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CZ:Governance

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Citizendium is governed by rules set forth in its Charter. All Citizendium officials and councils derive their authority from this document, which specifies the powers granted to each. The Charter also provides general guidance on matters such as the conduct of appeals as well as the frequency and nature of Citizendium elections. Citizendium's basic governance structure is defined in Article 24 of the charter:

The Citizendium shall be devoted to transparent and fair governance with a minimum of bureaucracy. It shall have one governing council: the Citizendium Council, and three ancillary positions: Managing Editor, Constabulary, Ombudsman.

Following is a brief description of Citizendium's instruments of governance.

Contents

The Citizendium Council

The Citizendium Council is responsible for the content, technical, legal, financial and behavioral aspects of Citizendium. The Charter provides specific details of these responsibilities and outlines how the Citizendium Council should manage them. The Citizendium Council issues rules in its areas of responsibility through passed motions.

The Citizendium Council authorizes subsidiary teams to implement its policies and ensure the wiki and other Citizendium computing assets operate properly.

Constables

Constables (corporately identified as members of the Constabulary) maintain order in all online interactions between citizens occuring on Citizendium assets. They also manage the registration process and perform duties requiring sysop and bureaucrat permissions on the wiki. The Constables are somewhat unusual in that they are specifically established by the charter and some of their duties are set forth in Article 27, Article 33, Article 34, and Article 38.

Technical Staff

Technical staff are responsible for ensuring all Citizendium computing assets operate properly. They perform routine system administration functions, fix software bugs, sometimes engage in software development on Citizendium's computing applications, and maintain Citizendium's servers.

The Ombudsman

The Ombudsman has duties and responsibilities specified in Article 39 of the Charter. Specificially;

  1. The role of the Ombudsman is a) to offer guidance on existing policy and its interpretation to help resolve disputes b) to advise the Councils and c) settle disputes, including imposing interim solutions pending relevant policy decisions. Throughout, the Ombudsman's guidance is expected to be in accord with the established principles and policies of Citizendium, and particularly with the Charter. The Ombudsman is available to mediate any dispute.
  2. The Ombudsman mediates a dispute when requested by all involved parties or when requested by the Chief Constable. Agreements worked out through mediation shall be binding but may be appealed.
The Ombudsman is directly elected by the community. When the post is vacant, the role is performed by the Managing Editor.

The Managing Editor

The Managing Editor has duties and responsibilities specified in Article 36 of the charter. Specificially, the Managing Editor has the following duties;

  1. to ensure by means of executive decisions that the principles and policies of the Citizendium are effectively and coherently observed; such decisions shall be based on established policy where defined;
  2. to make interim decisions on behalf of the Editorial and Management Councils when established policy does not provide guidance; these decisions shall be overridden by the establishment of relevant policy;
  3. to represent the Citizendium in its relations with external bodies, such as the mass media, and academic or non-academic institutions.
Candidates for Managing Editor must be Editors. The post is directly elected by the community.

Elections

Elections are suspended until June 30, 2014, while the Citizendium Council is in its transitional phase; until then, vacant seats are filled by appointments of the Managing Editor

Regularly scheduled elections are held once a year. Roughly half of the Citizendium Council seats are vacated on July 1 of every year. An election in June selects Citizens to fill these seats. All open seats are filled in regularly scheduled elections. In addition, if one or more Council seats becomes vacant within (roughly) 90 days after a regularly scheduled election, a special election is executed to fill those seats.

The results of past Citizendium elections are noted on the Elections page.


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