The Executive Accountability Act

Discussion in 'Regional Assembly' started by Wonderess, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    The Legal Code is to be amended as follows:

    Section 7.2: Regional Officers
    6. Regional Officers may only be appointed and granted powers as explicitly allowed under this section.
    7. The Serving Delegate may assign any Regional Power, with the exception of Border Control, to any government official or nation created for the purpose of performing government functions.
    8. The Serving Delegate may assign Border Control powers to any of the three members of the Security Council earliest in the Order of Succession.
    9. In the event of a Delegate Emergency, or with the permission of a majority vote of the Regional Assembly, the Serving Delegate may assign Border Control powers to any member of the Security Council.
    10. The WA Delegate will promptly grant all Regional Powers to the Serving Delegate and assign additional powers to other government officials or regional nations as instructed.
    11. The Delegate, Vice Delegate, and Executive Officers are required to present a summary report of the actions of their office to the Regional Assembly at the beginning of the eighth and sixteenth week of the Delegate's term. The inclusion of sensitive information may be omitted at the discretion of the report author.

    I see this legislation as a way to increase communication between those who serve and represent the interests of our region and the citizenry. These reports will allow citizens to engage the Executive and remain educated on the functions and whereabouts of the region. This requirement also increases transparency and may even be a way for ministers to recruit new and active members to their ministries.

    Section 7.2: Regional Officers
    6. Regional Officers may only be appointed and granted powers as explicitly allowed under this section.
    7. The Serving Delegate may assign any Regional Power, with the exception of Border Control, to any government official or nation created for the purpose of performing government functions.
    8. The Serving Delegate may assign Border Control powers to any of the three members of the Security Council earliest in the Order of Succession.
    9. In the event of a Delegate Emergency, or with the permission of a majority vote of the Regional Assembly, the Serving Delegate may assign Border Control powers to any member of the Security Council.
    10. The WA Delegate will promptly grant all Regional Powers to the Serving Delegate and assign additional powers to other government officials or regional nations as instructed.
    11. The Delegate, Vice Delegate, and Executive Officers are required to present a summary report of the actions of their office to the Regional Assembly on a monthly basis in which the elapsed time is no more than 30 days after their previous report. The inclusion of sensitive information may be omitted at the discretion of the report author.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  2. Praetor

    Praetor Hoppin' Around -

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    Against. You aren't using the in or the out tags.
     
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  3. BluieGamer

    BluieGamer Resident Future Drug Maker - - -

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    In what manner do you propose the officers present their reports?
     
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  4. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    I was thinking we would have a dedicated sub-forum where they are posted, and then people can comment in them, ask questions, make comments, etc.
     
  5. BMWSurfer

    BMWSurfer Minister of Home Affairs - - - -

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    Trust me, no amount of recruitment will help me recruit to HA...


    In all seriousness though, I don’t personally find this necessary. However, I tend to see more of what is going on than an average citizen (from cabinet chats and so on). So, I’d like to hear from some more citizens on whether they feel it’s necessary.
     
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  6. mcmasterdonia

    mcmasterdonia TNPer - - - - -

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    Against. 100% unnecessary legislation.

    The Speaker should attempt to do his own job properly - particularly re: daily citizenship checks, before attempting to create unnecessary bureaucratic problems for the executive.
     
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  7. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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    :agree:

    I'm also against such legislation. Also what happens if the Exeuctive Officers fail to do so? What if the Ministry wasn't very active that active that there was nothing to report on?

    I like transparency but if we were to do apply some transparent for Executive Officers, I rather it be the Regional Assembly asking questions to nominated Executive Officers and then voting on them. I think they give enough transparency that they can give in thejr opening statement, closing statements, and others. I would like to point out a part of the Bill of Rights.
    This is, of course, not the full writing of the section in the Bill of Rights but it does guaranteed. I however want to point out the rest of that section:
    I see Article 9 of the Bill of Rights as an Article that while promotes the transparency of Government officials, this is also mainly for the purpose of making sure a Government Official doesn't have too much power and deny any rights of our Residents and Citizens. Another question is since I pointed out that a Bill of Rights Article already promotes transparency and much more, do you think we should expand this idea to other Government Officials?

    Honestly the Speaker, while a Citizen and member of thr August body, shouldn't be proposing legislation themselves while serving as Speaker. I don't see anything illegal with this as far as I know but it doesn't see right. People could definetly object to a vote and if you try to move for a vote, i'm objecting to it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  8. St George

    St George Culture Doggo - - -

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    This is a rather silly objection to have. I have no firm opinion on the proposal but the speaker has always been able to propose legislation and if they see a way to improve the region or our laws the fact they are speaker shouldn't be an obstacle to proposing it.
     
  9. Syrixia

    Syrixia The one, the true, the great. - - -

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    For. As someone who's worked in the Government- the Cabinet no less- I really don't see how this would be needless bureaucracy. I think it's important that, however short or long the reports may be, Government officials be held accountable and their actions known to the general public. As well, we already do something similar in the form of term opening statements; and I think these reports would be decently easy to type and get out.

    @Wonderess I should note, though, I don't think a new subforum is needed- I think it could very easily happen in the Delegate's Government subforum, in the public subfora for each Ministry.

    Finally, it has to be said- I very much believe the outcry against a citizen of The North Pacific proposing legislation is both disgusting and very disappointing. Just because Wonderess is the Speaker does not mean he has no right to propose legislation. A prohibition against him doing so can be found nowhere in the Constitution.
     
  10. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    This is a fallacious argument. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/tu-quoque

    That being said, while I like the idea of ministers being more accountable, and providing more information to the assembly about their ministry's activities (I, for one, have no idea what HA does, for instance, except that it has something to do with "rows"), I'd rather see this implemented voluntarily by the Executive, instead of mandated in the law. If we were to mandate it in the law, I think monthly is probably too often. Maybe just once at the end of the term? If that went to vote, I'd likely abstain. As it stands, I'd vote nay.
     
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  11. Siwale

    Siwale TNPer Global Moderator - - - -

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    Nothing is stopping a resident of TNP from inquiring about the daily activities of the Executive. I'm sure most Ministers and Delegates would be more than happy to explain their current projects, future plans, and past accomplishments for their Ministries. Additionally, every ministry has objective markers to measure activity (e.g. WA has IFVs, Comms has TNL, TNS, and NBS, Culture has events and programs, HA can be measured in nations being brought to the forum and joining new areas of our community, press releases, and other programs, FA can be measure in diplomatic presence abroad and response to events concerning TNP on a global scale, Defense through number and quality of ops, etc.). If a ministry is not performing up to par, it will show.

    I worry a mandatory report every 30 days will only detract from the executive's true function. If a government official decides they want to post a report every month, that's great. But I believe the executive deserves some autonomy in this department.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
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  12. Syrixia

    Syrixia The one, the true, the great. - - -

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  13. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    Maybe if we just removed the time requirement altogether, replacing it with a "from time to time" sort of language, like the US constitution has concerning the President's state of the union address. That would at least normalize the practice of reporting to the RA, but leave the frequency up to the executive. So some may report more or less frequently than others, and that can be one metric by which they are judged.
     
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  14. Syrixia

    Syrixia The one, the true, the great. - - -

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    I'm down with this. It will also help serve as an indicator for whether executive officials or truly dedicated or not.
     
  15. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    Ok, so I am now going to layout why it is I believe this legislation is beneficial. It in no way is to act as some form of punishment on the Executive Branch. I understand Siwale's point that people can easily join a ministry and find out for themselves or inquire through messaging, but not everyone can do everything the region has to offer. I believe a written record and discussion on the happenings of the ministries is excellent as an archivable record of the region's activities all in one place and as a place where the ministers can be talked to publicly by any citizen regardless of whether they are in that respective ministry or not.

    I also think this is an excellent opportunity for the Regional Assembly. I do not want the chamber to die down just because someone has not found a new way to tweak the law. I would very much like to see the efforts and gifted members of the Regional Assembly instead take an interest in how the region is doing at present and taking part in a process that is similar to Prime Minister's questions found in Westminster systems of government is a way to do that (though hopefully we can skip the drama usually found therein.) I want to improve the communication between the Executive and the Regional Assembly because they can mutually benefit from one another. Ministries can layout what they have done for others to come to know and appreciate the hard work they are putting into their offices while also presenting their office publicly for possible recruitment of staff. The Regional Assembly gets increased activity and is able to have a continuing conversation about what is being done in the region which I believe is within its purview and right as the collection of citizens.

    On the question of time, I think monthly is a good amount of time because by the time the term is over, all discussion loses its hold as the Minister may not be there after the general election. I would be open to a system where the Ministers, Delegate, and Vice Delegate are stagnated where their report is due one after the other with a week gap which allows for more consistent lines of discussion but does not burden the Executive offices on a monthly basis. Here is an example of this proposed system:

    Delegate Reports: 1st Monday of January

    Vice Delegate Reports: 2nd Monday of January

    Minister of Culture Reports: 3rd Monday of January

    Minister of Home Affairs Reports: 4th Sunday of January

    Minister of Defense Reports: 1st Sunday of February

    etc.
     
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  16. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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    Even if we were to apply such a law surrounding transparency for the Executive, I would like to say that Minister positions aren't defined by law. They are established by Article 3. Delegate and Vice Delegate:
    I'm not saying these positions will be abolished under the next Delegacy, i'm just saying the Delegate could freely appoint and dismiss Executive Officers in which run an Executive Body (Ministry) within the Executive Branch. There is a section in Article 7 of the Legal Code that does state Ministries that have to exist by law:
    This is, of course, just stating that a Foreign Affairs, Military Affairs, and Internal Interest ministry has to exist by Law. Of course, this does mean other Ministries could be created out of thin air.
    As a final note, The Attorney General and their Deputies are part of the Executive Branch as per Section 4 of Chapter 7. I could not find a specific part of it stating it's part of the Executive under the Chapter it is classified under is the Executive Branch and the opening subsection of it states:
    Will they also be questioned?
     
  17. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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    I never said they couldn't, I said they could as they're Citizens and members of the Regional Assembly but I think that the Speaker should be doing their duties than proposing legislative to the body he runs. There's no law saying he can't, i'm just saying in my opinion that he should be doing his duties as Speaker than proposing legislation. My opinions aren't facts, nobody's opinions are facts. Here is specifically what I said:
    I said it's not illegal or any law against that, i'm just saying the Speaker should do their duties than propose legistation to the body he runs. He's the head of the body. The Delegate could propose legistation as he is a Citizen, so is the Speaker.
     
  18. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    Dino, I think you're totally off base here. People can do more than one thing, as you well know, judging by your signature. Saying the Speaker should be attending to Speaker duties instead of proposing legislation would be like if you brought an idea to one of the ministries you're a part of, and they told you "Shouldn't you be attending to your NPA duties?" One has nothing to do with the other, and you can do both without sacrificing either.
     
  19. Syrixia

    Syrixia The one, the true, the great. - - -

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    To add an anecdote, @Dinoium, I'm primarily an RPer. By your logic, shouldn't I be writing posts instead of posting in the RA?
     
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  20. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    @Dinoium it is this definition being employed in my current draft of the bill so this includes the ministers who are appointed as well as the Delegate and the Vice Delegate which are also included in my legislation. As for Advisors, I am not completely sure. I believe my employment of the term "Executive Officer" encompasses the ministers who are the main subjects that I propose this legislation for.
     
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  21. Brendog

    Brendog A rocket has landed. A dog is inside. - - - -

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    Whilst I like the idea behind this legislation, I am against how it is a mandatory monthly basis. Agreeing with COE, it should be based on the Minister's / Delegate's discretion. Some ministries have more to report than others. A report shouldn't be based on routine functions of a ministry but should encompass elements that are a one off.
     
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  22. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    Perhaps a mid-term report and a End of Term report maybe instead of monthly? Surely by the mid term and end of term each ministry would have something to report back?
     
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  23. Loh

    Loh TNPer - - -

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    While I'm against this mostly due to the "mandatory" part, I like Artemis' idea and I would be favourable to a End of Term report as a compromise.

    Though Siwale is right when he says that "Nothing is stopping a resident of TNP from inquiring about the daily activities of the Executive". I don't really believe this piece of legislation is needed, but like I said above, I'd be open to a compromise.
     
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  24. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    I don't think citizens should have to submit individual inquiries to know what their government is up to. I think mid-term and end-of-term is a good idea (and is already a compromise from the original bill).
     
  25. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    I do not have a problem with this arrangement, but I would like to further discuss the frequency so that we may come to some informal consensus. I ask you all, what timetable do you think would best serve the region?
     
  26. Praetor

    Praetor Hoppin' Around -

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    It depends.

    As other has previously you can't assign a "one size fits all" to reporting the activities of the Executive.

    When I was MoFA, I made weekly reports as the workings of the MoFA tend to be more obfuscated than other Ministries. Ghost privately made monthly reports as the Ministry's workings were more publicly visible through the posting of IFVs. If IFVs were not being posted, it would be more noticeable by residents than many of the functions the MoFA does. Similarly, the MoD publicly reports all operations once completed. Their activities is quite visible. If I was the MoD I would be satisfied with a reduced rate of reports to potentially a beginning of term, mid-term and end of term report.
     
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  27. Brendog

    Brendog A rocket has landed. A dog is inside. - - - -

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    I would be happy to a mid-term and end of term report, and any non-compulsory reports in the middle.
     
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  28. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    Ultimately the ministers/delegate could require more frequency at their discretion, I do think it would be beneficial for a mid-term and end of term report. Helps keep a formal and easy to read record of what was done during a term. Should make it easier for Ministers to use for future runs of office or consideration for future appointments. It will be helpful to pull inspiration for future endeavors.
     
  29. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    Should we then enforce a particular number of days into the term or particular dates as publishing days?
     
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  30. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    The 8th week and the 16th week.
     
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  31. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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  32. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    The proposal has been edited incorporating @Artemis's plan. What is now the chamber's assessment of the legislation?
     
  33. abc

    abc Duck -

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    This is a very interesting idea.

    My one concern is that these summaries could easily be used for political gain and not for actual accountability. If you were to add something to your proposal that requires this summary to just be the plain facts and nothing more, you'd have my full support.
     
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  34. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    I suggest the following revision:
    I also think we should put this in the Freedom of Information section. It makes sense to put this in the FOIA section, since it deals with keeping the public informed about the activities of the government, which is the purpose of FOIA. It also makes it easy to define the scope of the report, and already has a mechanism to allow the Delegate to redact sensitive info. Remember that for purposes of that section, "the government" is defined as "the Delegate and the Executive Officers, including the departments which they oversee." Also, classified information is defined in the section, and it is made explicit that "Notwithstanding any process for publication, any information which meets the criteria to be classified will not be released." And I think it should be the delegate's responsibility, because I don't think it's appropriate for the law to assign duties to the EOs - constitutionally, they exist to assist the delegate in their duties, not to carry out their own tasks. So while I'd presume that the delegate would assign each minister the task of writing the portion of the report for their ministry, it would ultimately be the delegate's responsibility to ensure the entire report is done. This has the benefit of having one single report containing all the information coming from a unified source, rather than reports coming in piecemeal, possibly without having ever been seen by the Delegate.
     
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  35. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    I am willing to accept these revisions, however we need a way to guarantee that the report does indeed include parts from all ministries. Does your version make that intent absolutely apparent?
     
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  36. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    I believe that it does, since it says that the report is on the actions of "the government" which is defined in FOIA as including the delegate, the executive officers, and the departments they oversee.
     
  37. Haor Chall

    Haor Chall The Power of the Dark Side -

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    Personally I prefer the Wonderess/Artemis version. Although I can see the sense in removing the last sentence and moving it to the FOI section.
     
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  38. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    There are multiple problems with requiring each Executive Officer to submit their own report on their ministry. One is that there will be no way for the delegate to ensure that there is consistency in the quality of the reporting. Another is that if a minister poofs or doesn't write a report, the delegate should be able to step in and either do it themselves or assign it to someone else - the original version does not allow for that. The most important problem, in my opinion, is that this is the constitutional description of Executive Officers:
    Emphasis is mine. It may be unconstitutional to assign independent duties to Executive Officers. Duties should be assigned to the delegate, in whom all executive power resides, and they should assign duties to their officers.
     
  39. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    What about a State of the Region address midterm which would include reports from the various ministries?
     
  40. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    That's basically this bill, just with half as many reports, right?