Incident i20160410.1

History Log

1. Incident Response Team

2. Incident Description

A former member of CAcert Inc. claimed, that there might have been Association rule violations on the 2016-04-09 SGM. The claimed violations are:

  1. Member Christian R. voted notwithstanding outstanding membership fees
  2. While voting for board member PiersLauder, a vote was counted by a person named katzazi

  3. Board members KevinDawson, BenjaminBall, MatthiasSubik have been elected in absences without prior consultation for candidature

  4. None of the elected board members declared to accept the election
  5. Abstains have not been accounted correctly

The member also claimed that there might have been association rule violation on the 2016-04-10 SGM as follows:

  1. Technical problems occurred with Votebot
  2. There was no identification of those entitled to vote
  3. The proxies have not been determined correctly
  4. Procedural errors claimed by member Werner D. have not been covered
  5. Several topics which were seconded were not voted on, even though they were confirmed as needing discussion.

On 2016-04-12, I received the same claims by a current member.

3. Containment Actions

No containment actions necessary; the action does not void the integrity, availability or confidentiality of CAcert's core assets or its operations.

4. Root Causes

The claims filed as incident to the internal Arbitrator are not such by the definition An incident is an event that could lead to loss of, or disruption to CAcert's operations, services or functions. If not handled it can escalate into an emergency, crisis or a disaster. There is neither a possible escalation into an emergency, crisis or disaster, nor an event causing loss or disruption. Nevertheless, the questions here might be relevant to an audit over the SGMs held on 2016-04-09 and 2016-04-10 and treated as such.

1. SGM 2016-04-09

  1. Christian R. did not pay his membership fee till the SGM started. Based on Rule 9, he needs to pay his membership fee until 1. July unless he joins the association after 1. July and therefore need to pay immediately latest on the day of the SGM. Since the SGM was held before 1. July, Christian R.'s votes need to be counted by our rules since he is not in payment delay.
  2. Eva S. is usually using the nickname 'katzazi'. However, nick names are not protected in CAcert's IRC; no matter what name is used. User 'katzazi' joined the vote channel on 15:00 while user Eva S. dropped out at 15:01 (Ping Time out after 180 seconds). Etienne R. hand voting rights to katzazi just before Eva S.'s nick left the channel. She would have had the chance to rename the nick name and therefore identify herself as Eva S. before the vote closed on 15:02. Taking 'katzazi' as unidentified and therefore not entitled to vote, her and the votes of her four proxy givers need to be subtracted from the result. The final result for the vote "Piers Lauders to the committee of CAcert Inc." would be: AYE: 23; NAYE: 0; ABSTAIN: 12. This would not change the result. As no one else voted for her proxy giver, no additional votes are count. Also not more than seven members reached the needed count for being elected as board member, the lowering would not affect Piers' election.
  3. Benny B. pointed out on 14:43 that all nominated board members should agree on their nomination. Piers L. (14:45) and Ian Alastair R. (14:51) accepted their nominations, Philipp D. (14:51) and Eva S. (14:52) declined , Eva S. claimed Matthias S. gave her an agreement beforehand. Based on the rules of the association, there is no need to accept the nomination.
  4. None of the newly elected board members declared to accept the election as board member. Based on the rules of the association, there is no need to accept the election.
  5. Votes during an SGM are conducted under the Rules of the Association based on the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 No 7; everything not elaborated in the association rules falls back to the association incorporation act, also voting. Rule 38 (1) a) (Voting generally) reads that an ordinary resolution passes, "if it is supported by more than half of the votes cast by members of the association". In other words, an ordinary resolution passes if count(AYE) / (count(AYE) + count(NAYE) + count(ABSTAIN)) >= 0.5.

15:17 <@PhilippDunkel> Abstains do not count
15:17 < IanGrigg> No, we are only counting the AYE votes.

Philipp D.'s and Ian G.'s statement made at the SGM must be treat as wrong. This directly affects the following ballots:

This would lead to the following conclusion: Matthias S. is not elected as a member of the committee; the remaining position remains causal vacant until the members of the committee decide otherwise by rule 15 (4).

1. SGM 2016-04-10

  1. Votebot was not working (no ops in channel #vote to grant voice). Since Votebot is only a tool to reliably count votes. There are other methods - like manual counting.
  2. The formal preliminaries of an SGM as outlined in Agenda Point 1 have not been followed: No one identified those entitled to vote nor the proxy bearer have been identified. This is necessary due to Rule 28 to identify if a quorum is given. Furthermore, the chair of the meeting was not elected by the members present as required by Rule 29 (2).

  3. See point 2
  4. "11:29 < WernerDworak> By, the way, if I see it right, yesterday not all candidates did confirm their nomination and none of the board member did accept his election. Therefore I regard the present board not as valid" => see point 3. and 4. of SGM 2016-04-09

  5. Seconded have been
    1. Ballot for a chair (3 seconds) (see point 2)
    2. Nominate Dirk A. as chair (1 second) (see point 2)
    3. Werner D.'s remark (1 second) (see point 4)
    4. closure of meeting (5 seconds)
    For all of these with more than one second (Rule 31 (2)), a poll as of Rule 31 (3) should have been facilitated.

A personal word: since this is not the first time, that general meetings are not conducted based on the rules of the association. I urge the chairs of all upcoming general meetings and committee meetings to obey the rules given by the members of this associations.

5. Permanent Corrective Actions

  1. The members of the committee should validate the conclusion of finding 5. and apply rule 15 (4) as they wish or file a dispute to allow arbitration to clarify the validity of Matthias S.'s election.

6. Verify Corrective Actions

7. Preventive Actions


8. Approval & Closure


Date closed

Audit/Incidents/i20160410.1 (last edited 2016-05-09 19:19:42 by BenediktHeintel)