This article sets out the important issues to be discussed and decided at the October RIPE NCC General Meeting (GM), which takes place from 16-17 October 2013 alongside the RIPE 67 Meeting in Athens.
Registration to attend the GM will remain open until 16:00 (UTC+3) on 16 October 2013. The registration link and all other information needed to participate, in person or online, is available on the GM homepage .
Draft RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget 2014
An important feature of this GM is the discussion that takes place around the Draft Activity Plan and Budget 2014 . This document outlines all the activities the RIPE NCC plans to carry out in the upcoming year, and it puts down the budgeted costs for those activities. Transparency towards its membership is an important goal for the RIPE NCC, and it sees the Draft Activity Plan and Budget as one of the best ways it can demonstrate this transparency.
If you want to have a say in what the RIPE NCC does and where its expenses are, being involved in discussion around this document is the best way to do it.
Last year was the first time that the Activity Plan and Budget were combined into one document, and we have continued this with the 2014 draft version. This change was in response to member feedback saying the Activity Plan was of little use unless the costs were also supplied. The document also provided links from a table of services and activities to make navigating around the document much easier.
A new feature of the Draft Activity Plan and Budget 2014 is that there are now categorisations for activities whose status will change in the year ahead. The five categorisations are:
- “Ongoing”, for recurring activities that require about the same amount of resources as in the previous year
- “New Activity”, for any activity making its first appearance in the Activity Plan and Budget
- “Expanding”, for any activity that will expand financially by more than 10% from the previous year
- “Decreasing”, for any activity that will decrease financially by more than 10% from the previous year
- “Planned Ending”, where an activity will come to a complete end in 2014
Where a status is anything other than “Ongoing”, information on who made the decision, when they made it and why they made it will be provided.
The Draft Activity Plan and Budget is just that - a draft. The final version will be published in December 2013, but until then, we hope to hear feedback from RIPE NCC members. Discussion on the document will take place at the upcoming GM, but members are also encouraged to comment on the document and share their opinions via the RIPE NCC membership discussion mailing list .
The RIPE NCC Executive Board will consider all feedback received on the mailing list or in person before arriving at a final RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget 2014.
Voting on General Meeting Resolutions
At the upcoming GM, RIPE NCC members will vote on four resolutions relating to the corporate governance of the RIPE NCC. The resolutions to be voted on relate to the RIPE NCC Conflict Arbitration Procedure and the RIPE NCC Articles of Association.
RIPE NCC Conflict Arbitration Procedure
The RIPE NCC Arbiters Panel exists to settle disputes and to evaluate requests for Internet number resources from the RIPE NCC. The RIPE NCC Executive Board appoints members of the Arbiters Panel, but this appointment needs to be approved by the membership.
The panel serves a very important function within the RIPE NCC structure, and the resolution to be voted on makes some changes to the RIPE Document that governs the arbitration procedure .
The proposed new Conflict Arbitration Procedure replaces references to “contributors” and “Direct Assignment Users” with “Members”. It also makes sure that when the RIPE NCC is a party in an arbitration case, the secretariat function is provided by an independent third party.
Changes to the RIPE NCC Articles of Association
The RIPE NCC Articles of Association is the legal document that governs how the RIPE NCC is run as a membership organisation. So any changes to the Articles should be carefully considered by the membership.
The last time there were changes to the Articles of Association, in 2011, members had to choose either to approve or reject all changes to the Articles in one resolution. Members pointed out that this did not give them the opportunity to approve some amendments they wanted and reject other amendments they did not. With this in mind, the Executive Board decided that there should be a separate resolution for each amendment to the Articles.
The first Articles resolution proposes to increase the maximum number of Executive Board members from five to seven. The Executive Board is proposing this resolution for three reasons:
- To better reflect the changing composition of the RIPE NCC membership
- To have more specialist knowledge available to the Executive Board for dealing with specific issues
- To better handle the increased responsibility that comes with representing a growing membership with more diverse concerns and issues
The second Articles resolution proposes to remove the requirement that the Executive Board should nominate a candidate if too few candidates are nominated to ensure an election. The Executive Board’s experience is that the Board nominating a candidate for the purpose of having an election is purely symbolic. This proposal would mean that if too few candidates were nominated to have an election, the membership would vote to approve or reject the appointment of any candidates nominated in the normal way.
The final Articles resolution would allow the Executive Board to choose how those wishing to vote should identify themselves. This proposal would allow the Executive Board to remove the requirement that people needed to email identification in order to vote electronically and could instead use, for example, the LIR Portal.
All the proposed amendments are contained in one supporting document for the GM .
Participating in the GM
For all the issues relating to the upcoming GM, the Executive Board is particularly keen to hear feedback from the membership. The Executive Board is elected by and represents the membership, so getting an idea of where the membership stands on specific issues helps it to carry out its duties effectively.
Members are welcome to discuss any RIPE NCC-related issues they want on the members discuss mailing list . The Board follows this list closely and notes any concerns or issues raised by members. Discussion will also take place at the General Meeting itself.
At the RIPE Meeting in Athens, there will also be a Meet the Executive Board social event on Monday where RIPE NCC members and other RIPE 67 attendees can discuss the RIPE NCC and its activities ahead of the GM on Wednesday.
For those who can’t attend the GM in person, the meeting will be webcast live for all members. A chat facility will be provided and, if you want to make your opinion known, a chat monitor will be on hand to read out your comment.
Finally, one of the most direct means of participating in the GM is to cast your vote on the proposed resolutions . All organisations that have been a member of the RIPE NCC for six months or more can cast a vote at the GM, either by paper ballot or electronically.
If you register to attend, you will be able to add the vote for your organisation at the start of the registration process.
If you would rather vote electronically, you need to follow the link to the BigPulse registration system that was included in the email sent to all qualified members inviting them to register. Once you complete this process, you then need to send a copy of your identification to the RIPE NCC. All those who complete the process will receive an email on the day of the General Meeting with a link to the voting software. Electronic voting opens at agenda point 8 during the GM and closes the following day, 17 October, at 14:00 (UTC+3).
The Chairman of the Executive Board will announce the results at 15:45 (UTC+3). This announcement is also webcast live.
We hope you’ll participate and help to make this a productive GM for the RIPE NCC and its members.
If you have any questions about the GM, you can contact us at agm [at] ripe [dot] net .
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