RD100 - Annual Report of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (2012)

    Executive Summary:
    The Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), a permanent legislative study commission created in 1997, continued its work during the 2012 Interim to "study all aspects of technology and science and to endeavor to stimulate, encourage, promote, and assist in the development of technology and science in the Commonwealth and sound public policies related thereto." (§ 30-85 of the Code of Virginia).

    JCOTS held its first organizational meeting of the Interim on May 16, 2012, at which time it elected Delegate Tom Rust as the chairman of JCOTS, and Senator John Watkins as vice-chairman. The members of JCOTS thanked Delegate Joe May for his many years of service as chairman of JCOTS, and for his contributions to the development of science and technology policy in the Commonwealth under his leadership.

    JCOTS also adopted a work plan for the 2012 Interim, which involved the creation of four advisory committees: Energy, Electronic Meetings, Electronic Identity Credentials, and Cybersecurity. During the course of the Interim, each of the Advisory Committees (comprised of members of JCOTS, as well as other public and private representatives) met several times. Details of each of the meetings, and the issues considered, are available on the JCOTS website. At the end of the Interim, each Advisory Committee made a recommendation that JCOTS continue the Advisory Committee into the 2013 Interim, and each recommendation was approved.

    In addition to recommendations that the studies be continued, the Electronic Meetings Advisory Committee made two additional proposals. The first was a legislative proposal that would allow regional public bodies to hold electronic meetings and would eliminate the requirement in the Code of Virginia that a public body hold at least one meeting each year that is not an electronic meeting. JCOTS approved this proposal for recommendation to the 2013 Session of the General Assembly. The second proposal recommended that JCOTS conduct an extensive pilot project during the 2013 Interim to hold a variety of electronic meetings using a variety of available technologies, in order to fully document the experiences and to develop a recommended list of best practices to assist public bodies in conducting electronic meetings. This proposal was also adopted.