MivPiv/iStock(NEW YORK) — As public health officials in communities across the country prepare for the continued spread of the coronavirus, both state and federal prisons could face major hurdles if officers or prisoners contract COVID-19.ABC News has reviewed an internal document sent to the nation’s Bureau of Prisons facilities, and sources said the document doesn’t provide adequate answers to combating the virus.The internal document details proper protocols including guidance from BOP stating an employee can’t return to work if by doing so they would jeopardize the health of others.Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with the full ABC News team where we will try to answer your questions about the virus.The document doesn’t touch on visitation for inmates or transporting them facility to facility. Courthouses in the Southern District of New York have already sought to restrict entry to people who traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran and anyone who has been in contact with or has COVID-19.One source at a Florida facility told ABC News that the Bureau doesn’t have the ability to order more cleaning supplies and doesn’t have enough wipes to sanitize the inmate transport buses. The source also said there aren’t enough N95 masks to cover half the staff, adding that most are of small size. Photos reviewed by ABC News of the facility show empty hand sanitizer pumps placed throughout.The source said there are currently more questions than answers.On Wednesday, the Bureau of Prisons declined to provide guidance on what they were doing citing the fluid nature of the virus. However, they did say they are using a “comprehensive approach”“The BOP has an internal web-based system for reporting infectious diseases and outbreaks, allowing access to health care and correctional professionals system-wide,” a spokesman told ABC News in an email. “The Bureau of Prisons is providing information to staff and inmates regarding practicing good hygiene and other information regarding BOP’s initial and preventive preparations. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, the BOP updates and refines its recommendations, guidance, and protocols, and will continue to provide helpful information to staff, inmates and federal, state and local partners.”Currently, they are not stocking COVID-19 test kits and “testing of inmates will occur if clinically warranted.”The spokesman said as of Wednesday, there are no known cases of the virus at any BOP facility.“The Bureau of Prisons is providing information to staff and inmates regarding practicing good hygiene and other information regarding BOP’s initial and preventive preparations. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, the BOP updates and refines its recommendations, guidance, and protocols, and will continue to provide helpful information to staff, inmates and federal, state and local partners,” a bureau spokeswoman told ABC News over the weekend.Joe Rojas, the Southwest regional representative for the Council of Prisons, the union that represents BOP officers, told ABC News that leaders have to think of the “worst-case scenario.”“You have one inmate that has a virus, it’ll affect everybody, staff and inmates, because it’s in a confined space,” he continued.Rojas said that there is “no leadership at all” when dealing with the potential for coronavirus in federal prisons.State prison facilities around the country, from large state facilities to smaller county facilities, are also preparing for the virus.A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections told ABC in a statement that there is a working group between “health care executives, public health nurses, custody and prison operations executives, occupational safety experts and department planners responsible for business continuity.”They say that health services will continue.“We are also ensuring that inmates coming into the CDCR system, or transported to county jail to attend court hearings, are receiving a comprehensive health screening and assessment by health care professionals when they are processed into and out of an institution,” a spokeswoman continued.“Visitation is one of the most important services we provide to incarcerated persons and their loved ones. At this time, we have no intention of closing visiting at our institutions, including overnight family visits. However, we do ask that if a person feels sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing to please not enter a CDCR institution until they are no longer displaying symptoms.”In New York State, facilities have already begun increased screening and will issue questionnaires. The New York Department of Corrections is already warning visitors about longer than normal visitation wait time.In Chenango County, NY, Sheriff Ernest Cutting told ABC News it is business as usual with a few different procedures. Cutting, who oversees the Sheriff’s Department which has 66 inmates currently in custody. He said that inmates are being asked if they’ve traveled out of the country.“We always ask them if they’re sick, anyway. Generally, inmates here in New York, go into medical isolation for a few days when they first come in, just to make sure we can control any sicknesses or illnesses that they may have,” he explained. “We can operate every day with the thought that we have to protect ourselves, we have to protect citizens an … just conversation and dialogue and using gloves when they’re needed. It’s just kind of how we operate daily.”Jeremy Desel, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a video released on their Facebook page, that they have procedures and plans in place to deal with an outbreak of a disease. While they have not yet done so, procedures include limiting visitation and transport.He said all the procedures are outlined in a manual specific to controlling disease outbreaks.Ohio officials recently stopped visiting access for inmates, as fear of the virus spread throughout the state.Across the Atlantic in Italy, where the virus has brought the country to a standstill, six prisoners died and 50 escaped after riots broke out in six prisons across the country, according to reports. Inmates lit mattresses on fire in one prison and in another, took officers hostage and stole their keys. In Milan, the epicenter of the outbreak, prisoners were seen standing on roofs after the prison limited visitor access and put the prison on lockdown.Rojas also told ABC News that riots in Federal prisons are a “legitimate concern” and that it is something of which leaders should be wary. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
After Syracuse let up four third period goals to RIT on Nov. 1, head coach Paul Flanagan decided the Orange’s current lines weren’t working.It was a wakeup call. They had to try something different.Despite no opportunity to practice before traveling to RIT for a rematch the next day, lines that had remained largely untouched for the team’s first 11 games were shuffled. Starting centers moved to the wing, defensive pairings were swapped and a forward would be dropping back to join the blueliners.The new-look Orange (2-11-1, 1-1 College Hockey America) shut out the Tigers, 3-0, the next day. Two weeks later, Syracuse nearly won again, falling to St. Lawrence 4-3 in overtime. But with injuries to key players and the search for ideal line combinations still ongoing, Flanagan said the Syracuse lineup shuffle may not be over.“We’re not just frantic because of our record,” Flanagan said. “We’re just trying to find better combinations.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEven though Kristen Siermachesky was recruited to Syracuse as a defender, an injury last season and the success of the defensive unit in her absence forced her to return as a forward. She began 2019-20 on offense again, but Flanagan said he felt she was “struggling a little bit up front.” So, he moved her back to defense again.“The biggest challenge honestly has been just getting back to skating backward at full speed,” Siermachesky said. “Being a big body and watching other people’s bodies is something to get used to again.”One constant during starting lineup introductions this season has been Lindsay Eastwood. Eastwood skates through the team’s defensive zone every home game, coming to a stop at the blueline when she’s announced as the team’s starting left defender.Before the second contest against RIT, though, Eastwood’s defensive partner changed. Flanagan moved Logan Hicks into the top pairing with Eastwood, a position previously filled by senior Allie Olnowich to start the year. Olnowich’s new defensive partners change throughout the game, as the Orange play with seven defenders.Hicks changed from forward to defense, the opposite of Siermachesky, last season and has continued to play that role since. Having paired together last season, Flanagan has noticed the Hicks-Eastwood pair have “a real comfort” together.“Lindsay’s one of my best friends, and I’ve been here for four years with her,” Hicks said. “Definitely some extra chemistry, but I’m also really close with all the other D.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorLast season, Lauren Bellefontaine scored seven goals and added 13 assists, while leading forwards in blocked shots with 50. In 2019-20, her shot blocking and defensive presence have remained, but through 13 games, the sophomore has just one goal and two assists.Flanagan hoped moving Bellefontaine from center to right wing would spark her offensive production. While Flanagan said the team “had to get Lauren going,” he hinted the reigning CHA rookie of the year’s foray away from the faceoff dot may be short-term.“She might be back to center before you know it,” Flanagan said after Tuesday’s practice. “She was there this morning.”When Abby Moloughney was helped off the ice in Saturday’s loss to St. Lawrence, the Orange found themselves playing with only nine forwards and seven defenders in a game they had already started without a backup goalie. The lineup, and specifically forwards like Bellefontaine, remains in flux due to question marks surrounding player availability. While goaltender Ady Cohen returned to practice Tuesday, Flanagan said the return dates for Brynn Koocher, Marielle McHale and Moloughney are “totally up in the air.”The Orange play three games in four days this weekend, a stretch that includes two conference matchups against Penn State and a nonconference game against No. 3 Cornell. The mixing and matching Flanagan and his coaching staff have done in recent weeks between, and even during games, will almost certainly continue.Said Flanagan, “It’s just been a work in progress.” Comments Published on November 20, 2019 at 9:31 pm Contact Mitchell: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
Last Updated: 6th October, 2019 12:33 IST WWE RAW: Charlotte Flair’s Toughest In-ring Competitors In The WWE WWE Raw: Charlotte is an immensely popular wrestler. Let’s take a look at the women who came close to shutting down the queen of women’s division in the ring. Written By 1 year ago CM Punk recalls John Cena rivalry, says ‘enjoyed working with him’ Charlotte Flair has also had major rivalries with the likes of Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks in the past. Both women managed to put up a competitive battles against Flair proving themselves to be serious contenders in the ring. Both Sasha and Becky are riding high in WWE right now. Lynch is the current RAW Women’s champion and Sasha is all set to take her on at the upcoming Hell in a Cell PPV for the title.Also Read | WWE Raw Preview: Brock Lesnar To Return, Rollins To Face Rey Mysterio WE RECOMMEND Charlotte Flair is on her way to greatness and a legend in the making. Infact, she’s almost there already. The daughter of legendary Nature Boy ‘Ric Flair’ has come a long way in her WWE career. From making a successful NXT debut to becoming a 10 time women’s champion, and a record 146 days’ title reign in the women’s division, Flair has made rapid strides in the WWE.She has everything that one would look out for in a star. Athleticism, charisma aside, she is always red carper ready. She plays her character beautifully and always has a story to tell. She is undoubtedly one the biggest stars in women’s section of the WWE.Also Read | WWE: Five Times Charlotte Flair Surprised Her Opponents And FansThe Charlotte EvolutionFlair’s evolution began in the WWE’s developmental territory NXT as part of the Four Horsewomen. She transitioned to the main roster and showed the world that she is far more than a five-foot-ten blond woman who could simply trade on her father’s fame. She also claims to be genetically superior to most women on the roster. Having said that, let us look at who in the current roster has decimated the Queen of the Women’s Division.Also Read | WWE Raw: Bobby Lashley returns to WWE, kisses Lana in front of RusevWhen Ronda Rousey Was Considered The Only Legitimate Threat To Charlotte FlairRonda Rousey went toe-to-toe against Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series last year. Ronda, who was then undefeated went into the fight with hopes of submitting the Queen with her famous armbar. Given Rousey’s MMA background, many believed that Ronda would give her a beating the fans have never seen before. During the match, Charlotte managed to escape Ronda thereby getting herself disqualified. Ronda Rousey is currently on a hiatus, and while there are no official reports on her return date, there are rumours that claim Ronda will be back in the company very soon. It will be interesting to watch Ronda continue her rivalry with Flair in the future.Also Read | WWE Raw results: Lesnar beats Mysterio; Styles and Rollins win titles 1 year ago Batista snubbed: WWE leaves him out of Smackdown tribute video 1 year ago Independence Day wishes come in for India from the WWE; John Cena, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins join in Danish Ansari 1 year ago Ric Flair-less, loses followers after crossing Becky Lynch’s path FOLLOW US 11 months ago WWE RAW: Rey Mysterio vs Gran Metalik Match Overview SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE LIVE TV First Published: 6th October, 2019 12:33 IST COMMENT
By Andrew CarmichaelThere is an apparent rift in the Alliance For Change (AFC) constituency in East Berbice, with some members complaining bitterly that contracts totalling approximately $120 million have been awarded to six AFC-affiliated contractors without first passing through the tendering process.This issue was brought to the fore by longstanding contractors in the region, who are also supporters of the AFC but are being sidelined in favour of other party members who recently became involved in the construction industry.In one of the most recent practices in the region by supporters of the minority party in the Coalition Government, it was pointed out that some of these new contractors are even using paid Government workers.Guyana Times was told that the contract to clean the road shoulders in the region has been given to eight contractors, six of whom are AFC supporters.In a matter that was recently before a Corentyne court, the defendant had told the magistrate that he was employed with Derrick Basdeo to weed the road. Basdeo is the National Executive for the AFC Diaspora, and runs DeMoxReality Estate Construction. That company was awarded one of the eight weeding contracts.Quad Construction, which is run by Joseph Baichu, was given another contract. Baichu is also an executive of the AFC in Berbice.Another executive of the AFC is Gladwin Abdulla, whose company has also been awarded one of the contracts. Khousal Goberton, who is an AFC Regional Councillor, has also been awarded one of the contracts; while another one has gone to Subas Orilall, who is the AFC Chairman in Region Six.Last year, a total of 15 contractors were awarded contracts; this year, six contractors were awarded contracts. The contracts are worth $15 million each. Reports reaching this newspaper indicate that two of the six contractors were given two contracts each.Further, there are also reports that both ministers in the Public Infrastructure Ministry, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, are aware of the situation. A ministerial advisor’s son is also one of the contractors.The issue of contracts being awarded without tendering, and to contractors who did not exist before, was recently raised at the Region Six RDC meeting.On Saturday, Guyana Times contacted Region Chairman David Armogan on the matter. He commented thus, “People were selected on the basis of their political affiliation, and this is cause for great worry for us in this region.“When we ask the relevant agency, which is the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, for the information on how these people were selected, nobody wants to come forward with any information with regard to this particular contract.”The Regional Chairman disclosed that about eighty per cent of the contractors are active members of the AFC party.“Which means that they were selected based on their affiliation to that part,” he posited.According to the Chairman, he has also received complaints from other ACF members who are contractors and who have done work for the regional administration in the past. They are complaining that they were not invited to submit tenders for the contracts.“This is what is worrying, because there was no public tendering process done. These people, as far as we know, were selected, and they have never been contractors before,” the Regional Chairman asserted.Armogan went on to say that apart from the transaction being corrupt, the handing out of contracts to AFC allies has angered other party members who are sympathetic to the AFC but are not friends of those in the hierarchy.Meanwhile, there are also reports that some of the contractors are using the Community Organised for the Restoration of the Environment (CORE) workers to remove the grass that was weeded and left there.While the current contracts are not being made available, similar contracts in the past stipulated that the contractor “cut and remove” the grass.Armogan has noted that the CORE workers are already being paid $60,000 monthly by the Government.Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Regional Representative, Gobin Harbhajan, who is also an AFC supporter, views the situation as corruption, and has indicated that he has since penned a letter to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.Harbhajan said he is in receipt of pictorial evidence that some of the CORE workers are being used and are being paid by the Government to execute a private contract. He is calling for the contracts to be taken away.According to the Prime Minister’s Representative, the perception both locally and internationally is that Berbice is a breeding ground for corruption.“We can prove them wrong by doing things the right way. If this contract was awarded as a result of favouritism, and it was not done the right way, then I think that the Ministry should look at it and recall it,” he posited.
3 February 2014Investors should broaden their perspective, look beyond the obvious and prepare for African mining to rebound on the back of growing demand from recovering global economies, delegates heard at a private forum ahead of the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on the weekend.The inaugural Mining Indaba Investment Discovery Forum took place at the Westin Hotel in Cape Town on Saturday, bringing together serious investors, important stakeholders and mining executives to discuss the numerous viable opportunities in African mining.“As the platinum sponsor of this inaugural Investment Discovery Forum, we were excited at the opportunity to participate in this critical event to drive awareness of emerging opportunities on the continent,” Mark Tyler, senior investment banker at Nedbank Capital, said in a statement on Sunday. “The engagement from investors and mining corporates in this exclusive environment was very positive.”Delegates were exposed to a balanced position on the challenges and opportunities in African mining, with speakers providing a holistic view on what has happened and what to expect in the next 12 months.Andrew Monk, chief executive of VSA Capital Group in London, said that 2012 and 2013 “were horrible years; there was no investment. [But] there is definitely money coming into the mining sector at this stage”.Angelos Damaskos, chief executive of Sector Investment Managers, was upbeat about the continent: “We believe African mining and resources are protected from some risks. There is low delivery risk because the host country is so dependent on the proceeds of delivery. To that extent we think that Africa is very attractive investment territory.”At the same time, Damaskos noted: “[T]he culture of controlling a licence and pumping it has stopped. Now the emphasis is on benefiting the local economy as well.”The 20th annual Investing in African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest gathering of influential stakeholders and decision makers in African mining, gets under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday.During the four-day Indaba, the Departments of Mineral Resources, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology and Brand South Africa will host an exhibition under the “South African Pavilion” banner.They will also host an investment promotion workshop to give expression to the theme of this year’s Indaba: “Investment opportunities in South African mining – from exploration to value addition”.SAinfo reporter and Investing in African Mining Indaba
Oven: Frigidaire FGEW3045I don’t have much to say about our Frigidaire oven, which is actually a fairly glowing recommendation.The controls are straightforward (I don’t think I’ve ever had to consult the user’s manual), and I can’t recall ever being annoyed with it. The one weird behavior is that the fan blows for a while after you turn off the oven, but it’s not obnoxiously loud, so I don’t mind it. Andrea Lemon lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she works as a web designer for BuildingGreen, Inc. She and her husband Ted Lemon write the Almost Passive House blog. Range hood: XOMI Island HoodExternally-vented range hoods are not the best idea in a tightly-sealed passive house because they require a lot of makeup air, so we weren’t going to install one at all. But Aubrey from Zehnder America, who sold us our heat recovery ventilator, recommended that we get a recirculating range hood to suck grease and smoke from the air before the HRV exhaust vents suck it up.Unfortunately, island range hoods are a lot more expensive than wall-mounted range hoods. XO Ventilation had the best prices (though Frigidaire seems to have introduced a few models as well), and the one we bought is fairly attractive.One of the lights didn’t work, so we fixed that under warranty, but otherwise there’s not much to report. After living in our house for 1½ years, I finally have enough distance to evaluate the many decisions that went into building it. I plan to write a series of “Hindsight” posts, speaking frankly about what worked and what we’d do differently if we had to do it all over again.To start the series, I’m going to keep it simple and talk about our kitchen appliances. Don’t worry, I’ll cover all the hairy Passivhaus details eventually, but I’ll start at the shallow end. Microwave: GE JES1451DSBBWe actually bought this in 2010 for the apartment where we lived during construction, with the intention of moving it to the new house. It’s a mid-sized countertop model, which now looks built-in thanks to some clever carpentry.We bought it at Best Buy, and my main requirement was that it have a one-touch “potato” setting, simply because I love living in a world where you can stick a potato in a microwave and press a button that says “Potato.” This model eclipsed its rivals by having a little picture of a potato on the button, bringing the magic of one-touch potato cookery even to the unlettered.Approximately 366 days after we bought it, the microwave stopped working. Ted dourly assumed it would cost more to fix than to replace, but I stubbornly refused to submit to our throwaway society. I therefore paid the diagnostic fee at the local appliance store and was pleased to find out it merely needed a new magnetron and could be fixed inexpensively. That was three years ago and it’s still working fine.Ted and I don’t really push the envelope with our microwave use (no duck Ã l’orange, for example) and there’s nothing specifically eco or passiv about it, but we never swear at it, which is perhaps the highest praise an appliance can receive. Dishwasher: Miele G Dimension 5575I have mixed feelings about our Miele dishwasher. It has some good features: it’s very quiet, and it has a dedicated tray on top for silverware.But sadly it doesn’t clean the dishes all that well. I checked the sprayers, I clean the filters regularly, and I’ve tried various types of detergent, but a few dishes per load tend to need soaking and rewashing. If anyone from Miele reads this, I invite you to contact me and troubleshoot this further, but for now I am not particularly impressed.But it’s nice and quiet! Stove: Bosch NIT3065UC Induction CooktopNo custom home is complete without a huge and powerful gas range. The ultimate expression of this would be a $50,000 La Cornue Grand Palais, but plenty of fine stoves are available for a mere $10,000 or less from Viking, Wolf, Dacor, and others. (I was also perfectly happy with my humble GE range back in Chicago, and probably would have done fine with something similar.) Ted makes a lot of stir-frys, so he longed for a lot of power, and a gas range seemed like the obvious choice.But our blue-flamed ambitions came to an unexpected end when energy guru Marc Rosenbaum persuaded us to skip the gas range and install an induction cooktop instead. In a super-tight house like ours, the combustion from a gas stove would require more makeup air than we would expect to get from random leaks in our envelope. Furthermore, gas cooking requires fossil fuels, and it would be nice to build a house that could operate exclusively from clean energy. Induction stoves, we learned, could give us a high-powered, responsive cooking experience without any carbon-spewing combustion.Induction burners are electric, but unlike radiant electric burners they use magnets to induce a current in the metal cookware, essentially turning the pan itself into the heating element. They boil water extremely quickly, like a radiant electric burner, but they are every bit as responsive as a gas flame. And unlike a gas flame, the settings are electronic and therefore extremely consistent, which means I can set the burner to 7 and know it’s exactly the same power as every other time I’ve set it to 7.We bought the low-end Bosch induction cooktop (Bosch NIT3065UC, MSRP $1,699), and it has all the features we need. All it lacks compared with the higher-end models is precise heat controls, which allow you to press the “5” button rather than pushing the up-arrow until it reaches 5. But I don’t mind using the arrow buttons (you can hold them down until they reach the desired setting), and the low-end model has the same cooking power as the others. (The most powerful burner goes to 3,600 watts, which is roughly equivalent to a 26,000 BTU gas flame — insanely powerful.)It also has a separate timer for each burner, which is particularly handy when using the pressure cooker. For example if I’m cooking chickpeas, I bring the cooker to pressure, lower the heat, and then set the timer to 30 minutes. It stops on its own, and then the pressure releases naturally at its own pace — great for set-it-and-forget-it cooking.Our cooktop gave us a bit of trouble initially, and we had to get the logic board replaced under warranty, but otherwise it’s worked very well. Refrigerator: Frigidaire FGUI2149When we built our house in Tucson, we found out the hard way that there are two categories of refrigerator: standard depth and counter depth. Counter-depth refrigerators look sleek amid the cabinets since they don’t stick out past the counter, but they cost more, have lower capacity, and are generally less energy-efficient than their standard-depth brethren. Our kitchen in Tucson was designed for a counter-depth model, so we were stuck paying more for a smaller, less-efficient fridge.With this in mind, I designed our current kitchen to accommodate a standard-depth refrigerator.My choice of brands was limited by my irrational grudge against the Whirlpool Corporation — I had a vexing over-the-range microwave experience with them back in 2004 — so I combed the list of CEE Tier 3 refrigerators and discovered that Frigidaire made a couple of likely 21 cubic foot models. RELATED ARTICLES Going High-Tech With an Induction CooktopAn Induction Cooktop for Our KitchenChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorMarc Rosenbaum: Choosing an Efficient RefrigeratorAlex Wilson: Buying a New RefrigeratorAll About DishwashersMakeup Air for Range HoodsAll About Washing MachinesGBA Encyclopedia: AppliancesProduct Guide: AppliancesSaving Energy In the KitchenBlog Review: Almost Passive HouseThe Passivhaus/Almost Passive House FaceoffGreen Building Haikus We got the Frigidaire FGUI2149 (356 kWh/year) because our local vendor was able to locate one for us (it was a relatively obscure model), but the slightly-fancier FPUI2188 would have done equally well. Both models seems to have been discontinued, alas, but Whirlpool appears to still make a few with similar specs.The shelves inside the refrigerator door are a good size and easy to rearrange, and I’ve never found myself cursing at the refrigerator, so it must be pretty good. My only gripe is that the cover of the ice cream compartment (which sees a lot of traffic in our house) has a cheap plastic catch and seems likely to break one of these days. There is also an occasional rattle when the condenser is on, but we’ve never bothered leveling the refrigerator according to the manual so I suspect that might fix it.Long story short, if you have a time machine and can buy appliances that were discontinued two years ago, I can cheerfully recommend the Frigidaire FGUI2149. We haven’t owned it long enough to know how reliable it is, but for now we have no real complaints.
Forecasting isn’t easy. Even if you try all the common tactics, like having three times more opportunities in the pipeline than you need to reach your goal in a quarter, it still isn’t easy to get forecasting right. And like everything else in sales, shortcuts only tend to make things worse. Some sales organizations try discounting to move deals forward, not recognizing that a lower price isn’t what is motivating change. Nor is it addressing the internal conversations they must have to agree to move forward at all.Even if you inquire about every opportunity every day, it has no impact on the forecast itself. There are, however, conversations you can have that will improve your forecast.Asking the Client Their Desired Go Live DateMuch of the time, the date the client would like to go live is a date that drives all the milestones between the time you ask and the time they go live. If you need 60 days from the day the client signs the contract in order to implement and begin executing their solution, you now have the information you need to ask the client whether they can work on that timeline.The client’s timeline is a more accurate guess, even though it still contains an opportunity to push. That said, it’s much better than an uneducated guess as a placeholder in your CRM.Asking the Client to Commit to Providing ResourcesIn some cases, when what you sell is complex and requires information and analysis, being able to move forward in the process requires the client provide you with information. Someone has to acquire that information and provide it to you. Asking the client to commit the resources to provide you what you need to create and present a solution gives you an indication as to whether or not you’re going to be able to keep a deal on track.Missed commitments on the client side, especially when it’s something as easy as providing information, may be an indication as to how well they’re going to keep greater commitments in the future. If you are unwilling to ask the client to commit to providing those resources by a specific date, trying to close their business by an artificial date that a salesperson put in the CRM isn’t going to be any easier.Asking the Client About Their ProcessWe spend a lot of time talking about our sales process and the importance of doing all the things we need to do to create and win an opportunity. I am sales process agnostic, believing they all have value while recognizing they are mostly an orienting generalization; they are a map and not the terrain. A large part of how well things go as you work through your process depends on how much you know about what the client has to do on their side. More often than not, you’ll be surprised to find out that the client hasn’t really thought through all of the things they need to do on their side. In The Lost Art of Closing, I wrote about commitments like collaboration, where you tailor your solution for the client, and consensus, and you bring in the stakeholders who are going to be impacted by a decision to change to get their buy-in.Asking the client about what needs to be accomplished on their side massively increases the odds of building a plan they can agree to and one that you can help them manage. This will improve your forecasting.There are also conversations you need to have with your salespeople.Asking the Salesperson Whose DateIf the date a deal is projected to close is the end of the month at the end of a quarter, those are salespeople dates, not client dates. Clients don’t tend to think they need to sign a contract the last day of the month or the last day of the quarter, and when they do it’s because they know you are likely to cave-in on your pricing. Salespeople use dates as placeholders, believing they can close the deal by that date. Mostly, they are wrong. This is why dates shift around quite a bit, and it takes us back to the first conversation, the one in which we ask the client what date they would like to go live.Your client has no idea what your timeline is, and so there is no way they can be committed to the dates that you are looking at, as they lack any awareness of that date.Asking the Salesperson What Still Needs to HappenHaving a conversation about what needs to be accomplished between the date you’re having a conversation and the date you are forecasting the client’s deal to close will give you some idea as to how close you are to being on course, or more likely, how far off you are. When there has been no collaboration, no consensus, no review of the solution, and no conversations about what execution might look like, you are right to be skeptical about the date being forecast.If you want to improve your ability to forecast, these five conversations will help you tremendously. More still, they will help you understand where you are when it comes to reaching your goals, and what you need to do about it.