[Community-Discuss] Evaluating Performance of the Board

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Dec 28 20:05:26 UTC 2015

> On Dec 28, 2015, at 04:24 , Chevalier du Borg <virtual.borg at gmail.com> wrote:
> i have been thinking about this for a while:
> - board check and balance ceo. but who checks and balance the board?
> members only? or the community at large?

As in any organization, the check and balance for the board are:

1.	Legal (there are laws governing the fiduciary responsibilities of a board).
2.	Members (through the elective process)
3.	CEO (through communication with the membership/shareholders)
4.	Self-policing (the board may remove a mis-behaving member from its
	ranks through proper process)

In AfriNIC case, there is also some level of accountability to the community,
but the community is not empowered to apply any sort of forceful control
over the board. The members do have forceful power over the board in
that they can refuse to re-elect a board member. I don’t know if there is a
process in AfriNIC for membership or community to initiate the removal
of one or more board members prior to the expiration of their term.

> I also like to know, what are the thing used to measure whether a
> board being effective? should we clarifie this mesures so that its
> self-evidence to everyone when board is doing good job or not? (or
> should we just wait till we see big red warning light of oncoming
> failure?)

That’s very hard to do. If you ask 10 different people what the AfriNIC board
should have as their number 1 priority, you may well get as many as 12 different

The AFriNIC community (and membership) is quite diverse and has many differing
and often conflicting priorities. What one may view as the board doing a fantastic
job may in the eyes of another be considered a complete failure.

This is why we use elections. So that each person can evaluate board member
performance according to their own particular criteria and vote accordingly.

As I have said a few times in this thread, attempting to dictate the basis on which
others evaluate board candidates is unlikely to produce a useful result.

If you are asking for advice on how you should evaluate board member performance,
then I would suggest the following:

1.	Consider what you think should be the primary things AfriNIC focuses on.
2.	Look at the minutes of board meetings and voting record of board members.
3.	Compare the data from item 2 to your thoughts on item 1 and decide
	whether you feel that the actions in item 2 match the goals in item 1 or not.

> should we add that check and balance formally to responsabilite of governance
> committee? i belief good performance and good governance go hand in
> hand.

The devil is in the details here. We should not, IMHO, make the board accountable
to a committee that effectively serves at the pleasure of the board. That creates
a number of conflicts of interest around how the committee is selected, how
the committee performs its duties and how the committee can communicate
with the community and the membership.

The governance committee, IMHO, should be focused on issues of process and
procedure to ensure that the processes and procedures in place are serving the
community and provide adequate controls to ensure that the governance of
AfriNIC does not stray too far from the ideals of the community without the
community being able to apply necessary corrections.

> thoughts?

See above. ;-)


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