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(revised November 2003)

A policy about delegating tasks to the members of A-Infos Collective

1. To ensure that the necessary tasks connected with the running of our project are continuously performed and that those who have taken it upon themselves to carry them out are accountable to the Collective, such tasks are formally delegated to one or more members of the A-Infos Collective. It is necessary to delegate each and every task that needs to be carried out to run the project - for example, some tasks only need to be done once and can be taken care of spontaneously. But those members who are responsible for certain tasks that need to be carried out on a regular basis and are essential for the project should be formally delegated.

2. New mandates and delegations are proposed and distributed on the a-infos-org list. Delegation or setting a mandate requires a MOTION only if someone objects to the task itself, to his/her doing the task or to someone continuing to do a task.
If someone volunteers to do a necessary task and if nobody objects to the task or the person who volunteers, there is no need for a MOTION. Whether the nature of the mandate is such as to clearly outline the specifics of the task to be carried out or if it is of a more general kind is for the collective to decide in each case. The mandate will be added to part 6 (see below) of this document once it has been decided.

3. When a delegated task becomes vacant, all members of the Collective are called upon to volunteer to carry out this task. If a member volunteers to carry out a delegated task and no disagreement arises within a period of 48 hours thereafter (excluding weekends), then this member is considered delegated. If any other member voices disagreement within the 48-hour period however, then a vote is carried out within the next 48 hours (again excluding weekends). If a simple majority (more than 50%) of those who participate in the vote disagree with the volunteer then she/he is not considered accepted and a new volunteer must be found. When a task is not done for any reason, a MOTION naming a Collective member or members as candidate(s) can be proposed by any member of the Collective - even if the said person(s) refuse - using the "quick" decision procedure as established in the decision-making policy:
In the vote, people will be asked two questions:

  • i. Is it appropriate to have a QUICK decision? yes/no
  • ii. Are you for or against it?
    If the majority vote that it is not appropriate for a QUICK procedure, a regular MOTION procedure will be carried out.

    4. Any member of the A-Infos Collective can propose to recall a delegate by sending a mail to the a-infos-org list with the subject line "Recall Delegate: XXX", where "XXX" is the name of the delegate. During the next five working days (120 hours excluding weekends) all members who were subscribed to a-infos-org at the time of the proposal can participate in a vote, clearly stating either agreement or disagreement with the proposal.
    If more than 50% of those who vote express agreement with the proposal, then the delegate is recalled from his/her task. A new delegate for the task must then be found according to the procedure described in part 3 above. Until a new delegate has been found, the former delegate will continue to carry out the task unless the MOTION included a demand for the immediate cancelling of his/her mandate.

    5. A delegate can propose a MOTION to end his/her mandate, which will be decided on like any other MOTION.
    Delegates are generally expected to continue to carry out their task until a new Collective member has been found to replace them - an immediate resignation should only happen in exceptional cases.
    When a delegate has informed the Collective that she/he wants to resign, a new delegate for the task must then be found according to the procedure described in part 3 above.

    6. The following tasks will be formally delegated to members of -org (each task can be delegated to several members as outlined in part 3 above, but to ease wording, we will only speak of one delegate below):

    - Language-specific approval of mails
    Mandate: The delegate is responsible for approving mails in one or more specific languages for distribution via the newsfeed according to the Editing Guidelines POLICY.
    She/He is also responsible for communicating with contributors according to the POLICY on Politeness if contributors ask why one or more of their posts were rejected. If a longer discussion or conflict with a contributor evolves from this communication after the delegate first answers the contributor, she/he will send copies of all further correspondence to a-infos-org. There is no need to communicate with contributors whose posts were rejected but who did not ask why.
    List editors are also expected to make translations of posts from and to other A-Infos lists than their own or to arrange for translations to be made.

    - Webworker
    Mandate: The webworker executes the changes as decided in a-infos-org to A-Infos webpages. This task consists of work which requires only knowledge of basic html, it does not include scripting. She/he also makes changes to the configuration of all A-Infos lists as decided in a-infos-org such as new intro/info files, headers, footers, passwords etc.
    The webworker must have writing access to the server to make the decided changes. This task can be split into subtasks, such as maintenance of certain specific pages.
    The delegate is also responsible for maintaining the web archive of POLICIES passed on a-infos-org. Updates to the archive must be made whenever a new POLICY becomes effective or an existing POLICY is changed according to the Decision-making POLICY. If Collective members do not have web access then this delegate must also supply them with all POLICIES upon request.

    - System Worker
    Mandate: The delegate is responsible for maintaining the Linux system of the A-Infos server together with the tasks of updating the system and taking security measures to protect it.
    The system worker must know Linux well enough to be able to carry our his/her tasks. Full access to the serve and the system is required.

    - Office worker
    Mandate: The office worker is responsible for carrying on the necessary work to maintain the good order of the lists, as redirecting wrongly-addressed posts, corresponding, managing bounces and subscriber support. S/he is also responsible for maintaining the list of a-infos-org members and delegates. This list should be provided to Collective members on request.

    This list of delegated tasks and mandates will be enhanced whenever a new task is set up to be delegated according to the Decision-making POLICY.