Conference Committee Policy Discussions

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Proposed Conference Committee Policies

This page tracks the discussions and voting on the revision and formalisation of the committee's membership and voting processes during September and October 2016

This initial proposed policy has been moved from email to this wiki to collate comments from the email list. The original text is copied from https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/conference_dev/2016-September/003859.html

Once discussion is complete, the comments should be removed leaving just the final text. (Reason, keep it simple for future readers) and the final agreed policies will be transferred to the main Conference Committee page

Comments should be in red font, starting with the authors name.

Motion 1: proposed by Steven Feldman

Role of the Committee and the broader community on the Conference_Dev list

  1. Everyday topics will be decided upon by an open vote of all list participants in a clearly designated separate mail thread (+1/-1) over a minimum of two business days with a minimum participation of 3 votes. Ideally we aim for consensus falling back on simple majority vote where necessary. The result will be clearly declared afterwards (or whatever is decided). (Maxi: 3 votes out of 11 members and 2 days seems to me too restricted) (Steven: we have to set a quorum and a time limit on votes - sometimes decisions are needed relatively quickly) (Maria: in general the vote is not considered valid if there is less than a given percentage of people voting.) (Cameron: This is in line with other OSGeo committees/PSCs. If tweaking we could distinguish between minor decisions, and major decisions, such as location of next conference.)(Venka: The quorum for a meeting should be more than 50% of the members and majority suggested (3 votes out of 11 for a motion to be pass/fail) needs to be modified.)
  2. Election of conference committee is by secret vote and restricted to the remaining conference committee members and board members who are not members of the conference committee. (Maxi: I would like to see the votes open to all participants - all the charter member that are part of the conference mailing list or are registered as interested) (Steven: The role of the conference committee requires the expertise of past chairs. Only 5 of 11 places are allocated to past chairs, the other places are open to regional chairs or others with equivalent relevant experience)
  3. FOSS4G Selection - All Letters of Intent and subsequent proposals will be posted to the list for open comment by all list participants. The selection of the winning proposal is by secret vote of conference committee members only (for the avoidance of doubt the Board do not vote in the selection process but they do ratify the conference committee’s recommendation).
  4. Any committee member who has a potential conflict of interest is expected to withdraw from vote. A member of the committee who is part of a bidding team, intends to become part of the LOC or is employed by a company playing an active part in a bid should exclude themselves from voting in the selection process. In the event of a disagreement regarding a potential conflict of interest the committee chair has the authority to make a decision.

Votes in 2 and 3 are to an online voting service or by email to an independent teller appointed by CC Chair

Conference Committee membership policy and process

  1. The conference committee aims to retain up to 11 active members, preferably an odd number (David Bitner: I would definitely like to have more room in the target than simply 11.)(Venka: There is more room in the CC than for just 11 members)
  2. The committee aims for half of these members to be chairs (or vice chairs) of the most recent FOSS4G global events. The chair of the most recent FOSS4G event will automatically be invited to become a member (Jachym: ... or any other member of LOC, suggested by the chair of most recent FOSS4G) (Maxi: I don't like the idea that only who has chaired a conference is entitled to take decision on the conference)
  3. The remaining membership is open, ideally attracting people from earlier past chairs or active LOC members from past Global, Regional FOSS4G or related conferences
  4. Each year (after FOSS4G) 3 committee members should retire from the committee: (Venka: Having people who are and wish to be active in a committee step down just because they seem to have been around too long, is not the best way of manage the membership of committees, especially so in a volunteer organization)
    1. The longest standing past FOSS4G chair
    2. The longest standing 2 committee members remaining
  5. Each year, prior to releasing the Global FOSS4G RfP, the remaining committee members should fill available vacancies, using the above criteria as voting guidelines. OSGeo Board members who are not on the conference committee will also be invited to vote.
  6. Past committee members including those who have stood down due to length of service may stand for re-election
  7. Votes will be secret either using an online voting system or by email to a designated teller who is not a voter. The mechanism will be selected by the committee chair.

Votes for the motion

  1. Steven Feldman +1
  2. Eli Adam +1
  3. Peter Batty +1
  4. David Bitner +0
  5. Maria Brovelli -1 until the mechanism of voting has been revised.
  6. Jachym Cepicky +1
  7. Vasile Craciunescu +1
  8. David Fawcett positive words
  9. Gavin Fleming
  10. Darrell Fuhriman
  11. Helena Mitasova +1
  12. Claude Philipona +1
  13. Venkatesh Raghavan -1 until the quorum requirement is revised.
  14. Paul Ramsey +1
  15. Cameron Shorter +1
  16. Sanghee Shin +1
  17. Till Adams +1
  18. Jeroen Ticheler +1

The motion was not passed (2 vetos)

Motion 2: Amendment proposed by Maria Brovelli

1) For the voting procedures of the Conference Committee, the Board Voting Procedure made milder with the introduction of a 50 % quorum is adopted.

Votes for the amendment

  1. Steven Feldman -1 but not a veto (would prefer the Committee Guidelines)
  2. Eli Adam
  3. Peter Batty
  4. David Bitner +1
  5. Maria Brovelli +1
  6. Jachym Cepicky
  7. Vasile Craciunescu
  8. David Fawcett
  9. Gavin Fleming
  10. Darrell Fuhriman +1
  11. Claude Philipona
  12. Venkatesh Raghavan +1
  13. Paul Ramsey
  14. Cameron Shorter +0
  15. Sanghee Shin +1
  16. Till Adams

This motion stalled and didn't get to resolution.

Motion 3: adjusted based on feedback by Cameron Shorter

Decisions

  1. Anyone may contribute to conference committee discussions. All votes will be noted, but only conference committee member votes count toward decisions.
  2. Voting will use convention of:
    • +1 : For
    • +0: Mildly for
    • 0: Indifferent
    • -0: Mildly against
    • -1 : Strongly against. This is expected to be accompanied by a reason and alternative proposal.
  3. Everyday topics will be decided by an open vote of all members in a clearly designated separate mail thread over a minimum of 2 business days with a minimum participation of 3 votes.
  4. For major decisions, such as conference venue selection, a minimum of one week shall be allocated to try and ensure at least 50% voter participation.
  5. The committee aims for consensus, and will specifically attempt to address all -1 votes, but will revert to a majority vote where necessary.
  6. The result will be clearly declared afterwards.
  7. Secret voting, when required, will use an online voting service or use an email to an independent teller appointed by CC Chair.

FOSS4G Selection

  1. All Letters of Intent and subsequent proposals will be posted to the list for open comment by all.
  2. The selection of the winning proposal is by secret vote of conference committee members.
  3. The OSGeo Board will be requested to ratify the conference committee’s recommendation.
  4. Any committee member who has a potential conflict of interest is expected to withdraw from voting. A member of the committee who is part of a bidding team, intends to become part of the LOC or is employed by a company playing an active part in a bid should exclude themselves from voting in the selection process. In the event of a disagreement regarding a potential conflict of interest the committee chair has the authority to make a decision.

Membership

  1. To ensure voting control for key decisions remains with experienced people, the committee aims for more than 50% of members to be chairs (or vice chairs) of past FOSS4G global events. The chair of the most recent FOSS4G event will automatically be invited to become a member but still requires a motion and vote.
  2. The conference committee aims to retain a chair or vice-chair from the 5 most recent global FOSS4G conferences.
  3. The remaining membership, less than 50% of members, is open, ideally attracting chairs or LOC members from past Global or Regional FOSS4G or related conferences.
  4. Each year, prior to releasing the Global FOSS4G RfP, the membership list shall be re-visited.
    1. Existing members shall be asked whether they wish to continue on the committee. If a member doesn't respond, after a number of attempts to contact them, they shall be retired.
    2. Interested people may be suggested, or request to be voted onto the conference committee.
    3. If less than 50% of membership would be past global FOSS4G chair/vice chairs, then non global FOSS4G chair/vice chair positions shall be up for re-election.
    4. Election of conference committee members is by secret vote by the existing conference committee and board members who are not already members of the conference committee. Voters will vote Yes/No/Abstain for each candidate. Voters may select "Yes" for up to the number of positions available.
  5. Votes will be secret either using an online voting system or by email to a designated teller who is not a voter. The mechanism will be selected by the committee chair.

Votes for the motion

  1. Steven Feldman +1
  2. Eli Adam +1
  3. Peter Batty +1
  4. David Bitner +1
  5. Maria Brovelli +1
  6. Jachym Cepicky +1
  7. Vasile Craciunescu +1
  8. David Fawcett +1
  9. Gavin Fleming +1
  10. Darrell Fuhriman +1
  11. Helena Mitasova 0 (retired from committee)
  12. Claude Philipona (didn't vote, but voted +1 for motion 1)
  13. Venkatesh Raghavan +1
  14. Paul Ramsey +1
  15. Cameron Shorter +1
  16. Sanghee Shin +1
  17. Till Adams +1
  18. Jeroen Ticheler 0 (retired from committee)

This motion was declared passed on 9 February 2017, and content moved to: Conference_Committee#Housekeeping_Procedures