Delegate's Report Bill

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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After the discussions from Wonderess's The Executive Accountability Act, there was some sort of agreement as follows:

Delegate's Report Act:
Section 7.5: Freedom of Information Act
31. For the purposes of this section "the government" refers to the Delegate and the Executive Officers, including the departments which they oversee.
32. For the purposes of this section, classified information is that which fits any of the below definitions:
  • Real life information about any NationStates player from which there is a risk of inferring that player's real life identity and which has not willingly been disclosed to the public, including, but not limited to, an individual's name, IP address, physical address or location, phone number, place of employment or education, appearance, social media accounts, and other knowledge about a player, unless the player in question provides explicit consent for this information not to be considered private.
  • Real life information about any NationStates player for which there exists a reasonable real life expectation of privacy or discretion, including, but not limited to, health status, both mental and physical; financial status; personal tragedies; changes in personal status such as marriage, divorce, pregnancy, birth, or death; and other similar information, unless the player in question provides explicit consent for this information not to be considered private.
  • Information that, upon being made public, would jeopardize any ongoing military or intelligence operations; or jeopardize the security of units and agents participating in them, or be harmful to the diplomatic interests, military interests, or security of The North Pacific.
33. Notwithstanding any process for publication, any information which meets the criteria to be classified will not be released.
34. The Delegate will present a report summarising the actions of the government to the Regional Assembly before a General Election
35. Private government records which reach one year of age will be relocated to the appropriate Declassified Archive visible to residents.
36. At any time a resident may request the release of any private record from the Government through the Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive.
37. The Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive will retrieve information requested from the different departments of the government.
38. Residents who do not receive this information for any reason not specifically designated in appropriate laws or regulations may file a request for the information to the court, where the Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive may present evidence that addresses any claim that release of the information meets one or more of the acceptable criteria for classification.
39. Information appropriately not disclosed will be accepted as classified by a majority vote of the Court sitting as a three-member panel.
Delegate's Report Act:
Section 7.5: Freedom of Information Act
31. For the purposes of this section "the government" refers to the Delegate and the Executive Officers, including the departments which they oversee.
32. For the purposes of this section, classified information is that which fits any of the below definitions:
  • Real life information about any NationStates player from which there is a risk of inferring that player's real life identity and which has not willingly been disclosed to the public, including, but not limited to, an individual's name, IP address, physical address or location, phone number, place of employment or education, appearance, social media accounts, and other knowledge about a player, unless the player in question provides explicit consent for this information not to be considered private.
  • Real life information about any NationStates player for which there exists a reasonable real life expectation of privacy or discretion, including, but not limited to, health status, both mental and physical; financial status; personal tragedies; changes in personal status such as marriage, divorce, pregnancy, birth, or death; and other similar information, unless the player in question provides explicit consent for this information not to be considered private.
  • Information that, upon being made public, would jeopardize any ongoing military or intelligence operations; or jeopardize the security of units and agents participating in them, or be harmful to the diplomatic interests, military interests, or security of The North Pacific.
33. Notwithstanding any process for publication, any information which meets the criteria to be classified will not be released.
34. The Delegate will present a report summarising the actions of the government to the Regional Assembly before a General Election
35. Private government records which reach one year of age will be relocated to the appropriate Declassified Archive visible to residents.
36. At any time a resident may request the release of any private record from the Government through the Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive.
37. The Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive will retrieve information requested from the different departments of the government.
38. Residents who do not receive this information for any reason not specifically designated in appropriate laws or regulations may file a request for the information to the court, where the Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive may present evidence that addresses any claim that release of the information meets one or more of the acceptable criteria for classification.
39. Information appropriately not disclosed will be accepted as classified by a majority vote of the Court sitting as a three-member panel.
 
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Dinoium

Semi-retired legal nerd.
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I don't think this is the end of the world. I think we did also talked about making it mid term and end term in the other thread. I think this is fine.
 

mcmasterdonia

TNPer
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Would 16th week be when elections are on?

Edit: also what about a Delegate elected at a special election? I’d suggest instead putting specific dates throughout the year that the report will be due.

Not saying I’m for this yet, but that would make more sense.
 
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Dinoium

Semi-retired legal nerd.
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I'm aware that I am not one of the drafters of the bill but most likely the 16th week must be the last week of August/first week of September. So in a way I think would concur with the election season but surely it will be before voting. This year 16 weeks after Fiji took office. It would be August 31th/September 1st.
 
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Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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Any comments on changing the timing to before the general and judicial elections, rather than stating a list of months?
 

Darcania

kul Seredrau
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Any comments on changing the timing to before the general and judicial elections, rather than stating a list of months?
What happens when an election is delayed, say during a forum move?

Also I'm unsure about adding a dependency from this law onto a separate, existing one. If we change our elections up we'd have to remember this portion to change as well if we specify that these reports have to occur around those elections. That said our elections rarely change so I wouldn't be against this bill if the author went that route.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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What happens when an election is delayed, say during a forum move?

Also I'm unsure about adding a dependency from this law onto a separate, existing one. If we change our elections up we'd have to remember this portion to change as well if we specify that these reports have to occur around those elections. That said our elections rarely change so I wouldn't be against this bill if the author went that route.
The other alternative would be changing it to:
34. The Delegate will present a summary report of the actions of the government to the Regional Assembly at the beginning of every other month beginning in January
or some similar wording without listing every other month. In terms of when an election is delayed, it shouldn't matter as it will still be the delegate's term.
 

Crushing Our Enemies

TNPer
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Deputy Speaker
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We should take into account that not all delegates are elected in scheduled elections. It would be a bit ridiculous for a delegate to be required to present a mid-term report the day after they take office. I think we had it right the first time - base it on a number of weeks after they take office. That way there's always a reasonable amount of time to report on.
 

Dinoium

Semi-retired legal nerd.
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We should take into account that not all delegates are elected in scheduled elections. It would be a bit ridiculous for a delegate to be required to present a mid-term report the day after they take office. I think we had it right the first time - base it on a number of weeks after they take office. That way there's always a reasonable amount of time to report on.
I agree. It would be ridiculous.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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Changed it back, this time to seven and fourteen weeks. I don't think it would be an issue if there was a special delegate election. I am entertaining allowing the regional assembly to request a report from the delegate by majority vote
 

Bobberino

Spammer in Chief
Deputy Speaker
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Fiji has been on record (on NBS I believe) that TNS basically serves as TNP's government report. What are your thoughts on this? Is this accurate?
 

El Fiji Grande

Proud TNPer
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Fiji has been on record (on NBS I believe) that TNS basically serves as TNP's government report. What are your thoughts on this? Is this accurate?
It serves as a government report only insofar as providing election highlights, a track record of our WA voting history, a catalogue of our NPA activity, and the occasional interview. It is not sufficient for a fully transparent view of specific government actions, which is why it would not sufficiently provide a response to satisfy this bill.
 

St George

Speaker
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@Rocketdog I'm pinging you to see if you're still interested in pursuing this bill at some point. If not, I'll archive it. Let me know here or on Discord, thanks.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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I'm going to try and get this bill passed. I'm open for further feedback, if there is any at this rate.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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I’m just kind of unsure about the specific number of weeks. If you required instead that the delegate must offer a report summarizing their actions after the midpoint of their term of office, and again prior to leaving office (this one is meant to be that final summary, perhaps could be specified that it happen no later than the end of the next general election), do you think that would be specific enough to still achieve what you want be flexible enough that we wouldn’t have to count weeks and worry about the variability of some months? I suppose we would still need to determine what the midpoint of a term is. This may just be my preference for avoiding specific numbers in these types of situations, but I felt I should throw it out there.

I don’t really think the idea behind this is particularly objectionable, delegates do this already for the most part, and it’s not asking a lot. I would support it whether you explore this change or not I think.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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Was McMasterdonia's government not releasing timely reports?
If you observe when this bill was first presented, it was nearly a year ago. This is not in response to McM failing to release timely reports. McM’s reports actually mirror the structure of this bill, and go beyond the requirements.
 

Robespierre

The MacMilitant
Deputy Speaker
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I’m unsure of why this needs to be legislated, especially when it’s a modern practice in the status quo for administrations to do. Perhaps at the time it was originally introduced this wasn’t the case, but even then I don’t think it needs to be legislated so much as it needs to be strongly encouraged and given thought to.
 

Wonderess

"I will be true to you whatever comes."
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If you observe when this bill was first presented, it was nearly a year ago. This is not in response to McM failing to release timely reports. McM’s reports actually mirror the structure of this bill, and go beyond the requirements.
My point is that if the delegacy is doing it and has incorporated the practice without RA action then I think legislation is not as important or vital in this case.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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My point is that if the delegacy is doing it and has incorporated the practice without RA action then I think legislation is not as important or vital in this case.
This is one of the funniest things I’ve heard you say in a while.
 

Crushing Our Enemies

TNPer
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Deputy Speaker
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Shall we then repeal every new law after some months, once the practice has taken hold? I think we've got the hang of ranked choice voting now - is it time to take that one off the books?

I haven't decided yet how I feel about this particular proposal, but "recent delegates have done this voluntarily" is hardly relevant to a discussion of whether to make something mandatory. Laws are never passed to address the moment. They are about forging the future, and planning for governments yet to be formed.
 

Wonderess

"I will be true to you whatever comes."
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Im so glad I can entertain you, @Pallaith. COE, it isnt that this needs to be a universal standard, it's just that there are some things better left out of the legal code. I was one of those who introduced legislation for this in the past, but now I see that it is generally being followed in a way that is good and organized for the executive. Therefore, I don't think that encoding it is necessary at this time. Also, Im gonna call you on that ranked choice voting example because it feels like a false analogy when Delegate reports, and voting procedures are very different things.
 

Crushing Our Enemies

TNPer
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Deputy Speaker
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that there are some things better left out of the legal code.
This part makes sense, and if I decide not to support this bill, that will be the reason.

Also, Im gonna call you on that ranked choice voting example because it feels like a false analogy when Delegate reports, and voting procedures are very different things.
They are both constraints on the discretion of a government official. If we repealed ranked choice voting, and went back to the vaguer language of "majority vote", the election commission would be well within their discretion to continue to conduct ranked choice elections, just as right now, the delegate is permitted to post reports on the activities of the executive. Where does the analogy break down for you?
 

Wonderess

"I will be true to you whatever comes."
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I was considering the nature and gravity of those two things. How we conduct our elections is very important and a worthy thing to define in the law. The way or frequency that government reports are published I think does not hold as much of an importance even though transparency and communication between the RA and executive is always important. I just feel the election procedure holds more gravity therefore causing an imbalance in the analogy.
 

mcmasterdonia

TNPer
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I'm iffy about the weeks being explicitly mentioned like that. I wonder if it would be better to say that the Delegate will provide the region with at least one report during the term? Two would be better, but given the possibility for special elections that might be too much.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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The primary aspect of the bill is to establish a summary of the delegate's actions before a general election. I have changed the wording to reflect this. If delegates wish to more than one report during their term then they can.
 

Pierce

Deputy Minister
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I do very much like this legislation in order to ensure that the public knows the actions of the Delegate and Government at the end of the term but I am wondering how this would be enforced if an outgoing Delegate is not or cannot run for re-election? What kind of consequences would there be? It seems like this is (or ought to be) the convention for Delegates at the end of each term.

If we're going this far, should we require regular report summaries in the legislation as well (if it's not already required)?
 

Brasesco

Eras RPer
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I think requiring regular reports would make a lot of sense, so long as there was no information in them sensitive to ongoing NPA work. And I think that while there are some things better left out of the legal code, requirements of transparency from the Executive are not included in that set of things. The current presidency in the U.S. has shown well enough that simply relying on norms rather than laws to keep our leaders in check is effective until you have a leader who wants to break them.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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I do very much like this legislation in order to ensure that the public knows the actions of the Delegate and Government at the end of the term but I am wondering how this would be enforced if an outgoing Delegate is not or cannot run for re-election? What kind of consequences would there be? It seems like this is (or ought to be) the convention for Delegates at the end of each term.

If we're going this far, should we require regular report summaries in the legislation as well (if it's not already required)?
If this bill gets passed, the delegate will be forced to adhere to through the oath of office. Consequences are decided by the court and I'll let them to do that if it comes to it.
I think requiring regular reports would make a lot of sense, so long as there was no information in them sensitive to ongoing NPA work. And I think that while there are some things better left out of the legal code, requirements of transparency from the Executive are not included in that set of things. The current presidency in the U.S. has shown well enough that simply relying on norms rather than laws to keep our leaders in check is effective until you have a leader who wants to break them.
I would rather prefer to make this bill requiring regular reports, but as seen through this thread, there are many difficulties that come about by doing that. If you want more transparency from the Executive, feel free to propose a bill.
 

Filiposgov

Registered
For me it is better when the delegate and the executive ministers will provide their monthly report for the sake of transparency.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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For me it is better when the delegate and the executive ministers will provide their monthly report for the sake of transparency.
They currently do it, and I hope ministers continue to do it, regardless of this bill.
 
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St George

Speaker
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I move for a vote
The motion for a vote is recognised and we are now in formal debate. During Formal Debate, which shall last 5 days, you may continue to amend this bill. Upon the conclusion of Formal Debate, the Speakers office shall schedule a vote, likely to begin after the Election Commission Confirmation vote finishes.
 

Bormiar

Deputy Minister
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One ambiguity (I had to read it over twice) is that it's not clarified that the classified info isn't a private government archive. It looks like it's contradicting itself.

Also, if this doesn't already exist, it would be nice to mandate that the Declassified Archive actually exists. I'd just change "the appropriate [subforum name]" to "an appropriate declassified archive".
 

St George

Speaker
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Order! Order!

The Delegate has vetoed this bill and whilst I would prefer that he would not subvert the will of the Regional Assembly in one of his first acts in office, the Delegate has indicated he is prepared to support an amended version of this legislation. I now open the floor for suggestions for amendments or, indeed, a discussion on proceeding with a motion to override the Delegate's Veto, as set out in the Constitution.

@Rocketdog
 
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El Fiji Grande

Proud TNPer
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I think our new delegate raises good points. Instead of motioning for an override, I would support an earnest effort to clarify the precise intent of the Bill.
 
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