Structure Group Report 2011-05-29

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This is a summary of discussions since our last report of 23rd April 2011, covering messages 8536 to 8719. Our membership stands at 70 (the same as last month).

The topics we have discussed this month are below.

Working Group Owners/ Moderation of national groups

Task 20 Completed

The Reps requested minor changes which were agreed after a short discussion. There was a final discussion followed by submission to Central for comments for a period of one week. No objections were received so the document has been adopted and placed on the Wiki - Moderation of National Groups.

Review Adjudication Procedures

Task 51 Priority 1

There was a discussion about the extent of panel confidentiality. Who should have access to the proceeding and under what circumstances. It was decided that they should remain confidential, but the Ombudsman team would have access to all prior records, and would have discretion over which, if any, extracts should be released. Further discussion covered confidentiality of evidence within the parties to the panel. A lengthy debate over the majorities and quora required for decisions was concluded with a consensus. Procedures and durations for polls within panel proceedings were discussed, but it was decided to make recommendations only as being too prescriptive would hamper the work of the panel. The document was submitted to Central with no objections, and is now with the proofreaders pending a volunteer poll.

Revised Reps - Ending Term of Office Procedures

Task 29 (Reopened)

There was agreement that these amendments were now complete. The document was submitted to Central with no objections, and is now with the proofreaders pending a volunteer poll.

Elected Role vacancy

Task 55 Priority 3

This document was submitted to a poll on Central: Elected Roles: If a vacancy for any elected post (Rep, Ombudsman, Returning Officer etc.) occurs within 3 months of election, the role vacancy should be offered to the next highest voted candidate, provided they gained at least 75% of the votes of the lowest successful candidate in the most recent election. Elections from now on will state that this auto-promotion will be in effect and that there will be a option to vote for 'none or no others'."

- Yes - adopt as a procedure, 48 votes, 72.73% - No - but send back to Structure for some more work, 1 votes, 1.52% - No - abandon the idea, 16 votes, 24.24% - Abstain (please explain on the group), 1 votes, 1.52%

Based on this result, it has been added to the currently running Volunteer poll as a 'Yes/No' choice.

Ombudsman and Returning Officer Remit/Role etc

Task 60 Priority 1 (was priority 4)

The current document covering this may be found at:

Discussion on this has confirmed that Reps should have no power to force termination of office of either an Ombudsman or Returning Officer, as these are elected posts. Discussion about the term of office highlighted uncertainty about the interpretation of the results of an earlier poll. It was agreed that the result did show a strong majority in favour of fixed terms, so this was not in doubt, but the length of that term could not be relied upon with certainty. There was general agreement that we would need to repeat the poll to determine the optimum term of office for both posts. Recently there has been more discussion about the frequency of elections in general and strategies for managing them to avoid excessive numbers of volunteer polls.

Ombudsman and Returning Officer ending terms of office

(not currently on task list).

A proposed document has been opened:

This has been drafted based on the existing Reps document, but has not yet been formally discussed.


Task 61 Priority 1

This was finalised last month, but some discussion arose over the form the Volunteer poll question should take. This was decided, and the document is currently in Volunteer poll.

Resignation of RO

Following the resignation of Ray Owen, our Returning Officer, it was suggested that Stuart should be asked to co-opt a temporary assistant pending a replacement election. Jacky Barrett was suggested as a suitable candidate and indicated she was willing, so a poll was held on Structure:

POLL QUESTION: Do you agree that Jacky Barrett can be the temporary returning officer team until a poll can be held for a new returning officer? CHOICES AND RESULTS - Yes, 21 votes, 100.00% - No, 0 votes, 0.00% - Abstain/other - Please post to the group, 0 votes, 0.00%

Accordingly Jacky is acting as a stand-in deputy to Stuart.

Future election polls

The method of polling for future elections has been considered in some detail. The consensus is that because of the potential complexities of other polling formats, first past the post should be used, but the use of other formats at some point in the future has not been ruled out. The discussion is continuing.

Ombudsman's role as local group mediator

Task 68, Priority undecided.

Jacky, as group co-ordinator, announced that she is adding this to the Structure task list following a request from the Reps.

Task List

Our Task List can be viewed at

If any of the above topics interest you, or if you have proposals about the structure of Freegle to suggest, please do join our group.

The Coordinator for this group is Jacky (Great Yarmouth) Deputy Coordinator is Peter Johnson (Hunts) and Secretary is Wendy (Woodley) Owners are Jacky, Peter and Wendy.

Back to Freegle Structure or Structure Group Report 2011-04-23, or forwards to Structure Group Report 2011-06-29