Publically viewable resolutions and increasing the visibility of board activity

Neil McGovern neilm at
Wed Dec 27 23:46:23 UTC 2006

Hi all,

This is a short summary on how resolutions will be accepted by the
secretary, and various ways in which to improve the membership
participation in SPI and the board accountability.

Some discussion has occured on the spi-private mailing list as to how
the resolution has been handled by the board.

I would like to point out that any resolution passed by the board may be
overturned by a vote of at least 2/3 voting majority of a membership
vote. Please see article 5 of the by-laws for further details, or email
me directly.

To help the membership to have a greater involvement in the board, and
it's practices; with immediate effect, I'm implementing the following in
how I accept resolutions for board meetings. For a resolution to be
valid and accepted, it must meet requirements A,B and C below.
----------------- snip -----------------
A) A resolution must be submitted to the following:
    1. the secretary - via secretary at AND
    2. the board of directors - via board at AND
    3. an SPI mailing list:
        3a. use spi-general at UNLESS the information within the
            resolution is private, legally or time sensitive, in which case,
        3b. use spi-private at UNLESS the information is
            legally sensitive, or requires limited disclosure in which case,
        3c. use board at as above

B) To be considered at a board meeting, a resolution must be:
    1. sponsored by a board member AND
    2. submitted at least 48 hours before that board meeting occurs.

C) A resolution must not:
    1. Contradict New York non profit law
    2. Contradict our by-laws
----------------- snip -----------------

This next section may be added to the above, but I need to check through
our by-laws properly before it's implemented.
----------------- snip -----------------
If a resolution is not sponsored by the board, it may be submitted to
the board for consideration. I would strongly suggest approaching a
board member first, and getting a member to sponsor your resolution.

If the board will not consider a resolution, it may be put before the
membership for a vote. The proposer should submit the vote to the
secretary with N seconds. N is defined as:
N = sqrt(M) where M is the number of contributing members.
----------------- snip -----------------
For those interested - N is currently 19.39 (4 s.f.)

I would also like to see, but cannot enforce:
----------------- snip -----------------
All general discussion on resolutions, and other communications should
be sent to the mailing lists as advised in A)3a. above
----------------- snip -----------------

Neil McGovern
Secretary, Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
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