A Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS) Board of Directors, hereafter known as the board, is established consisting of a key technical support representative from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) (ex-officio non-voting member) and State Technical and Program representatives. State(s) is defined herein as the United State's states, territories, and the District of Columbia.
The state representatives support a wide variety of activities and services in technical support of a number of federal programs including an information exchange system designed by ACF to provide State Public Assistance Agencies (SPAAs) with information from federal and state benefit payment systems. The resulting computer match information is based on data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Office of Personnel Management, other States participating in the PARIS quarterly match; additional data sources may be offered to the PARIS community in the future. The match information is used by the SPAA to further validate the eligibility of public assistance clients and identify possible erroneous or duplicate public assistance payments.
The purpose of the board is to foster a federal-state partnership approach to the technical support activities for PARIS SPAAs. The board's focus is on providing support to SPAAs by disseminating information, processes, techniques and activities, which maximize the technical abilities of systems and staff performing PARIS related activities.
By utilizing their expertise and technical knowledge, the board performs tasks on behalf of the PARIS Project by providing:
• Reviews of tasks, planning, preparation and technical support
• Acceptance testing and validation of tasks generated
• Feedback and recommendations on upgrades accomplished or improvements planned
• Direction and focus on future endeavors
• A technical network of SPAA systems professionals nationwide to support expansion of information and knowledge related to current and future technology
The board shall consist of representatives from the following entities:
• PARIS State Organizations (9 persons)
• ACF Representation (1 person)
Board member's names and representative state are to be posted on the PARIS web site. With the exception of ACF Representation, each board member's term runs for four years and the board secretary will retain each member's term end-dates. Board Members are not restricted from running for additional four-year terms. Vacant board positions are filled through an election process held at or prior to the annual PARIS training conference. Election results will be announced on the last day of the conference.
Institutional knowledge is very important to the success of the PARIS Project. Any board membership change must ensure a smooth transition between functional responsibilities of a particular member and the overall interdependence and nature of the board. In order to ensure a smooth transition of critical board positions and institutional knowledge, board members who are leaving their position are expected to ensure transfer of skill-sets and expertise to their replacement. Term end-dates for board members will also be staggered to avoid a complete turnover of the board at any one election.
Board diversification ensures a broad perspective of the PARIS Project's needs and objectives. Diversity includes:
• Size (defined by either overall population or public assistance caseload) of a State
• Geographical distribution of Board members.
• Expertise of Board members.
• Program Background (TANF, Medicaid, etc.)
To support this, no more than one person from any state can simultaneously participate on the board. Diversity requirements will also be applied when filling vacant board positions.
Officers of the Board
The Officers of the PARIS board shall be President, Vice-President, VA/Federal Match coordinator, State Coordinator, Data Record Coordinator and Secretary. New titles may be designated as a need arises.
The board, after a general election, will determine who will hold what position within the current structure of the board. Board members will decide which position's skill-set would be best matched using the qualifications of the newly elected individual(s). This realignment of officers shall occur no later than 45 days of an election for a board position.
The Board of Directors shall hold regular meetings, an annual meeting, and any special meeting as may be necessary to transact the affairs of the PARIS Project. The Secretary shall record the business conducted at each meeting of the Board of Directors. Such minutes shall be distributed to all the board members and maintained by the Secretary.
To serve on the board, Directors and Officers must attend meetings on a regular basis. This includes the annual training conference and planning meetings. A board member, upon three unexcused absences from meetings during the year, will be automatically removed from the board unless that member requests that the board reconsider his/her removal and the board approves the request for reinstatement to the board.
All board business will be resolved by voting. Attendance by two-thirds of the board at meetings constitutes a quorum. Majority rules will be the modus operandi for voting. In the event of a tie, the ACF PARIS Project Officer will cast the deciding vote.
ACF provides administrative and policy direction for the board.
The board is in constant e-mail communication, has monthly telephone conferences and meets periodically to facilitate its mission and responsibilities.
Board Selection Process
I. Board Nomination Process
On or before November 1st of each year, open board positions will be announced to the PARIS community via a PARIS transmittal. The announcement shall include at minimum:
• A copy of the criteria & procedures for election to the PARIS Board of Directors
• A listing of questions to be answered as part of the application process
• A response due date, i.e., December 31st
Interested members shall submit an application to the PARIS board. Applications are consolidated and forwarded to ACF for review. To be considered, candidates must provide a letter of support from their state's administration, along with their written commitment to attend meetings and acknowledgement of assignment of periodic Board related tasks.
It is expected that individuals nominated for and elected to the board will effectively serve the interests of the Project and its federal-state partners. The following criteria and procedures for board election are not intended to be exclusive or exhaustive. These criteria should be met by all candidates for board election and may be further elaborated when nominations are requested.
II. Criteria for All Candidates
Characteristics sought in each candidate, being mindful of the overall board composition, are the following:
• Integrity and a commitment to ethical behavior
• Personal maturity and leadership skills in industry, education, the professions, or government
• Independence of thought and willingness to deal directly with difficult issues
• Fulfillment of the broadest definition of diversity including caseload, geographic location, population, organizational placement of PARIS, technical skills, program area, etc.
• Broad governmental and/or professional experience, with an understanding of the complexities of governmental organizations
III. Specific Criteria for Board Vacancies
Characteristics that may be sought to fill board vacancies are delineated below. The candidate's application should address these characteristics and any specific requirements identified during the application process (between 750 and 1000 words).
• Commitment to PARIS through demonstrated action. Candidates should describe how they might benefit the board and the PARIS Project
• Significant accomplishments within their state in utilizing PARIS data to maintain program integrity and detect/deter improper payments
• Unique technical skills and knowledge set for data management
• Experience in project management
• Commitment from an authorized state official that the individual seeking board membership will have the documented commitment from the state in time and energy to fulfill the position's objectives
IV. Application Review Process
ACF shall review all applications for thoroughness and veracity. This initial review will screen applications for the vacant position's diversity requirements.
If there should be any question regarding the information on the application, the candidate may be asked by ACF to address the issue and resubmit an amended application to ACF. ACF's role is not to address the quality of the candidate but to ensure that the information contained in the application is accurate. Candidates may withdraw from consideration anytime during this process.
V. Election Process
A final slate of candidates, as vetted by ACF and the PARIS board, will be presented and voted on by means of a general election to be held in March of each year. Candidate information will include: name of nominee, their state and a brief biography. The general election may be accomplished having the State Administrative Representatives from each state listed on the PARIS website submit a completed ballot prior to the annual training conference as outlined in a PARIS transmittal sent out a minimum of 30 days prior to the annual conference. If the general election is conducted during the annual conference, the State Sponsored Representative attending the conference will complete the ballot. Each state will only have one vote per open position. All ballots are to be collected and tallied by ACF and their conference contractor. The PARIS Project Director shall be responsible for breaking any ties. Newly elected board members' terms begin after the last day of the annual training conference or March 31st, whichever comes last.
VI. Early Departure from Board
Should a member of the board be forced to leave his/her position before his/her term is complete, the board may seek an interim appointment from the PARIS membership to replace the individual for the remainder of their term,
Charter will be reviewed as needed. Revised Charter Ratified Date: 4/19/2012