Board Response to EGM Proposal
The board formally note the EGM proposal but have yet to receive formal written notice of a request from 5% of the membership however the proposal does raise valid points and we wanted to address these as soon as possible.
The board regularly discusses how we communicate decisions to members and currently do so via regular updates on telegram and the forum (Example include Important Update on the Space, An Update from the Board - Following this month's Board Meeting, Board Development - Proposed Changes to Structure
We also held a number of Q & A Sessions over the lockdown period for any questions relating to the space and these Q & A sessions is something that we want to continue with one at least every quarter.
We have also been very open about the fact if you have any questions to email us, We will never withhold any information that a member requests regarding the running of the space unless it is information that we cannot disclose for a legal reason (including GDPR) and any requests should be made via email.
We also provide a quick summary of the board activities at members meetings but will look at how we formalise these summaries to provide a more standard update at each meeting (regardless of the board member in attendance)
We note that board meeting minutes haven’t been uploaded to github as regularly as they should be (this has been resolved) and this is something we will strive to improve happening though should be noted that we don’t see Github as the best solution for this as not ever member uses it or wishes to use it. We will look at how else we publish board minutes including on the forum and how we make better use of the Board board at the space.
We welcome any other suggestions from the membership on how to improve transparency in regards to board activities etc
Sub-committees are still in their infancy of creation for the space, we remain committed to them and would like to see them operational as soon as possible.
The majority of the committees are still waiting on formal membership approval from the board but hasn’t yet been done due to the low number of people actively wanting to be part of these sub committees. The board noted at our board meeting in February to increase the membership drive for these but that was put on hold due to the closure of the space.
Members of each subcommittee will be listed on the team page of the members area alongside noted on the notice boards in the space.
Sub-commmitees have the autonomy to act on their own without the approval of the board for various decisions as set out in the terms of reference for each subcommittee which can be found on the forum at https://list.hacman.org.uk/uploads/default/original/1X/20cb4d7734cf96d6721406b5a55629ac4abcf06c.pdf and in fact the reason for setting up sub-committees was so that their was more authority and decision making by active members and this is something the board wishes to happen.
Each subcommittee is required to submit a report to members meetings and the board detailing their activities including any expenditure request and these reports will be published on GitHub & the forum.
We ask that anyone wishing to be on a subcommittee formally notifies the board via email so these applications can be acted on.
We also attempted previously (Nov 2018) to formalise the role of the Members meetings within the space by formalising a chair and secretary postion for these meetings (by doing which provided an oversight and organising roles which could formally feed into the board decision making structure however there was no enthusiasm from anyone to take on these roles and as such the members meetings have remained quite informal.
Board members for subcommittees
The Finance Sub-Committee (FSC); - Grayson / BunnyGirl
The Membership Sub-Committee (MSC); Ross
The Health & Safety Sub-Committee (HSSC); Bunny Girl / Mike
The Infrastructure Sub-Committee (ISC); Ross / Ben
The Outreach Sub-Committee (OSC). Grayson / Mike / Ross
Infrastructure and Space Access
Our key systems (main website, membership system, moodle, helpdesk etc) are run via our own server hosted by hetzner. Direct access to this server via ssh is restricted to a small number of people for security purposes. Access to the various systems is set on a per user basis and is based on the access needs of that member (Eg a trainer will have instructor level on moodle for editing courses). Access to systems are granted based on membership of a subcommittee or team where required or by formally requesting it if an appropriate use case is demonstrated via (currently the board but will be delegated to the infrastructure) sub committee
Fobs & Keys
There is no such thing as a super user fob, the zerocool fob is a standard fob against our membership system for the Zerocool user, the fob doesn’t provide any additional access to that of a member fob) only one of these is operational and that was provided to Adam for use when sorting the electrics.
A Fob has also been issued to northern group as per the terms of our lease. This is mainly used by them to gather meter readings for billing purposes.
There is currently 5 sets of keys in operation 2 sets of these are for the black fire door and are held by Rossy & Mike, there are 3 keys to the main outside door which are currently held by Ben, Rossy and Conor (this was transferred from Greg to Conor (with board approval) prior to lockdown due to Greg leaving the area. A list of key holders are kept on a google doc by the board.
We currently have 150 fobs issued to active members (members who pay a monthly membership fee) (including the Fobs issued to Northern Group and Adam)
The board are happy to provide a regular update on the number of fobs in circulation etc at each members meeting as part of the wider update from the board. (this may be delegated to the infrastructure sub committee if seen more appropriate)
The board note that there could be a clearer published overview of the space finances available for members at a regular basis and see this as one of the key functions of the Finance Sub Committee to better improve transparency and provide reporting to the members and to the board. This sub committee is the only one we have approved membership for (though requires 1 additional member to become operational) and getting this subcommittee running will be a key priority for the board members delegated to this committee to get it operational and provide the necessary updates and overview. Until then the Board will publish a finance summary for every members meeting.
The board agree that their isn’t any currently detailed handbook/induction for board members (terms of reference etc) which is bad governance practice. A lot of information does remain in the heads of current and past board members and the board understands the need to preserve this information in a better way.
Minimum commitment for board members – The current minimum commitment for board members is to be available to attend a board meeting (normally once every 2 months) and outside of that there isn’t a current commitment for any board member to be active outside of that.
The board will look at implementing a Governance review and will discuss this in detail at our board meeting in August. A Governance Review will look at all aspects of the way the board works including succession planning, minimum commitments and requirement of board members, board inductions, skill audits, processes and policies and the formal governance arrangements including election processes, constitution changes and structures and all members will have the opportunity to input into this review alongwith seeing the results of it.
Tracking of issues – the board agree that an issue tracker is a good way to prevent tasks being forgotten about etc and propose that a space wide trello style board will be implemented that covers non sensitive board tasks alongside the tasks of each subcommittee and general space tasks that can be carried out by any member.
Improvement to policies/processes – The board will happily consider any improvement to a policy or process to any aspect of the space or the running of the space and will delegate this as necessary to the subcommittee or team responsible for that area of the space operation or where the change is wide enough will consult with the membership at a members meeting or via the forum etc.
The board note the proposal to amend the constitution to include (the current practice) election process and agree that this change should be implemented. The board may do this by calling an ordinary meeting with 14 days notice and will look at doing this however before this happens we want to have an open dialogue around any other constitution changes including amending the number of board places or adding back in the requirement to have AGMs as part of the governance review and we plan to use the member’s meeting in August to start this conversation in detail and take these forward in time to implement them for the next round of elections later this year.