Talk:Draft rule changes

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Summary of proposed changes

Overall, the proposals would make the rules are slighter shorter and simpler. In rough order of signficance:

  1. Two- instead of one-year terms for committee members—rule 20(3).
  2. Direct elections by chapter members of all committee members on an equal basis; in other words, we elect a committee of eight members, who in turn elect the four office bearers from among their ranks and deal with any changes in office bearers that become necessary during the two-year term—rules 20(3), 21, and 23.
  3. Removal of the committee's power to fine members $500 as a disciplinary measure—rule 7(1)(a) [already discussed and proposed by Craig].
  4. Addition of email address where personal information is listed—rules 4(3)(a) and 5(a).
  5. Rationalisation of the request-to-inspect-and-copy-members'-register wording, with inserted reference to the privacy provisions in the act—rule 5.
  6. The name of the Victorian act is corrected and linked to the pfd—rule 2.
  7. The weird definition of secretary is simplified—rule 2. Trivial but annoying. In a few places subsequently, the full version is given after this definition, which I've harmonised to the "abbreviated" form in the definitions.

In practical terms, the expectation is that candidate statements in an election would, where a candidate wished, set out skills specific to one or more of the four office bearer positions. All office-bearer skill-sets are valuable for committee members generally, and the proposal aims to provide more flexibility for the changing circumstances of the elected volunteers and the tasks as they evolve. But it would be up to the committee after each election to allocate the positions as it saw fit. This saves a lot of clunk.

Overleaf, the gory details are set out, which of course look more complicated that they really are. Some trivial but necessary fixes are included. Red for insertions/replacements, and strike-throughs for deletions. Numbering is re-aligned where necessary.

My preference is to move the negative stuff—Discipline, suspension and expulsion of members" and "Disputes and mediation", which take a huge amount of space—down close to the bottom. But it's a minor issue.

Feedback, advice, criticism from all members is very welcome—perhaps below on this page? It would be good to get the draft on the road very soon.

Tony1 (talk) 20:07, 19 August 2013 (EST)

By Gnangarra

reading at the moment, just dropping notes as I go

  • section 9(3)(d) needs to be check it currently links to the 1981 act.. has this changed in the 2012 version?
    I changed the link, too. Tony1 (talk) 21:09, 19 August 2013 (EST)
    I'm pretty shocked that CAV hasn't picked up on that. Section 30 in the new act seems to refer to something entirely different. The link itself is not a part of the rules, but the text is, and it needs to be updated. Lankiveil (talk) 21:42, 19 August 2013 (EST)
    It is not surprising. As I suggested in an email, CAV are very busy processing many more rule amendments than usual. --Bduke (talk) 08:04, 20 August 2013 (EST)
    The section referred to in the old act refers to providing a copy of the financial statement to the AGM. Unfortunately, this requirement is not in a single place in the new act - depending on whether you are a "tier one", "tier two" or "tier three" organisation then it should refer to s94, s97 or s100. s94 specifically applies to us at the moment, but one of the other sections may apply to us in the future. In the new model rules, the wording that is used is:
71	Financial statements
 (1)	For each financial year, the Committee must ensure that the requirements under the Act relating to the financial statements of the Association are met.
 (2)	Without limiting subrule (1), those requirements include—
  (a)	the preparation of the financial statements;
  (b)	if required, the review or auditing of the financial statements;
  (c)	the certification of the financial statements by the Committee;
  (d)	the submission of the financial statements to the annual general meeting of the Association;
  (e)	the lodgement with the Registrar of the financial statements and accompanying reports, certificates, statements and fee.

Could we just copy the wording of 71(1) and 71(2)(d) above rather than specifically mentioning the section of the act? Lankiveil (talk) 22:57, 20 August 2013 (EST)

  • returning officer is necessary for each venue just to ensure everyone is recognised, accountable for ensuring all votes are recorded and, reduce any confusion.
    If this is going to be too much trouble, I'll get rid of that part of the proposal now. Tony1 (talk) 21:09, 19 August 2013 (EST)
    I agree. This was also introduced antidipating that we might have State Chapters. In another association I belong to, the State Chapters hold their AGMs before the National AGM. Each venue is linked by telephone to main venue and the Secretary of each State Chapter is appointed as Returning Offcier. In any case, it makes it more rigorous when there are several people at one venue. It is easier to check people who are linked to the main venue individually. --Bduke (talk) 08:04, 20 August 2013 (EST)
  • 23.6.a needs to be there to define when a vote can occur...
    Well spotted. Fixed. Tony1 (talk) 21:09, 19 August 2013 (EST)
  • 23.6.b is necessary for transparency, other wise a committee could manipulate the voting process
    Fixed. Thx. Tony1 (talk) 21:09, 19 August 2013 (EST)
  • 21.4 should be truncated to In the event of a casual vacancy, as specified in rule 24, in any office referred to in sub-rule (1), the committee must within 14 days appoint an eligible member of the organisation to the vacant office rather then removed all together as its necessary to ensure responsibility in office bearer positions and continuity of records.
    You're right. Fixed. Tony1 (talk) 21:09, 19 August 2013 (EST)
  • 22.2 needs consideration if a member resigns after 6 months does the replacement member need to be endorsed at the next AGM(6 months) current wording or the next election time theoretically in 18 months....
  • where model rules is noted, does this need to specify that these were the ones as per 1981 act.... given we now define the act as the 2012,
    No. The old model rules now have no status. Our rules must be consistent with the Model Rules in the 2012 Act. --Bduke (talk) 08:04, 20 August 2013 (EST)
  • 22.1 needs to be ammended from ...shall hold office until the annual general meeting next after the date of election.. to something like ....shall hold office until the date of the next election....

By Craig

On the topic of Rule 15 it's this way in the earliest version of the rules and also in LUV's rules which are also based on the model rules, which would indicate to me that it was probably that way in the old model rules. Although it's somewhat obvious from context, I don't see that a change to the title of this rule to make it clear that it refers to general meetings and not other types of meetings would be a huge problem.

Likewise for the odd description of Secretary is also from the model rules. If the intent is simply to simplify the wording without changing the meaning I am happy for this to occur in principle, although we'd need to be very careful of course that there was no subtle change of meaning.

I agree with Tony's comment that if changes are going to be made, it's best to make those changes as minimal as possible while still having the desired effect.

It's not necessary to specify the colour in the proposal, as that is something we add later on. As you've noted, we're running out of colours and it might be good to have a monochrome version of the rules for people to read, and a separate colourful one for anyone that's really interested in when each change was made.

I'm happy we now have some actual changes to discuss and pore over rather than simply talking about what should happen, so full credit to you for that. Lankiveil (talk) 21:40, 19 August 2013 (EST)

for the rule I think we should have the current rules at that page highlighting the most recent changes but create archives for the previous versions such that the current rules would become Association Rules prior to admentment at AGM/SGM 2013 that way we are only maintaining one colour change and retaining the prior rules intact. The top of the page could then be linked to each version, and the resolution that changed it. Gnangarra 21:48, 19 August 2013 (EST)
Yeah, actually that thought flickered through my mind a while ago ... wouldn't take long to create ?three archives (but please, red colouring in each would be helpful to understand the differences made. Or perhaps just start the archive with the earliest version and update three times (including dating at the top) so people can do diffs for those changes? Tony1 (talk) 21:57, 19 August 2013 (EST) PS Craig, I haven't disseminated this draft to anyone but you, Kerry (and Gideon, who offered to comment at the time). Can I leave it to you to decide what next to do? Tony1 (talk) 21:59, 19 August 2013 (EST)
To progress this along if necessary I'm happy to be recognised as seconding Tony's proposal for the changes even though we are still tweeking it Gnangarra 22:04, 19 August 2013 (EST)
Thanks, Gnangarra. I've made a few further fixes, including in the order of the office holder section (now two sections later ... it seems more logical). Phew ... that was a lot of work. Tony1 (talk) 23:34, 19 August 2013 (EST)
If I can make one further suggestion, it would be to include in your proposal a provision that if the special motion for the new form of he committee fails, an ordinary motion to determine if members support the idea in theory and whether the issue that caused the failure was just with the particular model proposed. This can provide guidance to the committee going forward on whether to make another attempt and if so, how to approach it. Lankiveil (talk) 23:01, 20 August 2013 (EST).

Secretary

The definition of the Secretary is probably due to the fact that the Secretary holds a special position as far as CAV is concerned, The Secretary now has all the duties and responsabilities previously held by the Public Officer who could have been the Secretary, or another Officer or even not on the Committee. It is very important that this new arrangement, if passed, satisfies the Act on the position of Secretary. Lyle may be able to clarify this more than I can at this stage. --Bduke (talk) 08:11, 20 August 2013 (EST)

I don't know where the existing messy text came from, but I can assure you the replacement is fine. Tony1 (talk) 20:20, 20 August 2013 (EST)
On what basis can you assure anyone that the wording is fine? This is a complex matter and the role of the Secretary is mentioned many times in the Act. I will try to spend some time looking but I am very busy. --Bduke (talk) 08:00, 21 August 2013 (EST)

Rotation of committee members

I thought the idea was to elect four members of the committee each year, with members serving for two years. The first election would appoint the top 4 candidates to serve for 2 years and the other 4 to serve for 1 year. It is necessary anyway to have a special section that talks about introduction of the new scheme. It is, for example, unwise to have "starting at the 2013 annual general meeting" in 20(3). This too should be covered in this special section with words like "at the AGM following the approval of this clause by CAV". The committee would appoint all officers after each election. This provides more continuity. I support this and not the election only every two years. A casual appontment to the committee would serve out the term of the person who had left the committee. --Bduke (talk) 08:32, 20 August 2013 (EST)

If you want rotation, I can write the text. I thought it was too complicated to bother with. What the members could be presented with is two versions—one as current, with eight members turning over every two years; and one on a rotational model. Is there support for doing this? If so, can people please say so. Tony1 (talk) 20:22, 20 August 2013 (EST)
I think the consensus that a two year term with rotation and with electing individual offices was unworkable for a number of reasons. I'm agnostic on whether rotation or simple two year terms are a better option, although I agree with Tony that its a lot less complicated to write the "simple" version. Lankiveil (talk) 22:57, 20 August 2013 (EST).
It is unworkable with electing individual offices, but it not unworkable if the offices are selected by the committee after each AGM. This has a further benefit that a new member with great promise can be appointed as Vice-President for a year and then move up to President after getting the experience. In general the newer members can be mentored by those elected the year before and there is no chance of ever having a completely new committee, which in my opinion is a very bad and likely consequence of the current wording. Fot this reason alone, I can not support the current wording. --Bduke (talk) 08:13, 21 August 2013 (EST)

Conditions of membership

I believe there is a need to ratify the activity of members in wikimedia projects, and the context of being a member of wmau...

7.1 -or a similar section, could possibly include: - where a member of the association is under sanction from any component project of Wikimedia, then the membership of wmau may be reviewed by the committee.

The committee would be required to consider as to whether continued membership either brings Wikimedia Australia into direspute, or places the organisation in a situation where the individuals membership places the associations relationship with any other part of the Wikimeda project at any form of risk.

In the event of the committee examining the case, the member in question would be required to provide the committee with any information required to assist in ascertaining as to whether the membership status should be reviewed. The evaluation by the committee may be conducted alternatively by an invited third party in the event of any conflicts of interest or perceived jeopardy being created.

Neddless to say it is loose and needs tightening, but the general import is there. SatuSuro (talk) 01:29, 21 August 2013 (EST)

Satu, I don't think I support this—too many uncertain variables. And really, the early bloat in the rules about disciplining members is a turn-off to me (I'd rather slash it back and refer to the act). But that wasn't the motive for this small bunch of proposals. Perhaps you could bring this up at the AGM? Tony1 (talk) 12:18, 21 August 2013 (EST)

Tony it is motivated by the fact there are no rules about some idiots who have the potential to make wmau look like idiots - no uncertain variables in that. However rather than explore the idiosyncracies of personal dislikes and likes within this framework, I would have no problem about a motion at the AGM re the synergies between sanctions on wm projects and wm membership. Thanks for the feedback. SatuSuro (talk) 12:57, 21 August 2013 (EST)

Amendment to rule change

I have produced an amendment to Tony's rule change which has four committee members elected every year to serve for two years (actually to the second AGM after their election). It is at User:Bduke/Rule change amendment. If a committee member resigns or otherwise leaves, the committee would replace them with a member who would serve the remainder of the term of that member, so there is always 4 vacancies to be filled each year.

The purpose of this is to both allow new blood into the committee every year amd also allow for continuity. It is important that the committee retains its collective memory from one year to the next. Under Tony's change, the whole committee could be replaced at an election. This becomes more likely if they have served for two years rather than just one. I believe that is unsatisfactory.

Please let me know if my amendment needs improvement.

Tony, will you accept my amendment? --Bduke (talk) 13:01, 27 August 2013 (EST)

Technical issues

On my first read through of these rules I only see issues with rule 26(1):

  • In the first meeting after an AGM there are no Officers; and, in any case,
  • I think it now has to refer to 23(1) rather than 21(1) to define the Officers.

Not directly related to this change: I note we must be contacted/notified by snail mail unless we specify the committee can use email (or fax, etc.). Now that we're explicitly requiring an email address, perhaps we should also assume email contact unless specified otherwise.

Mark Hurd (talk) 21:15, 27 August 2013 (EST)