Forum:Federal States/Committee Restructuring

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FSA activity on the forums and on the wiki as a whole is down; even on the more unofficial channels of communication, activity as a whole is lower than the FSA's "peak" back a few years ago. Some of this is to be expected as the project matures: after all, a lot of the big, national-level issues have already been discussed, decided, and acted upon. Additionally, we've also decentralized much of the project's leadership structure, shifting away from a single FSA Coordinator to a three-member regional coordination team, which seems to be going very well (none of the three regional coordinators received a single vote against during August's omnibus ballot). As such, I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss dissolving the current "standing" Military Committee, and the ad-hoc History Committees that never really got off the ground and instead roll those responsibilities into the current regional coordination team.

In this case, all major national/inter-regional decisions would transition to a "proposal" system, centralized here on the FSA forums. Rather than having separate standing committees handle different topic areas, any stateowner who would like to propose some particular initiative could start a forum thread where the larger FSA community can come together to discuss the merits, suggest alternatives, or otherwise give feedback. Once the conversation has started to come to a point of loose consensus (or if there's no discussion after a certain amount of time, suggesting either that anyone who had something to say about the topic has said what they'd like to say, or there aren't any additional strong opinions one way or the other), the three regional coordinators can discuss amongst themselves and make a decision on how to proceed in regards to that particular proposal moving forward. The coordinators would not be constricted to a binary yes/no decision, and they could still choose to create ad hoc committees if desired or only approve parts of the proposal in question.

In my opinion, this process would strike a good balance of coordination, cooperation, and transparency in making decisions and determinations of national importance without the process getting hung up on unnecessary bureaucracy or maintaining inactive committee structures. This structure would not replace the existing National Park procedures, votes of confidence, or highway system numbering requests. With two weeks to go before the next omnibus ballot, I'd like to use this time to discuss this topic now, with a final decision vote to be made as part of the omnibus ballot, if needed. --TheMayor (talk) 20:00, 16 January 2023 (UTC)

Sounds good to me - I think that as long as the regional coordinators are able to stay active and engaged, everything should work out wonderfully. And with the system change, maybe you can finally get that great history plan you made as canon :) --Lithium-Ion (talk) 21:26, 17 January 2023 (UTC)
I would still like for the more major disagreements to go to the omnibus ballot if the topic is important enough. --Fluffr Nuttr (talk) 04:04, 18 January 2023 (UTC)
Just to be clear, this wouldn't replace the omnibus ballot in any way. National Park nominations and coordinator votes of confidence would still be part of the omnibus ballots, and would continue to be hosted every six months. Additionally, if the coordination team wanted, they could defer any topic to a vote, either on the omnibus ballot or on the wiki/forums. --TheMayor (talk) 04:23, 18 January 2023 (UTC)

As a result of the above conversation, the below referendum will be included on the February 2023 omnibus ballot.

Referendum #1
Summary: Creation of an "open proposal" system for national initiatives or projects. Proposals can be made by any active FSA mapper and will be openly discussed on the forums, but final approval is the responsibility of the regional coordination team. Officially dissolves all other standing committees.

Overview: Moving forward, if this referendum is approved by a majority of the FSA community, all new FSA issues of national importance or projects and initiatives beyond a regional scope will use an "open proposal" process. Rather than relying on standing or ad hoc committees, any active FSA mapper can propose a new national initiative in the wiki forums. These topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • New military facilities
  • National history
  • New national industries that require pre-approval (e.g., large railroad companies)

Process: To submit a proposal, a mapper shall start a new thread on the FSA's wiki forum, detailing their idea. All other FSA mappers would then be encouraged to discuss the proposal together, whether in support, in opposition, or to recommend changes. All mappers in the FSA, including coordinators and OGF admins, are encouraged to actively participate in the discussions as members of the FSA community.

Approval: After enough time passes to ensure all mappers who have an opinion have had an opportunity to express it, the three regional coordinators will convene and make a determination on the proposal. The regional coordinators may or may not deliberate publicly, and the regional coordinators may also choose to defer the decision to the larger FSA community through either a wiki vote or inclusion on the biannual omnibus ballot. The coordinators will announce their final decision in the same forum thread, and a running list of approved proposals will be recorded on the wiki.

Admins: The OGF admin team retains the ability to veto any approved proposal if the proposal does not comply with OGF rules, or creates international issues with other OGF nations. Members of the admin team may be consulted by the regional coordination team, but admin members do not otherwise participate in the regional coordination team's decision.

Follow-Through: Once approved, the mapper who created the proposal would be responsible for implementation, following established OGF and FSA rules. This requires ongoing communication, coordination, and cooperation with other FSA mappers. If, following approval, no action has been taken on the new initiative within three (3) months, the proposal will be considered inactive and approval automatically withdrawn.

Exceptions: The following processes and initiatives are considered well-established and are not subject to the open proposal process:

  • Regional coordinator votes of confidence and vacancy procedures
  • National Park System nominations and approval
  • The biannual omnibus ballot process
  • New motorway highway number assignments, which will continue to be handled by the regional coordinators
  • National franchises and industries (other than railroads)
  • Any regional initiative that does not rise to a national scope and can continue to be overseen by an individual regional coordinator