1/5: OWS Transparency and Accountability Act

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

OWS Transparency and Accountability Act

(request- i dont think this document should be called an ‘act’)

Source: Darrell Prince (NYCGA alias @alg0rhythm)

Authors: Darrell Prince (NYCGA alias @alg0rhythm), Monica McLaughlin, Eric Turock, Jordan …



Transparency and accountability are key components of the principle of solidarity as espoused by OWS and cornerstones of the foundation of democracy.

In order to effect transparency across OWS, Working Groups will submit documentation to Transparency and Accountability as follows:


  1. Weekly
  2. Monthly


Task and Resource Management

  1. Weekly Agenda
    1. Weekly Resource Allocation
    2. Monthly Projected Resource Requirements



    1. Weekly Progress Report
    2. Monthly Progress Summary

    Mandatory Submission Requirement

    1. Working Groups will be required to submit the aforementioned reports in order to be considered an active group.     (Q: what about WGs who are not actively using any finance mechanism?   why should they be beholden to this requirement?)


    1. Reports will be in a standardized format, in a standard, short form, (less than a paragraph, probably 300 characters or so) for each goal.
    2. These will be completed by Sunday, 8 PM of each week. The document submission process will include an audit trail to consist of Time Submitted, Submitting Author and Revision summary block.

    Version Control

    1. Version control will be integrated with the submission process to provide document revision history from source to current.
    2. A Differential tool will be utilized to provide character-level comparison between document versions.
    (please explain the above with more clarity to the layperson.)

    Notification and Suspension

    An absence of one or more of the aforementioned documents will result in a mandatory notification to OWS GA and may result in a temporary suspension of GA-allocated financial disbursements and a two-week suspension of all facilities access for all group members.

    (who is authorized to enforce this?  how will it be enforced?)

    Group-Specific Requirements

    Finance Reports

    Per Occurrence

    1. Signer modifications


    1. Total Disbursements per Working Group with line-items
    2. Expenditures per Working Group with line-items
    3. Pending receipts per Working Group with line-items
    4. Total Revenue with line-items
    5. Budgeted/Ad Hoc Spending Ratio with line-items


    1. Group Comparisons and Analysis with line-items
    2. Fiscal Health Summary


    1. Step-by-step audit review/tutorial as part of the monthly report
    (idea: why not breakdown into 2 areas:  regular daily disbursements (per the $100 rule) & accounting for each proposal that was approved by GA.   this would make it easier to track monies on an individual project basis).


    Technology Requirements

    (@erict: Should be broken out into a separate document.)

    Tech Ops will provide an online accounting platform for data entry and report review for all active Working Groups, Finance group data entry, reports and line-item override access and Transparency and Accountability Group auditing tools.

    Security recommendations

    Role-based access

    1. Role definitions
    2. Working group/role assignments
    3. et al.



    (@erict: requesting clarification and discussion on these)

    • The deadline for providing the first weekly report for  finance is December 10th.
    • These reports will not be difficult to produce– simply add up all the  day’s disbursements and you have daily expenditures.
    • You can do a reconcile for the change on the weekly report and also include the names of any people with receipts outstanding for more than 24 hours. It’s it’s a very mild rebuke.
    • If your name is on the report on consecutive weeks you cannot receive disbursements for two weeks.  (if the WG name is on the reports, yes?   this would allow each WG to self-regulate each other within their own group, rather than having finance track down individuals) 
    • Currently, for revenue you can just record the difference in the online donations every day at the same time to get the day’s income.
    • When the buckets go back out a Liberty Plaza it will become more work but should be manageable with a good staff size.  (no more buckets should go out until there is a full accounting and explanation for the cash receipts to date — still missing from the donations report)
    • Reconcile the change from the disbursements in weekly report


7 Responses to “1/5: OWS Transparency and Accountability Act”

  1. reginahny

    Hi Brett, Thank you for your thoughtful edits / replies to this in-progress, working Document. However, the Accountability and Transparency Group has NOT released this document for consideration as a Proposal to the GA, or even to the larger Forum at this point. We have a Meeting and Agenda Thread within our Working Group forum to address next steps — which include a process toward getting consensus on the A&T Groups’ mandate as the first goal. Please join us for the meeting, or in our open discussions at the WG forum rather than lifting a document from the WG and posting it to the larger Forum yourself. Look forward to working with you, Regina

    • reginahny

      Really wish there was a way to edit, apologies for double post. I just realized that the Document edits were not Brett’s — rather that he just posted it as a proposal. Please remove this unfinished, un-consensed document from Future Proposals. Thank you.

  2. NYCGA Council

    We have posted this unfinished, un-censensed document as an example of an sincere attempt to address issues of WG accountability.

    Peace & Accountability

    • reginahny

      This doesn’t answer the question of why NYCGA Council would use and post another WG’s in-progress document without meeting with, or discussing it with, the WG who created it. A&T WG meeting is Jan 7, 5 at 60 Wall. There is a meeting and Agenda thread to which NYCGA Council can add in addition to attending the meeting — working with the existing WG in an accountable and transparent way.

  3. NYCGA Council

    NYC General Assembly Council (working group) December 7, 2011.

  4. Brett Goldberg

    As a member of the Facilitation Working Group, I posted this document as a proposal because it was submitted as such. I am happy to take it down if that is the wish of the group. I apologize for posting it prematurely, and request that the working group discuss this issue with the people who submitted it without full consensus of the group.

    As an additional note, the NYCGA Council Working Group had no role in the posting of this proposal, nor do they have any role in the posting of ANY proposal. The NYCGA Council Working Group is not affiliated with the Facilitation Working Group and does not share any of the responsibilities empowered to Facilitation by the General Assembly.

    • reginahny

      Hi Brett, thank you so much for your explanation and reply. The A&T WG would like to remove this proposal as it is a work in progress Document and not ready for “prime time”. As a WG, we are moving toward clarifying our mission and mandate prior to submitting any “Acts”. I’m unclear as to who submitted it (“em” at the request of Darrell?) and will definitely bring it up with the group tomm. at our meeting. Meanwhile, it would be a relief not to have it come before GA in the shape it’s currently in. Thank you again, we’ll post our Minutes so everyone can see what develops! Regina