[DAO:275c146] Framework for New Committee who decides when to revoke grants

by 0x858343382132b9ab46c857a7d52fdbafc039f784 (Zino)

Linked Pre-Proposal

Who should make the decision of revoking grants?

Summary

This proposal aims to create the structure and guidelines for the New Committee who decides when to revoke grants, to function effectively.

Abstract

The New Committee will have the sole responsibility to order the revocation of a Grant provided by the Decentraland DAO.

This New Committee is important to decentralize the decision-making process of deciding which grants should be revoked, to take care of the DAO treasury. If this draft proposal passes, the path to revocations would be the following:

  1. The Grant Support Squad recommends the New Committee to review a case when the grantee doesn’t comply with the terms and conditions and the Grant Framework.
  2. The New Committee of 5 members will study each case and would have the opportunity to request extra information regarding the case presented, and has the responsibility to provide a resolution to the community, either to revoke a grant or not to revoke a grant.
  3. If a grant should be revoked, the DAO committee will execute the revocation

Motivation

During the 5 months that the Grants Support Squad has been active, we got to know the grantees on video calls, spent time with them, listened to their needs, provided support in various forms, and have seen successful grants.

Walking through those 58 grants that finished ($3.5M USD) before the Grant Support Squad existed, we detected that 17 grants had some concerns regarding what they had first stated in their proposal and the finished projects. This represents 1,3M USD. Almost 50% of the funds provided.

In the current active grants, we found cases where they were not able to complete the project that the community had voted on, and some other projects that were delayed on the proposed roadmap. The difficulty in these cases is that the contracts of these grants were still vesting, without clarity if they were able to complete their grants successfully.

For that reason we recommended the DAO Committee (who has the ability to stop the vesting contracts using the contract action “revoke”), to execute the only technical mechanism that the DAO has to make sure those vesting contracts were stopped, as a preventive action. As soon as the grantee delivered according to their proposed roadmap, the DAO Committee also took the commitment to create a new vesting contract for the funds remaining.

The Grant Support Squad has started to work on the improvement of the Grants Program, particularly finding tools to mitigate the negative impact that a revocation has on the grantees.

This New Committee proposal would give an opportunity to the grantees to argue during the “revocation process”. This would mitigate the “centralized power” of the DAO Committee to judge the case, and execute the decision.

Specification

The New Committee is constituted by 5 members and 2 substitutes. The committee must be able to act immediately in case of a revocation request and each committee member will be compensated with 200 USD in MANA per case.

There will be a 6 month temporary Committee, until the Grant Support Squad opens a call for the DAO to select their representatives. This committee selected is expected to be in office for twelve (12) months and could be re-elected only for one consecutive period.

The Grant Support Squad is proposing the first temporary members to be:

Gino Cingolani: Product Lead DAO governance App.

Nathalie Nuñez: Member of the DAO Facilitation Squad.

Nacho Mazzara: Engineer Manager Decentraland Foundation.

Dax: Decentraland DAO Backend Developer.

Mattimus: Software Engineer - DAO Committee.

Substitutes: They will be summoned when a New Committee member is involved in a conflict of interest or if a committee member is unavailable to join a case.

Yemel Yardi: Software Engineer - DAO Committee.

Nikki Fuego: 3D Artist and Game Maker for Decentraland DAO

Procedure
The New Committee Committee starts to act when:
There is a formal request through a form.
The Grant Support Squad will request the grantee to respond within four (4) days, to the concerns raised.

After that, The Grant Support Squad will send, in the course of following four (4) days, the arguments for the New Committee to evaluate the case. This triggers a preventive revocation, later to be executed by the DAO committee.

After that, the New Committee will have six (6) days to discuss the case among the 5 members.

During the period of six (6) days, the New Committee has the ability to request further information to the Grant Support Squad or the Grantee about the case presented, not exceeding 30 days.
After that, the Grant Revocation Committee has five (5) days to publish the final resolution.

Conflicts of interest

Any member of the New Committee should be prevented from participating in a case when:

They have participated in the Grant as advisors, paid members of the team, or if they are beneficiaries of the Grant.

The grantee under review is recognized to be a relative, close friend or public enemy from the committee member.

The committee member has a commercial relationship with the grantee.
Before starting the revocation process, the committee member is involved in the process to be removed from the New Committee.

They have received “gifts” from the grantee within the period of the grant, including the grant’s proposal voting period.

Execution

The New Committee will reach the final decision by simple majority.

The resolution should be clear and public. This contains the committee’s arguments on why the grant should/should not be revoked.

The Final decision will be notified in the Grant’s proposal page as a comment, in the grant’s dedicated discord channel and the DAO Newsletter.

Conclusion

With this draft proposal we aim to gather feedback and inputs from the community regarding this proposed framework with the objective of creating a final governance proposal that includes the vision and needs of our grantees and the community.

Please feel free to add any comments and suggestions into this document.

Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO

View this proposal on Snapshot

1 Like

I chose NO any type of power given to a small group/individual is like centralizing a decentralised platform.

2 Likes

Awesome Draft , But I think the individuals should be voted onto the committee. Not be selected onto it.
That way there is less room to question their position.

5 Likes

I vote NO for the same reason mentioned by @Dhingia and @SinfulMeatStick

1 Like

Thank you for your inputs @SinfulMeatStick @ArtReYou !

How do you imagine that would be?

1 Like

Hi @Zino

I like your idea, but:

Was this “job” advertised somewhere?

Is there a possibility that the community can also contribute here?

Maybe through elections in a DAO?

2 Likes

Hey @Zino, @yararasita, @palewin

First off, as always, thank you for putting this work together. It is a step in the right direction, and I think the whole community wants us to move toward having this new committee established.

However, I agree with the sentiments highlighted above; we should be extremely careful in what we’re proposing/voting on, and what potential future precedents we may be setting with our governance votes.

I have great respect and admiration for the individuals you approached to include in this committee, and can certainly imagine them being the right group of minds to prototype this committee forward in the initial ‘temporary’ phase. However, approving their temporary tenure in the committee, alongside the very structure and nature of the committee that they will be appointed to can lead to dangerous precedents.

For example, if I personally had a problem with @dax and/or @mattimus being on this committee for whatever reasons (I use them as an example because I would totally trust their judgment in this committee), I’d be forced to vote against this committee, even though I agree with its establishment.

Moreover, if I have an inclined bias towards the competence of the individuals who will make part of the committee, again, such as @dax and/or @mattimus (which I do), I can potentially be blindsided by potential weak areas in the structure of the committee and its ability to remain consistent/reliable/accountable, due to my inherent trust in the individuals proposed to form part of that said committee right of the get-go.

So what exactly am I saying?
It would be best if we made it a standard governance practice to first establish a committee/organ/body/structure, and then move towards electing/nominating/approving individuals to form part of it. Setting governance-based precedents where committees can be approved with pre-selected representatives within them is a dangerous approach, and whilst I’m 150% certain all of this was done in good faith, and with the will to move this over the line, I fear it can set a precedent for the long-term future which may be maliciously exploited.

Finally, I feel it is imperative that we push toward protecting the integrity and validity of our representative bodies and our representatives, by never bringing into question how or why anyone was appointed to our structures in the first place. Transparency, at the bare minimum, needs to be the overarching norm, and the more democratic the process is, the more discord we can avoid when tough decisions need to be taken.

I’ll be more than happy to make myself available to talk about this further @Zino, @palewin and @yararasita. I really don’t want to be a stickler here, but unfortunately, I feel this might have long-term repercussions on governance precedents, and I feel obligated to flag it.

Massive hugs as always,
Sean <3

6 Likes

Hi @ArtReYou,
Goods questions.

Thank you for your inputs @SinfulMeatStick @ArtReYou !

We saw the need to start ASAP with the committee voted in the previous poll, and for now, we suggest these 5 community trusted members for the first 6 months and then -as you proposed- would be an open call for the community to select the representatives :blush:. In this first stage we are promoting this committee and the next step will be to finish writing the “formal process for adding/removing a committee member” (which would be almost similar to this one) so the community could promote, vote, their representatives as a new member :heart:. We wrote this in the art. 3 called “duration”, however, we could be more specific (thank you for your input): “In the first stage, there will be a 6-month temporary Committee, until the Grant Support Squad opens a call for the community to select their representatives. This committee selected by the Decentraland DAO Community is expected to be in office for twelve (12) months and could be re-elected only for one consecutive period.”

Would love to hear your feedback regarding this topic. You can also make a comment on the document.

Thank you!

2 Likes

thanks for the mention! I agree with your points, the reason I accepted this was the fact that it is a temporary committee so that things get off the ground in a reasonable time frame, and while it’s getting running, community nominations and elections can occur for a seamless handover.

however - points well taken, happy to defer to the community on this.

Finally, I feel it is imperative that we push toward protecting the integrity and validity of our representative bodies and our representatives, by never bringing into question how or why anyone was appointed to our structures in the first place. Transparency, at the bare minimum, needs to be the overarching norm, and the more democratic the process is, the more discord we can avoid when tough decisions need to be taken.

:+1: yes, i think that’s a valid stance. does it make sense instead to have this initial committee only be for 3 months (or less)? while nominations occur? or is it worth the time to wait for a nomination and election process?

2 Likes

It totally makes sense in my book @dax. I think we have everything we need to be able to get that process done. However, I’m quite agnostic about the time. I’m more worried about the precedent this approach may set.

Might I clarify, that I personally feel it is fundamental to segregate proposals on forming a new committee from proposals related to nominating representatives in the said committee.

This is totally an approach that works. I think it happened with our wearables curation committee too.

I just really want to push us to avoid mixing two separate processes. The discussions and decisions on what a committee should be tasked with should always be separate from who is trusted to fulfill said tasks, within that said committee.

2 Likes

I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of this proposal. Do you think we should remove the ability to revoke a grant all together in favor of “decentralization”?

The decision to revoke a grant is currently made by a smaller group of individuals. What type of power exactly do we gain individually by enabling the committee to revoke a grant that would potentially drain our dao funds?

2 Likes

@ArtReYou @SinfulMeatStick @Seanny what do you envision a committee election process to look like? I don’t believe we can use our standard voting strategies as this would allow the committees to be taken over with whale votes.

What does the election process look like? Are there phases? A top 10? 1 account 1 vote? There is a multitude of issues and it’s easy to say things should be a certain way but the process to get there is not quick and easy and we should begin these discussions now.

Are there any specific members of this temporary committee you see issue with? Would you like more information about how or why each member was selected? Do you have specific individuals in mind already that you would like to see appointed?

I was personally approached because I am in the dao site and discord daily, scouring for updates, tracking deliverables, and identifying potential misuse with no affiliation to any existing committee or group. I am here to protect this community and personally review all grants with a very high level of detail, while maintaining an unbiased opinion. I think the support squad put a lot of thought and effort into this proposal as well as selection of the initial committee.

@Seanny I agree that it can be seen as bad precedent to combine appointee with committee establishment in a single proposal. If this proposal is split into 2, but with the same temporary committee as appointees, would that be sufficient to preserve precedent, while still allowing the temporary committee, assuming the community approves of the temporary personnel?

4 Likes

This is a perfect example of why temporary committees are not a good idea.
There is a 6 months time frame being set, but then the debate will last way longer than that on how to correctly run that new elections, who and how nominate people, etc…

I voted no for the reasons above. I’m afraid I don’t have good answers as to “how” we best pick committee members, but of all places, the DAO needs to be created with the most decentralized foundation possible. The community needs to decide the members of the committee.

@mattimus I like your question about these specific members… I think they are all amazing and if there was the ability to choose committee members, I’d probably vote them all in! To me it’s just the principle behind how they (or anyone) is placed in this position. I want the community to have a voice in who is appointed to these and all openings that will have decision making power. Since we have such precious little past history with DAO’s, I’m afraid every action we take will set a precedent as we move forward.

It’s like we’re building a house right now (in the DAO). We MUST build a strong foundation first by examining these processes under intense scrutiny. Then the structure we build on top of it will have a better chance of lasting for years, and withstanding the storms that will inevitably come our way.

2 Likes

@mattimus The need for revoking grants is urgent. This can be discussed openly in the DAO discord by more people, not just five members. This is a good step towards making the Dao better but more and more people needs to be a part of it. In this way of only having 5 members, groupism and attachment to people and projects will cause problems for everyone.

Totally @mattimus. I would be comfortable supporting that approach.

That would allow us to retain momentum, whilst segregating the two processes. It would also give more space for the nominated individuals to be able to better display their expertise/relevant skillsets for the position, which none of you are lacking in!

1 Like

Creating group of individuals who revoke grants voted by community can make us Centraland. :sneezing_face:

Decentraland is community driven, there must be voted delegates at the beginning and not after 6 months.

3 Likes

This committee is appointed to vote on the final result of a revocation case. The committee is not necessarily responsible for reporting the cases or blindly deciding to revoke.

The “procedure” section in the document begins with a formal request by ANY community member. Everyone is still able to provide their own evidence and arguments as a community, with regards to any grant request, and the committee will take all of that into account and make the decision with clear and public arguments.

The main thing changing in this regard, is there will be a public request form. Currently, a community member would have to message a support squad member directly, who then handles the case and judgement themselves.

1 Like

Can you elaborate on this? The long lasting time frame seems to be an argument FOR a temporary committee, otherwise this will take just as long to enact as it will to find a committee.

2 Likes

Hi everyone!

Thank you for your thoughtful inputs and comments. It is always good to see how the ideas evolve, and leverage the processes.

There are recurrent comments regarding why this proposal is adding 5 temporary members, and why 6 months, so I’d like to share with your our logic behind this idea:

Why a proposal with temporary members:

This is a first step towards decentralizing our role. Today we are the ones raising concerns and creating a recommendation to the DAO committee if a grant has to be revoked, and later this committee executes if they agree or disagree with our recommendations.

What we want is to decentralize this current process, proposing 5 temporary candidates until we can put together the path towards creating the elected committee by the DAO. If we do not do this, we are still accountable for revocation recommendations, and we think it is unfair to be the ones “creating the case” and “judging”.

To decide if a new committee member should join, we created this proposal with the idea of taking this step towards decentralization today and being able to address the framework in a long-term. That’s why the creation of this framework includes this temporary committee. I understand you @seanny that it is important to avoid mixing two separate processes, but this is the reason behind why we did it like this. We trusted that following the paths already taken would allow this process to move forward like this.

Why 6 months of a temporary committee:

We defined 6 months, as it is good timing to follow the path that the community has previously done successfully, and building on those previous steps. This is really important because we’d like to build on what the community has already thought and not reinvent the whole process. Responding to @seanny, we are being as careful as we can with studying previous governance mechanisms and following them, and reinforcing the standard governance practices that other committees had done before us.

(1 week) Pre-proposal poll First we need to create a poll to Establish a Formal Process for Adding/Removing Committee Members. We have already drafted one following the example from the procedure to become DAO Committee Members.

(1 week) Draft proposal
Then we need to draft a proposal to add or remove committee members, taking the community inputs into account. We’d like to follow the example of the Draft Proposal that had successfully passed by community members already on how to establish a formal Process for
Adding/Removing DAO Committee Members
.

(2 weeks) governance proposal Then we need to go over a governance proposal. We’d like to follow the example of the Draft Proposal that had successfully passed by community members already on [how to establish a formal Process for Adding/Removing DAO Committee] (Establish a Formal Process for Adding/Removing DAO Committee Members)

And if we are consequent to what we have learned and done in the past as a community, then we would be able to open a procedure that would look more or less to something like the following, based on the DAO Committee procedure to add members:

(2 weeks) Open application period (@ArtReYou here us where the “job advertisement” would be in place)
Applications are submitted as posts on the forum, applicants should answer pertinent questions.

(4 weeks) Committee Interviews
We will ask the community how to address these on the previous governance steps.

(2 weeks) Final community vote
After the interview phase, the Grants Support Squad would be responsible for creating a final proposal in the DAO listing their picks for the top 5 candidates.

This is the reason why we thought of 6 months instead of a shorter term. We know how much time it takes to think about all the inputs from the community to draft thoughtful proposals, and we want to be as kind as we can with the times of the people behind this process.

I hope these comments illustrate the spirit behind this framework based on the previously learned of the community, and why includes these five temporary members.
Best,
Zino

4 Likes