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From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
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 two governing councils: Management Council, Editorial Council, and three ancillary positions: Managing Editor, Constabulary, Ombudsman.
Following is a brief description of Citizendium's instruments of governance.
The Management Council
The Management Council is responsible for the technical, legal, financial and behavioral aspects of Citizendium. The charter provides specific details of these responsibilities and outlines how the Management Council should manage them. The Management Council issues rules in its areas of responsibility through motions passed and noted on its Passed Motions page. The Management Council conducts its deliberations on several fora, including its Public Council Discussions board and its Community Input board. The Management Council also conducts some of its business on private boards when that is necessary to protect sensitive information.
The Management Council authorizes subsidiary teams to implement its policies and ensure the wiki and other Citizendium computing assets operate properly.
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 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 Editorial Council
The Editorial Council is responsible for wiki content. As for the Management Council, the charter provides general guidance on its powers and responsibilities. The Editorial Council issues rules in its areas of responsibility through motions passed and noted on its Regulations Page.The Editorial Council conducts its business on the Editorial Council Wiki.
The Combined Councils, i.e. the Management and Editorial Councils, put forward a nominee for Ombudman, whose candidature is then put to community vote.
- 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.
- "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 Managing Editor
Candidates for Managing Editor must be Editors. Up to four community-nominees are selected by the Management Council, with the final choice made by vote of project members.
- 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;
- 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;
- to represent the Citizendium in its relations with external bodies, such as the mass media, and academic or non-academic institutions.
Regularly scheduled elections are held twice a year. Roughly half of the Management Council seats are vacated on July 1 of every year. An election in June selects citizens to fill these seats. Roughly half of the Editorial Council seats are vacated on January 1 of every year. An election in December of the previous year selects citizens to fill these seats. All open seats on both councils 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