This document describes the bootstrap governance process under which the project will operate until the final governance process is identified.
The initial role of the governance committee is to instantiate the formal process for OpenFeature governance. In addition to defining the initial governance process, the bootstrap committee strongly believes that it is important to provide a means for iterating the processes defined by the governance committee. We do not believe that we will get it right the first time, or possibly ever, and won’t even complete the governance development in a single shot. The role of the governance committee is to be a live, responsive body that can refactor and reform as necessary to adapt to a changing project and community.
The Governance Committee is responsible for representing the project, making a final decision if a consensus cannot be reached (see Decision Making), handling the Code of Conduct escalations, defining and approving with the project members the final governance model, and organizing elections for the elected governance board body.
Governance Committee Members
NOTE: In April 2022 Project Maintainers assigned five seven individuals to be members of the Bootstrap Governance Committee. This is a temporary arrangement that should be replaced by an elected governing body before March 2024.
Decisions are made by a consensus of Project Members and Interested Parties. If this consensus cannot be reached, the decision can be made by the plain majority vote of Bootstrap Governance Committee Members.
Key discussions and decisions should happen asynchronously in communication channels like GitHub Issues, discussions or pull requests. Technical decisions are expected to be documented in the OpenFeature Specification. The community decisions should be documented in this Governance repository.
The project conducts regular project meetings hosted by its maintainers and contributors. These meetings are used as additional discussion and consensus building but not for making decisions without prior discussion in async channels.
Bootstrap Governance Committee Members
⚠️ This is a temporary role while the bootstrap governance is active. In the future this role will be replaced by an elected Governance Committee Member role.
Bootstrap Governance Committee members are responsible for representing the project in communications with organizations, including but not limited to contributor companies, adopters, vendors and foundations. Apart from the representative role, they can make a final decision when a consensus cannot be reached.
In April 2022 this role will be assigned by project maintainers to seven individuals listed in Interested Parties. Each company/organization should have less than 50% of the seats,
Establishment of a Governance Committee
To bootstrap the process of OpenFeature governance, 6 individuals were identified to be the Bootstrap Committee, to provide the initial process that can bootstrap the remainder of the process.
The Bootstrap Committee will be replaced by the elected Governance Committee. Ultimately, the OpenFeature Governance Committee will consist of 7 individual members of the community elected for 2 year terms. The terms will be staggered with 1 year elections (alternating 3 seats and 4 seats).
To provide a level of continuity as this process is established, the initial committee will include continuity members, at least 4 members from the current Governance Committee.
In December 2023 we will hold the first election with 4 positions to be elected from the current Governance committee and 3 members from the community. The 4 members that are elected from the current governance board will have a one year term and and the 3 elected from the community will have a two year term.
One year later (in 2024) there will be an election to fill the four seats opening up, each with a two year term.
One year after that (2025), there will be an election to fill the 3 open seats on the governance committee.
The committee will continue to iterate with alternating elections of three and four members each year.
People which are part of the GitHub Organization are considered as members and are eligible to vote.
Eligibility for candidacy
Anyone may nominate either themselves or someone else to be a candidate in the election. To be ratified as a candidate, the nominee must accept the nomination and three Members (including the nominator, if they are a member) from three different employers, must endorse the nomination.
Nominators are free to nominate as many people as they wish to. Members may endorse multiple nominees, but we expect endorsements to be in good faith. If this turns out to be a problem, this will be reconsidered.
Eligibility for voting
All Members are eligible to vote for the governance committee members.
Elections will be held using time-limited approval voting on Helios. The top vote getters will be elected to the respective positions.
To encourage diversity there will be a maximum of one-third representation on the Governance Committee from any one company at any time. If the outcomes of an election result in greater than 1/3 representation (or maximum of two, whichever is greater), the lowest vote getters from any particular company will be removed until representation on the committee is equal or less than one-third.
If percentages shift because of job changes, acquisitions, or other events, sufficient members of the committee must resign until max one-third representation is achieved. If it is impossible to find sufficient members to resign, the entire company’s representation will be removed and new special elections held. In the event of a question of company membership (for example evaluating independence of corporate subsidiaries) a majority of all non-involved Governance Committee members will decide.
The bootstrap committee will operate the election and circulate a timeline for nominations, and the vote.
In the event of a resignation or other loss of a governance committee member, a special election for that position will be held as soon as possible. The same group of people as described in "eligibility for voting" will vote in the special election. A committee member elected in a special election will serve out the remainder of the term for the person they are replacing, regardless of the length of that remainder.
Limiting Corporate Campaigning Support
To reduce the size of company advantages, candidates may not use their companies internal or external brand to campaign. Their employers cannot solicit votes on their behalf or sponsor candidates from partner organizations. Simply put, elections highlight individuals outside of their corporate role and should be treated as "brand free" activities.
Refactoring or reforming the governance committee
At any time the governance committee may vote, via supermajority (greater than two-thirds of votes), to rewrite or remove any part of this charter. Beyond small tweaks, this should be used sparingly, if ever, and in the presence of clear failures of the process. We explicitly do not allocate a role for the broader community in reformulating governance, we believe that in such a case the community will "vote with their feet" by either leaving or forking the project.
Members of the governance committee will graduate to becoming Emeritus members of the governance committee.