Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

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Lilith Ivory
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Lilith Ivory »

After reading Calli's and Delia's statements closely I have to fully agree.
Any official government meeting, especially one held to comply with law, should be held on public land and have an official public record.
The only problem I had with transcripting those government question hour meetings in the past was the question: When is a meeting like this "quorate" and needs to be transcripted. We have private talks in the beginning of all our meetings which are not meant to be posted at the forum. And I have been at a few government question hours before where I was alone with one official or only two close friends where the chat has become very RL related and private.

But I think this problem can be solved easily if we change No5. into:

5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting after it got called to order (and informed attending citizens the meeting will be transcripted from now on) and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.

Also - sadly - we will have to restrict ourselves one more time so not to talk about topics which are not meant to be published in the "Daily News"
But as Calli said before, for this kind of talk we can always have brunches on our private parcels to come in closer touch with citizens who normally don´t come to official meetings for whatever reasons.

The good thing at changing the law so we have Official question hours to only once a month is that this gives us room to hold unofficial non transcripted brunches during the rest of the time
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Rosie Gray »

Lilith Ivory wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:48 amThe only problem I had with transcripting those government question hour meetings in the past was the question: When is a meeting like this "quorate" and needs to be transcripted. We have private talks in the beginning of all our meetings which are not meant to be posted at the forum. And I have been at a few government question hours before where I was alone with one official or only two close friends where the chat has become very RL related and private.

But I think this problem can be solved easily if we change No5. into:

5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting after it got called to order (and informed attending citizens the meeting will be transcripted from now on) and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.

Also - sadly - we will have to restrict ourselves one more time so not to talk about topics which are not meant to be published in the "Daily News"
But as Calli said before, for this kind of talk we can always have brunches on our private parcels to come in closer touch with citizens who normally don´t come to official meetings for whatever reasons.

The good thing at changing the law so we have Official question hours to only once a month is that this gives us room to hold unofficial non transcripted brunches during the rest of the time
I think this is a great suggestion and I would like to see it incorporated. Everything else makes sense to me as well.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Leslie Allandale »

I sympathize with all posters, and flip-flop from one to the other according to the logic of their observations.

The operative word in this discussion is "official," however, and, if "official" activities do not preclude unofficial ones, the focus of this discussion should be on how we define official. The OED uses the following words to define official: Authority, public, duties, actions, responsibility, trust, and representative. All of these point to the need for a record, as actions based on authorized, public, responsible, trusted, etc. dialogue may be contested at some future date. And, to avoid he-said-she-said nonsense, some-sort-of* official dialogue may need to be retrieved for reference.

I addition, if a meeting is actually deemed -- and run as -- official, it may indeed be more trustworthy, responsible, and representative than a casual conversation with an official one might run into in the Platz. We, of course, could mandate -- with tongues in cheek -- unofficial question hours, but that might require too much silliness from some of our, more sober, avatars.

*The process of making a summary or minutes "official," may be a burden for an event that, at the least, needs facility to be viable. If such is the case, posting a transcript is both an easy and understandable process.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Rosie Gray »

I think that posting a transcript is easy and sufficient for these Gov't Question Hour meetings, since there is nothing being voted on.

With meetings where actions and decisions are voted on and we require a way to look back at these decisions in an easily searchable way - such as RA meetings and SC meetings, then proper Minutes should be taken.

There are many excellent tutorials online on how to write proper Minutes. Minutes do not include any subjective language or observations. Here is a basic tutorial: http://www.wikihow.com/Take-Minutes Using basic formatting makes it easy to find Motions voted on and their results for anyone searching for decisions in the future, and don't want to have to spend time searching through unnecessary text.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Widget Whiteberry »

When I have to capture chat for a record of proceedings, e.g. minutes, I find it saves time to mark the appropriate places in the transcript with a line of characters, e.g, •••••••••• or -------------.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Widget Whiteberry »

My thanks to Tan for initiating and to Calli and Delia in particular for helping me to clarify my thinking,
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

Summary:

there is consent to have Calli’s improved suggestion regarding rationale and clause 1-4


code - Government Question Hour Act ( replaces NL 7-1 Government Question Hour Act)


Rationale:
In order to make the government more accessible this Act establishes an informal Government Question Hour with at least one government ‘official’ from each branch of government present, once per month. The Chancellor may schedule additional Government Question Hours based on public demand. These meetings will be open to all CDS residents to come and ask questions. The hours will rotate to suit the RL hours of our community.
1. The Chancellor is charged with organizing a Government Question Hour at least once per month. All members of the government (Executive, Legislative and Philosophical branches) will be invited to attend with at least one official from each attending.
2. The Chancellor is charged with facilitating representation from all three branches.
3. The Chancellor will rotate the hours of the Government Question Hour to take into account the different time zones of the CDS community and to ensure representation from the different branches of government.
4. Meetings will be chaired by one of the government officials present and will be open to all citizens to attend.


For clause 5 we have 3 different wordings for the RA to choose from

Coop/Han’s version:
5. The Chair will post a summary of the meeting on the forum, to include topics of discussion and attendance for archival purposes. Optionally, the Chair may keep a transcript of the meeting and post it in whole or in part to the CDS forums. This is only as a courtesy for those unable to attend, and is not intended as a formal record.

Callie's version:
5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.

Lilith’s version:
5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting after it got called to order (and informed attending citizens the meeting will be transcripted from now on) and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Widget Whiteberry »

Callie's version:
5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.

Lilith’s version:
5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting after it got called to order (and informed attending citizens the meeting will be transcripted from now on) and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.
A suggestion

5. The Chair will post a transcript of the meeting to the CDS forums, which may also include a summary of the content of the meeting. At the start, participants shall be informed that a transcript will be posted.

My thinking: Others have pointed out that these Gov't Question or discussion sessions are in fact part of CDS government. Degree of formality is a matter of style and does not impact the need for transparency or access.
As to language, 'keeping' a transcript is ambiguous and not subject to verification. 'Posting' is both clear and verifiable. Lil's point needed a little polish. Also, given some recent experiences, I suggest

6. For each Question Hour, the Chair will -- in advance -- announce date, time and location in a Forum and via group notice. In the minutes before each Question Hour begins, the Chair (or an alternate) will announce date, time and location via group notice and in group IM.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Han Held »

If you post a transcript, a summary is redundant.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Coop »

Bagheera wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:48 pm To codify into law the requirement of a transcript opens the door to a subsequent fear of censure.

In my experience, censure does not rely on a transcript Bagheera.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Han Held »

Bagheera wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:48 pm
Tanoujin Milestone wrote: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:15 am For clause 5 we have 3 different wordings for the RA to choose from

Coop/Han’s version:
5. The Chair will post a summary of the meeting on the forum, to include topics of discussion and attendance for archival purposes. Optionally, the Chair may keep a transcript of the meeting and post it in whole or in part to the CDS forums. This is only as a courtesy for those unable to attend, and is not intended as a formal record.

Callie's version:
5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.

Lilith’s version:
5. The Chair will keep a transcript of the meeting after it got called to order (and informed attending citizens the meeting will be transcripted from now on) and post it to the CDS forums. The Chair may also choose to include a summary of the content of the meeting.
It is my personal belief that Coop/Han's version is the only option that will ensure completely open dialogue. A Question Hour is significantly different from a formal meeting where decisions that affect the community are being made. A Question Hour is where people ought to be able to ask anything without fear of censure. To codify into law the requirement of a transcript opens the door to a subsequent fear of censure. My opinion, fwiw.
Fear of censure or reprisal. I very much agree, thank you. :)
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Widget Whiteberry »

To Han and Bags: I am genuinely perplexed re "Fear of censure or reprisal." We are talking about public meetings mandated by law. In this context 'informal' means matters of law or finance are not being voted on, and in fact, there is nothing to be voted on. Robert's Rules of Order are not in effect. These are public conversations among citizens, interested persons and people currently serving CDS in some formal capacity.

Please, would either of you share examples in which fear of censure or reprisal might be an issue.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Bagheera »

Widget Whiteberry wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:00 am To Han and Bags: I am genuinely perplexed re "Fear of censure or reprisal." We are talking about public meetings mandated by law. In this context 'informal' means matters of law or finance are not being voted on, and in fact, there is nothing to be voted on. Robert's Rules of Order are not in effect. These are public conversations among citizens, interested persons and people currently serving CDS in some formal capacity.

Please, would either of you share examples in which fear of censure or reprisal might be an issue.
The challenge here is that giving examples might very well cause the kind of reprisals I am talking about.

There are different levels of attention that are put on situations based on how they are recorded, and once something is on "formal public record" it carries more weight, gets more attention, and is subject to interpretations out of original context...i.e. gets blown out of proportion.

For these reasons, it is better for some conversations to melt away into obscurity.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Han Held »

Widget Whiteberry wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:00 am
Please, would either of you share examples in which fear of censure or reprisal might be an issue.
When dealing with people who spam your private message box with rants based on the fact you've said x, y or z instead of lurking and paying teir.

The choice is simple:
You can create a safe place where people can come and speak their mind without worrying about some jack-off quoting them chapter and verse five years from now for things they said during a feedback meeting they'd long forgotten about

OR

You can create an unsafe environment that excludes people who are intimidated by the forums, meetings etc and does nothing at all to draw in anyone other than the same old crowd.
...

I've spoken my mind, I really have nothing new to add here and after this post I am not throwing any more energy down this particular well.

This is a wasted opportunity but y'all appear to have made the choice you've made (and I will use my lone vote to vote against it). That's part of democracy tho -can't win 'em all.
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Re: Updating NL 7-1 Gov't Question Hour Act

Post by Rosie Gray »

Han Held wrote: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:36 pmWhen dealing with people who spam your private message box with rants based on the fact you've said x, y or z instead of lurking and paying teir.

The choice is simple:
You can create a safe place where people can come and speak their mind without worrying about some jack-off quoting them chapter and verse five years from now for things they said during a feedback meeting they'd long forgotten about

OR

You can create an unsafe environment that excludes people who are intimidated by the forums, meetings etc and does nothing at all to draw in anyone other than the same old crowd.
I think you make a good point Han. The CDS has this unfortunate history of people quoting out of context from conversations that they were not even a part of. This is why I support the idea of a summary of these meetings, at the discretion of the chair, and/or a transcript at the discretion of the chair for reasons already stated.
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