Govcom minutes 2017-11-09
Josie Fraser, Michael Maggs, Carol Campbell, Kate West, Lucy Crompton-Reid, Katie Crampton
|Create a Role Description and Person Specification for the combined role of Treasurer and ARC Chair
|Check the articles for Life Membership in time for the board meeting
|Put Lucy in touch with E-voting company, with the aim of having a recommendation on online voting by the March board meeting
|Look for venue for AGM 2018
|Send information regarding board evaluation to Josie, including skills matrix and all the recommendations from last year
|Support the board evaluation process including collating and synthesising feedback and writing a summary report
|Lucy and Katie
Declarations of interest relating to matters on the agenda
Minutes of last Govcom meeting
The minutes of the meeting of 31st August were approved.
Carol has had an initial discussion with Alastair McCapra regarding his role on ARC and the possibility of him becoming an observer, rather than full member (with the appointment of Susan Williams). The option of life membership needs to be put to the next board meeting. There was an outstanding action point for Kate to research online voting costs, however it was agreed that she would introduce Lucy to her contact directly to take forward. Michael to send the skills matrix and board evaluation materials to Josie.
Josie requested that a rolling Action Log be created as part of the minutes for the meeting.
Board officer roles/succession planning
Succession planning for board finance roles remains a key issue as we will potentially have both Carol and Greyham stepping down at the same time. The option of bringing together the role of Treasurer and Chair was discussed, and it was agreed that this was now a possibility given the organisation’s current high level of financial reporting and management. Greyham has to step down by February 2019 but has indicated his intention of doing so around the time of the next AGM. Action for Lucy to create a Role Description and Person Specification for the combined role of Treasurer and ARC Chair, in time for the board meeting. Action for Lucy and Katie to support the board evaluation.
Need to discuss voting, increasing membership, levels of membership, including life membership.
It was agreed that an ambitious target for increasing membership numbers by the time of the 2018 AGM would be 1000. 2017 AGM received 57 valid votes, and so would need to increase turnout to ensure the meeting was quorate. However over 20 invalid proxy votes were submitted, which suggest a need to give more time between sending the papers out and the voting deadline. Entryism remains a risk, although there are a number of mitigating factors including the current situation where most proxy voters ask the Chair to vote on their behalf.
Levels of Membership
Lucy clarified that we are intending to have just two levels of membership, annual and life, but that these will all be considered the same membership ‘class’. GovCom will recommend to the board that they agree to the creation of a Life Membership, with this being given either as an l award (Honorary Life Membership), or for a fee of £100. Action for Michael to check the articles for this in time for the board meeting.
Action for Kate to put Lucy in touch with E-voting company, with the aim of having a recommendation on online voting by the March board meeting.
With the need for a higher turnout at the next AGM given the ambitious targets for membership, it was suggested that we could get a keynote speaker, with possibilities including Jimmy Wales and Tim Berners-Lee. A panel debate between guest speakers could be another model. Lucy will present suggestions for speakers to the board and invite their input. It was agreed that the location for the July 2018 AGM will be London due to the high member count in London (with Brighton and Bristol the next biggest cities in terms of membership numbers but both of them only having nine members). Suggestions of venues include Newspeak House, Senate House Library, The British Library, the Wellcome Library, Holy Trinity Swiss Cottage, with Katie looking at other possible venues.
The conversation about the AGM led to a broader discussion about the possibility of launching a series of partnership events in future. These could cover a wide range of subjects and sectors including the open source community, and could be promoted to donors and other stakeholders as well as members. It was agreed that a resolution would be made at the next AGM to reduce quorom from 10% to 5% of voting members.
Michael agreed he would send information regarding board evaluation to Josie, including all the recommendations from last year. Lucy and Katie will support the board evaluation process including collating and synthesising feedback and writing a summary report.
Date of next meeting
Thursday 8th February 2018