[Theforum] root access

Martin martin at members.evolt.org
Thu Apr 25 15:46:53 CDT 2002

On Thursday, April 25, 2002, at 03:36  am, Ron Dorman wrote:

> Martin wrote:
>> On Thursday, April 25, 2002, at 02:06  am, Ron Dorman wrote:
>>> I have never seen any organization (except very small ones) where the
>>> steering commitee (corp. officers, Dept heads, committee chairs) had
>>> root access to the systems the corp. owned (CIO usually does, monkey
>>> run
>>> rep/s).  The decision making group, steering group, very seldom has
>>> access beyond applications necessary to do their jobs.  We are unique
>>> in
>>> that most of us are more computer savy than average corporate leaders
>>> but I think we still need the balance, and seperation of powers to
>>> keep
>>> things on an even keel.
>> I think you're right, Ron, but bearing in mind that the people with
>> root access are accountable to the steering committee, whose
>> authority they invoke when they use their access.
> yep, that is part of the balance.  But not just the steering committe,
> accountable to all groups and members.  I think that is the key to this
> really working well.  We are all responsible/accountable to all the
> members of all areas of evolt.org.
> Yes, we need organization and we need to develop processes to support
> the operation and growth of evolt.org.  Yes, we need a steering body and
> groups to handle all the aspects of all areas of operating evolt.org,
> all accountable to each other, and all members of evolt.org.
> In other words, if the steering runs afoul, and the majority vote
> against the steering committee, the majority decision is to be the
> direction taken.

Of course - the steering group is accountable to the members and needs
to hold its confidence. But remember who makes up the steering group -
representatives from subcommittees. If you don't like how the steering
group operates, change your representative! If you find the steering
group constantly in conflict with your group, it's indicative that the
*organisation* disagrees with the direction your group would like to
take it.

IOW normal democracy, but with better oversight (because of
visibility of actions and small size) than national democracies we're
often used to seeing.

> I think this is what needs to be in place for all
> groups we are talking about and what we eventually put in place.  Any
> one group has to be accountable to all other groups and the entire
> membership of evolt.org.
> I think there have to be checks and balances in place to prevent any one
> individual, or group, from running the ship aground, either accidentally
> or . . . otherwise.

Yup. The 'accidentally' angle is covered because if you can't make
the Steering Group (which will consist of the combined input,
experience and intelligence of the organisation) see it your
way, your way is most probably wrong (and besides, for a
voluntary organisation, 75%+ of being right is getting others
to work with you - IOW no point in being 'right' if you break the
organisation in the process).
The 'otherwise' angle is covered by the Steering Committee being
the legitimate executive authority of evolt.org - if you (say) try to
change the ownership of the domain name to you personally,
the SC will be recognised by ICANN as being the legitimate
owner, and therefore will prevail. If we developed aeo as a
commercial piece of software (it's been suggested before),
who would have the right to license it out? The SC, on behalf
of evolt.org. If you're selling licenses to it, quick, who calls the
cops? The SC.

The SC provides oversight to *all* the sub-committees, and holds
*all* of evolt.org's authority to act (while the organisation retains
confidence in it), which it then delegates.

email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID:	0xA835CCCB
	martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail:	30 Shandon Place
   tel:	+44 (0)774 063 9985				Edinburgh,
   url:	http://www.easyweb.co.uk			Scotland

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