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Exclusive Coverage – IRP Annual Meeting 2015: Day 1

May 19, 2015

Written by Casey Jenkins

2015 IRP Annual Meeting – Day 1: Monday May 18, 2015

Folks are still flying in from all over the US and Canada to attend the 2015 IRP Annual meeting in Savannah, GA. While the meeting officially kicks off on Tuesday, there were two different all-day committee meetings today. The first was discussing Jurisdictional Peer Reviews, and the second was the IT and Data Committee meeting. I attended the IT and Data Committee Meeting.

IT and Data Committee Meeting Notes

This committee is trying to bring the jurisdictions together with technology. They are talking BIG DATA and it’s all coming together from over 60 different places like the jurisdictions, technology vendors and industry professionals. It’s a big task, and the 8 members of the committee have their work cut out for them.

They have their heads wrapped around the big picture, and they are asking a lot of great questions. No assumptions, no arguments, just productive, thoughtful discussion. Standardizing jurisdictional fee changes, and peer reviews dominated the morning, both revolving around the idea that while these things take time for the states to produce and manage, they ensure that those same states are getting the proper fees.

Tim Adams dropped by a few times, propped open the meeting door and disappeared. Everybody got a kick out of that as we transitioned from one topic to the next.

Hot Topic: IRP Data Clearinghouse

The IRP Data Clearinghouse and how often it’s updated seemed to dominate the day’s discussion. Daily uploads seem to be the only thing that will keep that data timely, but there’s also the issue of getting the “right data” – the kind that helps get work done. It seems that right now there isn’t one place where the jurisdictions can report and review the right data. Jim Poe from Indiana recommended that we “get outside the box” to come up with “something better, something everybody can work with,” so that the right data is in the right place at the right time, and can be used correctly.

Remember, the IRP Data Clearinghouse was designed to handle financial transactions between states. It’s wasn’t built to help the jurisdictions track ownership or registration or reporting, and it wasn’t intended to be used for enforcement. If a new system were built, and designed to help with these things on an international scale there is real potential to build something amazing.

Robin Murphy from IRP Inc. highlighted the main point very succinctly, “Simple. Make it really simple for the jurisdictions.”

But what the committee is trying to accomplish isn’t simple.  Are they going to repurpose old systems or build an entirely new one? What will it take in dollars and staff hours to build/update/maintain? Will it be mobile friendly and does it need to be? Whatever they come up with needs to be simple to use, and it needs to be something the jurisdictions WILL use. If all the jurisdictions don’t come to the table, then the data will be incomplete and less useful to those who need it.  Not to mention law enforcement, vendors, and industry service providers who would all also like access to the system.

This committee works well together and clearly enjoys this process. They bring a lot of different perspectives to the table and they do it with good humor and a rigorous attention to detail. I’ll be excited to watch this process unfold and see what the committee ends up with.