[Community-Discuss] Gratitude

Barry Macharia barry.macharia at me.com
Tue May 28 11:23:42 UTC 2019

I agree with you on this since the NDA has always been white elephant in the room 
let members have a look or say on it 

Barry macharia 

> On 28 May 2019, at 13:49, Frank Habicht <geier at geier.ne.tz> wrote:
> Dear AfriNIC board members,
> reference is made in below email, and also in several other discussion
> items regarding AfriNIC and its governance, to an NDA that board members
> are to adhere to.
> Can you share the document please?
> I'm convinced that people have seen it before they signed the NDA.
> Because they have to read it before they sign it.
> So the NDA is shared before coming into effect for any (new) board
> member. So I trust the NDA doesn't fall under the NDA, because it is
> information that people get before signing the NDA.
> If more good reasons to share it are required:
> For arguments' sake, let's assume someone wants to become a board
> member, through being a candidate and winning elections: would it not be
> fair to share before this process the document that this person would be
> required to sign when elected?
> In case this request does not work, I would ask any new board member of
> AfriNIC to share the NDA document on social media or public mailing list
> before signing it. Before they have to adhere to the NDA.
> It's just more transparency ;-)
> Thanks,
> Frank
> On 28/05/2019 09:13, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> Yes, I have to echo what Sander says here…
>> The topic title is intentionally inflammatory and misleading
>> (“Management violation of a contractual obligation”) as if management
>> has a contractual obligation to hide public documents from this community?
>> The document disclosed by Alan to the community was a matter of public
>> record. Anyone can obtain it directly from the courts in Mauritius
>> independently. There was no reason whatsoever for Alan to consider it
>> confidential and the fact that the board would even think such a thing
>> was possible, let alone desirable shows just how out of touch the
>> majority of the AfriNIC board is with their duties and obligations as a
>> board.
>> I wish to applaud Seun Ojedeji, Habib Youssef, Robert Ford, as the few
>> sane voices in the discussion advocating on behalf of AfriNIC members
>> and the community.
>> I wish to particularly call out Serge Ilunga and S. Moonesamy for their
>> particularly absurd idea that a CEO or a board member should or could be
>> enjoined from disclosing a PUBLIC DOCUMENT to members of the community.
>> There is no service to the board and no possibility whatsoever that the
>> document is confidential or contains any form of privileged information
>> since it is a matter of public record. How can these two board members
>> not see that this would be equivalent to faulting the CEO or other board
>> members for quoting from the front page of the New York Times about a
>> relevant article on the community-discuss list without first clearing it
>> with the boar. This is a circus staged purely for the point of abusing
>> the community trust and we should not stand for it.
>> Any member of the board who feels that there is any legitimacy in
>> opposing the disclosure of a published piece of public record of
>> interest to the community has no business being a board member. It’s
>> quite simply a flagrant violation of the trust of the community.
>> I also want to call attention to the following quote from Mr. Ousmane Ly
>> which is not only tautological in nature, but says absolutely nothing:
>>    "OL reiterated that it is important for the AfriNIC officials to
>>    respect the rules. If the CEO is found in fault, then a sanction may
>>    be imposed according to the rules. Board members should be
>>    responsible to the Board and AfriNIC as a whole and not to the group
>>    nominating him." 
>> Apparently he since the minutes state that he reiterated this
>> nonsensical statement, he felt compelled to make it more than once.
>> Robert Ford’s perfectly logical initial statement on this subject is,
>> however, somewhat tempered by his later absurd comment:
>>    "RF agreed that the CEO should have consulted the Chair. It was not
>>    clear what was the urgency that made the CEO not to await a Board
>>    approval. "
>> Perhaps the CEO didn’t so much seek board approval or even chair
>> approval as “advised the chair of his intent to publish” which would be
>> what I would have expected under the circumstances. There was perhaps no
>> urgency, per se, but there was also no reason to delay publication of a
>> document which was technically already published in other fora and
>> readily available to anyone who wished to obtain it from the courts of
>> Mauritius.
>> From the outside, looking in on this discussion, it appears to me that
>> some fraction of the board got all butt-hurt because they weren’t
>> allowed to control the timing and content of the release of information
>> to the community when there was no valid reason for them to do so. I
>> mean really, what possible harm comes from this disclosure? In reality,
>> CEO acted in the best interests of all parties… Community, Membership,
>> and Board in making a timely and up front direct honest and true
>> disclosure of the court documents to the community.
>> I have to ask what kind of shenanigans or subterfuge those board members
>> intended by delaying publication or altering the disclosure? Sunlight is
>> the best disinfectant and to me, the only questionable actions here are
>> the actions of the board members seeking to limit disclosure to the
>> community.
>> Any board member which would make such a statement as Mr. Vika Mpisane
>> did here:
>>    "The Board Chair needs to meet the CEO to make him aware of his
>>    responsibilities in detail towards the Board, and to appreciate that
>>    he is accountable to the Board and not to the community members.”
>> Demonstrates not only a lack of understanding of his position as a board
>> member, but so thorough a lack of understanding of how the
>> accountability of this organization should function that he has, IMHO,
>> no business sitting on the board until he can demonstrate that he has
>> been sufficiently retrained. The board and the CEO must be accountable
>> to the membership and the community. Yes, the CEO must be accountable to
>> the board in how he runs the organization, but that does not relieve him
>> of his accountability to the membership and the community.. The board is
>> kept accountable to the membership by virtue of the election process
>> (and by extension to the community as the membership is somewhat
>> representative of the community). The CEO is not so directly accountable
>> to the community in such a hard way, but should, nonetheless have a
>> sense of duty and obligation to work diligently on behalf of the members
>> and the community. Indeed, the board and the CEO should look to the
>> membership as the final authority in any dispute and the continuing
>> attempts by the board to limit disclosures to the community only foment
>> further distrust of the board by the community and the membership.
>> The board and CEO have equal responsibility to act as checks and
>> balances of each other with the membership as the final arbiter of any
>> dispute.
>> The true absurdity of this whole proceeding is well summarized by
>> Christian Bope in the following two sentences:
>>  *
>>    ●  the CEO should have consulted the Board with regards to the
>>    publication; if it was urgent the CEO should have consulted the Chair;
>>  *
>>    ●  the Management has a tendency to send too many documents to the
>>    Board; unless there is an urgent matter, all documents or decisions
>>    which require Board approval should be submitted for Board
>>    discussion at least 14 days prior scheduled Board meeting, 
>> So in one breath he complains that the CEO didn’t send the document to
>> the board for approval prior to publication and in the next breath he
>> complains that the CEO sends too many documents to the board.
>> Well, Mr. Bope, which is it? Do you want the CEO to have greater
>> autonomy and bother the board less, or do you want to micromanage every
>> aspect of the CEO’s actions?
>> How can a CEO possibly operate effectively when the guidance he receives
>> from the board is so thoroughly dysfunctional?
>> All of this just in topic 1. Now, let us consider topic 2…
>> Serge Ilunga claims that by disclosing a public document, Seun Ojedeji
>> somehow violated the board NDA… I haven’t read this specific NDA, but
>> never in my life have I ever been asked to or signed an NDA which
>> required me to keep confidential any documis otherwise published and/
>> made public by other independent means that were not a violation of an NDA.
>> In this case, Seun stands accused of distributing a document which was
>> well and truly public before the board received it. It would have been
>> impossible for him to violate any reasonable NDA by further disclosing
>> it and any claim that he did is so completely absurd that it makes me
>> thoroughly question Mr. Ilunga’s qualifications as a member of the board.
>> There is some reassurance that can be taken in that the board as a whole
>> at least realized that Mr. Ilunga’s accusation is baseless and wholly
>> without merit.
>> Indeed, the one and only legitimate item on the agenda was then deferred
>> to the next meeting followed  by, perhaps, the most absurd question and
>> most ridiculous answer in the entire set of minutes:
>>    “The Chair asked the Board whether there is a need to seek SM’s
>>    consent before the public release of the Court Rulings.”
>> Let me get this straight… The Chair felt compelled to ask the board
>> whether or not they needed the consent of a single board member (which I
>> see no particular reason to ask this particular board member and there
>> is no explanation in the minutes) prior to the public release of a
>> document which is ALREADY PUBLIC? How can the board possibly do anything
>> before the public release of a document which was, by definition,
>> publicly released at the time the board received it?
>> I would expect the only rational answer that could possibly come to that
>> question would be “Uh, that’s kind of absurd since the document is
>> already public.”
>> Nonetheless, the answer from this beloved board? Here you go:
>>    “After discussion, there was no agreement on whether to seek consent.”
>> That’s right, folks… A collective “Uh, we can’t agree.” Unfortunately,
>> in yet another triumph of board opaqueness, we aren’t treated to any
>> minutes of this discussion that would allow us to identify which board
>> members offered a correct answer vs. which ones were still clinging to
>> the absurd notion that the document was somehow not already public. To
>> make matters worse, the nature of the board NDA probably precludes each
>> board member from even disclosing his own view to the community.
>> So… I hereby encourage the board to take up the question of waiving the
>> NDA with respect to this question and ask that each board member
>> self-identify as to whether they believe that this public document is
>> somehow not yet publicly released.
>> Thanks for your attention and thanks, Sander for calling this to our
>> attention.
>> Owen
>>> On May 27, 2019, at 05:49 , Sander Steffann <sander at steffann.nl
>>> <mailto:sander at steffann.nl <mailto:sander at steffann.nl>>> wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> I was just reading the board minutes at
>>> https://www.afrinic.net/ast/pdf/2019-minutes/20190305-minutes.pdf and
>>> I am surprised at the level of micro-management that CEO Alan Barrett
>>> has to deal with. In those minutes both Alan and Seun Ojedeji seem to
>>> be reprimanded for being open and transparent to this community. The
>>> summary of those minutes show how the board has made it explicitly
>>> clear that the CEO is to have no responsibility anymore towards this
>>> community.
>>> Therefore I would like to explicitly and publicly express my gratitude
>>> to both Alan and Seun for their efforts to keep this community
>>> involved in Afrinic matters in an open and transparent way. I feel
>>> this is a strong requirement for keeping Afrinic respected and
>>> supported by both its members and its community.
>>> Sincerely,
>>> Sander
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