[Community-Discuss] Gratitude

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Jun 1 07:00:42 UTC 2019

> On May 31, 2019, at 04:22 , Badru Ntege <badru.ntege at nftconsult.com> wrote:
> From what I see here 
> A collective and binding decision was made by board to release information at an appropriate time.  That decision would have been bidding to all board members as per procedure.

I see no such decision… Please point to it in the appropriate minutes.
> One or two members went ahead to release that information outside the board agreed process.  

?? The information had already been released to the general public by the courts. Why is there even a question of separate control of release of the information to the community by board members??
> Whether or not that information was already publicly available.   The intent of the members that released the information was in response to community asking for the board to release the information. 

This is a rather creative interpretation of the community request. The information had already been released. The community was asking the board to further distribute it to make it more easily available to the community so that the community didn’t all need to try and individually find it through the Mauritian court system.
> The proper way for that information to be released would have been through the approved board process.

The proper way would have been for the board to decide to release it immediately. The idea that the board feels there is an appropriate delay to releasing an already public document is what is truly appalling here.
> The members in question that released information did it in their capacity as board members and would have received that information under that capacity.

The members could just as easily have received it through other workings of the courts in Mauritius. You cannot say this for certain.
> Every action has consequences and as adults we make decisions having considered the consequences one would assume.

The action that should carry the most consequences here is the attempt to block the flow of already public information to the community by the board chair.
> I urge us all to be rational.  I somehow believe you all believe you are acting in the best interest of our organisations AfriNIC. 

You urge us to be rational, yet you appear to be supporting a position of pure absurdity. Namely the idea that a public document can be treated as confidential information.
> Lets give the people we elected the respect they deserve, advise them when they need the guidance and allow them to do the job.

When a person is elected to the board, we have placed our trust in them. We expect them to foster and facilitate good and timely communications of important data to the community. We do not expect them to be wasting time and effort trying to prevent public documents from being further disseminated to the community and we certainly do not expect them to be playing games trying to sanction or censor other board members from further communicating information which is already in the public domain regardless of how it came into their possession.

It is not disrespectful to a board member to constructively criticize such grossly incorrect actions when they make them. It would, however, be disrespectful to the community and the membership and the governance process to allow such actions to go completely unchallenged.

Since I have not seen the board confidentiality agreement, I cannot comment specifically on its contents. I will note, however, that the following construct is common (in some form or other) to virtually every NDA I have ever seen:

2. Exclusions from Confidential Information. Receiving Party's obligations under this Agreement do not extend to information that is: (a) publicly known at the time of disclosure or subsequently becomes publicly known through no fault of the Receiving Party; (b) discovered or created by the Receiving Party before disclosure by Disclosing Party; (c) learned by the Receiving Party through legitimate means other than from the Disclosing Party or Disclosing Party's representatives; or (d) is disclosed by Receiving Party with Disclosing Party's prior written approval.

If this construct is not present in the existing board agreement, it certainly should be added. It makes it very clear that information which is already public is not subject to the terms of the agreement.

> We cannot all be board members at the same time so we choose a few from the wide community to do that role.

Of course, but we then have the right to expect them to use reasonable judgment and act in the interests of the membership and the broader community. Wasting the entirety of a special meeting bickering about the confidentiality of public information is not reasonable judgment, not in the interests of the membership or the community, and not responsible use of company resources.
> Looking forward to hosting you all in beautiful Kampala for AIS19

See you there.


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