You said, we did: changes to SEC Modification Working Groups

14th March 2019

In response to feedback on SEC Modification Working Groups, we are introducing changes to improve how these meetings are run.

A key area of feedback received was seeking clarity on the role and purpose of Working Groups – are they there to help design a solution? Drive the change through? Review a strawman? You felt each meeting had a different purpose, and that there was a disjointed approach. You also highlighted the sporadic nature of meetings, with short sessions covering single modifications scheduled at ad-hoc intervals, which made it time-consuming to get involved – it needed to be easier to feed in comments without having to attend a meeting. You also raised concerns that bureaucracy was taking priority over getting the right subject matter experts involved, and that this was slowing down progression of change – addressing the issue should be the driver for industry time, not meeting quoracy rules, particularly if input can be made through other means outside meetings.

In response to these comments, we are changing our approach and trying something new. We will be introducing a monthly Working Group session where multiple modifications can be discussed across a day. The intent is that batching changes in this way means you can schedule your time more effectively and are aware when SEC change will be discussed. These monthly meetings will be scheduled for the first Wednesday each month, with the first one taking place on Wednesday 3 April, though ad-hoc sessions may occasionally be needed for specific changes.

We will confirm the modifications being discussed at a meeting no later than 10 Working Days before that meeting, and an email alert will be sent announcing this. All materials will be published on our website no later than five Working Days before the meeting. If you would be interested in joining for some or all of that meeting, please reply letting us know, so that we know to expect you and can send you an invite. Where possible, we will be offering video conferencing technology as well as standard teleconferencing for those who can’t attend in person, and notes from the meeting will be published afterwards for those unable to attend.

The primary purpose of the Working Group will be to allow Parties to review strawman solutions for each modification. In order to make this as effective as possible, we will be working with the DCC and Proposers to ensure there is a suitable strawman solution available before going to a Working Group meeting, including completing a DCC Preliminary Assessment where applicable.

We will also ensure that any strawman solution has been through the relevant Sub-Committees before it goes to the Working Group. This ensures that the Working Group discussions can get past the question of “what does this Sub-Committee think of this?”, and that time is not wasted in discussing a solution that may be fundamentally flawed in its design.

To further ensure that the strawman is fit for purpose and seek input outside of meetings, we will publish details and requirements on the modification’s page of our website as the solution is being developed and encourage feedback on this. Any feedback we receive from Parties will be published on the website “live” alongside the draft solution so that you can see the views that are emerging and what is being done to address issues raised.

We will be reviewing these arrangements over the next few months as we bed in these new ways of working, and as part of this would welcome your feedback on how it’s going. If you have any questions on any of this in the meantime, please get in touch with a member of the Change Management team or email us at sec.change@gemserv.com.

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