Final draft minutes 9th TERENA General Assembly meeting

14 May 1998 - 14:30 - 17:30
15 May 1998 - 10:00 - 12:30
Utrecht, the Netherlands

1. Welcome and Apologies

The President welcomed two new GA representatives, Geoff McMullen for UKERNA, UK and Osman Badr for FRCU/EUN, Egypt.
INIMA (Albania), CACEDU (Belarus), BELNET/OSTC (Belgium), IPM (Iran), NASK (Poland), JINR and DEC had conveyed their apologies for the 9th GA meeting.
Predrag Vidas represented CARNet, Croatia, with proxy.

The number of votes represented was 97 on Thursday 14 May and 96 on Friday 15 May, out of a total of 129 (127 after agenda item 5d).

The list of participants is annexed to these minutes.

2. Approval of Agenda, GA(98)001

The GA approved the agenda for the 9th TERENA GA meeting, GA(98)001.

3. Minutes and Action list of previous GA meeting

(a) Minutes of the 8th TERENA General Assembly, Madrid

D09-01 The General Assembly approved the minutes (file reference GA(97)056) of the 8th GA meeting, Madrid, 23/24 October 1998, without change.

(b) GA Action list update
The GA noted the status of the actions outstanding, GA(97)059. There were no further updates to the list of actions.

4. Membership matters

(a) Changes in membership
CESNET, Czech Republic has been established as an independent legal entity (file ref. GA(98)007). CESNET used to be an internal organisation within the Czech Technical University with the University being the formal National Member of TERENA for the Czech Republic. CESNET is announcing the change of Czech representative organisation from the Czech Technical University to CESNET.
Jan Gruntorád remains the first representative and Mr. Pavel Vachek is appointed his deputy.

D09-02 The GA approved the change in Czech National Member of TERENA from Czech Technical University to CESNET and noted the change in deputy representative.

(b) Changes in representative
Mr. Geoff McMullen, Chief Executive of UKERNA, has replaced John Dyer as the UKERNA representative in TERENA. Mr. John Dyer is appointed as deputy representative. (file ref. GA(98)006)

Mr. Osman Badr has replaced Mr. Adeeb Ghonaimy as first representative in TERENA for FRCU/EUN (Egypt). Ms. Nashwa Abdel-Baki is continuing as deputy representative (file ref. GA(98)013)

Mr. Andrei Mendkovich has resigned as deputy representative in TERENA for RFBR, Russia.

Mr. Stefano Trumpy, representative of CNR/CNUCE (Italy, on behalf of GARR) in TERENA, will move to a newly created Institute for Telematics Applications in CNR, CNR/IAT. Matters concerning CNR¹s membership of TERENA will then be handled by the IAT Institute of CNR instead of by the CNUCE Institute of CNR.

The GA noted the information.

(c) Note on boundaries between TERENA membership categories
During the 8th TERENA GA meeting, the GA had requested the TEC to develop a formula to determine the boundaries between the TERENA membership categories. The attached note - GA(98)009 - sets out in more detail the following algorithm:

A change of membership category will be proposed to the GA only if the following holds:

There are two countries A and B, last year country A was put in category (n+1) and country B was put in category (n), and the current GNP for country B is higher than or equal to the current GNP for country A.

Then there are three possibilities:
1. The current GNP for country A is higher than or equal to the previous GNP for country A (and consequently the current GNP for country B is higher than the previous GNP for country B). In this case it will be proposed to promote country B to category (n+1).
2. The current GNP for country B is lower than or equal to the previous GNP for country B (and consequently the current GNP for country A is lower than the previous GNP for country A). In this case it will be proposed to demote country A to category (n).
3. The current GNP for country A is lower than the previous GNP for country A while the current GNP for country B is higher than the previous GNP for country B. In this case a boundary point needs to be set to determine promotion/demotion. P is defined as the average of the highest previous GNP in category (n) and the lowest previous GNP in category (n+1).
   3a. If the current GNP for country A is lower than P, it will be proposed to demote country A to category (n).
   3b. If the current GNP for country B is higher than or equal to P, it will be proposed to promote country B to category (n+1).

Notwithstanding the above, it will never be proposed to promote a country by more than one category in a single year.

All promotions and demotions will have effect from January 1st following the October GA meeting in which these decisions have been taken.

As a phase-in, during the first year after having been promoted a National Member will pay a membership fee which is the average of the membership fee of its current category and the membership fee of its former category.

This algorithm proves to be stable:
Not only does this algorithm corroborate the decisions the General Assembly made in the Madrid meeting, but also the recently published updates in GNP figures, which will be used to determine the 1999 membership fees present no significant changes.

Comments were made about the disproportionate effect of the current use of the GNP figures as a basis for the TERENA membership fee. For instance, GNP figures can vary with a factor of 1000 - resulting only in a fee increase of a factor 16. This notwithstanding, these same figures result only in a voting key difference of a factor 7. It is recognised that countries with a small GNP usually have difficulty raising the membership fee money and TERENA is engaged in a sensitising campaign aimed at attracting alternative possibilities for the payment of the TERENA membership fee.

D09-03 The GA approved the algorithm determining the boundaries between the TERENA membership categories as described in GA(98)009.

(d) Outstanding membership fees
FIN(98)040 - lists the TERENA membership fees outstanding on 20 April 1998. Since then, the membership fee from Latvia was received. Two members, Georgia and Russia, have debts dating back to the 1995 membership fee and 4 more members have fees outstanding from 1996: Albania, Moldova, Ukraine and JINR.

The GA noted the information.

5. TERENA Formal matters

(a) Adoption TERENA Financial accounts 1997 (Statutes 11.3, 14.2, 14.3 and 15.1.a)
The overall result of 1997 is a loss of almost 113 k ECU, which is within the budget (a loss of 119 k ECU). Several budget lines deviated from the budget, most importantly the Contribution income is 80 k ECU lower than budgeted, because of the resignation of Israel, France and ESA.
As a consequence of the lower contribution income the TEC has seen to cutting overall expenditure, which is most significantly visible in the personnel costs budget line (some 90 k ECU lower than the budget) and the travel costs budget line (over 50 k ECU lower). The relative overrun in the ³Office running costs² budget line is caused by the purchase of a new (unbudgeted for 1997) phone system and its associated wiring as well as the complete write-off of the GUM NCC equipment, with the discontinuation of the GUM NCC services.

As required by the Statutes, article 14.4, the GA appointed auditors, the firm of Horlings, Brouwer & Horlings, have audited the accounts and their final approval is included in the report. The TERENA overseer Jan Gruntorád, reported on his meeting with the TERENA auditors and the TERENA treasurer. The only significant item is the relatively high amount of outstanding debts from TERENA members. Jan recommend the GA to approve the report.

D09-04 The GA approved the TERENA Financial Accounts 1997.

(b) Financial separation TERENA and RIPE NCC
The RIPE NCC Association was legally established as an Association under Dutch law on 12 November 1997. The RIPE NCC Personnel Fund was established as a Foundation under Dutch law on 23 December 1997. The principles on the transfer of assets and liabilities, which were agreed in the previous GA meeting, were detailed and laid down in a contract between TERENA and the RIPE NCC Association which was signed on 25 November 1997. The transfer was implemented by a deed of transfer on 31 December 1997. The TERENA Financial Accounts 1997 are referred to in the transfer agreement as the basis of the valuation of the assets and liabilities.

With the approval of the TERENA Financial Accounts 1997 under agenda item 5 (a) of this GA meeting the transfer process is concluded.

The RIPE NCC Board has expressed their gratitude to TERENA for the establishment and subsequent healthy status of the RIPE NCC.

TERENA maintains a formal relation with the RIPE NCC for two years, with Kees Neggers serving as a TERENA appointed Board member with veto right on issues that might carry financial risks for TERENA.

The GA noted the information.

(c) TERENA Annual report 1997, including Secretariat report
The printed version of the Annual reports contains more pages than in previous years because of the split-off of the RIPE NCC but mostly because of the increasingly substantial Technical Programme. The Statutes (articles 14.3 and 15.1.a) state that the Annual Report shall include a report on the Secretariat. This report is considered more interesting to the GA than the general public, which is why this report is provided under separate cover - GA(98)005.

The GA expressed thanks to Paul Rendek for the production of the Annual Report.

D09-05 The GA approved both parts of the Annual Report.

(d) Ukraine membership category
As described in the note - GA(98)003 - the membership category of Ukraine in 1998 was not correct. Should the right figures have been presented to the GA in the Madrid meeting, Ukraine would have been demoted to membership voting category 2 (as its GNP is even lower than that of Croatia: 18 B USD), instead of promoted to category 4.

D09-06 The GA revised its decision made during the 8th GA meeting and retro-actively demoted Ukraine to TERENA category 2 for the year 1998.

(e) Notice of Termination of TERENA Membership (Statutes 9.1.c)
Several TERENA members have not paid their membership fees for 1995 and 1996. In accordance with the note - file ref. GA(96)002 - these TERENA members are a candidate for termination of membership as stated in the TERENA Statutes article 9.1.c:

Article 9
1 Membership shall terminate:
a. upon the member ceasing to exist pursuant to the Laws of its country of incorporation or, the member being a private individual, upon death;
b. upon the resignation of a member;
c. upon notice of termination given by TERENA. Such notice may be given if the country of a member, as defined in article 5, has ceased to exist, if a member fails to fulfil their statutory obligations towards TERENA, or if TERENA, in the opinion of the General Assembly, cannot reasonably be expected to allow the membership to continue;
d. by expulsion, which shall only be applied if a member acts in violation of these Statutes or of any regulation or resolution of TERENA, or unreasonably prejudices the interests of TERENA.

At the time of the GA meeting and in the absence of new information, the following members are candidates for termination of membership:
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

The GA felt strongly that these members, even if their membership has to be terminated in September, would be most welcome, when re-applying for memberhip of TERENA, upon payment of the fees outstanding for more than 2 years.

D09-07 The GA decided that Albania, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research will receive a notice of termination of TERENA membership, specifying that their TERENA membership will be terminated automatically on 1 September 1998, unless payment of the 1995 and 1996 membership fees has taken place before that date. [Note: by the end of the GA meeting information was received that Moldova had paid their 1996 membership fee, and will therefore not be sent a notice of termination.]

(f) Appointment Auditors TERENA accounts 1998 and 1999
In accordance with the TERENA Statutes article 14.4, the TERENA Executive Committee proposes to extend the contract with the current TERENA auditors for the audit of the TERENA accounts on 1998 and 1999.

D09-08 The GA decided to extend the contract with the current TERENA auditors for the audit of the TERENA accounts on 1998 and 1999.

6. Executive Committee Elections

TERENA Executive Committee members are appointed for two-year terms (Statutes Article 12.1) and are once eligible for re-appointment in the same function immediately following the expiration of the first term of office.

Lajos Bálint (HUNGARNET) has served one two-year term as TERENA Treasurer. Italy and Ireland have nominated Lajos for a second term as Treasurer of TERENA. Lajos has accepted the nomination. No other nominations had been forthcoming.

D09-09 The GA appointed Lajos Bálint for a second two-year term as Treasurer by acclamation.

Second part of the minutes