John Lindstrom
  • Yannis Tzitzikas
  • Andreas Hundsdoerfer
  • Gerald Jaeschke
  • Stefan Proell
  • Simona Cohen
  • Panos Georgiou
  • Marion Massol
  • Salvatore Mele
  • Matthias Hemmje
  • Hans Pfeiffenberger
  • Juha Lehtonen
  • Susan Reilly
  • Sabine Schrimpf
  • Andreas Rauber
  • Ruben Riestra
  • Maurizio Lunghi
  • Hildelies Balk
  • Maureen Pennock
  • William Kilbride

Approval of minutes and ratification of decisions of previous GA meeting

The minutes and decisions from the previous meeting were approved.

Warning, important At the request of ONB, the following statemnt was added to the minutes, reflecting ONB's position at the meeting: ONB stated that they were willing to take over the position of Stream Leader if a professional project manager is nominated and an APARSEN roadmap including timelines and responsibilities is presented by mid of July (Year 2 plan) by the coordinator and progress against these objectives will be achieved and proofed by October 2012. If this is not the case ONB will resign from being stream lead of Stream 4 and from the PMB.

Month 16 Checkpoint and Recommendations

The obliugatory action is to respond to the requirements of the letter from the EC to be submitted in one month. SL will produce a schedule for this.

A work package 'Point by Point' list was distributed to the group from the discussions at the post workshop meeting on the 20 June. SL asked everyone to review this and get back to him with any amendments/corrections. He will then incorporate this into the Year 2 plan which will form part of the revised Period 1 report.

The PMB has analysed the responses to the Checkpoint Report and proposed a plan to deal with this. There is a possibility of revision of the work plan to accommodate loss of partners and re-distribution of effort. The GA was asked to approve the effort to address the urgent situation by producing a draft response and addressing the recommendations.

SL summarised the telephone conversation he and David Giaretta had with Liina Munari, the Project Officer, and Javier Hernandez-Ros, Head of Unit at the EC for the three members of the consortium who were not present at the All Hands Meeting on the 19 June. In summary:

  • The updated Year 1 deliverables must be submitted in one month - the letter they will be sending will give the precise date [22 July].
  • The revised project report also has to include the Year 2 Plan, which has to be convincing.
  • Liina Munari suggested that we might want to meet with the members of the Project Management Board and also offered the possibility of a pre-review before the Month 27 Review.
  • Javier concluded that he expects a plan to remedy the situation and commented that the project needed new impetus.

Salvatore Mele suggested the offer from the Project Officer to have a pre-review meeting should be taken up soon after the submission of the responses to the Month 16 Checkpoint. Matthias Hemmje recommended that we should request this pre-review nearer the submission of the second review.

Accepted deliverables do not need to be re-submitted but any comments made by the reviewers can be incorporated into the Work Package and just re-filed. The EC will not respond to comments, only recommendations.

The plan is:

1. Produce a formal response to the Checkpoint Report with a cover letter to be drafted by MH with clear wording on the misunderstandings and line by line response to comments - draft by 29 June.

2. Updated Period 1 Report with a revision of the Year 2 Work Plan - WP Leaders to make change requests based on the template DG produced.

These two action points were approved by the GA.

All project participants will have the opportunity to comment on the responses to the Checkpoint Report no later than 5 days before submission.

MH said that the revision of the Work Plan will be sent within 4 weeks and the draft document can be used as a "working document". SM suggested that we should not submit to the EC any suggestions of changes in the work packages that involve re-distribution of funds, but instead work within the current budget and staff effort for each partner.

The notes on individual APARSEN work packages as discussed at the meeting on the 20 June were distributed.

Motion proposed by Hildelies Balk and seconded by William Kilbride:

The GA approves, in principle, the possibility of moving effort between Work Packages and partners, which have no impact on the overall budget. We will re-evaluate any possible additional funding requirements later in the year and seek formal approval at that time.

Motion carried.

ACTION:

SL/DG will get the work plan updates within two weeks.

Motion proposed by Salvatore Mele and seconded by William Kilbride as follows:

The GA endorses the coordination, with the support of the PMB to put forward a plan that focuses effort of existing partners across the WP's, having taken account of the key points of the Review, which allows for aggregation of work packages with a constant budget per partner.

Motion carried.

William Kilbride said he wished to raise some issues concerning management of the project:

  1. The role of the PMB (this includes Stream Leaders and Work Package Leaders)
  2. The introduction of additional project management support
  3. A discussion about the allocation of funds to facilitate the second step.

It was agreed that the coordinators should be assisted by providing additional administrative support in order to help the coordinators to respond to the needs of the PMB and generally strengthen the management of the project. Matthias Hemmje agreed that the management needs to be reinforced and there was an under-estimation of the work that needs to be done in managing a large project with so many partners from such diverse disciplines. However Salvatore Mele observed that the coordination activity is a contractual obligation on STFC and should be carried out with the effort assigned.

MH agreed with the majority that the PMB should consist of Work Package Leaders as well as the Stream Leaders and Coordinators as laid down in the DOW.

WK felt that a small amount of funding to assist in the management of the project, by appointing some help, would be beneficial. MH agreed that the current resources are insufficient for the project coordination/management work.

STFC and APA should look at the technical and administration coordination support and reinforce the administration so that the Technical Coordinator can concentrate on the technical coordination aspects of the project.

Three motions were proposed:

1. The GA endorses the role of the PMB, which consists of the Coordinators, Stream Leaders and Work Package Leaders, having leadership of the project.

Salvatore Mele proposed and seconded by Maurizio Lunghi. Abstention: LTU

2. The GA endorses the need for additional project management support to the PMB for a range of functions. This will cut across WP51 and WP52.

Hildilies Balk proposed and seconded by Andreas Rauber. Abstentions: STFC, LTU

Warning, important It was agreed at the subsequent GA meeting on 17 September 2012 that further clarification was needed about the precise wording and intent of the above motion.

3. The effort for this project management support should come from either:

(a) A contribution from all partners

(b) STFC/APA (at least in the short term) with the option of transfer of funding at a later stage

Salvatore Mele proposed and seconded by Hildelies Balk. Abstentions: STFC, APA, STM, IBM, BL, CINES, DANS

Motions carried; option (b) chosen in motion 3

Identification of Inactive Partners and Action to be taken

Discussions took place about the concern amongst all the partners about the contribution of IKI-RAS. Following a telecon between Efim Kudashev (via an interpreter) and David Giaretta, IKI-RAS said they were preparing to consider withdrawing as long as they were paid for the work already carried out. Their cost model is a lump sum. This is not the only option, however, and DG requested a month by month work plan from them, which regrettably had not yet been received. They had previously been given notice via e-mail of partners' concerns and the possibility of removal from the project. This was followed up by the telephone call referred to above, giving them a deadline to provide a concrete plan.

Motion proposed by William Kilbride and seconded by Yannis Tzitzikas:

The General Assembly authorises the PMB to take a definitive decision about the continuing participation of IKI-RAS in the project and their possible removal from the project within a period of two months.

Motion carried. Abstention: BL

SL presented a paper to formalise the mechanism to deal with cases where partners were not performing, or not responding to requests for management information. SL asked the GA to approve this. He also advised the GA about the proposal to publish quarterly reports on the management web site for effort and declaration of the annual cost statements. The Coordinator will not accept the costs of partners when it does not correspond with the effort reported in the management web site. SL asked the GA to approve the 'Action against persistently inactive partners.'

Motion proposed by Simon Lambert and seconded by Andreas Rauber:

SL asked the GA to endorse the future policy for the Coordinator not to accept the cost statements that do not match the effort entered in the management web site over the course of the year, unless suitable justification is provided.

Motion carried. Abstentions: DPC and GLOBIT

Motion proposed by William Kilbride and seconded by Hildelies Balk

Action against particpation of inactive partners. The motion is that the GA approves that the mechanism proposed by SL is mandated with the role of the Coordinator issuing the warnings. A revised version of the document to take account of this clarification is here.

Motion carried

Any other business

The next GA meeting will be in early September - date to be confirmed.

-- KrystinaGiaretta - 2012-07-01

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Topic revision: r5 - 2012-09-26 - SimonLambert
 
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