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Re: Constitutional Amendment GR: Handling assets for the project



On Friday 11 August 2006 05:43, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 10, 2006 at 09:00:23PM +0200, Adrian von Bidder wrote:

> > [...] I'd interpret the section to allow the DPL to include this
> > publication as a 'btw, we bought some disks for ...' sidenote in his
> > monthly/bits/for those who care about... reports.
>
> My impression was they'd need to be published when they happened, not
> a month or three later when the next random report came out... Manoj?
>
> I don't suppose you're volunteering the be Debian Auditor? :)

If Manoj's interpretation of that section indicates the need of such extra 
bureaucracy, I'm not sure I like that outcome.  My focus is purely on 
the "let people know what's going on" part.  Even if it's just trivial 
stuff.

My reasoning is that if more people would see what Debian's core people 
(i.e. all those who are regularly targetted in flame wars :^) actually do, 
there might be less flames.  Of course, there would be the odd debate 
nitpicking that you can get a 300M disk 2.70$ cheaper at some other store, 
but I guess this would be noise that can be ignored.

Re-reading that actual text:
+++
 5. Project Leader
   5.1. Powers
    The Project Leader may:
+   10. In consultation with the developers, make decisions affecting
+       property held in trust  for purposes related to Debian. (See
+       §9.). Such decisions are made by announcement on a
+       publicly-readable electronic mailing list designated by the
+       Project Leader's Delegate(s); any Developer may post there.
+++

Hmm.  I see what you mean - the 'in consultation with the developers' part 
indicates discussion, implying the DPL can not decide to spend money on his 
own.  I did only really see the second part.  My bad.

I don't really know how the "together with SPI" part was handled so far, but 
I can see that it may be a good idea to not just give the DPL the power to 
spend money.

OTOH, even if the DPL can make these decisions on his own, he'd still need 
to work through the legal entities actually handling the money, so the case 
of a looney DPL running off with all the money won't happen just so.  

Proposed text:

+++
 5. Project Leader
   5.1. Powers
    The Project Leader may:
-   10. Together with SPI, make decisions affecting property held in trust
-       for purposes related to Debian. (See §9.1.)
+   10.1 Make decisions affecting property held in trust  for purposes
+       related to Debian. (See §9.). Such decisions are to be published on
+       a publicly-readable electronic mailing list designated by the
+       Project Leader's Delegate(s) no more than a month after the decision
+       was taken.
+   10.2 For decisions affecting the equivalent of more than USD 5000 or 10%
+       of Debian's net assets (whichever is lower) are to be taken in
+       consultation with the developers after a discussion period of at
+       least one week.
+++

This should let the DPL work efficiently, without bickering on every dollar 
spent.  Even the bigger decisions (à la 10.2) can be taken by the DPL 
without the overhead of a vote.  My thought is that a DPL who wants to just 
ignore the outcome of the mandated discussion will bear the costs in terms 
of, in the worst case, a GR which will dispose him.

Let's not cripple the project with bureaucracy.  When/If Debian becomes an 
organisation with a more professional structure and bigger cashflow, we'll 
need better/more/more complicated mechanisms anyway - I think at the moment 
we should stay withing the current idea of Debian being a largely volunteer 
organisation where money is mostly spent on simple things.

Comments welcome.  Particularly, the numbers are just out of thin air.  And 
also: IANAL, IANANativ English speaker. 

cheers
-- vbi

-- 
Was die Welt in diesem Augenblick sucht, ist viel weniger ein
Gleichgewicht als eine Sprache.
		-- Jean Giraudoux

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