The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Commission Meeting of Thursday April 21

Meeting convened at 9:00 am

Transcript

PRESENT:

CARI M. DOMINGUEZ Chair
NAOMI C. EARP Vice Chair
LESLIE E. SILVERMAN Commissioner
STUART J. ISHIMARU Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:

BERNADETTE B. WILSON,
Program Analyst

DEIDRE FLIPPEN,
Director, Office of Research, Information and Planning

SUSAN TAYLOR,
Director, Library and Information Services

JEFFREY SMITH,
Chief Financial Officer

PEGGY MASTROIANNI,
Associate Legal Counsel/Parliamentarian

This transcript produced from audio provided by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

INDEX

AGENDA ITEM

  1. Announcement of Notation Votes
  2. Motion to Close a Portion of the Next Commission Meeting
  3. Renewal of Lexis Nexis subscription (Deidre Flippen, ORIP)
  4. Renewal of Westlaw subscription (Deidre Flippen, ORIP)
  5. Oracle license maintenance agreement (Sallie Hsieh, OIT)
  6. Competitive lease contract for new mail machine systems (Jeffrey Smith, OCFO/AS)

PROCEEDINGS

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: This meeting is to discuss and vote on four procurement matters. At this time I'm going to ask Bernadette Wilson to announce any notation votes that have taken place since the last Commission meeting. Ms. Wilson.

MS. WILSON: Good morning, Madam Chair, Madam Vice-Chair, Commissioners; I'm Bernadette Wilson from the Executive Secretariat. During the period March 24th, 2005 through April 20th, 2005, the Commission acted on three items by notation vote: approved litigation on two cases, and approved a resolution honoring Gloria L. Underwood on the occasion of her retirement.

Madam Chair, it is appropriate at this time to have a motion to close a portion of the next Commission meeting in case there are any closed meeting agenda items.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you, Ms. Wilson. Do I have a motion?

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: So moved.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Is there a second?

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: Second.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Any discussion?

(No response.)

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: All in favor, please say aye.

COMMISSIONERS: Chorus of ayes.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Opposed?

(No response.)

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: The ayes have it and the motion carries. Okay. We have four procurement or contract matters on today's agenda. The first one is the renewal of our two online research services, LexisNexis and Westlaw. Second is a proposal to establish a new Oracle software license agreement to continue to support EEOC's information system, and a request to lease new mail machines and postage systems. All of these requests are for services or support systems that are essential to the Commission's day-to-day operations.

LexisNexis and Westlaw are critical resources for our enforcement and legal staff. The Oracle software license agreement will enable us to continue running the Commission's primary information system, the Integrated Mission System, or IMS as we know it, as well as other systems, including our financial and human resources systems, our internal website, inSite. Finally, we need to enter into a new mail machine lease contract, and move to a system of digital mail meters and commercial payment in order to meet a government-wide mandate to comply with new GSA and Postal Service requirements by the end of fiscal year 2005.

Under internal procedures, the Commission must approve the obligation of funds for any contract that exceeds $100,000. These matters exceed that threshold. In order to protect the procurement process, Commissioners are reminded that we cannot disclose any government cost estimates during this public meeting, other than to acknowledge that they do, in fact, exceed the $100,00 threshold. The specific amounts, of course, were provided to the Commissioners in the written materials that were circulated for notation vote.

All four of these matters were submitted to the Commissioners for notation vote, and each had received three votes to approve, none against, and one vote, Commissioner Ishimaru's, to place the matter on the agenda, necessitating today's Commission meeting.

The first issues for discussion are the renewal of the LexisNexis subscription services and the renewal of the Westlaw subscriptions. The item is going to be presented by Deidre Flippen, Director of the Office of Research, Information and Planning. She's accompanied by Ms. Susan Taylor, who is Director of the Library and Information Services Division.

These two matters are inter-related, so I'll ask Ms. Flippen to present them together. Following her presentation, we're going to have statements, comments, and deliberations by the Commissioners on these two items. However, each renewal request will require a separate vote, so following our deliberations, we will vote on them one at a time. So, Ms. Flippen, please come forward and make your presentation. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Madam Chair, just a point of clarification.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Yes.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Are we going to vote after we talk about each contract?

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Yes.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Thank you.

MS. FLIPPEN: Good morning, Madam Chair, Madam Vice-Chair, Commissioner Silverman, Commissioner Ishimaru, guests, and colleagues. My name is Deidre Flippen, and I am the Director of the Office of Research, Information and Planning for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. With me is Susan Taylor, Director of the Library and Information Services Division.

As the Chair mentioned, we are here today to request Commission approval to renew legal research services with both LexisNexis and Westlaw for fiscal year 2005, and four additional option years. The EEOC has subscribed to both of these research services since the early 1980s, when their use became widespread among the legal profession.

LexisNexis and Westlaw are the two primary legal research services in the United States. Due to the differences in content that these two services provide, and rules governing flat-rate contract access for the federal government, each service contains unique materials not available in the other.

Westlaw is used primarily for case law, statute, and regulations research; whereas, LexisNexis is vital in the areas of company research, public records, and news, as well as being the sole means of access for some of the premiere treatises and loose leafs on the subjects of employment and litigation.

In order for the Commission to accomplish its mission as stated in our 2004 - 2009 Strategic Plan, to promote equality of opportunity in the workplace, and enforce federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, both LexisNexis and Westlaw are necessary resources.

LexisNexis provides a vast array of resources to conduct company research and track down missing parties in cases. Investigating a charge of discrimination against a company often involves research on a company's history, structure, officers, and relationships with other companies. To accomplish this research, LexisNexis has one of the largest collections of public records, news, and business resources offered by any commercial database. This includes resources, such as civil and criminal court filings, incorporation records, "doing business as" filings, bankruptcy filings, asset locators, Uniform Commercial Code filings, plus real and personal property records, and local and national business, and general news resources.

To track down missing parties, LexisNexis offers resources from consumer records, driver's license and vehicle registration, telephone directories, and real property records. LexisNexis also offers access to vital legal encyclopedias, loose leaf services and treatises no longer available in print in the District Office libraries, and in some cases, at the Headquarters libraries due to space concerns. Among them are American Law Reports, Larsen on Employment Discrimination, Moore's Federal Practice, Bureau of National Affairs, Americans With Disabilities Act cases, and BNA's Fair Employment Practices cases.

Westlaw is used primarily for case law, statute and regulations research, and allows fast, easy access to more than 21,000 databases of information. Westlaw includes editorially enhanced cases from all United States courts, statutes, rules, and regulations, and legal periodicals and text. Attorney editors at Westlaw index cases under more than 400 topics, and 100,000 points of law; allowing attorneys to quickly find other cases addressing an exact point of law in any jurisdiction.

Westlaw is used extensively by EEOC legal staff to research and prepare briefs for court cases, to investigate a particular point of law or issue, to develop policies supported by statutes, regulations, and case law.

In addition, EEOC Administrative Judges and Office of Federal Operations Attorneys use as their primary research tool a specialized database Westlaw maintains called Personnet. This unique database is a collection of federal sector administrative decisions by the EEOC and other agencies, such as the National Labor Relations Board, as well as regulations, and specialized treatises, whose sole focus is federal. No other research tool provides the full range of federal sector decisions issued by the EEOC as does Personnet.

Westlaw, also like LexisNexis, offers access to vital legal encyclopedias, loose leaf services, and treatises no longer available in print in the District Office libraries, and in some cases at the Headquarters libraries.

These analytical and secondary source materials are essential resources in the legal research process, particularly when legal staff are examining a new unfamiliar issue, or when comprehensive research is required. Among these are AMJUR, AMJUR Proof of Facts, AMJUR Trials, Employment Discrimination Coordinator, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions, and Rothstein's Employment Law.

LexisNexis and Westlaw are managed by the Library Information Services Division of my office. Each year the librarians review these legal services and based upon feedback from the attorneys and others, select the components which best meet the legal and research needs of the Commission.

Library staff provide LexisNexis and Westlaw passwords to EEOC legal and select research staff, coordinate and provide ongoing training, and disseminate information on new legal resources via the EEOC virtual library on the Commission's intranet, inSite. Access to LexisNexis and Westlaw is not dependent upon the user being in the office. Both can be used anywhere, at any time, as long as the user has a computer and access to the internet. This is invaluable to Commission staff who either work from home or other locations. As print legal sources have been reduced in the Headquarters library, and the District Office libraries, both of these services provide the only means of accessing most legal primary and secondary source materials.

Simply stated, without access to the legal research resources on LexisNexis and Westlaw, the EEOC could not accomplish its mission. Thank you.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you, Ms. Flippen. We're now going to have the opportunity to allow our fellow Commissioners for statements or questions. Let's start with our Vice-Chair. Madam Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: No statement, Madam Chair.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: No statement. Thank you.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Thank you, Madam Chair.

I appreciate your calling this meeting at my request. I believe it's good to have public meetings. I don't believe they're the theater of the absurd. I think that we do our best work in public, and I'm sorry that the only work we seem to be doing are procurement issues, but excellent presentation, and I'll have a few questions.

I have a brief statement that I'd like to make, though. At our last meeting, I made a motion that I and my colleagues be given access to the operational budgets of the agency. As I stated then, this is not information that is secret. Obviously, the various departments and agencies know their budgets; nor is it questioning the Chair's decisions, because these are budget determinations that she has made, and we are not questioning them. This is information on how we spend the public's money; information that I do not think a FOIA request by a member of the public, not a member of the Commission, but a member of the public would protect.

At that meeting, an amended form of my motion was passed over my dissent. The amended form stated that my motion would be stayed pending further discussions with the Chair regarding this information. I'm sorry to say that the information has not been forthcoming.

Last week I got a call from the Chief Operating Officer and the Budget Officer offering me a briefing. They sent a PowerPoint presentation, a nine point PowerPoint presentation, similar to the one that I got much earlier in the process unprompted last year. This PowerPoint presentation, as the Chief Operating Officer acknowledged to me, did not answer my questions, did not come close, was not intended to and we had a very short briefing.

It did not provide any actual amounts provided to the various offices of this agency, and there has not been any discussion, at least none that I've been involved with, regarding whether information like this might be provided in some form.

Meanwhile, my colleagues and I still have to vote on budgetary issues; in this case, budgetary issues of items over $100,000. Do we need all these services that are on the agenda today? Of course. I think the presentation on LexisNexis and Westlaw was excellent, and shows how vital these services are.

Should we be voting on these various contracts without knowing where the rest of our funds are being obligated? As a Commissioner of a public agency, entrusted with the important work of civil rights enforcement, I think the answer is no. I believe we have a fiduciary duty as government officials to get the full picture before we vote on it.

As you may recall, I started to ask for budget plans of various offices after the FEPA allocation was brought to the Commission for a vote a number of months ago. As I mentioned at that meeting, we saw three versions of that allocation, including one that contained a $700,000 discretionary fund that could be used for non-FEPA purposes. When I questioned this fund, suddenly the fund disappeared. Are other programs being tapped to create this fund? I don't know. As Commissioner of a public civil rights agency, I believe that we should.

At our last meeting, it was unfortunate that the Chair may have taken offense at my remarks, because I think she took them to mean that I thought that something was being hidden in the budget. Let me be clear, I do not think that anything improper is being done. Sadly, given the state of some civil rights government agencies, this is actually praise, and it needs to be said.

I've heard horror stories about the historical budget problems we've had here at the agency, where we've run out of money mid-year, and that has not happened under the Chair's watch, and I certainly commend her for that management.

I have every confidence that the bills are being paid, and that the agency will meet its commitments. What I need to know before I cast an informed vote on financial decisions is what those commitments are. Do I trust the Chair? Certainly, I do. Do I want to know what the decisions she has made before I vote on the money? Absolutely.

I recall during the 1980s President Reagan was not talking about budgetary matters, but talking about arms control issues, and he said that he was willing to go forward, but we need to trust but verify, and that sounds like good policy to me.

Thank you, Madam Chair. I have a couple of questions about LexisNexis and Westlaw. Does everyone in the agency have access to it?

MS. FLIPPEN: There are about 860 users nationwide in the Commission that have passwords.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: And the use, does it vary by various offices or is it fairly consistent across the board?

MS. FLIPPEN: It varies by offices.

MS. TAYLOR: It varies by office, but primarily used by the attorneys. The attorneys have the passwords in the agency.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: And has it gotten easier to use since it's been internet-based rather than a specialized software?

MS. TAYLOR: I think definitely yes.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: And so people can use it from home.

MS. TAYLOR: Yes, without specialized software.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: So if we want a flexible workplace, people can access this.

MS. TAYLOR: Yes.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Oh, great. Thank you very much.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you, Commissioner. Is there now a motion to approve the Westlaw subscription renewal?

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: I so move.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Is there a second?

VICE CHAIR EARP: Second.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: All in favor, or is there any discussion?

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Could we have a roll call vote?

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Certainly. All right. Hearing none, no discussion; all those in favor, and please let's do it individually. Let me begin with the Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: I vote yes, approve.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: Approved.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: I abstain, but I support the contract.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: And I approved, so the motion carries, three in favor and one abstention.

The next issue for discussion is the Oracle yes. Thank you very much.

PARLIAMENTARIAN: Madam Chair, we also have to vote on the LexisNexis.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Oh, thank you.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: So we voted on Westlaw now?

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: We voted on the Westlaw. Let's vote independently on the LexisNexis. All right. Is there a motion to approve the LexisNexis renewal?

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: So moved.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Second?

VICE CHAIR EARP: Second.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Any discussion? All right. Let's also do a roll call. Begin with Madam Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: Vote to approve.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: I vote to approve.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: I abstain, but support the contract.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Okay. And I support it, so the motion carries, three votes in favor, and one abstention.

MS. FLIPPEN: Thank you.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you very much. The next issue for discussion is the Oracle licensing, maintenance agreement. This item is going to be presented by our Chief Information Officer, Ms. Sallie Hsieh. Welcome, Ms. Hsieh.

MS. HSIEH: Thank you. Good morning, Madam Chair, Vice-Chair, Commissioners, General Counsel, Legal Counsel. I'm Sallie Hsieh, the Chief Information Officer. I come before you today to discuss the Oracle software license agreement that was submitted to the Commission for approval.

Currently, EEOC has two separate Oracle license agreements, one for supporting EEOC, which will expire in August, and one for supporting FEPAs, which will expire in September. To continue the licenses, ensure continuity of service, we are asking your approval to establish a new license agreement that would incorporate the two existing ones. A single agreement will streamline the process and save staff time, its administration, and acquisition.

The new agreement will have a life cycle of five years, one base year and four option years. This will cover the recurring requirements through the year 2010, fiscal year 2010.

As you know, EEOC's primary information system is an Integrated Mission System, we call IMS, which is being used on a daily basis by our field investigators and attorneys to track and manage charts and case-related activities. This system is also the system from which EEOC management obtains data and information to make critical business decisions; work load management, budget projections, resource allocations, as well as meeting external reporting requirements. The IMS currently consists of several applications, and all of them were developed using the Oracle application software. The Oracle also has a centralized database which contains about three million charge and case records.

Now this database was also developed using Oracle database software. Therefore, to ensure the continued operation of the IMS system, we must have in place an agreement to retain the existing license and the legal rights to use the software. As part of the package, this agreement will also provide EEOC with all upgrades, new release patches, documentation, and technical support that is available 24/7 on line or through the telephone. These software licenses and company services will allow us to support about 4,000 IMS users throughout EEOC, and about 80 FEPA offices.

In addition to IMS, there are other essential information - EEOC does store data on the Oracle servers. Their usefulness are dependent on this acquisition, as well. For example, the Document Management System, the e-Assessment System, the Financial and Human Resource System, and the internal website, inSite. So in closing, I would like to emphasize that the smooth operation of all these information systems is very much dependent on having this agreement in place, so I want to thank you for your time and consideration for this request. And I'll take any questions.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you very much, Ms. Hsieh. We're now going to have the opportunity to allow for statements or questions from the Commissioners. Madam Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: No statement.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: I have no statement and no questions. Thanks.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Thank you.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you very much, Ms. Hsieh.

Is there a motion then to approve the Oracle licensing maintenance agreement?

VICE CHAIR EARP: So moved.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Is there a second?

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: Second.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Any discussion? Hearing none, all those in favor please say aye.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: I would ask that --

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Would you like a roll call?

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Yes.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Definitely. All right. Let's do a roll call. Madam Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: Vote to approve.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: Aye.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: I abstain, but support the contract.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Okay. And I support the contract, so it's three in favor, and one abstention; therefore, the motion carries. Thank you very much.

The final issue for discussion on the open agenda is the competitive lease contract for the new mail machine systems. The item is going to be presented by our Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Jeff Smith. Please come forward and make your presentation.

MR. SMITH: Good morning, Madam Chair, Madam Vice-Chair, Commissioners, General Counsel, and guests. I'm Jeffrey Smith, Chief Financial Officer and Director of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Services. Thank you for the opportunity to present information on the need for a competitive lease contract for new mail machine systems.

This procurement involves replacing our mail machine systems, which have reached the end of their useful life. A mail machine system consists of a scale, a postage meter, and a mail machine. The EEOC purchased the scales and the postage machines between 1991 and 1998. We lease the postage meters, since the meters are the property of the United States Postal Service. We have a nationwide maintenance contract.

The annual cost of the lease and maintenance contract is approximately $92,000. We plan to lease all the components of the replacement mail machine systems because a lease allows us to upgrade the equipment as mail volume and technology change.

Two factors require us to replace our mail machine systems. Most important, the General Services Administration published a regulation on June 6th, 2002, 41 CFR 102-192, which directs federal agencies to move from the current estimated cost process system under the United States Postal Service Official Mail Accounting System to a commercial payment process system. The commercial payment process system means funds must be obligated and transferred to the United States Postal Service before letters and packages are placed in the mail. The commercial process requires a new commercial meter which is not a federal special postage meter. Second, the USPS is requiring that all mechanical meters of the style used at EEOC be replaced with digital meters.

There is a difference between the current payment process and the commercial payment process. Under the current system, postage agency use is estimated at the beginning of each year by the agency. The USPS bills one-twelfth of the estimated annual cost. At the end of the fiscal year, the exact cost is determined, and any difference is billed or returned to the agency.

The commercial payment process consists of postage funding being put into an account for each meter or cost center, and funds must be obligated to transfer to USPS before mailing letters and packages. The exact cost is determined in real time, and is directly attributable to the agency's cost centers.

The digital machines and meters offer enhanced security to protect against revenue loss. The operator must enter a password or enter an account number to operate it, unlike the old system, by using a key. The digital meters allow scanning of the postage, which results in a clearer digital printing of the postage amount, thus improving processing time.

The EEOC, as well as many federal agencies, found that the initial GSA deadline of October 1st, 2003 for this conversion could not be met. The EEOC was required to prepare a deviation letter with milestones outlining its plan to meet the requirement. GSA granted EEOC a deviation on February 13th, 2004 to complete the migration by September 30th, 2005.

The USPS authorized four vendors to compete for the lease of mail meter systems. The vendors are on GSA schedule, and have been pre-qualified to provide the mail machine systems and a nationwide maintenance contract.

With your approval, this competition will begin about May 15th, and result in the award of a new contract effective September 1st, 2005, the date the current meter lease and maintenance contract expires.

This concludes my statement. Thank you.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you, Mr. Smith. We'll now have an opportunity for questions or statements from the Commissioners. Madam Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: Nothing.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: I just wanted to say that earlier in Commissioner Ishimaru's statement, he talked about how we're not running out of money and things like that in past years. And I know that you do a fantastic job, and I just want to take this opportunity to thank you.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Thank you, Madam Chair. I misidentified Jeff in my opening statement. He is the Chief Financial Officer, and I want to recognize that fact, and join Commissioner Silverman's praise.

I have a couple of sort of basic questions about mail machines, never having used one before. You have a scale so you can tell how much something is going to weigh, and how much postage it is required to have, you have a stamper that actually puts the postage on the item that's going out. And you said you have also a mail machine? What does that do? Is there some other component besides the scale and the stamper?

MR. SMITH: I think rather than try to describe that, I would offer a walk-through of a system that we have here on the second floor. Technically, it's a good question, and I just think to see it would be the best way to do.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Actually see it helps. Okay. I was just sort of curious because I could picture the two things, but beyond that was sort of beyond my technical expertise.

I also know that in recent years, there's been technological changes for non-commercial users. You can buy stamps over the computer, get ePostage. Are any of those vendors within the GSA schedule? Do you know, or are they traditional postage meter-type operations?

MR. SMITH: The possibility of the next phase or next generation of mail metering involves the use of the web for commercial purposes, but they're not offering that to federal agencies right now. We've got to make this step to digital before we go there.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: And could you talk just a little bit of the differences between a digital system and, I guess, an analog system, our current system? What makes digital unique?

MR. SMITH: Well, there's a couple of things. In my statement, I mentioned that the digital system software will allow a very clear printing of the postage. When you see postage now, because of the analog machines, you can see it's not as crisp and clear, so the printing technology is better. But I think the most important offering that the Postal Service is after, is they're looking to get working capital at the time that the postage is used. And how they do that is through an online link to these meters in each one of our offices, so we're not doing estimates any more. They're seeing real time the actual postage expended, and digital offers us that.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: I see. And you mentioned four vendors were on the GSA schedule. Are we limited to those four vendors during the competition?

MR. SMITH: Those four vendors are USPS approved and GSA approved vendors that were pre-screened, pre-qualified, the due diligence was done on those vendors. They have very strict controls over what they can offer.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: But under the contracting rules, we're limited to those four. And if someone else wanted to bid after sending the request for proposal or whatever the technical term is, someone else could not, a vendor could not because they were not

MR. SMITH: They would have had that opportunity when the Postal Service put their RFP out, that GSA selected those four vendors.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: Right. Mr. Smith, it's nice to see you. I had questions at an earlier meeting that I won't ask here, but it's certainly good to see you, and I appreciate your answers to my questions. Thank you, Madam Chair.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Thank you. Thank you, Commissioner. And I think we would all enjoy a tour, the technology is changing so much. Now there are no pictures on these stamps. Right? I understand you can now get stamps with people's pictures on it, and that kind of thing.

MR. SMITH: George asked me about which

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: I know. I was just going to offer my fellow Commissioners that we could do all kinds of wonderful things to distinguish ourselves from the other Commissions.

MR. SMITH: No, no pictures, pretty traditional stuff.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Well, I just want to

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: How about if we all four get on the stamp together? Wouldn't that show unity?

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: I just want to join my fellow Commissioners. I know that every time that we put any kind of a procurement action on the agenda, as we did with the health unit, and as we have, it really raises the level of anxiety and concern, because the kinds of things we're voting on are the lifeline of the Commission, their bread and butter. Our attorneys, our investigators can't function without the tools LexisNexis and Westlaw, and similarly with our data system. But I know, I'm speaking on behalf of all our Commissioners, how much we really appreciate the excellent presentations that all of you have made, and the concerns that you share. And again, I think that this meeting today reflects - in fact, I commend Commissioner Ishimaru because I didn't know - I knew we needed the postage meters, but I didn't know the level of detail, and so it's raised my interest in that, as well.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: We can join together on that tour on the second floor.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Yes. Absolutely. Okay. Now we'll have an opportunity to vote. Is there a motion to approve the competitive lease contract for the new mail machine systems?

VICE CHAIR EARP: So moved.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Is there a second?

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: Second.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Any discussion? Hearing none, all those in favor, let's vote via roll call, beginning with our Vice-Chair.

VICE-CHAIR EARP: I vote to approve.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Silverman.

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: I vote to approve.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Commissioner Ishimaru.

COMMISSIONER ISHIMARU: I abstain, but support the contract.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: All right. And I vote to approve, so we have three votes in favor, and one abstention, and the motion carries.

Okay. I want to thank everyone for joining us. We really appreciate your being here. We appreciate your level of interest, and there being no further business today, do I hear a motion that we adjourn the meeting?

VICE CHAIR EARP: So moved.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: Is there a second?

COMMISSIONER SILVERMAN: Second.

CHAIR DOMINGUEZ: All in favor, please say aye.

COMMISSIONERS: Chorus of ayes.

CHAIR: Opposed? (No Response)

The ayes have it, and the motion carries. The meeting is adjourned. Thank you.

(Meeting adjourned. 9:45 a.m.)


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