This meet was held as a virtual one via Zoom.
All seven Board members were present.
The meeting began with addition of “ Letter of intent to CLRC” as an addendum to the draft agenda.
Minutes of the November 2022 Board meeting were accepted as presented.
Bank balances and investment fund totals were reported. Also noted was that an additional payment to CGS of over $2900 from the National Integrated Databases project was due.
An excellent report was presented by Chris Grab and Jonathan Dugdale. They had reviewed current policies practices for delivering Judges Licensing Conferences. They presented some preliminary proposals for significant revision. Proposals include having the first day as an online/digital experience. Work within the online sessions would have to be completed before participants took part in the two days of in person programming. These modules may become available to anyone, at a modest fee, so members could gain knowledge of dairy goat conformation and terminology without joining a stream to become a judge. The name of the Conferences may be revised to place more emphasis on the training aspect.
The entire Board had a very positive reaction to the initial proposals. Chris and Jonathan agreed to continue work on modules and revisions to policies and report again at the January Board meeting.
Tanya McCarthy reported on development of a youth program. This program will be launched in 2023 with any costs being absorbed into regular operations costs.
Russell Gammon reported on number of pages of ads received for the 2023 yearbook and the number of director reports that had been received by the meeting date. Deadline for ads was extended to January 6, 2023.
Brief mention was made of attempts to begin work on amendment of by-laws.
Board members discussed the advisability of forwarding a letter of intent to conclude our relationship with CLRC. Various views on this topic were expressed. Eventually a motion was passed to send a letter of intent to CLRC. An accompanying article defines the aspects of this step for member edification.
The meeting was terminated after almost an hour and a half of activity.
EXPLANATION OF LETTER OF INTENT TO WITHDRAW FROM A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH CANADIAN LIVESTOCK RECORDS CORPORATION
In late 2021 CGS forwarded a latter of intent to withdraw from our business relationship with CLRC to CLRC. Sending this latter opened up the option of leaving the relationship as of January 1, 2023. As it turned out the letter of intent was not acted upon. For decades various member associations of CLRC have submitted letters of intent to withdraw from working with the company. In some instances the letter of intent is acted upon and in others the relationship continues. Some associations have moved to process registry work with other business partners and some have taken registry services functions in-house.
The sending of such a letter is usually a signal that the association believes there are better options elsewhere-re service/cost or that the association needs to send a clear signal to the service provider that better performance is needed.
In the case of CGS we agreed with fellow small ruminant associations using CLRC’s services that faster and more efficient service was needed, improvements to online registry tools were needed and a serious drop in cost of the services provided by CLRC was needed, and fast.
During 2022 CLRC made serious steps to improve turnaround time and operating efficiencies. This has been a message CLRC has been sending to CLRC since early 2020. Since early 2020 we have also asked for a full review of the unit fee chart for services at CLRC. We wanted to see time usage studies for the various functions a CLRC registrar performs on each association’s work. We have also asked for a reduction in the cost of registration applications submitted electronically since the person submitting the application does so much for the data entry work. We have also questioned the adequacy of the number and capability of edits of data as electronic processing takes place. In addition we have asked why the processing of a transfer of ownership of an already registered animal, obviously owned by a seller who is recorded in the CGS database at CLRC accumulates more unit charges than processing of a new animal being added to the database. To date none of the requested actions have been taken and no comprehensive answers to our regularly asked questions have been provided.
As noted CLRC did address the matter of turnaround time of registry work in a significant way. We received numerous reports, in the latter half of 2022 of members who were very pleasantly surprised at how quickly their work was returned to them and the high quality level of the processing. Our investigations into the matter revealed that more effective deployment of the existing human resource at CLRC was the chief cause of this improvement.
In some ways, the matter of cost has been somewhat addressed. Note the qualifiers.
Introduction of a service fee for 2023 was a modest but good first step. This service fee, rather than an increase in the price per unit, is equivalent to less than a 1% increase in the per unit charge. Considering the high level of inflation in Canadian society at present the amount of this fee could be considered as a reduction in the actual cost of doing business with CLRC. The modest size of the service fee meant that the CGS Board decided no upward adjustment of registry service fees was needed in 2023. This news can be regarded as a good first step.
The creation of the letter of intent was meant to be a spur and very positive encouragement to CLRC board/management to now address the matter of cost of service. CLRC’s cost of service is a huge factor in the fees CGS charges members and clients for registry services. A letter of intent to withdraw has been submitted and CLRC has acknowledged receipt. As it turns out the matter cannot be acted upon until the end of 2024. This would give us ample time to find another option for registry services if that is the desire of members.
We have communicated with CLRC management and they have received the latter in a very positive light. The letter presents a challenge to them to deliver on cost efficiencies which is a challenge they accept and relish addressing for the good of associations and their members. CLRC realizes that 2023 is a crucial year for them to maintain very good operating efficiencies and work on cost efficiencies. They have invited us to add any further input on means of becoming more efficient but realize the role is largely theirs to address.
We remain hopeful that good things will happen at CLRC and will certainly cheer them on, when success for our members is reached!
Any further questions on this matter can be addressed to the CGS office and the CGS Board.