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As described in the Section Custodial Oversight - Public Interests, the Advisory Council (hereinafter the 'Council') will function within a set of 'Authority Parameters' which will be equivalent to the Council's 'Terms of Reference'. The Council will play an advisory role complementary to the governing role of the Board.
It is envisaged that the Council would have moral authority that it uses to guide the normative, regulatory authority exercised by the Governing Board, hereinafter the 'Board'.
Operationally, the Council function will be outsourced to a suitable institution willing and able to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with the EcoPort Foundation Inc, wherein the institution accepts the responsibility to act as convening and hosting Secretariat of the Council.
The Council itself will be assembled by the Secretariat as a group of volunteers able and willing to serve as a 'think-tank' that will investigate and analyse key issues that are relevant to the conduct of the public service offered by the Foundation. The Council will focus on issues that affect the broader public in whose name EcoPort operates as a global public good.
The Secretariat/Council will work within the following parameters, wherein its perspective will be in representation and protection of general public interests as opposed to being limited to the interests of Members of the EcoPort membership only:
1. The Council will adopt an oversight role to monitor the work of the EcoPort Foundation Inc. (hereinafter the 'Foundation') to ensure that the Foundation lives up to the idealism and values of its primary patrons, Nelson Mandela and Edward O. Wilson. The Council will assess and monitor the extent to which the Foundation lives up to its its professed Mission Statement and the various Codes of Conduct, Privacy Statements and other goal-setting agreements and standards, both internal to the Foundation and in the context of general public expectations.
2. The Council will function as an ideas forum wherein any new idea that may be relevant to the EcoPort Mission and Service may be investigated with a view to the Council making a recommending submission to the Foundation's Board, thereby to attempt to influence the policy directions and work of the Foundation.
1. If there are issues that the Council thinks should be brought to the attention of the Foundation, the Council will commission or author an 'Issues Paper' on the relevant topic. In the form of a draft, Issues Papers will will first be discussed by the Council Secretary in the Executive Committee of the Foundation.
At the discretion of the Executive Committee, a suitable draft will be made public for feedback, and in the next stage, a final Issues Paper will be submitted to the Executive Committee for ratification prior to it being returned to the Council for consideration and decision by the Foundation's Board . The paper that is submitted to the Board will be made public at the Foundation's website at the time of its submission to the Board .
2. The Council's Secretary will participate in Foundation Board meetings as a non-voting advisor. The Secretary will represent the Council on the EcoPort Board and will be the spokesperson presenting and explaining 'Issues Papers' prepared and submitted by the Council.
The Council Secretary will be the Editorial webmaster of a section
of the Foundation's website entitled: 'Council Recommendations & Management
Responses'. This component of the Foundation's website will be maintained
by the Foundation at the disposal of the Council Secretary. This will
be the channel whereby Council Recommendations and the responses by the
Foundation Board and follow-up action by the Foundation's Executive
and Management would be reported, publicly to reveal the role and work
of the Council in providing guidance to the Foundation.
It is anticipated that the institution hosting the Council would:
1. appoint or designate one of its staff members to serve as Secretary to the Council with the task of implementing the Secretariat/Council functions described herein;
2. be an active advocate of the EcoPort approach and service and its philosophy and strategy to manage knowledge as an open-source, global public good;
3. use its reputation to promote awareness and use of EcoPort;
4. normally own a substantial amount of information that it would share in EcoPort and it would encourage its staff to use EcoPort as one channel of information delivery and knowledge creation. Specifically, the Secretariat institution will allow EcoPort, under copyleft stipulations, to use its information also in EcoPort; and
5. as a contribution to the operation of the Foundation's enterprise, provide office space and facilities to host the CEO (in FAO's case as Visiting Scientist), thereby establishing a location where the Council Secretary and the CEO would be able to work together directly and where working meetings of the Executive Committee and Board Meetings could take place. It is envisaged the the secretarial and logistic support that the hosting institution provides to the Council Secretary, would be extended to support the CEO at/in the Council Secretariat.