Bylwas Revision[2]: COMMITTEES

Nils Lohner lohner at
Fri Apr 2 20:58:03 UTC 1999

A few reorganizations, additions and clarifications.  Please comment on it, 
esp. on the few items left in the question section.  Hopefully we can finish 
this by the middle of next week.  Then it's on to voting!



- Committees are an extension of the BOD and they should take care of most 
of the day to day operation of SPI

- committees should perform ongoing functions and should not be formed to 
accomplish short term tasks

- they should be governed by the BOD, meaning they report to the BOD, and 
the BOD can override their decisions (if necessary- this should be an 
extreme case)

- they are accountable to the BOD and the membership

- if a committee is no longer necessary it should be disbanded.  This can be 
done by the BOD or a vote of the membership.

- committees can propose resolutions and motions

- their charter should completely describe their rights and responsibilities 
- the BOD issues and revoke charters (i.e. create and disband committees).  
The membership should help write the charter.

Leadership and Membership
- the BOD appoints the committee leadership (leaders and alternates)

- how are members appointed?  BOD?  Leaders?  Membership?  Actually, should 
the committee have an official membership?  The membership of a committee 
should be 'slow moving' i.e. committees should not have a 'revolving door' 
membership with a quick turnover.  How do we accomplish this?

- should non-contributing members be able to serve on committees? 
[incidentally, that would automatically make them contributing 
members...!!  I would say no, as I envision committees doing the more 
'important' work and to be a member you should have done some free software 
work already.  Off course, they can help with committee work, just not be a 
member.  That in turn would qualify them for contributing membership 

- what should the internal structure of the committee look like? how are 
decisions reached within a committee?  Voting?  Consensus?  Should there be 
a general specification for this, or should this be left up to the charter?  
[I'd say leave it up to the charter.  The membership committee and 
administrative committee should be a lot more reactive, and (for example) an 
Open Source committee or other more politically oriented committees should 
be more slow moving and stable.]

Nils Lohner                         Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
E-Mail: lohner at          PO Box 1326 
Board Of Directors <board at> Boston, Ma. 02117 USA

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