Authors: @Eagle#2979, @Larry_With_An_L#1811, @the goodnunes.eth#3570
Read the proposal: Draft Forum Post #2 - The BanklessDAO Ombudsman.docx - Google Docs
Set up an Ombuds office for the Bankless DAO in order to align the organization to the best practices among the digital ecosystem.
The Ombuds office would be an informal, impartial, independent, neutral and confidential place for community members to address concerns.
Members may contact the Ombuds office to report any forms or types of abuse, dysfunctions, shortfalls, delays, violations concerning the functioning of the DAO.
The Ombuds office has the power to immediately address complaints, hear the involved member/s, suggest resolutions between the involved member/s, and recommend non-binding structural solutions to the DAO membership.
During Season 1, a discussion emerged with regard to situations in which members felt that their work had not been properly recognized within the DAO. Potentially, in the long run, other issues concerning miscommunication, confusion around policies and/or procedures, ethical and unfair treatment may emerge. Disappointment could also refer to the refusal of a funding request.
DAO governance frameworks, as the COALA model law for DAOs, suggest to provide for an internal “Dispute Resolution Mechanism”, intended as an on-chain alternative dispute resolution system, such as arbitration. The system should enable anyone to resolve his or her disputes, controversies in connection with the DAO. Moreover, one of the questions of the crypto-governance questionnaire spread among prominent DeFi DAOs by a research group composed by prominent Universities concerns the “power to resolve disputes over application of a policy to a specific instance”.
It seems therefore advisable to set up a body empowered to address/resolve members’ complaints and concerns.
MISSION & VALUES ALIGNMENT
The DAO puts decision making into the hands of the collective, in order to create legitimacy through an environment where the best ideas win. Every member is entitled to propose solutions and work in the best interest of the DAO. The DAO empowers the community to continually drive new initiatives by providing a space to self-organize and quickly move from idea to action. In this context, it is of paramount importance that every contributor feels protected and adequately considered for the work done among the community.
Why an Ombuds?
As previously mentioned, a mature governance system seems to require a dispute resolution mechanism. In this regard, many different forms could be adopted. Dedicated protocols and entities offer different types of solutions: An industry of decentralized justice is recognizable.
Among the main players, Kleros, Aragon and Jur should be mentioned. They offer sophisticated decentralized arbitration services for DAOs. Jurors/arbitrators are selected according to crypto-economic incentives and/or reputation mechanisms.
Due to the fluid governance system and the absence of a legal recognition of the Bankless DAO, it seems advisable to start from a less invasive system in which selected members act as Ombudspersons, who investigate complaints and attempt to resolve them through recommendations or mediation. When the Bankless DAO will have a settled governance system, the Ombuds office could evolve into a more sophisticated dispute resolution system with binding character for the members.
Areas of competence
Members contacting the Bankless Ombuds are entitled to anonymity. The Ombudspersons work confidentially, in compliance with the right to anonymity of the members and any witnesses, and keep secret the data and information obtained while performing the assigned functions.
The Ombuds office can be contacted for every kind of issue concerning the relationship between members or the relationship between a member and the wider community or a Guild. Members can also contact the Ombuds office to signal behaviors or procedures that seem not to conform to the DAO mission and its values.
The Ombuds will be composed of 5 members. Gender and geographic diversity should be granted. Every DAO member, except Genesis squad members and Grants committee members, can apply to be part of the Ombuds. The duration of the mandate will be 1 year.
In matters concerning the administration of states, the ombudsman’s functionality is secured by gaining legal authority from a parliament and effective power through executive acquiescence, but to function effectively the Ombudsman must maintain a degree of separation from the executive and the legislative powers.
Pure executive and legislative powers do not exist within the BanklessDAO. Nevertheless, due to its goals, it seems important to grant to the Ombudspersons the maximum degree of independence. Therefore, the BanklessDAO Ombuds office should be independent from the Genesis squad and the Grants committee. This means that Genesis squad members and Grants committee members cannot be part of the BanklessDAO Ombuds. Appointment of the Ombudspersons will be by DAO vote, with Genesis Squad and Grants committee members recused and abstaining.
For Season 1, the Legal Guild will cover the costs of the Ombuds office. To encourage access to the system no costs will be charged on the requesting parties.
In the forthcoming seasons, if the Ombuds office develops a true dispute resolution mechanism with a binding decision-making power assigned to the committee, a fee or a staking/escrow mechanism in $BANKs could be adopted in order to create the right incentives.
The name will be the BanklessDAO Ombuds. The Design Guild will be requested to create a nice logo!
The Bankless DAO Ombuds could become a symbol of the high level of care that the Bankless DAO devotes to its community. The success will not only be assessed on the basis of the number of cases submitted to the Ombuds, but also in considering the discussions and the interest of the proposed model in the industry.
Finding candidates to cover the five places.
Set up a dedicated discord channel and an email account to acquire the complaints.
Prepare a short medium or mirror piece to present the Ombudsman to the public.
- I am in favor
- I am against
- I think that the proposal needs some minor amendments
@Eagle is a Law Professor and Attorney with a European juridical background. Moreover he is a member of the Ombuds office of an important Italian Public Authority. He teaches topics related to blockchain and emerging digital technologies. He is trying to ameliorate his technical knowledge of DAOs and smart contract solutions.
@Larry_With_An_L is securities and regulatory attorney based in New York City. He has been working with private equity, venture capital and hedge funds for 10 years on a range of matters including M&A, public company governance, intellectual property and corporate structuring.
@thegoodnunes.eth is a former entertainment attorney licensed in California, and now runs an augmented reality studio called HEAVY, doing public art installations around the world. He also serves on a number of public boards and advisories.