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UK Usenet Committee

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Charles Lindsey

Dec 24, 2022, 7:19:47 PM12/24/22

Archive-name: uk/committee
Posting-frequency: bi-monthly
Last-modified: Tue 2 Nov 16:37:47 GMT 2021
The procedures for coordinating newsgroup management within the UK hierarchy
are contained in three documents, of which this article contains the third.


The following Committee document was accepted on 07 Aug 95 by a vote
conducted on uk.net.news with 76 votes in favour and 23 votes against.
It was amended by further votes on 19 Apr 97, 10 Feb 98, 19 Apr 2000, 9
May 2001, 1 Oct 2001 5 Nov 2003, by fast-track on 7 Jan 2004, by vote
on 22 Mar 2004, by fast-track on 17 Nov 2007 and by fast-track on 3 Mar 2010.

The Committee elected in October 2021 comprises

Open members

Until Dec 2022
Molly Mockford
Charles Lindsey
Owen Dunn
Until Dec 2023
Mark Goodge
Fiona Gostling (aka 'Kat')
Mike Fleming
Until Dec 2024
Ian Clifton
Matthew Vernon
1 vacancy

The Committee as a whole may be reached by email to comm...@usenet.org.uk.
The Committee has appointed Matthew Vernon to act as Control with Charles
Lindsey as Deputy Control. Control may be reached at con...@usenet.org.uk.


The following words where used in this document have the precise
meanings shown here:

SHALL - any CFV which fails to follow this guideline will be invalid
SHOULD - in all but exceptional or unusual cases a CFV ought to follow
this guideline
MAY - whilst this guideline is acceptable practice, it remains optional

Terms Of Reference

The remit of the UK Usenet Committee is to provide leadership in policy
concerning the uk.* news hierarchy.

The committee is concerned with issues such as naming, voting and management
of the hierarchy.

It will monitor the naming of new groups to ensure they fit in with
an acceptable structure.

It will ensure that the rules for group creation are documented,
followed and applied.

It will appoint, and oversee the work of, the person to act as Control.


1) This position will be filled by two people to act as Control & Deputy
Control, with the Deputy filling in for Control when he/she is unable to
perform the role.

2) They will moderate the group uk.net.news.announce.

3) Acting under the name con...@usenet.org.uk, they will be the only
people entitled to issue valid 'newgroup', 'rmgroup' and 'checkgroups'
control messages for the uk.* hierarchy.

4) They will perform all other duties set out in the companion document

5) They will be ex officio members of the Committee. They will not have
voting rights unless they also happen to be Elected or Appointed
members of the Committee.


There shall be two classes of member of the Committee.

1) Open Members

An Open Member is any person who is a reader of uk.* articles. There
shall be 9 Open Members.

At each annual Committee Election, all open members who have served a full
3 year term shall retire from the Committee. If at this point there are
fewer than three vacant seats then the longest serving member(s) will
retire (ties to be broken by lot) as needed to create three vacant seats.
Retiring members shall be eligible for re-election.

For the purpose of this document, the term of service of an Open Member is
counted from the most recent date they were elected or co-opted; for
elected members this is the date of becoming a full member, not a
Committee-Elect member.

2) Appointed Members

The Committee shall include, as Appointed Members, up to 4
people who are involved in the provision of Usenet infrastructure
in the UK. Each Appointed Member shall be a person who plays a
technical or managerial role in propagating Usenet through the UK,
or in providing it to end users, or represents a company or
organisation, or an association which includes such companies or
organisations, that provides such services.

Appointed Members are appointed by the Committee as individuals
and not as nominees. As such, they do not lose eligibility simply
because they have changed employer. However, they shall resign if for
any reason they are no longer eligible for membership in this class
(unless the break in eligibility is clearly temporary). Where they were
appointed as a representative of a company or organisation, that
company or organisation can withdraw their support (making the person
no longer eligible on the basis of that representation) but are not
automatically entitled to nominate a replacement.

The term of service of an Appointed Member shall be indefinite.
Each year during January the elected members of the Committee shall
consider the current Appointed Members and may confirm their
appointment for another year. If the appointment of an Appointed
Member is not confirmed, their term shall end on the 31st January of
that year. Former Appointed Members, provided they are otherwise
eligible - are eligible for co-option at any future time.

Co-opting Committee Members

The Committee has the authority to co-opt members if a vacancy exists on
the Committee (either through retirement or resignation from the Committee,
Votes of No Confidence in the Committee, positions not filled at the annual
election, or any other cause).

The Committee should place an announcement of "Intention to Co-Opt"
within uk.net.news.announce, uk.net.news.config & uk.net.news.management
with a 7 day notice period detailing the person(s) to be co-opted and
the reasons for the co-opting.

The person can be co-opted after the 7 day notice period unless Control
receives 10 valid objections, or any objection which seems to the
Committee to be well founded.

The committee has the authority to co-opt members for all classes.

A co-opted Open member shall retire from the Committee at the next election
after their co-option. The Committee SHALL NOT issue an "Intention to Co-Opt"
notice for the Open class from the date that the call for nominations for the
election is issued until the newly elected members have taken their places as
Committee-Elect members.

When the Committee decide not to confirm the appointment of an Appointed
Member, and if they have selected a replacement, the Committee SHOULD issue
an "Intention to Co-Opt" as soon as possible. In this case, the resulting
co-option takes effect on the 1st February if that is later than the end
of the 7 day notice period, and the notice of intention SHALL state this.


1) Each year during September, Control shall post (on behalf of the votetaking
organisation) to uk.net.news.announce a call for nominations for the Open
class of members. Nominations shall remain open for three weeks, and each
candidate must receive 4 nominations; each nominator may nominate at most
as many candidates in each class as there are places within that class in
the election.

2) If the number of persons nominated exceeds the number of vacancies the
votetaking organisation shall be responsible for conducting an independent
vote in accordance with the companion document VOTING PROCEDURES WITHIN THE
UK HIERARCHY, insofar as they are applicable. Voting shall take place
during October. The CFV shall be posted on uk.net.news.announce,
uk.net.news.management, uk.net.news.config, and to the uk-netnews-managers
mailing list.

The elected committee members should take their places on the Committee
as Committee-Elect members once the period for objections has expired
(and any objections have been ruled on by the Committee) following the
publication of the Results. From the 1st January in the year following
the election the retiring members of the Committee should relinquish
their positions and the Committee-Elect members should become full
Committee members.

3) Each candidate shall be entitled to have a statement of no more than 1
kilobyte included within the CFV.

4) If there are more than two candidates for a position, the Single
Transferable Vote system shall be used (see "How to conduct an election
by the Single Transferable Vote" obtainable from the Electoral Reform
Society). The requirements for the size of the majority as contained in
the VOTING PROCEDURES do not apply.

Where the Electoral Reform Society's rules call for a quota or the value
of a vote to be truncated to two decimal places, it shall be acceptable
to retain them as real numbers. Any algorithm which gives the same result
as those rules may be employed.

5) The results shall be published in such a manner that it may be seen who
voted, but only individual voters will be able to recognise and confirm
their own votes.

Motions of No Confidence

A Motion of No Confidence in the Committee may be proposed by any 9
identifiable individuals, who shall submit it to the votetaking organisation,
together with a Rationale of no more than 800 words. The rationale shall
include a statement of the actions they expect to ensue should the motion be

The votetaking organisation shall invite the Committee to submit a Response of
no more than 800 words, which they must do within 7 days. When they are
satisfied of the identity of the proponents and that all other required
conditions have been met, the votetaking organisation shall prepare a CFV
containing the names of the proponents, their Rationale, the Committee's
Response, and a vote allowing a choice between "I have Confidence in the
Committee", "I have No Confidence in the Committee" and "I abstain from this
vote". The voting period shall be 18 days unless the votetaking organisation
finds exceptional reason to extend it. The votetaking organisation shall also
prepare an RFD containing the same material, specifying a discussion period of
exactly 10 days, which shall then be posted by Control to
uk.net.news.announce, uk.net.news.config and uk.net.news.management only, with
followups set to uk.net.news.management where all discussion will take place.
The CFV shall be posted as soon as possible after the 10 days are up (with a
2nd CFV at the usual time).

The vote shall then proceed in accordance with VOTING PROCEDURES WITHIN THE UK
HIERARCHY, except that a simple majority shall suffice to determine the
result, that the results shall be published in the same format as the results
of committee elections, and that all appeals and objections shall be decided
by the votetaking organisation.

A motion of no confidence may not be proposed once the annual call for
committee nominations has been issued until one month after the newly-elected
members are fully installed, nor may it be proposed within three months of the
announcement of the result of any previous such motion.

A Motion of No Confidence in Control may be proposed using the same procedure.

Rule Changes

Any changes to these rules, or those in the companion documents, shall be
proposed in an RFD in accordance with the GUIDELINES FOR GROUP CREATION
WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY, insofar as they are applicable. RFDs for rule
changes shall be discussed in the newsgroup uk.net.news.management, and
this will be the definitive record of discussion.

If the change is trivial, or an obvious consensus has emerged, then the
"fast track" method may be invoked. However, if a petition to have a Vote
is received from 4 or more people, then the matter shall be decided by

Transition Arrangements

The initial Appointed Members shall be the Permanent Members as of the date
that this amendment takes effect. Until the end of January 2008 they shall
be deemed to be eligible to be Appointed Members irrespective of their actual

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