Council More Open for Outside Requests Will Craig, Vice Chair
People have been confused about how to seek assistance from the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Geographic Information. We’ve always invited people to step forward, but we’ve not made it clear what kinds of assistance we can offer, what guidelines we use in reviewing requests, or how to initiate a request. Chair Rick Gelbmann made it a priority to make the process more open.
This past year several groups requested letters of support for a policy position or for their organization. Those requests matched our mission and guiding principles, so we approved them. The council has a history of responding to such requests as documented in our new webpage on Policy Statements. These made sense, but our Operating Procedures were not clear so they have been revised to encourage such policy statements and letters of support. A simple 1-page form has been created that asks people to document their issue, specify how it relates to the council’s mission and guiding principles, indicate what they hope the council will say, and provide contact information for the organization meant to receive the council’s statement.
The other issue was requests for speakers, newsletter articles, or other forms of communication from the Outreach Committee. The Communication Plan encouraged such requests, but it is a 15-page pdf document with a request form buried on the last page. A new operating policy was created to encourage communication with others. The request form has been broken out and made available in pdf, doc, and rtf formats.