BiCon 2018 Decision Making Plenary

BiCon Decision Making Plenary (DMP) – 2018

Sorry I can't make internal hyperlinks but this page contains:

  • Agenda



  • Natalya's Guideline change proposals

  • Change to two-year rule for changing guidelines
  • Section B: Change "persons with disabilities" to "disabled people"
  • Add sentence about Continuity
  • Section C: Integrate Continuity into this section and change outdated content
  • Section D: Integrate Continuity into this section and change outdated content



  • Symon's Guideline change proposals

  • Inserting new B19 about BiCon working in partnership with other organisations

2018 BiCon Decision-Making Plenary Agenda

3 August 2018, 2:15pm, Red Lecture Theatre 3.

1. Welcome & Introduction

(a) Attendance

2. Previous Minutes

https://bicon.org.uk/for-attendees/dmp-minutes/minutes-from-the-bicon-decision-making-meeting-2017/

3. BiCon Continuity Update

4. Funding BiCon — Rowan

5. Guideline Changes — Natalya

(a) 2-year rule to 75% majority or 2 years
(b) Changing wording to "disabled people"
(c) Adding BiCon Continuity Ltd

6. Guideline Change — Symon

(a) Partnerships with external bodies

7. Future BiCons

(a) BiCon 2020 — Rachel
(b) BiCon 2019 — Claire

8. Any Other Business

Current Guidelines: https://bicon.org.uk/for-organisers/guidelines/

Guideline Changes

Natalya's Guidelines Proposals

2 year rule

Current wording for guideline changes

"Changes to these guidelines should be passed by simple majority by two successive BiCons.

New proposed wording for guideline changes

"Changes to these guidelines should be passed by a BiCon plenary. Where any change passes by less than a 75% majority, it should be returned to the next year's BiCon plenary for a second vote. On that second vote it needs a further simple majority to be successful."

Reasoning for guideline changes

The two year rule was bought in before BiCons routinely had a pre-decision making plenary session to discuss and refine proposals and a separate decision making plenary.

This change provides safeguards against a "topical issue" causing inappropriate, overly-rapid, hot-headed or sabotage style changes to the guidelines while still allowing simple and non controversial changes such as updating smoking issues to reflect the law to pass unhindered.

This change itself will require two Decision Making Plenaries to vote on it.

Minor update to Section B

Current wording for Section B.10 (Disability)

"BiCon should be accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities, including those with invisible impairments. BiCon literature published before the event (including the website) should give a clear description of the accessibility of the site being used, details of adjustments BiCon can make on request, as well as details of how someone can contact BiCon with specific accessibility requests. Accommodation should be provided which is suitable for people with mobility or sensory impairments. BiCon literature should also be made available in alternative formats on request. In planning the programme, consideration should be given to the need for adequate breaks between sessions. The Equalities Fund [see B15] is available to fund additional costs of attending BiCon that may be incurred by people with disabilities (e.g. carer's costs) and this should be publicised appropriately."

Proposed wording for Section B.10

"BiCon should be accessible and inclusive for disabled people, including those with invisible impairments. BiCon literature published before the event (including the website) should give a clear description of the accessibility of the site being used, details of adjustments BiCon can make on request, as well as details of how someone can contact BiCon with specific accessibility requests. Accommodation should be provided which is suitable for people with mobility or sensory impairments. BiCon literature should also be made available in alternative formats on request. In planning the programme, consideration should be given to the need for adequate breaks between sessions. The Equalities Fund [see B15] is available to fund additional costs of attending BiCon that may be incurred by disabled people (e.g. carer's costs) and this should be publicised appropriately."

Reasoning for change to B.10

We made a mistake in the 2012 drafting, "people with disabilities" wording makes us looks politically and practically less competent and aware of disability issues than we actually are. This is just an update/correction to the best current wording which will more accurately match our political and practical position.

Addition

Somewhere at the top I want to add "BiCon Continuity Ltd "Continuity" is the charitable company created between 2011 and 2014, more information is on their website at https://biconcontinuity.org.uk/about/"

Updating Section C


I propose to amend C.1 and split C.2 into a new C.2 and C.3 to differentiate the topics.

Current wording for C.1

"BiCon should produce detailed accounts within three months after the event. These should be published and be made readily available to interested parties. [7]"

Proposed wording for C.1

"BiCon should produce detailed accounts within three months of the final venue bill being paid. These should be sent to Continuity to be published and be made readily available to interested parties. [7]"

Reasoning

This is to reflect that sometimes venues take a long time to send an appropriate bill, so gives teams a fair timescale after that and that Continuity now exists, owns http://bicon.org.uk, and is hosting previous BiCons websites and any BiCon information.

Current wording for C.2

"If BiCon makes a surplus, this should be passed on to future BiCon organisers. If the surplus reaches a higher total than is needed to run the next BiCon it should be donated to other appropriate organisations. Decisions about donations should be made at a BiCon plenary. [8]"

Proposed wording for new C.2

"If BiCon makes a surplus after venue and other suppliers have been paid, this should be passed on to Continuity to be made available to future BiCon organisers. [8]"

Reasoning for new C.2.

This reflects current (over the last several years') practice of giving money to Continuity rather than directly to future organising teams.

This also ensures organisers are clear about what they need to do to enable them and Continuity to comply with legal charitable obligations around money that Continuity/BiCons have.

Proposed wording for new C.3

"If the surplus reaches a higher total than is needed to fund the next two BiCons, Continuity may allocate funds to bi+ activities in the UK in line with their charitable objects and recommendations of BiCon plenaries."

Reasoning for new C.3

This clarifies the current practice of previous DMPs voting to allow Continuity to use 'excess' surplus to fund other bi+ activities in line with our charitable objects. This confirms that Continuity answer to charity law then a BiCon plenary around requests.

Updating Section D.1

D.1 Current wording

"There should be ample opportunity for attendees to give their views of BiCon. There should be a feedback form for the benefit of attendees and future BiCon organisers. [9]"

D.1 Proposed wording

"There should be ample opportunity for attendees to give their views of BiCon. There should be a feedback form for the benefit of attendees and future BiCon organisers. Feedback results should be shared with future BiCon teams via Continuity. [9]"

D.1 Reasoning

There have been occasional issues of teams refusing to supply feedback data they hold. This makes it clear what post-event obligations teams have to the community.

New Section D items and a restructure of previous content

Current D.2 and D.3 wording

D.2 "Decisions about who should run future BiCons, BiCon surpluses, and any changes to these guidelines should be made at a BiCon plenary."

D.3 "Plenaries should be minuted and the results reported in BCN and on uk.bi (or their equivalents) and be readily available. Where it impossible to keep such decisions for BiCon they should be put up for discussion in these forums. [10]"

Proposed new Section D wordings

D.3 "Decisions about who should run future BiCons and how BiCon surpluses will be made by Continuity in line with their legal obligations, charitable objectives and strongly guided by decisions of BiCon plenaries."

D.4 Continuity may make independent decisions where no plenary decision exists but will generally only contradict plenaries when required to do so by law, regulations, or to protect BiCon's assets and reputation.

D.5 "Plenaries should be minuted and the results reported on bicon.org.uk or its equivalents [10]".

Reasoning for new Section D items

This is largely a restructure to cover existing points with updated tweaks for outdated info, then mostly about

  • Reflecting Continuity's existence,
  • Continuity's ownership of http://bicon.org.uk,
  • The moral/legal approach Continuity take to decision making including — the situations where we would override a DMP. and
  • reflects the outcome of various votes across various DMPs as minuted at https://bicon.org.uk/for-attendees/dmp-minutes/
  • Symon's proposed amendment to the BiCon Guidelines

    Insert new section B19, as follows:

    part 1

    B19. Partnerships with external bodies

    Organisers should take into account the principles outlined in Part B when working in financial partnership with external bodies. This includes, but is not limited to, inviting external bodies to run stands and stalls at BiCon or to advertise in BiCon literature.

    Part 2

    Organisations that share the principles outlined in Part B should generally be welcome to run stands and stalls, subject to practical and spatial constraints. Organisers should not allow financial partnerships of any sort with bodies that oppose or work against these principles. In cases in which this is a matter of interpretation, organisers should consult widely before making decisions. No financial partnerships should be entered into with arms companies or armed forces. For the avoidance of doubt, people employed by such bodies are of course welcome to attend BiCon as individuals, on the same basis as anyone else.