I noted the following Blog entry, https://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/2022/10/proposed-amendments-to-isc2-bylaws-member-vote-opens-soon.ht...
1) Why was a notice not sent to all members regarding the annual meeting?
2) Why was nothing posted on the isc2.org main website or in these Community forums?
3) Why were the proposed By-Laws amendments not shared with the membership for their comment prior to finalization by the Board?
4) Why does the Board not trust the Members to provide oversight of the Board? The new proposals eliminate any voting on Board members (only one candidate per slot), eliminates write-in votes, and raises petition threshold from 500 (already hard to obtain) to 1% of membership (about 1500 right now).
5) Why is the Ethics Committee being eliminated? Perhaps because the elimination of Board oversight is unethical?
6) Why are Standing Committee now explicitly consisting of Directors only?
7) Why was the petition threshold raised? Without the ability to send a message to all members anymore, meeting 500 has been impossible to obtain. Why not just eliminate petitions completely instead of providing a false sense of transparency?
I have many more questions, but I'm sure others do too, so they can respond below. I don't want to steal all the thunder.
While I have a lot of questions, and need to reread the changes several times, the most glaring issue is the election of Board members. The proposed changes state that the Board will present to the members a slate of potential Directors, one for each open position. So the only vote would be up or down. So the Board gets to pick it's own members, Members of the organization be damned. What is markedly absent, at least so far, is what happens if the vote goes to No? Does the process then become a vacancy fulfillment, and the Board decides who will take the open seat for the term? Could they, in fact, just decide that the person or persons who were voted against should be in the seat anyway?
The second most glaring issue is the removal of the Ethics committee as a standing committee. For an organization bound by by a code of ethics, the Ethics Committee should be strengthened, not made into something the Board will decide to seat on a whim. There are existing questions about the fact that the Ethics Committee is currently made up of multiple Directors, in violation of the current bylaws, no matter the legalese of counsel regarding the fact that the Directors are also Members. Strong No, thank you. This is an attempt to move power into the hands of a clique and give them the power to maintain that clique themselves.
As far as I know, no motions are allowed from the floor. In order to add an agenda item to the annual meeting, you needed to submit 500 petitions before the meeting announcement. Which means in this case you needed to be clairvoyant in order to know that you would need to make such a motion. Also, as noted by someone else, the bulk of the vote will be in already due to the proxy voting. Yes, this is a power grab.
Over the past two decades, I've admittedly not paid much attention to how the (ISC)2 has conducted its business. All I can say, is the (ISC)2 may find itself in a world of trouble if it conducts meetings of the membership without allowing those in attendance to make in-order subsidiary motions or incidental motions (like division of the question), which are always in order. Further, the bylaws appear to have no provision for electronic or absentee voting at the Annual Meeting. At some juncture, the (ISC)2 appears to have separated the election of directors from the Annual Meeting business (which is not unusual), and according to the bylaws at least, all its absentee voting provision apply only to the election, not the Annual Meeting.
If we want to force a "no" on the proposed bylaws, there are a few things to keep into account:
That said, this move by the board has brought out a lot of silent members out of the woodworks. I believe we have the momentum to block the Bylaws changes and we should leverage it as best as we can. #VoteNo is our core message and we should reach as many people as possible.
You are assuming that the vote is up or down. I do not think we have a down vote. We are simply allowed to vote for up to five candidates, and only 5 are presented. They are not interested in anything other than affirmation.
We're talking about two separate things. The I(ISC)2 bylaws are a bit messy when contrasted against the requirements of Mass. General Laws. For example, the annual meeting needs to be stated in the bylaw or otherwise "fixed." Saying it will happen when the board says it will happen is just lemonade-stand governance. Regardless, under the law, you have two main requirements at the annual meeting: elect directors and other business. You can, through your bylaws, separate the two since elections are a different kettle of fish for two reasons:
However, the other business is still the business of the Annual Meeting, and that includes bylaw changes etc. The (ISC)2 bylaws don't seem to have any provision for absentee voting at the Annual Meeting. There are ways of accomplishing such things, but they're not in the (ISC)2 bylaws. Stated more broadly, corporations have a lot of flexibility, but they're not allowed to just make it up as they go along.
I'm happy to be corrected, but the bylaws seem pretty clear: Bylaw amendments are a matter of who is there in person and voting (presuming there is a quorum). Maybe I have had the misfortune of working in and around the dozen or so corporate outliers over the past 35 years or so, but to me at least, all this stuff is Corporate Governance 101, and it seems to be escaping the (ISC)2. Seriously, the board should at least read their own bylaws before sending an emal.
I think we're screwed any way we try to look at this. The organization has usurped what it seems to claim is a proxy vote and the membership gets no transparency in its results. If members are even allowed to raise a motion (impossible without 500 endorsements based on the Bylaws) or a point of order (much less clear), it'll be the board that would vote on it since there are no provisions for this type of questions either in the Bylaws or in the meeting announcements.
Maybe someone should ask ISC2 to share the rules for the meeting with the membership. I can't do that since ISC2 General Counsel has instructed me to only contact the organization through a legal representative or intermediary 🙂
It looks like we're engaging far beyond our shores. I've received personal feedback about the proposed Bylaws changes and how the Annual meeting is being organized from 5 different continents and the sentiment is the same everywhere.
There is a bright point in this : I'd say the Board has finally achieved something they've never thought possible : member engagement. Unfortunately for them, it's at a point where they want it the least as evidenced by the botched notification and the hurried planning of the annual meeting as well as the anti-member Bylaws changes.
Let's keep this going.
Good observation - I plan to attend and vote no. This is inappropriate and could jeopardize the 501(c)3 status. To eliminate an ethics committee is a big red flag.
This is inappropriate and could jeopardize the 501(c)3 status.
For the record, ISC2 is a 501(c)6.