Board Meeting 55th Meeting
Ville Saint-Laurent Boardroom
1. Call to order
2. Adoption of the agenda
Seconded. Adopted unanimously.
3. Adoption of the minutes of the 54th meeting held on December 15, 2004
4. Unfinished business from the minutes of the 54th meeting
A follow-up will be presented at the next meeting.
4.2. 2004–2005 funding of “other services”
4.3. WNV: seasonal analysis
Héma-Québec finally received the documents relating to its first submission for the seasonal analysis of the WNV following its request for access to information. These documents contain little new information. They do show, however, that the decisions were made in response to scientific considerations.
4.4. Héma-Québec’s SIGRHQ (integrated human resources management system)
The Chairperson of the Audit Committee emphasized that following the update, the project cost now amounts to $2,407,000 over two years. She explained that the system chosen, SAP, is a very robust but expensive system. It is already being used and appreciated in other sectors at Héma-Québec. The financial analysis revealed a reimbursement period of 8 years, which falls within the useful life of the system of 10 years. She reminded the Board that this system aims to correct the weaknesses identified in the past with regard to the system overseeing salaries, which represent 50% of Héma-Québec’s expenses. It is, therefore, a question of a strategic investment.
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, joined the meeting.
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, reviewed the presentation made to the Audit Committee. Capital assets now total $1,387,000 instead of the $1,511,000 announced in September 2004. As for operation expenditures, they now amount to $1,020,000 for a variance of $1,144,000. Earnings over 10 years were appraised at $6,773,000 instead of the $11,948,000 as presented in September 2004.
The Chairperson of the Audit Committee emphasized that the greatest earnings were in the area of productivity gains that were appraised at $400,000 per year over 10 years. These gains in productivity as well as the contingency for consultants will have to be monitored very closely.
After reviewing the project, the Audit Committee recommended that the Board approve the SIGRHQ project at a cost of $2,407,000 over two years.
Discussion. Motion to adopt the resolution to approve Héma-Québec’s SIGRHQ (integrated human resources management system) in the amount of $2,407,000 over two years. Seconded. Adopted unanimously.
4.5. Héma-Québec’s responses to Health Canada’s observations
5. Financial Affairs
The budget comparisons by major categories, variances and statistics are detailed as well as capital asset acquisitions and cash asset fluctuations.
Héma-Québec’s total budget of $284,417,416, which was approved by the Board in November 2003, was revised downward by the Board to $263,853,000 on November 17, 2004. To date, the Héma-Québec budget remains within the projections made at the Board meeting on November 17, 2004. Consequently, the MSSS will reduce the two last payments in order to align itself with the mid-year forecast.
5.2. Operational adjustments faced with reductions in the volume of operations
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, presented the progress report for the five proposed actions to the Board at its last meeting.
The review of additional positions for 2005–2006 has just about been completed. Of the seven positions, one has been phased out voluntarily, four have been recommended for approval and two are still being analyzed. The CEO added that she issued a memorandum on February 1, 2005, announcing a moratorium on creating and staffing positions.
As for the identification of ways for all Héma-Québec managers to be more economical, they were able to produce a list of 64 departmental courses of action for a total savings of $1,930,000. Twenty-five courses of action for the organization as a whole were received, and their analysis is underway. Some departmental courses of action could also be extended to the organization as a whole.
The project review was completed by the Management Committee. The number of projects has fallen from 59 in 2004–2005 to 32 in 2005–2006. Nine projects have been identified as strategic projects of which the major ones are follow-ups to last year’s projects.
The fourth action concerned accounting by activity—flexible budget and integrated performance indicators. The action plan is presently being developed.
Finally, a committee was established to reorganize Héma-Québec’s procedures. The work of this committee will be spread over several months.
The details of the reduction efforts received per division for 2004–2005 and 2005–2006 were presented. The reduction efforts for 2004–2005 total $3,308,000. For 2005–2006, they total $4,746,000, without taking into account any corporate savings and the review of business procedures.
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, emphasized that the 2005–2006 budget granted to managers is based on an anticipated delivery volume of 228,000 units of packed red blood cells, which represents an increase of 2% over the actual 2004–2005 deliveries. On the basis of this delivery volume, the reduction to achieve in relation to the budget approved by the Minister is $2,700,000 for the variable costs and $2,800,000 for the fixed costs. At the present time, the effort carried out has resulted in a reduction of $2,750,000 for the variable costs and $2,000,000 for the fixed costs. Héma-Québec is, therefore, within $800,000 of the established target and is confident that this target will be reached after the analysis of the courses of action for corporate savings and the review of business procedures. Héma-Québec’s concern is focussed more on the delivery volume projection. In fact, it seems that the year 2004–2005 will end with a delivery volume of approximately 220,000 units. In this context, it is not certain that Héma-Québec can meet its objective of maintaining the price for a unit of packed red blood cells below $400.
The CEO emphasized that the expiration data obtained from the MSSS for the year 2003–2004 do not allow for any explanation for the decrease in delivery volumes any more than the increased use of erythropoietin. A Board member suggested that the transfusion practice in surgery has perhaps changed over the past years. He suggested hiring a summer student/intern to study transfusion practices in surgery. Hôpital Sainte-Justine and Dr. Jean-François Hardy would be interested in participating in such a study. It would be justified to see if the Héma-Québec Foundation could finance this project.
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, withdrew from the meeting.
6. Safety of the supply
7. Management Report
The CEO informed members that the name Histo-Québec for the tissues division will be discontinued. A recent survey has shown that this name created confusion among clients and that it would be preferable to use the name Héma-Québec for all of the organization’s activities. Héma-Québec’s new visual identity referring to its activities in the fields of blood products, human tissues and stem cells will be presented to Board members at the next meeting.
8. Tabling of documents
8.2. Héma-Québec’s record in occupational health and safety
8.3. 2003–2004 Report Card on Canada’s Blood System by the Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS)
It had already been anticipated that the CEO would resubmit the self-sufficiency in plasma report to the Board this spring.
Board members are also surprised by the marks awarded to the MSSS on this report card. They feel that the Secrétariat du sang should respond to this report.
The CEO withdrew from the meeting.
8.4. Research and Development section on Héma-Québec’s Web site
9. Other business
9.2. Prion filters: recent developments
10. Next meeting