Re: [registrars] By-Laws
> Therefore I put forward to our Name Council candidates the following
> question: where do you stand on this issue: are by-laws a priority or
> they wait. I and the other registrars await your response.
To answer the question posed, I don't think that it is the place of any
Names Council rep (candidate or otherwise) to make a determination on what
is and what isn't a priority of the Constituency. The postitions of our NC
reps within the NC must necessarily be reflective of the Constituency's
wishes. The trick is ensuring an open line of bi-directional communication
between the Constituency membership and the Names Council representatives. I
think I touched on this pretty clearly earlier this week in my acceptance of
My opinion as a member of this constituency is a little bit more involved...
I believe that the issue is quite simple actually.
First, we as a constituency must define who we are and what we stand for.
The foundations for this have been bubbling undercurrents since the original
formation of this group back in early 1999 - its time that this mission
statement be written down and agreed to. From this, defining what our long
and short term goals are becomes a much simpler issue. Once our goals have
been decided, defining the objectives, tactics and assigning resources is
almost a trivial exercise. Of course, measuring our progress and refining
our approach is an ongoing effort that we can't forget about either.
In this particular case, I think that a discussion concerning roles &
procedures needs to happen. Whether this results in a formal amendment to
the by-laws, or a simple statement of constituency procedure is irrelevant
For instance, while the by-laws indicate that the Names Council
representatives should consult with the constituency where possible to
ensure that the views and interests of the RC are represented properly, how
far in practice does this and should this go. Should the NC reps vote as a
bloc based on a predetermined position like they do in some other
constituencies? Or is a more dynamic model preferred by the constituency?
And so on.
As far as procedures go, further definition is also required. How we
determine what the views of the constituency are is very important and while
I think that we currently use a very enlightened and appropriate model, it
is not clear to all registrars what this model is. A concise statement of
what the practices are and what they should be will assist us in developing
more cogent positions quicker. If each registrar understands how an idea can
move through the constituency and get passed to the NC reps for
consideration by the Names Council, we stand a much better chance of both
increasing participation within the constituency (thus increasing the
legitimacy and diversity of the proposals) and finalizing policy issues such
as you describe in a much more expedient manner. With some luck, a defined
transfers process will become part of our operating contracts sometime
during March. By my count, this puts the turn-around on this particular
issue at roughly one year. Establishing consensus policy necessarily takes
time, but the Constituency shouldn't be adding to the amount of time
required by unnecessarily delaying proposals within the constituency.
I am a big fan of organizing the organization - at the very least, it allows
each of us to determine where we stand at any given point in time.*But*, we
should consider only the minimal structural work necessary to move our
collective objectives forward. This need not be a complete review of the
by-laws as I mentioned earlier, statements of procedure may suffice at this
particular point in time. Whatever it is that we ultimately decide upon, we
must ensure that it doesn't distract us or prevent us from achieving our
operational policy goals as you mention below. I would agree that a complete
overhaul would be distractive at this point.
In other words, we need to take some very important steps to make sure that
the Constituency evolves in a manner that appropriately benefits its
membership. At the same time, we can't let this distract us from the issues.
It really comes down to a question of priorities and a decision on what is
really important to the Constituency.
If there is any interest, I am happy to put together a list, with
recommendations, of where our current structure and processes may hinder our
operational policy development efforts. I will leave it as a matter for the
constituency to decide if dealing with these hindrances requires a
modification to the by-laws or just simple acceptance as a statement of
constituency practice that we operate by.