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Board Meeting - 02/09/2019

Convoqués

  • Board delegatives members :
    • Cedric (1)
    • Dichter (1)
    • keithgoldstein (1)
    • BaileyL (1)
    • RayJohansen (1)
    • MichalGill (1)
    • DanPrazeresBR (1)
      • 7/9
  • Board members :
    • keithgoldstein
    • BaileyL
    • RayJohansen
    • MichalGill
    • DanPrazeresBR
  • Alternate board members :
    • Cedric
    • Dichter

Absents

  • Board delegatives members :
    • Etienne
    • gsaouli
  • Board members :
    • Etienne
    • gsaouli
  • Alternate board members :

Ordre du jour

September 2nd

We are starting at 18:05. Bailey will chair. Keith is secretary. Everyone will help out with the notes. We have quorum. Bailey, Dan, Ray, Keith, Gregory, and Cedric. And Mike.


Board Meeting

Convened

Absent

PROCEEDINGS

Chair and secretary

Quorum

Approval of the Minutes

Aug 12th 2019

<a href="https://wiki.pp-international.net/wiki/index.php?title=PPI_Minutes_2019_08_12">https://wiki.pp-international.net/wiki/index.php?title=PPI_Minutes_2019_08_12</a>

Motion
Do we approve the minutes?
Description de la motion
15yes.png Yes : RayJohansen (1), BaileyL (1), keithgoldstein (1), Cedric (1), DanPrazeresBR (1), MichalGill (1)
15no.png No :
Pictogram voting neutral.svg Abstain :
Result: Motion adoptée


RayJohansen: Gregory abstains
keithgoldstein: Minutes are approved with 6 votes affirmative and one abstained.

Next meeting September 10th

https://etherpad.pp-international.net/p/sept-10-2019-71a70bv

RayJohansen: We had to postpone last week's meeting, and therefore it is important that we have another meeting on schedule on Sept. 10.
keithgoldstein: Mike can't make it, but he doesn't have any objections. Bailey also feels that we need a meeting next week.
keithgoldstein: We will be meeting on September 10th.

Approval of Today's Agenda

Economic reports
  • Budget and cash flow budget
  • Paypal?
  • Bank Account
  • Affiliation fees
Any Other Business
  • General Assembly 2019: Discussion]
  • IT
  • Nomination of Additional Vice Secretaries
  • TT4 postponement
  • UN ECOSOC Working Group
  • Redmine
  • Upcoming Meeting

keithgoldstein: There are no objections to the agenda. There is just a comment that a proper proposal is lacking for the economic reports.
keithgoldstein: These were the comments from the last meeting actually. They must have copied over. Ray though is going to work on the economic reports.
BaileyL: We have a lot on the agenda, and we are going to work through everything as best possible.

Board member reports

DanPrazeresBR: Dan: I have nothing to report

Board

Guillaume:

Bailey:

I have been in contact with the Dutch Pirates, and that is about all that is relevant for this meeting. There is more stuff that I would like to address later.


Keith:

We have elections in 2 weeks. Been working with Pat on the UN stuff. Pat is now interviewing interns and volunteers for UN activities.


Daniel:

Nothing to report at this time.


Raymond:

RayJohansen: As usual. Activism across the board, social media. Plus setting up an economic structure and spread sheets to use with it.
RayJohansen: I recommend that you include your summary of your report in Congressus beforehand.

Mike:

Will talk about TT4 later. Otherwise, not much else. Progress on the Slovak Party. They are preparing for a GA on October 28.

MichalGill: Just a short report on the Slovak progress: the cat's now out of the bag - many (even major) media already reported on the Pirates taking over another party. So now renaming is just a matter of days and then the first GA as a party in October. The statutes are very much ready, mostly mine and Vojta Pikal's work. Now I'll be working with them on the PPI application.

Etienne:


Cedric: On behalf of Etienne : just started my position as a court clerk student today, so can't be here today.
Cedric: It seems that the PPI Discord Server is ready, just need to make a tour on it with the person who design it. So more to come soon

Alternates

Gregory:

Registered to participate in IGF Nov. 29 in Berlin. Together with PPDE and other parties, part in PPEU to participate in council meeting. This will be with the Internet Governance Forum. I have been approved. Keith asked me to get involved with the Think Twice, and I am looking into this. I created a travel board, and did some activities that related with the original TT conference.

Dichter: I had an half an hour meeting with David Wagner last week about the TT4.
Dichter: We decided that we wanted to go with a two-track conference and came up with a list of people that we want to invite. We came up with a list of paper calls, and we need to decide on the dates that are very crucial. We got access to the old website. So, things are moving again. I would really like to publish the CfP as soon as possible, because it will take several months for people to write papers. I also had a meeting with the board members of PPDE, a conference of all board members national and regional. We talked about our UN activities and upcoming UN standing committees that we would like to set up. I asked them for proposals about how they would like to see the structure for how that will happen. The last board meeting for PPI, a conference for local politicians, around the February time frame, also in Prague. This is not exactly PPI business, but I would also like PPI to promote this.

Cédric:

With a lot of discussions about Congressus, there was a decision taken 2 weeks ago. There is another tool to make delegations and so on. The decision that was made was a fusion between Congressus and Persona? In about a month you will see a new process in Congressus, which will be a big step for Congressus. Everyone will have access to the Persona part. There is a relation with Liquid Democracy. There is a discussion about some new functionalities about the meeting mode. I will enable functionality with simplified mode for the meeting, which shows only the agenda points and the motions. This is a request from Guillaume. This mode will be very mandatory for the next GA.

Cedric: So, right now I finished the fusion between Congressus and Personae, need to upgrade the version on the PPI Server.
Cedric: I now start the two functionnalities requested by Guillaume :


- The scrutinizer mode

- A deadline for motions


Cedric: Etienne received the PPI Discord server, and we will soon have news about that.

Economic reports

How much money do we have, have we spent too much, how does the next two weeks look. Are we on budget? etc etc.
Getting access back to our Paypal.

Budget 2019 and Cash flow budget should be sent to the board members well before the meeting for reasons so obvious I will not word them here. We should go through every line, ask all the questions and then vote. Right after that we should start the process for a Budget for next year. Not the day after the GA like last year. Just saying.

Be prepared for the fact that we will have to work to secure the income side of our budget. Sending emails does not work. We might choose to give each member 3-4 countries to contact using other channels. The result of that work will tell us if we have to revise the budget later on. I think we might have to based on experience.


RayJohansen: Every board meeting we need to have a report about this data.

Total Balance

RayJohansen: Bank 2726.25 CHF (March 5th 2019)

PayPal 702.56 EUR (May 31st 2019)

RayJohansen: The question is whether this balance includes the funds that PPCZ included for the Think Twice Conference? The answer for this is yes. The answer is that these funds will be transferred to 2020. We do not have 2700 euros to spend, but rather 2700 minus the appr. 1000 set aside for TT.
MichalGill: The Czech party asked if we can move the deposit back to their account, so we can have access to use it. We will discuss this later. The Czech party can send a message, and we can decide later whether transferring the funds is the correct thing to do.

Balance per account

RayJohansen: Bank 2726.25 CHF (March 5th 2019)

PayPal 702.56 EUR (May 31st 2019)

Incoming funds this period

Spent this two weeks period

RayJohansen: Zero Euros spent the last two weeks

Planned speding next month

RayJohansen: We plan to pay, if cash flow lets us, the Munich Sec Conference 400 Euros in the next two weeks.

Budget and cashflow budget 2019

RayJohansen: [enter link description here](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YYLOk0OT_fDXte-CjNsE_BcyroTT7AXiVS9ayuLrL8E/edit?usp=sharing)cxv
RayJohansen: I made a spreadsheet and hoped to have all the numbers that we can vote on. However, we cannot do that today. When we are done with this after the next meeting, the link to view and share will be posted on the Wiki, providing all of the budgets for the public. When I analyze our economic situation, PPI Spreadsheet and bookkeeping, the first thing you find is the budget from the GA that was voted on by our members. The next one is the tiered dues model, which tells us how much we should charge. These are locked because they were decided on. They were made during the GA. We have to do better this year, which is why I put up a page that has the budget for 2020. Since the budget was not prepared and there has not been a discussion. It is very important that we have a revised budget, looking at the realities. Therefore the third sheet is the revised budget. I can see that we will definitely not get 5000 euros in membership fees. We will maybe get half of that in. That means we are looking at going into the red. This is something that we need to discuss. We thus need to reduce costs, renegotiate, and make sure that we know the costs and can discuss them. The fourth sheet is invoices. We need to put up a line for each of our members to show what sum they have been invoiced and how much they have been paid and what they have paid. This way we can see who has not paid. This way we can split among the board members to contact them, and figure out if we will receive fees. The fifth sheet is a book keeping sheet. There is in and out. Each of the lines will have an email and will be linked with a number that is the same as in the folder. This will make us completely transparent and know about the end of the year, and we can make this a report for the GA. Finally, I put up a suggestion for additional plans to collect funds. It is not enough to just say that we will crowdfund. We need to have a large group to run this. We need to have a plan. At the next meeting I will get all of the numbers and present this to the board.
keithgoldstein: Comment that it is a lot of work to get all these things done, and it will be very difficult for this small board to get all of these tasks done.
BaileyL: I am completely willing to help with this. This is a topic that I don't really have experience with, but this is a topic that we really need to get on top of. It will be ok. We will figure it out.

GA 2018: Proposed Budget 2019

Board Approval: Revised Budget 2019

RayJohansen: : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YYLOk0OT_fDXte-CjNsE_BcyroTT7AXiVS9ayuLrL8E/edit?usp=sharing

Board Approval: Cashflow Budget 2019

Bank account and Paypal


RayJohansen: As of right now, with the minutes from this meeting, we are completely transparent with our bank account. It does not mean that we are not transparent if we do not have a bank account that automatically does it.
Dichter: I agree on all points with him.
MichalGill: My point was to scrap the account and have a new one. However, if we are going to stick with Switzerland, it seems that we will keep this one.
keithgoldstein: We will push this topic till the next meeting.

Creating an other bank account ?

*PROPOSED BY: Mike

*PROPOSED ACTION: We wish to create a transparent account, similar to the one which the PPEU recently adopted. We will begin a serious process of setting up an international, transparent bank account that we will use as a primary one, mainly for collecting member fees,fundraising and distributing funds for events.

*PROPOSED TEXT: Are we in favor of liquidating our current account in favor of a transparent account? /depends on the Swiss registration - if a Swiss account is needed for that./ <A further decision will thus need to be made about registration>
* Background: Transparent accounting is necessary for a Pirate organization. While such accounts are uncommon, they are possible. The following is an example of PPEU's account:
<a href="https://ib.fio.cz/ib/transparent?a=2701538320&f=01.01.2018&t=12.08.2019" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; white-space: pre-wrap; cursor: pointer !important;">https://ib.fio.cz/ib/transparent?a=2701538320&f=01.01.2018&t=12.08.2019</a> There is one transparent account for the whole organisation. The following is an example of PPCZ's accounts: <a href="https://wiki.pirati.cz/fo/seznam_uctu" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; white-space: pre-wrap; cursor: pointer !important;">https://wiki.pirati.cz/fo/seznam_uctu</a>
Such an account will make possible for every cent to be traced from the moment it arrives to the account to the moment it's transparently spent. This system can also be complimented by a fully transparent bookkeeping (Czech example: <a href="https://piroplaceni.pirati.cz/rozpocty/)" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; white-space: pre-wrap; cursor: pointer !important;">https://piroplaceni.pirati.cz/rozpocty/)</a>.
RayJohansen:

Let me send a clear signal before the meeting starts that I will oppose adding tasks regarding bank accounts when we simply have not done the tasks sitting right in front of us. Making new challenges like moving bank accounts when we havent even set up a budget is ludicris to the extreme.


To the topic of Transparency. Our bank account works just fine. The only thing standing between our bank account being more transparent is doing what I have been asking for since january: Economic reports every board meeting and publishing monthly bank statements. That has not been done, and is the sole reason the public cannot see our numbers.


The fact that a bank service exists in Czech R that automatically publishes statements online does not mean our bank is non transparent. It ONLY means that our bank is less effective in that we manually have to do the reporting. So this has NOTHING to do with transparency, and EVERYTHING to do with the board not doing our job.


So what is wrong with our system?

- We have not agreed on a budget, nor a cash flow budget

- We are not registered in Switzerland yet? (OMFG added for dramatic effect)

- We have not established Economic Reports every board meeting

- Our cashiers/co-signers are unreachable

- Our Chair has been unreachable at times

- The Treasurers have not had access to the bank account

- We have no list of invoices, nor the invoices themselves making it impossible to follow up so they actually get paid


Non of the above is solved by adding challenges or tasks. Instead we should solve the above. That will most certainly put things right. PayPal will be solved after the above is solved.


And let me be clear: making a sexier bank account will not solve the the fact that the board has not done its job. It will only add to the embarrasing never ending saga that has ridden PPI since the very start. I strongly oppose writing yet another chapter in this story most resembling a comedic tragedy. We have board decisions that firmly plants us in Switzerland, and everything we have done since has been guided by that. It is time to follow through and do everything needed IN SWITZERLAND as fast as is possible. I did not sign onto a ship that cannot even decide which harbour to set sail for.


Swiss PayPal

RayJohansen: I don't see why the money should be sitting in our Paypal in Belgium. We should figure out how to make a paypal account that is connected to our Swiss bank account.

Membership Fees

  • List of who has paid for what year
  • List of actual invoices sent with paid/not paid per member
  • Discuss how we get them to pay/Who does what
RayJohansen: I will check this and see who has paid and not paid. We will divvy up the countries between the people and contact them.
Cedric: We need to have a page in the Wiki showing how we are collecting them and using public shame as a weapon to make due payments. For the French fee we asked 9 months ago to pay the bill. For the French point of view it is not PPI's fault. We need to shame those who don't pay the bills. If they want to participate in PPI, this kind of world needs money, and we need to use these rules.
keithgoldstein: https://wiki.pp-international.net/wiki/index.php?title=Affiliation_fees
keithgoldstein: We do need to be compassionate and mindful of parties financial situations.

Replacement treasurer

Mike stepped down. We need a replacement.

RayJohansen: We should elect the next treasurer at the next meeting.
keithgoldstein: Mike: I don't want to do it anymore, but I will help as much as possible.
keithgoldstein: We only have 4 people available as board members to be treasurer: Ray, Dan, and Etienne as board members, and if we allow an alternate Gregory or Cedric.

Replacement cashiers

keithgoldstein: We have two cashiers.

General Assembly 2019: Discussion

PPNL proposal


Ray's Proposal: I think the board should start with voting over whether we should have a physical GA or a purely online GA. My position is that we should avoid to have ONE MORE GA where the remote delegates end up unhappy. It will be a massive failure and a stain on this boards whole tenure if we cannot learn from the past. Lets make everyone equal in Zoom and run a pure online. (If some of you absolutely wants to and can afford to meet and mingle, feel free to travel and meet, but the GA should be pure online.)

If the board choose to have a physical GA despite of the above it should be hosted by someone with experience. Not first timers. We cannot run one more GA where complaints is the only echo we hear for another year. Dont make badly run GA's our legacy please. Ask the hosts that wants to send us a detailed offer. We cannot decide without having details.

keithgoldstein: Sign Up Form Draft: https://lime.ppi.rocks/limesurvey/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=256829&lang=en
BaileyL: The Dutch Pirates want to host the next GA in the Netherlands. They have not said an exact city or dates. Guillaume and I went to their meeting. A couple days ago they confirmed that they do want to host. The next steps are whether we want to go through the next GA. Is it better to do the online GA. And then if we go with the physical GA, then we need to figure out dates and stuff.
RayJohansen: I am highly in favor of an online GA. We need to have a full written offer though if we will have a full physical GA.
Etienne: If we can have one online and one physical, it might be more feasible for our members. If we have the event online we are all equal, and we can have one week and stretch to several evenings.
keithgoldstein: I am concerned about the dates. I think we can host a small physical GA with an emphasis on the online delegates.
BaileyL: I do like that the Dutch Pirates are wanting to host the GA. I'm not sure that there was a decision for a full physical GA. We can stay online.
RayJohansen: I also want to emphasize that I support PPNL. I am also concerned about a conflict with PPEU GA.
Dichter: I dont think that a "pure Online" GA would solve the complains of remote delegates of not being heard. Its not the technology, its the meeting design. Said that, I believe that face to face conversations are much more effective then virtual ones. Reserving several consecutive days for online GA sound quite stressful. So if there is a bid to host a GA, they should be supported and encouraged to create a set up that would take the concerns of the remote delegates into account.



Etienne: To summarize, we have 3 proposals: a full physical GA, full online, small physical and online.
Motion
Proposal for next GA: full physical GA, full online, small physical and delegate online
Description de la motion
15yes.png Yes : {{{Yes}}}
15no.png No : {{{No}}}
Pictogram voting neutral.svg Abstain : {{{Abstain}}}
Result: Motion rejetée


BaileyL: We can talk a bit more and decide at the next meeting.
Dichter: I think it would be unfair to the Dutch Pirate party to decide on a full online GA.
RayJohansen: This should not be a formal vote. Rather, it is just a vote to see where the board is leaning.
BaileyL: I am in favour of all 3 options
Etienne: It seems the board is leaning for an online GA, and if it will be physical then it should be a small physical GA.
BaileyL: I have been chatting with the PPNL a little bit about the complications, and they completely understand the situation we are in. They are completely cool with an application for 2020, so we could have an online GA this year and it would be a lot less stressful. They also sort of agreed that this would be a better solution.
RayJohansen: I would like us to put together a working group on our next meeting for the GA.
Motion
{{{text}}}
15yes.png Yes : {{{Yes}}}
15no.png No : {{{No}}}
Pictogram voting neutral.svg Abstain : {{{Abstain}}}
Result: Motion rejetée


MichalGill: If the Dutch are okay with it, then purely online GA would me my preferred way as well.
Motion
Vote on having an online GA
Description de la motion
15yes.png Yes :
15no.png No :
Pictogram voting neutral.svg Abstain :
Result: Motion rejetée


keithgoldstein: Everyone voted yes. We will just have to figure out dates. Did PPEU decide on dates for their meeting? They have a proposal for the first of November. We don't formally know when and where it will be. Perhaps we will wait for them to decide and then we will decide in tandem.
keithgoldstein: If I take the helm for the GA, I hope that we can get someone else to work on the treasury duties.

TT4 2020 : New Date


keithgoldstein: Together with the PPCZ board members we came to the decision that it was best to delay the event. We were facing several obstacles.
MichalGill: We had several budget issues, and we needed to access funds, which was a problem.
Dichter: I agree that there was no time. I think that if we put it in the March time frame. If we publish the call for papers, and whatnot then we need a date, and we should agree on this.
Dichter: If we don't have a date for March right now, then we should aim for May. We will have the same time frame problems. It takes a half a year if we want to address academics. If we want to just address Pirates, then it is ok to have it shorter. For that we need at least half a year's time. I would suggest putting it in May or June next year.
MichalGill: It would not be a problem with the location. March is possible. But we need to have financing. The call for speakers will go down.
ThomasG: Just for March, another conference is already in the planing for Prague.


Dichter: If we can agree on a date in March and "the venue" is not a problem, then we can go forward with sending out the sponsor letter and CfP..
keithgoldstein: PPI and PPCZ will need to decide. Michal will investigate.
ThomasG: Will discuss it with David.
keithgoldstein: We came up with any time in April the best time seems to be 24-26
keithgoldstein: Does anyone have any objections with a new date in April, perhaps 24-26?
Dichter: As soon as we confirm that, we will update and put it on the website.

IT Contract

  • How much do we owe
  • How much more will we owe for 2019
  • How much for all of 2020


RayJohansen: Our chair signed a contract with a company last year some time. That put us in a position where we have to pay a specific sum. The contract was first shared with the board in mid-July. I found some numbers in the budget of the general assembly that indicated about 700 euros per year. We have yet as a board to put out the numbers and vote on them. We are bound by that contract regardless. We do hope that we can have some assistance from the PPDE team to help us understand that contract and what we owe and need.
Cedric: In my point of view it is a mistake to say that we are bound to pay. We asked for the contract since November, and we received it in July. We had no opportunity to revoke this contract. When I see how much we pay I am very upset. I can see what we are doing with out IT structure. It is about 10% of what we do with PPFR, and we pay a small portion of this amount. With the problem of collecting fees and paying this kind of money into IT, it is garbage, and on this matter I am very upset. I want to have a solution to not pay all the bill, because we don't have the time to say no and find another solution. In my point of view, for the IT, a few months ago I spoke with people about IT and what we want to do. One of our solutions was in PPFR in order to update our IT structure and change our server, we have the possibility to host whoever wants to build it, including PPI. We can cut the costs for every association that wants to go into that hosting system. You can have some Discourse, Congressus, Discord, and the entire French system for 40/50 euros/month. We can cut the costs by 3 at least. We need to spend 100 plus euros for one wiki, one site, we spend so much money for nothing. If we share the costs, everyone can win.
RayJohansen: The cost is quite high, and it is too high based on the income that we are looking at right now. By next week we should know what we are looking at. I expect that we will have to negotiate to get out of some of the expenses. We really need to do that, because we don't have the money. I would love to have a formal proposal that specifies exactly this. Did you mean that we could only pay 33% of 1800 if we use the solution that you suggested?
Cedric: I cannot promise to have a contract proposal by next week, but I will make it soon.

Registration in Switzerland

We don't have information to make a decision about this at this meeting and will discuss it at the next meeting.


Any other business

Upcoming Meeting

September 10th at 18:00 CEST


Ayant participé à un vote

  • 6 - RayJohansen
  • 5 - BaileyL
  • 4 - keithgoldstein
  • 1 - Cedric
  • 10 - DanPrazeresBR
  • 9 - MichalGill