Ratified Doc109 - Committees and working groups

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Dear community. Long overdue.... but after a lot of discusion the guides are happy to put doc 109 up for discussion and ratification. This document is about giving working groups an informal place within the Factom ecosystem, whilst giving committees a formal place in our governance.

Basically working groups can be created by anybody. However, a working group has no formal place in governance and no autonomy whatsoever, except for making suggestions to standing parties and the wider community. Committees, however, can have some form of autonomy. It's goals, purposes and mandate have to be described and the committee needs to be formalized by standing parties. It needs a chairman which also can be removed by the standing parties only via a formal vote.

The above means we probably have to dissolve some committees we have currently and any remaining current "committees", will have to follow the formation process outlined in doc 109.

If you have any feedback or suggestions please do not hesitate to voice them in here. If you make remarks in the Google document, I would appreciate it if you make mention it here as well. Thx

The document itself:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/16kHuYPhc32eQSzKZni8RQsD9YLhzVMTjvfgqBVq8dsg/edit#
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
This thread is a Document Ratification/Amendment Timed Discussion and I am designed to help facilitate efficient communication.

Guides and ANOs may take part in this discussion and vote. Unless this discussion is ended early or extended, it will end in 8 days after which a vote will take place. After 18 hours from the start of the thread or any point up until 24 hours are left in the discussion, you can make a motion to end the discussion immediately or extend the discussion beyond it's initial time frame by selecting the pertinent button at the top of this thread. If someone "seconds" your motion, a poll will take place which requires a majority of Standing Parties to vote one way or the other.

At the end of the discussion period, Guides will vote first and 4 must vote yes otherwise the process ends. If 4 do vote yes, ANOs then vote and if 60% vote yes, the document is successfully ratified or amended.
 

CryptoLogic

Crypto Logic
CryptoLogic will support this document for ratification. It give a good framework for both committees and working groups with low over head in processes and makes chairmen and committees responsible to standing parties.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
We are now 18 hours into the discussion. You may now make a motion to extend this Document Ratification/Amendment Discussion by an additional 72 hours or end this conversation by selecting the pertinent button at the top of this thread. This option will end when there are 24 hours left in the discussion.
 
Heh, I just realized that we never re-numbered the document after discussing if it should be a process or a governance document.

Personally I think it should be the latter, as it is not a clean process but it sets up a framework for the processes and working groups in addition to describe the process for creation/disbanding etc.

If we go with the doc as a governance document it should get doc number 006.

If we go with a process the appropriate document number will be 102.



What does the @Guides and others think?
 
Heh, I just realized that we never re-numbered the document after discussing if it should be a process or a governance document.

Personally I think it should be the latter, as it is not a clean process but it sets up a framework for the processes and working groups in addition to describe the process for creation/disbanding etc.

If we go with the doc as a governance document it should get doc number 006.

If we go with a process the appropriate document number will be 102.



What does the @Guides and others think?
I believe it's more of a governance document as it describes the structure and governance of Committees and Working Groups. I think of process documents as ones that describe how to do things such as a Coinbase cancellation, Guide Election, Removal of an ANO, etc.
 
It looks like Suggestions are turned off for the document and it's currently view-only. A few notes:

1.1.2: I believe "self forming" should have a hyphen: "self-forming".

2.4.3: " a chairman can only be removed via a majority vote of the ANOs and Guides; no quorum is necessary here. "

Does this mean if 7 ANOs vote, only 4 have to vote for removal or does it mean that if there are 30 total ANOs at least 16 have to vote in favor of removal for it to pass? I'm not saying this is ambiguous, it might be that the language used has formal meanings and is well-understood and I am just not familiar with it.
 

CryptoLogic

Crypto Logic
Heh, I just realized that we never re-numbered the document after discussing if it should be a process or a governance document.

Personally I think it should be the latter, as it is not a clean process but it sets up a framework for the processes and working groups in addition to describe the process for creation/disbanding etc.
We support view that this is general governance document.
 
First, how does this document affect existing committees? Do they have to reform after this document gets ratified?

Then also this document appears to provide no benefit in setting up a new committee. Why would anyone do so vs setting up a working group? The key difference between a committee and a working group based on this document is that committees have much more bureaucracy and that is it.

I understand the intent and I don't mean to discourage the hard work that has gone into this, but it just feels like most of what is in the document, doesn't really serve any purpose other than to extend the reach of governance.

Before ratifying this document I would prefer it if we could work out some of the real snagging points around committees.

- Such as how committees hold and manage funds, (Is there a way committees can receive funds without having to pay tax).
- The process of how they seek grant funding (Can the committee be listed as the entity seeking the grant).
- As well as conducting matters outside of the community such as PR (Can the chair represent themselves as Head of Marketing)
 
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To me, good governance comes with clear motivation. I just don't see what the motivation is here.

We haven't had a situation where committee formation has gotten out of hand and it is also pretty clear what the purpose is of each committee is at this point.

The fact that committees will have to disband and reform, will force existing committees to take a break for a number of weeks. This isn't a huge deal except I don't see any upside. There is nothing in this document that helps committees function.

Please help me to see this differently, I don't want to be against this document but I also don't see any reason to be in favor of it right now.
 

CryptoLogic

Crypto Logic
@Keith Pincombe

we already had an situation while back where missing framework for committees was an issue (marketing/David), and if community grow we will see more of those situations too. So creating simple framework when things are calm is a good idea. Many of committees now is also non-functional, so going through motion for re-forming them and cleaning up is good practice.
 
@CryptoLogic

I don't have a problem with the document itself, there is nothing in there that I am against. However, I still have a few concerns.

1. The timing of this isn't great, we're potentially going to ratify a document that resets all the committees at a time when most of the community is stretched thin with time and resources. The result is possible that we'll see a number of people walk away from committees rather than rejoin.

2. This doesn't solve any of the problems committees currently face, such as:
- How committees hold and manage funds.
- The process of how a committee can apply for grant funding.
- As well as conducting matters outside of the community, whether a chair can present themselves as representing the protocol.
 
1) The timing will never be great. But to be honest I think the re-formation of the committees will be a paper exercise for the most part; and the overhead for setting them up is quite small. I'd prefer to get it properly formalized at this time instead of pushing it in front of us as something we need to fix later.

2)
Hold and manage funds:
- I'm not sure if there should be firm guidelines on this right now. The committees are very different; and some might want to hold funds in FCT, others in stable coins - some needs to convert it all immediately to cover invoices etc. Also some funds might come from the factom grant pool and others from other sources. When applying for Factom grant funds the committee will need to describe how it will handle the funds - or the standing parties won't pay them out.

Apply for grant funding:
- I don't think this needs to be specified in this document as they just utilize the grant framework set up in Doc 107 as anyone else.

"Conducting matters outside of the community; chair present themselves as representing the protocol":
- This is described on a somewhat high level in the document in paragraph 2.1.4 where it says "committees represent the will of the protocol".

I agree that what you ask about are not properly covered in this text, and I think we should either expand this paragraph or add a new one stating that committee chairs are allowed to represent the protocol in matters relevant to their committee, and that they should be allowed the use of committee e-mail addresses. Personally I would prefer that we don't use personal e-mail adresses but instead "core@factomprotocol.org", "marketing@factomprotocol.org" etc.... This allows for an easy handoff to the next chair and provides most transparency.

@Keith Pincombe do you have a suggestion for how to amend the draft by either expanding on 2.1.4 or adding a new paragraph?


@Guides and others, what are your thoughts? Keep in mind that this discussion ends in 4 days and we need a finalized document to vote on by then.
 
It has been described though Tor.

Committees have more autonomy, as long as it is described. So a committee, it's members or the chair can certainly describe to for instance represent the protocol in certain matters; like for instance awarding bounties by the core committee or representing the protocol in communications and negotiations with exchanges. Right now having a good autonomy is a bit hard. This document probably also makes sure we are left with only a few "official" committees and the rest working groups. Please not that we have to be really careful to not being seen as a common enterprise. This document and the ratification partly helps in that. For instance; documentation .One really has to wonder whether that just shouldn't be a working group to begin with. No formal place in governance.

Then we need a framework to allow outside people in working groups and especially committees. Right now for the latter there is nothing official and that needs to change.
 
It has been described though Tor.

Committees have more autonomy, as long as it is described. So a committee, it's members or the chair can certainly describe to for instance represent the protocol in certain matters; like for instance awarding bounties by the core committee or representing the protocol in communications and negotiations with exchanges. Right now having a good autonomy is a bit hard. This document probably also makes sure we are left with only a few "official" committees and the rest working groups. Please not that we have to be really careful to not being seen as a common enterprise. This document and the ratification partly helps in that. For instance; documentation .One really has to wonder whether that just shouldn't be a working group to begin with. No formal place in governance.

Then we need a framework to allow outside people in working groups and especially committees. Right now for the latter there is nothing official and that needs to change.
So your take is that we do not want something akin to the following (new paragraph)?:

"A committee may formally represent the Factom protocol to third party stakeholders in regards to issues specific to that committee's core competencies. Formal communication should be conducted through the committee's common email-address (i.e. committee-name@factomprotocol.org).
Note: No personal e-mail addresses (e.g. name@facomprotocol.org) shall be allowed."
 
OK, I'm starting to understand the motivation behind this document now :)

To respond to the formal representation question. I'm happy if those kinds of details can be part of the formation document that ANOs vote on. The only issue I can spot, is it appears once a committee is formed, a committee is free to make as many updates as it wants without an ANO vote as long as it is made public.

@Niels Klomp with the mention of a being left with only a few official committees, would you be able to clarify which committees you believe should reform as committees? I'm particularly interested in the website and marketing committees but I'm sure other committees and there would also be interested in understanding what the future landscape will look like.
 
OK, I'm starting to understand the motivation behind this document now :)

To respond to the formal representation question. I'm happy if those kinds of details can be part of the formation document that ANOs vote on. The only issue I can spot, is it appears once a committee is formed, a committee is free to make as many updates as it wants without an ANO vote as long as it is made public.

@Niels Klomp with the mention of a being left with only a few official committees, would you be able to clarify which committees you believe should reform as committees? I'm particularly interested in the website and marketing committees but I'm sure other committees and there would also be interested in understanding what the future landscape will look like.
Hi @Keith Pincombe, of course this is my personal opinion. Every committee can reform again of course.

For me the following committees would need some autonomy and representation as the protocol:
  • Marketing: Talking with press, negotiating with parties etc
  • Exchanges: Negotiating with exchanges on behalf of the protocol
  • Core: Security issues, providing support to undisclosed 3rd parties.

I think the rest could quite easily be working groups. Why would for instance the documentation group be autonomous or have a place in our governance?
 
As the discussion is soon ending we need to decide if we want to put something like this in the document:

"A committee may formally represent the Factom protocol to third party stakeholders in regards to issues specific to that committee's core competencies. Formal communication should be conducted through the committee's common email-address (i.e. committee-name@factomprotocol.org).
Note: No personal e-mail addresses (e.g. name@facomprotocol.org) shall be allowed."
@Guides?
 
As the discussion is soon ending we need to decide if we want to put something like this in the document:



@Guides?
I think this is important language; we want to ensure that committees understand their responsibility when speaking with third parties and we also want them to understand the proper channels that they can use to communicate. I think this potential addition makes things more clear and easily understood.
 
I think it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have governance prescribe what people are allowed to do or not in a committee. The idea here was to stay away from common enterprise, as committees are the closest to that IMO. That is also the reason I included wording to leave the charter basically open and have the committee define it, to which the standing parties vote to ratify/select the committee
 
Thanks guys. I don't really have an opinion either way to be honest.

What about the issue that the committees are free to amend their charter immediately after being approved by the standing parties? Should we at least describe that they shall keep av version history and factomize updates to this document?

If so I think the governance section on the protocol forum should be utilized as its supports versioning and automatically factorized uploaded documents.

If so we might want to add a paragraph detailing this.
 

Valentin Ganev

Factomatic
Thanks guys. I don't really have an opinion either way to be honest.

What about the issue that the committees are free to amend their charter immediately after being approved by the standing parties? Should we at least describe that they shall keep av version history and factomize updates to this document?

If so I think the governance section on the protocol forum should be utilized as its supports versioning and automatically factorized uploaded documents.

If so we might want to add a paragraph detailing this.
What happens if the Standing Parties do not approve of the actions of a committee or to changes of their charter? Is the only action possible to start a motion to dissolve a committee?
 
@Niels Klomp I appreciate you answering my questions. I realize I'm being a pain with regard to getting this document ratified, I'm just trying to avoid confusion after this document gets ratified as neither the marketing committee or website committee are prepared for this.

From your view do you see the new proposed document will supersede the Website Committee document that was already ratified? Or do you see the Website Committee as also needing to reform under the proposed document?
 
What happens if the Standing Parties do not approve of the actions of a committee or to changes of their charter? Is the only action possible to start a motion to dissolve a committee?
There are two formal ways to go about this:
1) Start a motion to remove the chairman.
2) Start a motion to dissolve the committee.

But in addition to this the standing parties (and others) may discuss the committee's performance either publicly or in a private thread on factomize to raise any concerns and see if they can convince the committee to improve. They could also state that they will start a motion to remove the chairman/dissolve the committee if things doesn't change and improve, so they have some kind of "soft power" than can be used prior to making the formal motion.

Edit: I've bumped the version number to 1.0 and named/saved the draft that is put up for ratification.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
The final poll is available for Guides to vote on now for 3 days. If Guides pass the vote with 4 "Yes" votes then ANOs will be able to vote. If Guides fail to pass, there will be no further action.
 
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