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GOVERNMENT STATISTICS SECTION
OPEN BUSINESS MEETING
August 15, 2000

The meeting was held during the Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association at Indianapolis, Indiana. A list of members attending is attached; however, the list is not complete since several members came in for part of the meeting and did not sign the sheet.

The meeting was called to order by Pat Doyle who handed out the agenda (Attachment 1).

1. Welcome. Pat welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Treasurerís Report. Dorothy reported that in 1999 GSS had nearly $6,000 worth of revenue and expenses of only about $900. Thus, with the revenue brought in so far this year, GSS has a balance of approximately $7,400. She pointed out that a large portion of the balance came from the four corporate sponsors ($1200) and noted that most of the GSS expenses will come during the second half of the year during the Annual Meeting. Since we have a balance on hand, GSS agreed go in with SSS and help sponsor the Student Paper Competition and will continue to support the Roger Herriot award. We also are having food at the Open Business Meeting this year and we pay for the lunches of the leaders of the Round Table Luncheons.

3. New Officers. Pat introduced the newly elected officers for 2001:

Chair Elect: John Czajka
Program Chair Elect: Kirsten West
Secretary/Treasurer: Roberta Sangster (not present)
Publications Officer: David Swanson (not present)
Council of Sections Representative: Stephanie Shipp

4. Awards. A flyer (Attachment 1) was handed out announcing that the Herriot Award would be presented at the 2:00 session on Wednesday with a reception following. Pat stated that GSS had made a small contribution to the award in the past, but in light of our positive fund balance, she suggested we increase our contribution to match the other sections. There were no objections.

Pat announced that the GSS Committee on Fellows consisted of Connie Citro, Cynthia Clark, and Clyde Tucker. They will begin going through the list of GSS members to see who might be possible nominees with the intent of having some nominations of GSS members for next year.

5. Communications. Pat said Signe Wetrogen was handling the GSS Newsletters which is done jointly with the Social Statistics Section.

The listserv needs more traffic. Members need to post more on issues of interest to government statisticians.

Wendy Alvey handed out the updated GSS brochure which includes the latest information on GSS.

6. Council of Sections (COS). Carolyn Shettle, GSS representative to the Council of Sections, gave a report of the meeting. ASA wants suggestions for the Executive Director position. They would like ideas for recruiting and maintaining members and are considering the possibility of giving a comp membership in a section for joining ASA. Other ideas are welcomed. Sections are encouraged to write their histories. ASA is developing standardized operating procedures on raising money for the organization and had distributed draft guidelines.

The big issue at the COS meeting was a proposal to publish the Proceedings in electronic format and discontinue paper. A handout summarizing the issues was passed out. (Attachment 2) For 2001 the Proceedings of all sections that want to be included would be put on one CD ROM to sell for $20. The ASA would get half the money and the sections would divide up the remainder based on the number of papers from the section. ASA thinks that the $20 will generate the same total level of revenue as now. However, the sections also take a risk if the sales are not sufficient to cover costs.

There was a lot of discussion by GSS members on how the proposal would affect our section. Since our budget is very limited there was concern that we could loose money and we need some way for us to take less risk. It was not clear how ASA had done the calculations to come up with the $20 and there was concern that this was not high enough. It was not clear who currently buys Proceedings and if libraries now bought multiple section Proceedings but would no longer have to since they would all be on one CD. A proposal was made for charging $25 instead of $20 for at least the first year. Also, there needs to be some protection for less affluent sections against a loss in revenue. If authors submit their papers as hard copy rather than in an electronic format, they should pay for the conversion from hard copy to electronic media rather than the section.

Other concerns involved the provisions for archiving if there is no printed copy. GSS members were concerned with reading different electronic formats in the future and said there should be a plan for going forward and possibly picking up historical Proceedings. ASA may need to keep at least one printed copy for archival purposes. There was also a suggestion to have standards for authors for graphics and word processing.

Carolyn asked for the sense of GSS members since the proposal would be voted up or down. Support was in favor of the proposal if the following modifications were made:

  1. Propose $25
  2. Limited risk for smaller sections
  3. Delete option on sections paying to convert papers from hard copy to electronic format-- should be at authorís expense

7. GSS Income Committee. Wendy Alvey said the Income Committee had been working on ways to seek additional support. We currently solicit Corporate Sponsors to contribute $300 but this had limited appeal. Our four current corporate sponsors are as follows:

  1. Energy Information Administration
  2. Social Security Administration
  3. Census Bureau
  4. Department of Transportation

New sponsor letters were sent out by Dorothy at the end of May. We may want to broaden our solicitations; however, we need to see the new ASA guidelines before making any decisions.

Wendy said the Income Committee suggested other possibilities such as a scholarship fund with a line on the application for people to donate. Possibly a silent auction for something such as lunch with the Chief Statistician or a meet the expert in some topic. Any other ideas would be welcome.

8. The 2000 Joint Statistical Meetings. John Czajka said there was a session in every time slot for the 2000 meeting (Attachment 3). John indicated there were some problems with the luncheon round tables which were held on Monday for GSS. No tickets were sold on Sunday for them and we were led to believe they were full when in fact some tables had as few as three people. John said he had written an article for the August issue of AMSTAT News about the GSS sessions but was not sure if the issue had been mailed in time to be read before the meeting. GSS members thanked John for his hard work in setting up an excellent program.

9. The 2001 Joint Statistical Meetings. Karen Woodrow-Lafield reported that she had three possibilities for invited sessions next year:

  1. New Theoretical Advances in Dual and Triple System Estimation with Jana Asher from the Census Bureau
  2. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study with Jerry West from the National Center for Education Statistics
  3. Who Wants Advice?-- Statistical Agencies Do with Barbara Fraumeni from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

For the competition she had a session on The Administrative Record Experiment with Michael Larsen at the University of Chicago and two other possibilities might shape up.

10. COPAFS. Pat stated that Bob Lehnen, one of the COPAFS reps, had written an article for AMSTAT News about the recent COPAFS meeting.

11. Other. Pat brought up the idea of holding workshops or continuing education short courses at future JSM meetings. Past experience with a session on confidentiality was not good due to the placement of the course in a bad time slot. One future possibility was a continuing series of sessions on federal statistics with a basic tutorial focusing on a different agency each year. Pat asked for a volunteer to take the lead in getting this going.

Pat also asked GSS members to let her know of any problems with the 2000 meetings in addition to the problems with the luncheons. It was noted there were also some problems with registration, problems getting into the hotels on Sunday night, people on invited panels not receiving the information packets, and no posting of the film theater shows. On the positive side, there was a nice reception on Sunday night and members liked Indianapolis and the conference center.

It was suggested that a session at next years meeting be dedicated to Wray Smith.

Pat adjourned the meeting and invited everyone to enjoy the refreshments.

DSH: 09/03/00

Attendees at the GSS Business Meeting

John Czajka
William Seltzer
Mike Cohen
Chet Bowie
Karen Woodrow-Lafield
Kathleen Short
Fritz Scheuren
Joan Turek
Clyde Tucker
Paul Massell
Linda Gage
Kirsten West
Jana Asher
Thomas Brundage
Gordon Brackstone
Gordon Sutton
Carol House
Leonard Gaines
Stephanie Smilay
Rameshwar P. Srivastara
Wendy Alvey
Pedro Saavedra
Bill Wong
Patty Becker
Carolyn Shettle
Maxime Bokossa
Sameena Salvucci
Dan Kasprzyk
Kerry Gruber
Doug Samuelson
Edie McArthur
Jiang Hu
Vivian Yuan
Andy White
Marilyn McMillen
Pat Doyle
Dorothy Harshbarger


Government Statistics Section pages prepared by:     Bill Wong.
Last updated:     March 29, 2001.

Copyright 2000 American Statistical Association