Minutes of October 2016 meeting

Minutes of meeting of the Board of directors of The Autscape Organisation

Meeting date: Saturday 22nd October 2016

Meeting time: 20.00

Meeting Chair: Kalen

Present: Debbie, Elaine, James, Joseph, Kalen, Larry, Martijn, Trish

Apologies: Jeremy

Observers: 1

Meeting opened: 20.00, closed 22.14

1. Approvals

1.1. Minutes of the July 2016 meeting posted on list on 9th August 
     -Deferred awaiting amendments

1.2. Minutes of the meeting held at Autscape on 15th August 2016.
     Deferred to list as not yet been made available to Board.

2. Ratifications

2.1. The decision taken on list on 23rd September to approve the 
     post Autscape survey and that it be sent to the booking list. (8 For)
     Ratified. (7 for, 1 abstention)

3. Proposals

3.1.a. The Company Treasurer proposed that the board agree in 
     principle to opening registration in Feb/March 2017

     -The Company Treasurer stated that she would if possible open earlier 
     but it is awaiting the new Autscape server and agreement on fees, as well 
     as closing down of this year's system and some agreements from Peter.

     Trish asked that participants be warned well in advance about the earlier 

     It was also suggested that it could be earlier every year but the Company 
     Treasurer said she preferred to try it out this year before a decision is 
     made but ideally she would like to aim for much earlier so we can allow 
     for three part payments.
     (8 for)

3.1.2 The Company Treasurer proposed that we allow split payments 
     from all delegates who book by the start of April (exact date to be 
     determined later) regardless of which fee band they choose provided the 
     booking fee is over £100 
     (7 for, 1 abstention)

3.1.3 The Company Treasurer proposed that the board delegate 
     authority to the Treasurer to accept smaller payments and determine 
     individual payment plans for a small number of individuals who might 
     otherwise be unable to attend or have exceptional circumstances at their 
     The Company Treasurer estimated that at least 50% of bookings will take 
     the two payment option resulting in almost double the number of payments 
     of 2016. How much we can support will depend on how well the bookkeeping 
     team operates. Travel payments will probably be separate as people are 
     unlikely to know travel plans this early.  
     (7 for, 1 abstention)

3.2. The chair proposed that people who are elected to roles remain 
     in that role until their term of office expires.

     -There was a short discussion whether this was sensible given that 
     there was a possibility of changes to governance and organisation roles. 
     There was also comments regarding the importance of continuity and that 
     vice roles should be considered as important as the main roles. It was 
     also mentioned that we will need to look at how we can assess satisfactory 
     performance for any role.

     In connection with this, Larry offered to look at the constitution and 
     suggest modifications to bring it up to date. Changes will need to be 
     approved at an AGM, but it will be a lot of work beforehand, so should be 
     started soon.

     The proposal was rewritten as:

3.2.1 The chair proposed that the roles of chair and vice chair 
     are elected annually, regardless of any general rule about the 
     re-appointment of roles.
     (4 for, 4 against; approved with the casting vote from the chair)

3.2. The chair proposed that, with the exception of chair and vice 
     chair, people who are elected to roles by the board remain in that role 
     until further notice, subject to satisfactory performance.
     (8 for)

4. Follow Ups

4.1. Web systems/Tech (Elaine)
     Deferred to the list

4.2. Recording of votes in the minutes
     Deferred to the list

4.3. List policy
     Deferred to the list

5. Role Reports

5.1. Chair (Kalen)
     The Chair reported that whilst the earlier close of registration will 
     necessitate working fast, the good news is we have now got started by holding 
     our first meeting since Autscape.

5.2. Company/Honorary Secretary (Elaine)
     The Company Secretary reported that we have further work to do in deciding 
     whether to split governance and organisation. She would also present some 
     policies to the Board soon following their review. The Annual Report was also 
     in progress with completion intended before Christmas. Finalising of some 
     minutes from previous minutes is still outstanding.

5.3. Company Treasurer (Debbie)
     The Company Treasurer reported that Peter had drafted the second accounts 
     draft. This needs board members to look at it and comment. The first draft 
     went to the book keepers for comment. She has also put in a proposal to the 
     list about paying Jump networks for the second host. Peter is keen that we 
     decide on this at the meeting. She is also currently working on the 2017 
     fees. The Company Treasurer also requested that the bookkeepers report should 
     be obtained and listed under treasurer in subsequent agendas.

5.4. Programme co-ordinator (Kalen)
     The Programme Co-ordinator reported that the conference went well and ran 
     more smoothly than last year. A full report about the programme is still to 
     be produced. We now need to address the theme and CfP for 2017.

5.5. Venue co-ordinator (Elaine)
     The Venue Co-ordinator reported that we had a few problems with the venue 
     this year, including rooms lacking beds when we arrived. Most complaints were 
     about noise due to the age of the building. Catering was well received and we 
     were able to use the venue more effectively due to our prior knowledge of it. 

5.6. Fundraising co-ordinator (Jeremy)
     No report received

5.7. Chair of Publications (David)
     No report received

5.8. Registrar (Debbie)
     The Registrar reported that due to personal work commitments she was unable 
     to provide a full report until next month. She also needed to see the 2017 
     venue bedrooms.

5.9. On-site team coordinator (Kalen)

     The On-site team Co-ordinator reported that there was some confusion over 
     whether there was an on-site team coordinator and if so, who. Regardless, the 
     new trial structure worked well. We were organised and on top of things and 
     those who do a lot of work who usually feel somewhat put-upon were happier. 
     Communication and meetings will need some work but she recommends continuing 
     with something similar in future. A full report will be produced.

5.10 Bookkeepers (Trish/Jeremy)
     Trish reported that there was an initial rush of payments after Autscape 
     which has subsided now. They had also been catching up on outstanding items 
     from previous years.

5.11 Tech report (Martijn)
     Martijn reported that Peter has been working alone on the migration to the 
     new Autscape web system. Martijn's next aim is to familiarise himself with 
     the new system. It will require rebuilding from scratch but is predicted to 
     be ready to go live in a month. Martijn expressed his appreciation as Peter 
     is putting in a lot of extra hours to ensure completion on time. Martijn has 
     kept on top of security patches to keep the old system up to date even during 
     his break from the Board and has now resumed updating the website. He will 
     soon switch to a clean new 2017 year and post the group photos under 2016 
     with a link in News on the main page.

6. AOB

6.1 Jump Network Changes
     The tech team proposed that we spend £350 to cover the web server for the 
     next year, including some overlap during which we have two servers because we 
     are migrating to a new one that will be lower maintenance.

     The Company Treasurer explained that we need to make the following changes 
     to our contract with Jump Networks who host our website.

     A. Start to pay the monthly cost for the second virtual host. We are not 
     obliged to start this now but  when they gave us the resource for free they 
     implicitly assumed we’d only be using it for a limited time period. We’ve 
     gone well beyond the expected free time period.

     B. When our current virtual host’s current payment year is up (around 
     1.Change to monthly payments - extra work for bookkeepers but a saving for us 
     as we only lose a month (approx £25-30) at the end
     2. Start the new one on an annual plan (with some pro-rata calculation to 
     avoid paying for it twice at the one time from A.)

     (7 for, 1 abstention)

6.2 The Chair proposed that while all roles should be re-elected 
     this year for the new rules to apply, that all current postholders continue 
     until or unless they are replaced by election or appointment by the board.
     (8 for)

1.1 Amendments to July minutes. (Elaine)
1.2 August minutes to be posted to list (Elaine).
3.2.1 - Larry to review constitution.
4.2 (votes) and 4.3 (chat list) to be raised on list