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PPI Minutes 2013-07-23
- Agenda PPI BOARD MEETING
- --- 23/07/2013 20:00h CEST ---
- Mumble: mumble.piratenpartei-nrw.de
- Room: "/international/pirate parties international/board meeting"
- 1 Minutes of the PPI Board meeting from 2013-07-23
- 1.1 Record of the meeting
- 1.2 1 - ATTENDEES
- 1.3 2 - PROCEEDINGS
- 1.4 3 - REPORTS
- 1.5 4 General Assembly 2014
- 1.6 5 Evaluation of PPI and support by national Parties
- 1.7 = 5.1 Membership to PPI by PP-UK
- 1.8 = 5.4 Board effectiveness
- 1.9 6 PPI-HQ
- 1.10 6 AOB
Minutes of the PPI Board meeting from 2013-07-23
Record of the meeting
Audio recordings: https://archive.org/details/PPIBoardMeeting20130723
1 - ATTENDEES
1.1 - Members of the PPI board
- participating: Gregory, Thomas, Denis, Marc
- excused: (Nuno announced to be late)
1.2 - Others
- Alternates: (Excused: Yasin)
- Guests: Loz Kaye, Andy Halsall, Jack Allnutt, @collentine
2 - PROCEEDINGS
- Meeting opened at 20:15 CEST by Thomas
- Meeting closed at ___ CEST by
- Meeting chaired by Thomas
- Secretary for this meeting is Gregory
- Quorum established with 4 out of 7 board members present
- Streaming started: http://sip.piratenpartei-hessen.de:8000/ (not started, because of the technical constraints)
- Recording started: Yes (by Thomas)
- Postal votes: Yes
Postal vote: "let PPI join the open letter to the US Senate published under the URL https://optin.stopwatching.us/ "
The list of organizations that have supported the campaign includes two of our members the PP-ES and PP-AT already.
Result: 5 Yes (from Gregory, Vojtech, Nuno, Denis and Thomas) 2 not responded.
3 - REPORTS
3.1 - Short report of the board members
Members of the board shall give a short summary (one minute at maximum) of what happened since the last board meeting or their last report. If something needs more attention, it should be discussed in separate points.
- Gregory I was on vacation in Croatia (technically speaking, I still am). I have visited the Republika Share Cyberpunk academy conference and festival and met a lot of Pirates from different countries and had a talk there. (The slides, that have been uploaded to slideshare already had over 15k views). I met there also representative from EFF (who is behind the stopwatchingus campaign) and talked about the inclusion of PPI to the list of signatories. The WIPO meeting next week got canceled, so I try to get to the PP-EU meeting in Warsaw instead. Technical updates on some of our systems.(upgraded debian, downgraded PHP, so that the CRM could run again.)
- Nuno:Updated the http://wiki.pp-international.net/Mailing_Lists wiki page and unfortunately didn't have time for anything else due to a 30 day kickstarter campaign at my day job that had us work around the clock (with around a day to go until it ends we just met our required goal today, yay!) I'll have more time again after this marathon.
- Thomas: Some phone calls and emails, due to business workflow nothing else to report
- Denis: Gregory and I wanted to attend the WIPO meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. I asked KEI whether they could put us on the list and they did, but the meeting unfortunately was cancelled. I am going to be on vacation from next week on for two weeks. I will look after the press team afterwards.
- Marc: Our govemement steped down (sort of) and we will have election within 90 days. They are set for the 20 of october. I've been working with our team to get us runnig for this. We set up some technical support stuff and did a little 'propaganda'. I helped organize 2 congresses and I'm (or will probably) be on the list for our central distric
4 General Assembly 2014
Old time table:
15.05.2013 - publishing the call for offers - done
12.06.2013 - deadline for applications (+4 weeks) - done
19.06.2013 - mumble conference(Public) with all offers./public offer opening. (+1 week) -done 26.06.2013 - board selects those who meet the criteria (+1 week) -done
27.06.2013 - members involvement on the GA offers - start (+1 day)
12.07.2013 - members involvement on the GA offers - end (+15 days)
13.07:2013 - announce winners. (+1 day)
proposed time table for the rest of the process:
24.07.2013 - members involvement on the GA offers - start (+1 day)
07.08.2013 - members involvement on the GA offers - end (+15 days)
08.08:2013 - announce winners. (+1 day)
- Decided way (see minutes 2013-06-25)
- Gregory reports about a possible way by email. Send out email to pp-leaders and email to the board will contain the vote. Prove for sending this email as representing the specific party is needed. (written/PDF/minutes etc.)
- no objections
- Thomas acknowledge that the email to our members calling for their votes got not sent out yet, and propose to sent out the email tomorrow.
- Gregory reminds, that there could be problems with the optionated bookings of the venues.
no objections for the updated time plan.
5 Evaluation of PPI and support by national Parties
= 5.1 Membership to PPI by PP-UK
5.2 Finance and administration
Andy: Build phase:
Andy Halsall of PPUK gave an overview of the situation with the PPUK PPI vote, indicating that whilst the vote had resulted in a decision for PPUK to remain a member of PPI, it came with caveats. Much of the discussion around PPI membership had dealt with the issues that PPI had, including funding, accounts, structure and culture. AH made it clear that these were issues that PPUK wanted to, with the consent of the PPI board, help to address and that he had been talking with Thomas and Gregory over the past week, as well as with PPI member parties to set things in motion.
Amongst the things that PPUK presenting as an immediate priority related to the Financial aspects were the putting together of a budget, a financial procedure and maintaining ongoing accounts for 2013, as well as establishing oversight for these processes within PPI, preferably from the members. PPUK FOC is willing to help with oversight.
PPUK members also identified an issue with PPI's corporate identity (more likely: entity?) and hoped that Gregory Engels would be in a position to explain the situation more clearly to PPUK members. AH also explained that he had spoken to a number of PPI member parties, outlining some of the response he received from them.
AH provided an external document that outlined the areas that PPUK felt needed to be dealt with and some steps to deal with them, they remain available at: https://ppuk.piratenpad.de/142 this had been circulated to the PPI board previously.
Andy asked whether the PPI board recognised these issues and whether they were happy for PPUK to offer assistance and work with PPI.
Marc explained that he felt it was an issue and was already working toward fixing it.
Andy then asked what had been done by mark to deal with the issues.
Marc explained that the primary problem was access to the bank account, explaining that PPI had an account in Belgium, but that the bank had been less than helpful in making that available to PPI officers. He explained that Gregory had been dealing with this.
Gregory explained that the issues with the bank account had been ongoing for almost 3 years, with the account at Trodos bank (opened in 2009) being blocked since 2011. He then went into some detail around the issues that PPI had faced over time with regard to this account and others.
Gregory gave a broad overview of issues that PPI had hit in the past.
Gregory explained that it was the old account probably contained significant amounts of money, but that access was hard to reestablish due to individuals not cooperating.
Gregory has contacted a Lawyer in Brussels who will work to deal with PPI HQ administrative elements that once executed would allow a new account to be opened for PPI HQ. Gregory noted that last time this process took more than a year, and that this time he had asked the Lawyer to simplify and clarify the process.
AH interjected - Pointing out that progress in this area had been made repeatedly and then falling back and that realistically PPI should be moving forward to establish a new account rather than pushing to deal with historic issues.
Gregory explained that the next aim would be to open a new account for PPI HQ and that had to be the next step. Thomas suggested that the board should get together somewhere possibly Brussels to deal with the issue and set up a new account and discussed some additional issues regarding who can deal with accounts.
Marc explained that he had been in contact with a bank to find out what the process would be to set up an account in Luxembourg. He has said would arrange an appointment for next week and that it could then be set up.
Gregory then proposed that AH and Marc would work together on the bank account and report back to those involved. AH agreed, this will happen on Thursday the 25th July 2013.
AH then raised the point that the documents that PPI has made available make the relationship between PPI and PPI HQ is unclear, at least according to solicitors engaged by AH to answer questions about Belgian law.
AH pointed out that the fundamental point was to move forward, establish the processes necessary then ensure that an appropriate bank account was set up. At present spending, donations, and others paying for PPI services was not being noted, that had to change. AH also explained that he had no confidence that officers would be capable of dealing with the PPI HQ issue in the next week, but would do what he could to support that effort - but that the fundamental issues with accounting had to be addressed and could be copied wholesale from another party if necessary.
Gregory said that he was happy with that and wanted to take a look at the processes PPUK had in place as he felt that other sources weren't as good as they might be.
AH then asked whether these processes would apply to PPI or PPI HQ and then suggested that Gregory really had to clarify the relationship between the two, or the intended relationship. That would be important in terms of ownership of bank accounts.
Gregory then explained some background to the PPI / PPI HQ relationship and the intent. Essentially that PPI HQ would provide a corporate entity, and allow PPI to be non-profit. Gregory suggested that an unincorporated entity couldn't be a non-profit.
Gregory also stated that the PPI HQ statutes would clarify the relationship, these are available in French.
AH suggested that the relationship was ill defined in the PPI statutes. He made it clear that outside of this meeting the relationship had to be made clear. AH then asked whether a bank account would be owned by PPI or PPI HQ
Gregory stated that the account would be set up for PPI HQ.
AH then asked for clarification, asking specifically whether PPI would then not run its own accounts as an unincorporated entity (as a national scout movement would) but that PPI HQ would be responsible.
Gregory stated that national scout movements don't run their own accounts, but do so through an international arrangement.
This discussion continued for some time, with Thomas, AH and GE discussing the relationship between PPI and PPHQ.
To summarise Thomas made it clear that this should be taken out of the meeting and deal with it in a pragmatic way. AH agreed, and made it clear that his primary concern was that we had to be absolutely clear what the end structure was so that PPI member parties were clear as to who owned money and that there were clear processes in place. This was necessary to ensure member confidence.
The result was that AH would talk to Gregory and Gregory would provide a clear outline of the PPIs relationship with PPI HQ, that would be provided to AH by the 30th of July 2013.
Thomas asked that the previous section be minuted. (AH agreed to minute it)
AH ran through the build phase elements from the pad linked (lines 8-44 https://ppuk.piratenpad.de/142)
Current financial procedure should be doable, with consultation, and a budget may be possible with help. There would be a meeting between Andy and Marc on Thursday.
Marc suggested that the recovery phase sounded very hard to do given current state - more of a wishlist
How much of the documentation is available or published already?
Thomas: Marc has a problem here as some material still not available to him. No information at all on the bank account, for instance. Still trying to clarify this. For taxes etc. believe there's nothing overdue - still have time to finish this.
Andy: For ensuring that member parties has confidence this is vital. Even knowing that there are things we don't know is important.
Gregory: Know what we have for running costs, but don't know what has happened on the accounts.
Andy: don't go overboard trying to reconstruct old accounts, in an absolute practical sense good idea to get a hold on what accounts exist and what we know from last available information.
Thomas: Only one fact is clear - a bank account with nil Euro had been set up in the very past
Andy: when can you get together and get some of this information and get back to PPUK? Leave this until at least Friday next week.
Opening a bank account: Next week Gregory will be meeting with lawyer to sort paperwork. Know more by Friday 2nd
Oversight about bank account: Marc to talk to Stephen
Loz on Culture:
Two things, firstly to repeat appeal made on pp-leaders list. During course of PPUK vote on PPI, what came up repeatedly was a concern that problems weren't dealable with. Result of the vote shows that that's not true and PPUK members have taken a leap of faith, and we owe it to them to deliver.
There's a culture particularly when dealing with each other on e-mail lists. There's some activity that happens that has NO PLACE within a professional organisations e.g. rudeness, foul language, abusiveness. What we're doing it putting in a process that should deal with substantive issues so that activity doesn't have to happen. We should all not accept this.
Loz taking point on this with UK members making sure this doesn't happen from PPUK end. Hope that we don't have to write lots of procedures about behaviour on lists. Hope that people have taken this on board.
Thomas: Remember we deal with people. Self-organisation on lists only works on some lists. On others rules have to be set up as trouble-makers keep popping up. As always we *all* have to deal with it.
Loz: Even naming it gets people to focus and the productive atmosphere we've had to day is fantastic and that's what we want to promote.
I may be missing something, but looking through past PPI board minutes or the current board, I have difficulty identifying what the process for managing tasks is. Now we have some very concrete tasks, e.g. specific person has to meet at a specific time to do a specific thing. I don't see how these things are (or have been) tracked in the past. We circulated our process, specifically about actions arising from meetings and who is responsible. One thing we identified was that if we weren't specific in asking, things get lost from the agenda. It's the job of the chairs to chase up and if workload is too much to reassign tasks. My plea, in terms of experience from boards of other bodies, "as soon as possible" is not a deadline. "Next week" is not a deadline. Please be more specific in terms of management.
Thomas: I know some of the problems you're talking about. In the past we had tasks.pp-int and redmine and has been approached in the same way you outline. This tool had been used to monitor how *IN*effective people had been. Last Board decided to use it, but no on the board so that people weren't monitored in a negative way. This Board is bringing it back. We don't want to blame people for not having done things publicly.
Gregory: I wouldn't agree that "next week" isn't a deadline, it's a bit more broad than a specific date but it's still concrete. We stopped using redmine because of complaining by specific board members (e.g. travis amongst others). The deadline should reflect the amount of time it takes to complete a task. Sometimes tasks are ongoing. There is room for improvement in how we handle this, but I wouldn't agree with everything but on the whole I agree with Thomas and Loz.
Andy: I went through the board minutes since 2010. From an external perspective that's clear: You are revisiting stuff. Some of it is that it's ongoing but also because it's not getting done. I agree that you shouldn't ridicule people but it's good to monitor progress. If you have brand-new things popping up left right and centre without any prioritisation, or what's been achieved or not. Would be a confidence issue if Board could report on what's been done, even the mundane stuff if not in minute detail. It's a culture issue on the Board.
Loz: The account of looking back over it illustrates what I want to say. You can put up all sorts of technical things but you need to *manage* it, and the management is the job of people. If it's managed in the wrong way and gives negative results, then manage it in a different way. The "next week" thing is about people's understanding of the deadline. This should be the job of the co-chairs to make sure things are happening. Even the best systems in the world won't do the job for you. I would appeal that you would at least marking the tasks that are decided in the meetings. We don't track every last thing either, but what's been decided becomes very telling. If there's no progress, have to ask yourselves "why are we doing this at all". It concentrates the mind. You'll find a way to do it that makes sense for you.
- short break **
Proposed audit by PP-UK
Andy: We discussed this in the week. What I've said is that we'll make Steve Wilson available for an audit of IT. He'll be able to work on some of the more pressing issues. Will coordinate with him through PPUK campaigns. I hope that if we get a good idea about IT systems out there, we can get that information to Marc to assist with budgeting for IT. I believe that Steve already has some access, and the Board are working to enure he has all needed access.
Thomas: Agree that we need an audit. Believe that the Board has better things to do than administration, although we are the fallback.
= 5.4 Board effectiveness
Thomas: Good points raised by Loz some of these issues. Evaluating effectiveness is a work-in progress and should be ongoing.
Andy: External perspectives are a good thing. Perhaps invite other parties/their boards to participate and get their views on how the Board operates.
Thomas: Happy to take this suggestion on board.
- Next Meeting:
- Meeting Closed: ____ CEST by