Scattered Thoughts on Cabinet, Civil Service, Rep. Assembly

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Gwyneth Llewelyn
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Scattered Thoughts on Cabinet, Civil Service, Rep. Assembly

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Hi all,

As you can see from the last transcript, one of our major tasks will be to clearly define procedures for the "new" branches and the way they interact.

So, what I think is that what is now the Guild will become simply the Civil Service (it can even have a "head of CIvil Service"), under the direct control of the Cabinet, and with the following "administrative powers":
[*:yew5xdc3]Act as a building authority[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Oversee and supervise the covenants[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Collect taxes and monthly land fees[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Collect payments from the city-owned vendors[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Pay for all the monthly fees to Linden Lab[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Provide a quarterly financial report, to be publicly presented[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Run the Treasury and the Neufreistadt Bank (the national bank), emit City Bonds[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Organise large-scale promotional events (e.g. Oktoberfest, Maifest, Expos, Winter Holidays Festivals, flea market, Parade of Homes)[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Runs the websites and promotional material[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Sign in new citizens, verify the deeds, run the notary system for the deeds, run the city groups for the urban administration[/*:m:yew5xdc3][/list:u:yew5xdc3]
Some items which were formerly aspects of the Guild will go into the Cabinet instead:
[*:yew5xdc3]Control all the financial aspects of Neufreistadt[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Negotiating conditions with the Representative Assembly and all worker associations/trade unions, and assigning tasks to its members, as well as providing them with the payments[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Oversee the Chamber of Commerce (a mix of the "best business bureau" and "Foreign Office")[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Define major events (planning is done by the Civil Service)[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Define the promotion across all of SL (work is then assigned to the Civil Service)[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Define content and structure of the websites[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
[*:yew5xdc3]Meet with representatives of all social/cultural life in SL (workers' trade unions, nonprofit organisations like MoCA and School, etc) in order to define plans, strategy, funding[/*:m:yew5xdc3][/list:u:yew5xdc3]
The Guild, as such, will become just one of many citizens' association, and some legislation will ensure that they'll have the right to meet with the Cabinet and/or RA to present their views in aspects of legislation (say, event planning, building in the sim(s), etc)

Now comes my biggest problem. How to separate the executive from the legislative aspects? What powers will the Cabinet have that are currently the RA's, and what purpose will the RA have under the new model? How often will the Cabinet meet?

It's probably easier if we see some examples.

  • [*:yew5xdc3]Budget. This is simple. Cabinet proposes a budget, the RA discusses and approves it. The Civil Service then executes the budget, with the Cabinet overseeing. External overseeing can be done by the Treasurer (one possibility) or the SC (many won't like it, but it's a possibility).[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
    [*:yew5xdc3]Constitutional amendments. No problem here; it's all in the hands of the RA.[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
    [*:yew5xdc3]Legislation setting up new institutions, new covenants, buying a new sim, new organisation, or changing existing ones. Seems also clear to me, that's the RA's job. The Cabinet may naturally suggest some ideas, but will do so through their faction's representatives at the RA.[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
    [*:yew5xdc3]Laws regulating social, financial, cultural life in Neufreistadt/CDS. Ie. authorising ambassadors, defining access to public/common land, establishing guidelines for the Chamber of Commerce, etc. While sometimes the Cabinet will step in (ex. the Cabinet suggests that the sim be closed for a private event, which is a major change of the city's policy of free access; that has to be discussed at the RA's level), I would try to define the areas where the RA has indeed the sole authority of "defining the rules".[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
    [*:yew5xdc3]Policing. This will move into the Civil Service, but under the overseeing of the Cabinet. The SC will be judicial only. Establishing the guidelines for authority will be done at the RA.[/*:m:yew5xdc3][/list:o:yew5xdc3]
    These seem peaceful enough for me. However, since we're such a small group, a lot of areas are a bit fuzzy:

    • [*:yew5xdc3]Cabinet authorises a special event, say, a public rally to protest the new registration system in SL. Formerly, this authorisation was given by the RA. What will happen under this system?[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]Who "interprets" the covenants? Formerly, it was the Guild (although it was the RA that defined those). One thing is to report that a building is "too high"; the other is to force the citizen to rebuild it. And a last thing is to fine the citizen for violating the covenant. Who should do all of that?[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]Will the "Prime Minister" sit at the RA as well? Or will the leader of the winning party, if he/she gets elected, become the "Prime Minister", and leave somebody else from their party be Leader of the RA? (Both are possible, although historically, the latter would be more reasonable)[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]Assigning new jobs for the Civil Service. While I agree that the [i:yew5xdc3]budget[/i:yew5xdc3] for those would be in the hands of the RA, the nomination/appointment and all the trouble of posting job descriptions etc. should be the task of the Cabinet, not RA.[/*:m:yew5xdc3][/list:o:yew5xdc3]
      There are more of these "shady" distinctions, where it's not clear if you need legislation or not, and if you need it, it should be a function of the RA.

      Also, we need to introduce models to allow the following to happen:
      [*:yew5xdc3]The RA has to have the power to force the Cabinet (or rather, any member of the Cabinet) to come and discuss things at the RA, where RA members will interrogate the Cabinet's members on specific areas (ie. public evaluation of the Cabinet's work).[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]How can the Cabinet be dissolved? (in theory, the RA can always call for new elections)[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]Should somehow the RA be "dissolvable" as well without an impeachment procedure? Who will have that power?[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]Should [i:yew5xdc3]all[/i:yew5xdc3] actions by the Cabinet be validated by the RA, but in a manner similar to what the SC does on the issue of the veto — if the SC is silent, it means there is no problem with a law — ie. if the RA does not say anything, it agrees with the Cabinet.[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]How exactly is the cabinet formed? Is it the prerrogative of the RA member who got the most votes, or the [i:yew5xdc3]faction[/i:yew5xdc3] that has the most votes? (example: if two parties get the same amount of seats or votes, which should nominate the Cabinet? In theory, there is a ranking of seats, and so, the first seat to be filled is from the faction that "won" the elections, so that one should appoint the Cabinet).[/*:m:yew5xdc3]
      [*:yew5xdc3]How many members in the Cabinet? I'd say, at least 3, possibly four: Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Internal Affairs, eventually Minister of Arts and Culture. The Chamber of Commerce would be under the PM (ie. Foreign Affairs). Internal Affairs would have all the overseeing duties — enforcing covenants, blocking the city from griefers (ie. running the police!), instructing the Civil Service to clean up prims left lying around, etc. It will probably liaise with all citizen's associations as well. Finance is obvious; they'll be responsible for dealing with the Treasury, preparing a budget for approval by the RA, overseeing the collection of fees and payment to LL, and so on. And the Ministry of Arts and Culture will run all events and supervise relations with the cultural organisations in N'stadt.[/*:m:yew5xdc3][/list:u:yew5xdc3]
      Just some things that we have to put in writing sometime for our platform for the further elections... although the details can be done during the term.

"I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country."
  -- Philip "Linden" Rosedale, interview to Wired, 2004-05-08

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