Archive-name: uk/committee
Last-modified: Thu Nov 13 11:45:08 GMT 2014

The procedures for coordinating newsgroup management within the UK hierarchy are contained in four documents, of which this article contains the third.

GUIDELINES FOR GROUP CREATION WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY

<http://www.usenet.org.uk/guidelines.html>
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/guidelines>

VOTING PROCEDURES WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY
<http://www.usenet.org.uk/voting.html>
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/voting>

THE UK USENET COMMITTEE

<http://www.usenet.org.uk/committee.html>
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/committee>

The following Committee document was accepted on 07 Aug 95 by a vote conducted on uk.net.news with 76 votes in favour and 23 votes against. It was amended by further votes on 19 Apr 97, 10 Feb 98, 19 Apr 2000, 9 May 2001, 1 Oct 2001 5 Nov 2003, by fast-track on 7 Jan 2004, by vote on 22 Mar 2004, by fast-track on 17 Nov 2007 and by fast-track on 3 Mar 2010.

The Committee elected in October 2013 comprises

Open members
Until Dec 2015

Ian Clifton
Matthew Vernon

Until Dec 2016

Molly Mockford
Charles Lindsey
Owen Rees

Until Dec 2017

Geoff Berrow
Mark Goodge
Fiona Gostling
(aka 'Kat')
Clive George

Appointed members

From BTnet - Martin Stewart

Ex-Officio member

Tony Evans (as Control)

The Committee as a whole may be reached by email to committee@usenet.org.uk.
The Committee has appointed Tony Evans to act as Control with Charles Lindsey as Deputy Control. Control may be reached at control@usenet.org.uk.


THE UK USENET COMMITTEE

The following words where used in this document have the precise meanings shown here:

SHALL
any CFV which fails to follow this guideline will be invalid
SHOULD
in all but exceptional or unusual cases a CFV ought to follow this guideline
MAY
whilst this guideline is acceptable practice, it remains optional

Terms Of Reference

The remit of the UK Usenet Committee is to provide leadership in policy concerning the uk.* news hierarchy.

The committee is concerned with issues such as naming, voting and management of the hierarchy.

It will monitor the naming of new groups to ensure they fit in with an acceptable structure.

It will ensure that the rules for group creation are documented, followed and applied.

It will appoint, and oversee the work of, the person to act as Control.

Control

  1. This position will be filled by two people to act as Control & Deputy Control, with the Deputy filling in for Control when he/she is unable to perform the role.

  2. They will moderate the group uk.net.news.announce.

  3. Acting under the name control@usenet.org.uk, they will be the only people entitled to issue valid 'newgroup', 'rmgroup' and 'checkgroups' control messages for the uk.* hierarchy.

  4. They will perform all other duties set out in the companion document GUIDELINES FOR GROUP CREATION WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY.

  5. They will be ex officio members of the Committee. They will not have voting rights unless they also happen to be Elected or Appointed members of the Committee.

Membership

There shall be two classes of member of the Committee.

  1. Open Members

    An Open Member is any person who is a reader of uk.* articles. There shall be 9 Open Members.

    At each annual Committee Election, all open members who have served a full 3 year term shall retire from the Committee. If at this point there are fewer than three vacant seats then the longest serving member(s) will retire (ties to be broken by lot) as needed to create three vacant seats. Retiring members shall be eligible for re-election.

    For the purpose of this document, the term of service of an Open Member is counted from the most recent date they were elected or co-opted; for elected members this is the date of becoming a full member, not a Committee-Elect member.

  2. Appointed Members

    The Committee shall include, as Appointed Members, up to 4 people who are involved in the provision of Usenet infrastructure in the UK. Each Appointed Member shall be a person who plays a technical or managerial role in propagating Usenet through the UK, or in providing it to end users, or represents a company or organisation, or an association which includes such companies or organisations, that provides such services.

    Appointed Members are appointed by the Committee as individuals and not as nominees. As such, they do not lose eligibility simply because they have changed employer. However, they shall resign if for any reason they are no longer eligible for membership in this class (unless the break in eligibility is clearly temporary). Where they were appointed as a representative of a company or organisation, that company or organisation can withdraw their support (making the person no longer eligible on the basis of that representation) but are not automatically entitled to nominate a replacement.

    The term of service of an Appointed Member shall be indefinite. Each year during January the elected members of the Committee shall consider the current Appointed Members and may confirm their appointment for another year. If the appointment of an Appointed Member is not confirmed, their term shall end on the 31st January of that year. Former Appointed Members, provided they are otherwise eligible - are eligible for co-option at any future time.

Co-opting Committee Members

The Committee has the authority to co-opt members if a vacancy exists on the Committee (either through retirement or resignation from the Committee, Votes of No Confidence in the Committee, positions not filled at the annual election, or any other cause).

The Committee should place an announcement of "Intention to Co-Opt" within uk.net.news.announce, uk.net.news.config & uk.net.news.management with a 7 day notice period detailing the person(s) to be co-opted and the reasons for the co-opting.

The person can be co-opted after the 7 day notice period unless Control receives 10 valid objections, or any objection which seems to the Committee to be well founded.

The committee has the authority to co-opt members for all classes.

A co-opted Open member shall retire from the Committee at the next election after their co-option. The Committee SHALL NOT issue an "Intention to Co-Opt" notice for the Open class from the date that the call for nominations for the election is issued until the newly elected members have taken their places as Committee-Elect members.

When the Committee decide not to confirm the appointment of an Appointed Member, and if they have selected a replacement, the Committee SHOULD issue an "Intention to Co-Opt" as soon as possible. In this case, the resulting co-option takes effect on the 1st February if that is later than the end of the 7 day notice period, and the notice of intention SHALL state this.

Elections

  1. Each year during September, Control shall post (on behalf of the votetaking organisation) to uk.net.news.announce a call for nominations for the Open class of members. Nominations shall remain open for three weeks, and each candidate must receive 4 nominations; each nominator may nominate at most as many candidates in each class as there are places within that class in the election.

  2. If the number of persons nominated exceeds the number of vacancies the votetaking organisation shall be responsible for conducting an independent vote in accordance with the companion document VOTING PROCEDURES WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY, insofar as they are applicable. Voting shall take place during October. The CFV shall be posted on uk.net.news.announce, uk.net.news.management, uk.net.news.config, and to the uk-netnews-managers mailing list.

    The elected committee members should take their places on the Committee as Committee-Elect members once the period for objections has expired (and any objections have been ruled on by the Committee) following the publication of the Results. From the 1st January in the year following the election the retiring members of the Committee should relinquish their positions and the Committee-Elect members should become full Committee members.

  3. Each candidate shall be entitled to have a statement of no more than 1 kilobyte included within the CFV.

  4. If there are more than two candidates for a position, the Single Transferable Vote system shall be used (see "How to conduct an election by the Single Transferable Vote" obtainable from the Electoral Reform Society). The requirements for the size of the majority as contained in the VOTING PROCEDURES do not apply.

    Where the Electoral Reform Society's rules call for a quota or the value of a vote to be truncated to two decimal places, it shall be acceptable to retain them as real numbers. Any algorithm which gives the same result as those rules may be employed.

  5. The results shall be published in such a manner that it may be seen who voted, but only individual voters will be able to recognise and confirm their own votes.

Motions of No Confidence

A Motion of No Confidence in the Committee may be proposed by any 9 identifiable individuals, who shall submit it to the votetaking organisation, together with a Rationale of no more than 800 words. The rationale shall include a statement of the actions they expect to ensue should the motion be carried.

The votetaking organisation shall invite the Committee to submit a Response of no more than 800 words, which they must do within 7 days. When they are satisfied of the identity of the proponents and that all other required conditions have been met, the votetaking organisation shall prepare a CFV containing the names of the proponents, their Rationale, the Committee's Response, and a vote allowing a choice between "I have Confidence in the Committee", "I have No Confidence in the Committee" and "I abstain from this vote". The voting period shall be 18 days unless the votetaking organisation finds exceptional reason to extend it. The votetaking organisation shall also prepare an RFD containing the same material, specifying a discussion period of exactly 10 days, which shall then be posted by Control to uk.net.news.announce, uk.net.news.config and uk.net.news.management only, with followups set to uk.net.news.management where all discussion will take place. The CFV shall be posted as soon as possible after the 10 days are up (with a 2nd CFV at the usual time).

The vote shall then proceed in accordance with VOTING PROCEDURES WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY, except that a simple majority shall suffice to determine the result, that the results shall be published in the same format as the results of committee elections, and that all appeals and objections shall be decided by the votetaking organisation.

A motion of no confidence may not be proposed once the annual call for committee nominations has been issued until one month after the newly-elected members are fully installed, nor may it be proposed within three months of the announcement of the result of any previous such motion.

A Motion of No Confidence in Control may be proposed using the same procedure.

Rule Changes

Any changes to these rules, or those in the companion documents, shall be proposed in an RFD in accordance with the GUIDELINES FOR GROUP CREATION WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY, insofar as they are applicable. RFDs for rule changes shall be discussed in the newsgroup uk.net.news.management, and this will be the definitive record of discussion.

If the change is trivial, or an obvious consensus has emerged, then the "fast track" method may be invoked. However, if a petition to have a Vote is received from 4 or more people, then the matter shall be decided by vote.

Transition Arrangements

The initial Appointed Members shall be the Permanent Members as of the date that this amendment takes effect. Until the end of January 2008 they shall be deemed to be eligible to be Appointed Members irrespective of their actual situation.

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