ICIT Board Discussion and Vote on HF865

Discussion and vote by the board to present to the ISAC Board at it’s next meeting a Statement of Opposition to HF865. A copy of the statement is included.

Board discussion and vote on ICIT opposition to HF865
(formerly HSB292)
April 26th, 2005

The discussion started with an email from Jeff Garrett, Washington
County Treasurer,
addressed to Angela Connolly, ISAC President,
and  Bill Peterson.
The email started with:

As I am sure you are aware, the Iowa State County Treasurers
Association (ISCTA) has registered in favor of HF865 (formerly
HSB292).  The Recorders and ISAC, on the other hand, have registered
against the bill.  ISCTA is extremely concerned about the precedent
that is being set whereby ISAC promotes the position of one of its
affiliates at the expense of another.”

 Comments from Scott Williams, Marshall County:

As an ISAC affiliate, I am assuming that we have the right and capability
to register for or against a bill. I have no idea how that works, but I think
that as the ICIT board we have the responsibility to register against any
bill that proposes to take away local control over technology projects that
are managed by counties and that are solely responsible for the
dissemination of county data, such as the CLRIS Project. This bill would
set a horrible precedent for any future county projects by requiring
“technology review” by the DAS and by requiring that the state be allowed
to dictate how different county offices integrate land records via the internet.

This isn’t about taking sides of one affiliate verses another. This is about
doing what is best for counties, period, and according to my understanding
of ISAC’s purpose, they are right in opposing this legislation. The DAS is
unable to get state agencies to cooperate and move forward on their own
integration projects, yet the legislature feels they can do a better job
than the counties and the affiliates that support them. This position is
preposterous and unsupportable!

I would like to make a motion that we investigate what is involved in
registering against a bill, and to then do so, ASAP. I am concerned however
that our normal e-mail voting process may take too long to be able to take
action in time to be meaningful. I am open to suggestions. Perhaps our
president could take some sort of emergency action, if she feels that it is
appropriate and warranted.

Scott drafted a “Statement of Opposition” to HF865 and
forwarded it to the Board for discussion.

 Motion from Ray Willis, Polk County:

Subject to additional grammatical corrections, I make a motion that the ICIT
Board approve Scott’s statement of opposition and ask that Wayne present

it to the ISAC Board at their next meeting (which I believe is this coming


Ammendment by Micah Cutler, Harrison County, to the Motion:

 Here is Scott’s revised statement.  I would like to add to the motion
that Wayne distributes it by email to interested parties before the ISAC
meeting on Friday, as well as presenting it to the ISAC Board.

(Ammended Statement of Opposition attached below)

Second by Jason Siebrecht, Linn County

Discussion by Wayne Chiezek, Marshall County:

I have not heard back from ISAC yet, but I have been doing some research.
You must be a registered lobbyist to make a declaration For, Against or

Undecided on a House or Senate Bill.
Registering is not a complicated process, however there are reporting

requirements that must be considered.  There are monthly reports required

during the legislative session and quarterly reports required while out of

session.  These are most likely not a big deal as I assume our

representative(s) would not be paid and probably would not have expenses

wining and dining legislators, however our official lobbyist(s) should have

time to review all lobbyist rules and requirements before accepting such a

responsibility.  It would probably be impractical to do something official

at this time with the session being so close to ending, however I think the

ICIT Board should in the near future officially appoint or designate one or

more lobbyist for next year’s session.  I believe that process can begin in

July of this year.

FYI – I have attached copies of the Lobbyist registration and declaration
forms for both the House and Senate.

As far as the number of Lobbyists ICIT should have is really up to the ICIT
Board based on the duties/responsibilities ICIT would like this/these

individual(s) to perform .  Depending on those duties/responsibilities I

would think it would be in our best interest to recruit individuals willing

to make more than a one year commitment due to the learning curve and to

provide some continuity.

My preliminary research has found the number of Lobbyists for ISAC and
of its affiliates are:

ISAC – 5
Assessors – 10

Attorneys – 3

Auditors – 2

Engineers – 1

Recorders – 2

Supervisors – 1

Treasurers – 4

Possible choices for Lobbyists would be the Chairperson and members of the
ICIT Legislative Committee, ICIT Board President, ICIT Board Members, ICIT’s

ISAC Representative or a dedicated ICIT member(s).

Results of Voting: 10 ayes and 1 absent, motion passed

Statement of Opposition to House File 865
by Iowa Counties Information Technology (ICIT),
an affiliate of the Iowa State Association of Counties

The HF 865 Proposal

HF 865 was drafted in response to concerns over the IowaLandRecords.org or
CLRIS project that was developed and managed by the Iowa County
Recorder’s Association under the direction of the 2003 Iowa General
Assembly’s enactment of SF 453. While much of HF 865 pertains to
various accounting and funding issues that are outside of ICIT’s concern,
there are significant items that we as technology professionals view as
unnecessary and unsupportable. Specifically, the proposed legislation calls
for “Department of Administrative Services Review” of projects that are
managed by county officials and their affiliates and that deal solely with data
and images that are the custodial responsibility of county officials.
Additionally, the legislation calls for the oversight of developing “integration
concepts of the county treasurers, county recorders, county auditors, and
county assessors” to be placed with the Department of Administrative
Services (DAS). Finally, the legislation directs that “county recorders shall
collect only statutorily authorized fees for land records management” and
“shall not collect fees for viewing, accessing, or printing electronic land
management documents”.

Local Control Works Best

Since our inception, it is the view of ICIT, made up of technology
professionals working for county government agencies, that the closer
government services are to the citizens, the better those services are. To
suggest that the Department of Administrative Services could offer better
oversight than the counties, their affiliate organizations, and the technology
professionals and elected officials that support them is preposterous! An
argument could certainly be made that the many state agencies, which
ultimately fall under the same administrative leadership do not have as good
a track record of working together as do the counties, with a minimum of 99
separate elected officials involved their integration projects. The Iowa State
County Treasurers Association’s projects and the accomplishments thus
far of the IowaLandRecords.org project are proof of counties ability to
cooperate and deliver quality services to the citizens of Iowa.

Unnecessary and Unsupportable

While we in no way want to diminish the obvious importance of planning
for technology projects, the need for a comprehensive integration plan for
all county land records information is inconsistent with the growth and
development of Internet based applications in general. The phenomenon
we know today as the Internet did not happen because everyone involved
sat down and developed a comprehensive plan on how all the computers
in the world would integrate together. Instead, those who had a need to
share information did so in a way that would allow others to be included
in the process. They adhered to networking standards and drafted new
standards when none were available. Finally, they made others aware of
how they could participate and also share their information and integrate
their services.

ICIT has been an integral part of the development of the CLRIS project,
and with the support of the other ISAC affiliates, hopes to be involved in
future Internet applications developed and managed by counties and ISAC
affiliates. Our role has been to ensure that industry standards have been
used wherever possible and to make the services provided by the CLRIS
project available for integration with any future or existing projects,
managed by counties or any other entity. Because of ICIT’s involvement,
the CLRIS project will be ready to not just plan or discuss integration, but
actually implement it whenever the other affiliates are ready. A frightening
precedent is set if we allow the DAS to dictate when and how county
officials and their technology professionals discuss integrating data
between counties or between affiliates.

It would also be a detrimental precedent to support the general assembly
in setting fees collected for accessing e-government services provided by
county officials. We recognize that in the case of CLRIS, the general
assembly provided a funding stream to initiate the project, but it is our
opinion that local officials are in the best position to determine the ongoing
costs of providing information electronically, and they should be the ones
to determine whether and what fees may be necessary to cover those costs.

Support ICIT in opposing HF 865

We urge county officials and their affiliate organizations, especially those
specifically mentioned in HF 865, Assessors, Auditors, Recorders and
Treasurers, to support us in opposing this legislation, and to encourage
ISAC to do the same. The responsible and open behavior already exhibited
by the local officials involved in the CLRIS project has made all of the
provisions proposed in HF 865 unnecessary. ISAC has already stated in
their legislative newsletter that “County officials have repeatedly responded
to all requests for information regarding the CLRIS project and other county
technology projects without a state mandate.  County recorders have
voluntarily agreed to an audit of all expenses related to the project.” This
bill provides no real benefits to the CLRIS project, or to any other county
project. Most importantly it does not improve the services or accountability
that local officials are already committed to providing the citizens of Iowa.
It does however, risk setting precedent that would negatively impact all
electronic government and Internet application projects and reduce local