Minutes of APARSEN General Assembly Meeting, Friday 26 September 2014


See signed attendance sheet.

FTK and InConTec delegated their representation to Gerald Jäschke (Globit).

The meeting was chaired by Juan Bicarregui (STFC/APA).

1. Minutes of previous GA meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved and accepted as an accurate record.

2. Coordinators' report


All the due deliverables were submitted at the end of the third year and evaluated at the third review. They were all accepted by the Project Officer including the revised D21.1, D23.2 and D43.2. The revised D14.1 was not accepted and, after discussion with the PO and respective partners, this deliverable was removed.

D45.2 was submitted on time but is to be extended and resubmitted. D42.2 is due at the end of October. Other deliverables are due at the end of the project: D11.5, 11.6, 13.2, 16.2, 22.4, 41.3 and 44.5. All outstanding deliverables have to be submitted by no later than 31 December 2014, since any work after this date cannot be charged to the project as it is outside the contract period.


Almost all the WP's have been concluded apart from the integration work and dissemination activiites and we are focussing on the very final stages of the project, leading up to the launch event for the Centre of Excellence in October.


There are two more deliverables due, which will reflect the final status of the work in these areas. The CoE soft launch took place at the RDA meeting in Dublin in March 2014, and the hard launch will be on the 22/23 October in Brussels.


Following discussions at the All Hands Meeting, there was an urgent action for the Project Management Board to propose a suitable agenda for a one day meeting and to start negotiating with the PO about the location.

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
SimonLambert 2014-09-30 WP51 : open discussions with the PO to fix a date and agenda for the final review meeting 2014-10-30 SimonLambert   edit


Simon Lambert reported that the process for Year 3 is close to completion. The next step is that the EC will release the approved payments to STFC, and STFC will pay the partners up to the 90% retention limit.

The fourth and final cost claims are of course going to be due soon, and there will be no room for delay this time. All partners should be prepared to act quickly.


Contract amendment number 3 was made, which was the formal removal of IKI-RAS. This had no budgetary implications (the budget had already been reallocated) and was at the request of the PO.

Simon Lambert displayed a graph of the person months and costs claimed against the budget allocation but this needs to be updated with more accurate figures to give a clearer picture.

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
SimonLambert 2014-10-01 WP51 : request updated figures for person-months and spend to end of September and (estimated) to end of year 2014-10-30 SimonLambert   edit

3. Status of creation of the Centre of Excellence

The two deliverables which sum up the work of APARSEN towards the CoE are:

  • D11.5 Report on a common vision of digital preservation
  • D11.6 Virtual Centre of Excellence development

D11.6 will present a "blueprint" for the CoE and in particular specify the offerings of the various members' services. Types of offerings include consultancy, software products, training and other services. Krystina Giaretta updated the survey she prepared last year listing all the services each of the APA and APARSEN members would be providing to the CoE.

Juan observed that it is important to have a realistic and believable plan for the continuance of the CoE.

Hildelies Balk said that KB, as a national library, offers some services for free, but does not have the capacity or will to participate in offering paid-for services through the CoE, and there are only limited funds to support this. Maureen Pennock and Hildelies suggested a possible collaboration with organisations like the OPF.

Juan Bicarregui observed that the APARSEN project is contracted to provide a blueprint for the CoE, and that organisations like the KB could continue to provide their services in association with the APARSEN CoE, but this needs to be as minimal as possible in terms of effort as they do not have the resources.

Eefke Smit said that a CoE should be able to identify an organisation that can provide services that have been evaluated by the experts within the CoE, a sort of quality mark.

Ruben Riestra said we should try and look for the answers to the questions that Hildelies put forward in terms of the feasibility of the stakeholders - the CoE should be reliable. Maureen recommended revisiting the stakeholder analysis so that we can get a better idea of who is going to be involved and what kind of involvement they would envisage. Peter Doorn said that DANS is already involved in a couple of CoE's and the RDA, and doubts whether it is necessary to create another completely new organisation. He suggested a closer alliance with the RDA. Juan Bicarregui and others agreed that this was a good idea.

Juan said that the APA has, for the last 10 years acted as a lobby group promoting digital preservation research and practices and perhaps the RDA is now the organisation to take on that mantel. In addition, David Giaretta is the chair of the digital preservation interest group of the RDA. Christoph Bruch said that we could demonstrate that most of the APARSEN partners are active in the RDA and this would demonstrate strong sustainability and that the reality is that the RDA is a perfect forum for this exchange.

Peter Doorn said that, when the membership plans were discussed at the RDA, there were a number of publishing companies and commercial organisations interested in membership of the RDA.

Simon Lambert said that what we propose is to write a summary for discussion, send this around to all partners, and ask partners for their views on the different models and preferences for the CoE discussed today. Options and aspects include:

  • Central catalogue of services
  • Brokerage service
  • Central point of contact
  • "Systems integrator" for digital preservation services (using services of CoE members to assemble digital preservation solutions)
  • Membership organisation
  • Legal/contractual status

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
SimonLambert 2014-09-30 WP11 : ask all partners for views on nature of CoE, as discussed at GA meeting 2014-11-19 SimonLambert   edit

We will also revisit the stakeholder analysis in the light of the changed environment with the RDA and the impact this has on APARSEN.

4. Preparation for final review meeting

Simon noted that we need to ensure that the recommendations from the previous review have been addressed, and a response to these third review recommendations should be included in the 4th Periodic Report. Ruben suggested that we should mention all the activities with the RDA, including workshops and partner activities.

The basis of the responses to the third review recommendations had been discussed at the All Hands Meeting the previous day, and were included in the slides shown by Simon.

5. Administrative closure of the project

Simon and Ruben covered the administrative tasks for the closure of the project.

The periodic report is the same formula as for the previous annual reports and, in addition, a separate final report with a standard structure is required. These must be completed (along with the final cost claims) within 60 days. Simon will be asking work package leaders, not only for their Year 4 reports but also a few lines for the final report. He will also need the effort figures for Year 4, which should of course be consistent with those entered into the Form Cs.

Ruben warned that any "unusual" person-month figures or cost claims will be detected by the EC and might trigger an audit. That could seriously delay the final payments to partners. Ruben and Simon will alert partners to the sort of problems that might arise.

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
SimonLambert, RubenRiestra 2014-10-01 WP51 : circulate email about possible problems with final cost claims and reporting 2014-10-30 SimonLambert   edit

Maureen Pennock asked if we need to prepare a new report for the final report or use what was presented last year if the WP had finished. Simon replied that we should provide new reports in all cases. Christoph Bruch suggested we should try to show a link with the work we are doing and how it links to the RDA.

Ruben emphasized that all the reports should be completed promptly as there are going to be changes in the Commission and therefore there is a possibility that our current PO might be replaced, even at this late stage, which would be very undesirable.

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
TWikiUsers 2014-10-15 WP51 : make sure that administrative actions for the closure of the project (particularly Form Cs and effort reports per WP) can be completed quickly at the end of the year     edit

6. Any other business

Juan Bicarregui said that, as a result of the current EC audit of the APA, there may have to be a contract amendment, but the outcome is not known yet.

-- SimonLambert - 2014-10-15

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