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Re: New structure of the RIPE NCC

  • To: "Mike Norris" < >
  • From: Paul Ridley < >
  • Date: Thu, 01 May 1997 16:04:40 +0200
  • Cc: Paul Ridley < >

Dear Mike,

Thanks very much for your comments, and consideration. Sorry that the reply
is a little delayed but we've just been enjoying a very orange public

 "Mike Norris" mnorris@localhost writes:
 * Paul
 *     thanks indeed for ripe-156.  You and your group have
 * put a lot of effort and thought into the new structures
 * for the RIPE NCC.  The case is well made in your first paper,
 * without involving too much legalese.  I have just a few
 * comments/questions on/about the paper:
 * 1.  Would one of the aims of the new structure be to 
 *     be independent of location of the NCC, at least to
 *     some extent within Europe?  I think it's in the 
 *     right location, but it may be that at some future
 *     time it turns out that the NCC should relocate to
 *     somewhere else.  Would this be possible under the
 *     new structures?  To put it another way, to what
 *     extent are the structures NL-specific?

There is no simple answer to this question as it covers many angles
but I will try to cover them all.
- The operating procedures and inhrerent structure listed in ripe-156
are de-facto in nature. In principle these procedures and structure
are country independent and it is only the de-jure (legal) articles
of association that are country specific. This is of course only true
in countries that recognise the existence of associations (almost
all I assume).
- If at a later date it should be decided that the NCC should be
located elsewhere (ignoring any practicalities such as the present
employees) then the association set up under Dutch law could be
dissolved and another association set up in a different country. For
the new association the de-facto procedures remain unchanged, but
the country specific de-jure articles of association alter.
-It is also possible to set up a non-dutch company that trades in the
Netherlands. This would however complicate our day-to-day business as
suppliers etc would not know how to treat us and thus either not
trade with us or would impose too many restrictions.

 * 2.  The management team (MT - a homophone of 'empty', maybe
 *     management group would be better?) is mentioned passim,
 *     but does not get the explanatory treatment of the other
 *     bodies.  Maybe a few lines to say what it is, who is on
 *     it, what it can do.

The management team is used a lot in the Netherlands and so that
is why it was used. However being called a team does not mean that
we cannot act like a group. The MT is seen as the 4 department heads
of the NCC. As will all employees these will be the four persons
in TERENA-RIPE NCC employ who fulfill these functions as at 1 Jan 98.
I see the role of the MT as that of an executioner (poor word choice:-))
of the agreed upon activity plan, and as an advisory group for the EB 
and GA. The full powers finally given to the MT are however, as stated
in ripe-156, decided upon by the EB

 * 3.  In 4.1, it says that motions for the GA can come from
 *     the EB or 5% of the members.  Now 5% looks reasonable,
 *     but in fact it translates into 20 or 30 members, which
 *     is typical of attendance at meetings of the Contributors'
 *     Committee.  Organising 30 people to support a motion
 *     could prove very difficult (it might take so long that
 *     by the time you had 5% of the members, the threshold had
 *     gone up due to the constant growth in members ;-).  The
 *     questions are: could the threshold be smaller and does
 *     it have to be relative to the total membership?

Thanks for raising this point it made me realise that I had forgotten 
to add one important detail. It is proposed that votes are allocated
in proportion to size, and thus contribution. In this way a large
registry would have 3 votes, a medium 2 votes, and a small 1 vote. With
this in place a motion for decision would have to have 5% of the total
number of votes not 5% of the total number of registries. Bear in mind
that this 5% of votes does not consist of getting 5% of the votes to
meet in one room but is done electronically. If this is not possible
then we have to ask the question that if less than 5% of the votes are
not willing to be in favour of a motion then does it have any support
at all. For this reason I would not like to lower the threshold.

Your second point asked if it had to be relative to the total membership.
I would say yes since we aim to get consensus decisions and not those
made by a very small eg 1% or 2% of the total number of votes. If it turns
out that this leads to huge impracticalities then the GA can alter the 
articles of association.

 * 4.  Also in 4.1, four weeks notice of motions is required.
 *     Is this not a tad long?

The reason four weeks was chosen is since legally (de-jure) decisions can
only be passed by a physical vote. Thus even though consensus may be
against a decision it could be tabled by 5% of the votes and by packing
the physical meeting the 5% could take a decision not wished for by the 
majority. This four week period gives time for all to see this happening
and allows time for others to rally if needed and organise a counter
physical presence at the meeting.

I hope this answers your questions.



 * Regards.
 * Mike 

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