[Community-Discuss] Raising concerns
alan.barrett at afrinic.net
Thu Jul 5 19:18:38 UTC 2018
I hope you are keeping well. I promised to answer the following questions within two weeks:
>> On 22 Jun 2018, at 12:45, Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com> wrote:
>> Since you asked me for succinct questions though - I will ask them straight
>> a.) What is the board doing about the fact that the organisation cannot - by the bylaws - elect directors - and without elected directors cannot get quorum to host another AGMM - which is a statutory requirement under Mauritian law
>> b.) Why is the average time taken to process an application in man hours sitting at 75 man hours per application through to the beginning of June this year
>> c.) Why are the travel costs for the organisation now sitting at the highest levels since 2014 - a 26% rise against a 10.7% rise in revenue
>> d.) Why did AFRINIC see the need to fly a total of 45 staff members to two member meetings - just 3 shy of the entire staff compliment - what is the benefit for the members of this - since the members are paying for it
>> e.) Why does the organisation refuse to bind itself to compliance with the Mauritian code of corporate governance
>> f.) What is the status update of the competitions tribunal enquiry
>> g.) Why is the IT department inside AFRINIC larger than the member services department that is meant to serve the core interests of AFRINIC - and based on average salaries is costing the membership base close to half a million dollars a year - and I point out - is larger than the IT team in a company that has 250 staff that I know of.
>> h.) Why did AFRINIC spent 40% of its HR budget in the last quarter of 2017
>> i.) When will we be getting a response to the outcome of the investigation promised to myself and the members of the NAP list as regards a particular sale of IP space
The Chair of the Board has already provided answers to questions a, e, and f. Here are my answers to the other questions.
b. Processing of Applications
Question: Why is the average time taken to process an application in man-hours sitting at 75 man-hours per application through to the beginning of June this year?
Answer: Answer: I think your estimate of the number of man hours is incorrect, for two reasons: The number of staff (hostmasters) who are dedicated full time to processing resource applications is 4, not 9; and you seem to have counted only the number of applications that eventually lead to an allocation or assignment, ignoring those with other outcomes. Other possible outcomes include: spam or invalid tickets being closed quickly; resource allocation requests being worked for some time before it is determined that the request is not compliant with policy, or being abandoned by the requester. We do not have detailed statistics on the average number of man hours worked per allocation request, but it’s certainly less than 75 man hours. We are working to improve our internal statistics. Resource evaluations often include the following time-consuming processes: getting the applicants to provide supporting documentation required to evaluate the resource requests, analysing network plans, checking usage information on whois, analysing historical usage statistics, checking routing announcements, validating the documents supplied.
c. Travel Costs at AFRINIC
Question: Why are the travel costs for the organisation now sitting at the highest levels since 2014 - a 26% rise against a 10.7% rise in revenue?
Answer: From 2014 to 2017, revenue increased by 37.4% (from $3,559,660 in 2014 to $4,892,621 in 2017) and travel expenses decreased by 0.8% (from $529,678 in 2014 to $525,446 in 2017). In 2014 travel costs accounted for 14.8% of total revenue while in 2017 travel costs accounted for 10.7% of total revenue. Some important kinds of travel include: running AFRINIC meetings; representing AFRINIC at meetings of other RIRs, ICANN, operator groups; giving talks at meetings; providing learning opportunities for staff. One of the Key Focus Areas of AFRINIC’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020 is Community Development and Engagement. Some of the strategic objectives in to achieve this is the implementation of effective outreach, capacity building, policy discussions and technical cooperation initiatives that will ensure AFRINIC staff, Board and Community Representatives represent the organization at selected events. You can see a list of 2017 travel in the report at <https://www.afrinic.net/images/doc/afrinic-finance-Update-q4-2017.pdf>.
d. Staff Travel to AFRINIC Meetings
Question: Why did AFRINIC see the need to fly a total of 45 staff members to two member meetings - just 3 shy of the entire staff compliment - what is the benefit for the members of this - since the members are paying for it?
Answer: During 2017, 27 staff traveled to the AIS-2017 meeting, and 18 to the smaller AFRINIC-27 meeting. Staff travel to AFRINIC meetings is critical to the success of the meetings. For most meetings we have staff from the CEO’s office for board and policy matters, Communications and PR who manage the event and meeting programme, Member Services who provide onsite support to members, Capacity Building for training and workshops, Research and Innovation for workshops and training, and lastly IT and Engineering for Network Set-Up. Sending even more staff would be beneficial to the success of the events, but we keep the numbers as low as feasible for cost reasons.
g. Staff Composition in AFRINIC’s Operational Departments
Question: Why is the IT department inside AFRINIC larger than the member services department that is meant to serve the core interests of AFRINIC - and based on average salaries is costing the membership base close to half a million dollars a year - and I point out - is larger than the IT team in a company that has 250 staff that I know of.
Answer: AFRINIC’s IT and Engineering department covers business functions beyond an average company's IT Team. It is divided into an Applications Unit, which develops and maintains software specific to our role as an RIR, and an infrastructure unit, which handles the office network and in-house IT support (things that a typical IT department would do), plus managing the network at meetings, managing AFRINIC’s public Internet services (web, WHOIS, RDAP, IRR, RPKI, NMRP), and additional services (DNS support programme, DNSSEC). Both the IT and Engineering department, and the Member Services department, work very hard to deliver the services that they do, and both have enough work to support an increase in size, but financial prudence requires us to keep staff numbers low.
h. HR Expenses in Q4 2017
Question: Why did AFRINIC spent 40% of its HR budget in the last quarter of 2017?
Answer: The AFRINIC Quarter 4 HR expenses was according to projections. It is a legal requirement in Mauritius for the annual pay to be divided into 13 parts, not 12; and two of the 13 parts are paid in December. We also paid a bonus to all staff. A portion of the HR budget was spent on training and team building activities in the 4th quarter. Finally, three new staff joined during the 4th quarter of 2017.
i. Investigations into alleged sale of IP Space
Question: When will we be getting a response to the outcome of the investigation promised to myself and the members of the NAP list as regards a particular sale of IP space?
Answer: I committed to conducting an investigation, and taking appropriate action. The investigation is ongoing, and I cannot comment in more detail. I did not commit to providing a response to you, and I have had no dealings with the members of the “NAP list” beyond the fact that you said you were forwarding messages from that list.
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