Agency 11: Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency

15 min read

The 11th agency in the community is the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency. The agency facilitates the community bylaws’ development, implementation, and adjustment. The agency also handles IT infrastructure, enabling participants’ access to server farms, and computers – desktops, laptops, and tablets.

The agency is part of the Public Administration Bureau. Other agencies in the bureau are the Communication Agency (agency 10) and Public Relations Agency (agency 12).

The Capital Bank Agency (agency 8) invests capital in all agencies, including the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency. Each Agency pays the Capital Bank a return on its investment. Agencies use the capital for business operations, including down payment for the loans it may take for the acquisition of assets.  It obtains funds to repay return to the Capital Bank for funds invested and loan obligations from the revenue it collects as it charges participants and community agencies for the services offered. Each agency, including the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency, must therefore endeavor to competitively offer services to ensure it is profitable.

Duties of the agency

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency roles can be divided into two: facilitating the formulation, implementation, and amendment of bylaws, and handling IT infrastructure that includes server farms and computing devices.

Bylaws management

Concerning bylaws, the agency:

  • Facilitates the formulation and adjustment of bylaws
  • Trains community public servants and participants on bylaws
  • Ensures compliance with bylaws
  • Aligns bylaws with laws and regulations under which jurisdiction the community falls

Facilitating the formulation and adjustment of bylaws

The community’s bylaws form a core element of the community’s formation, detailing the duties of the community public servants and participants, as well as the agencies. The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency works through contractors who are experts in law, business, social relations, and other disciplines to draw up the bylaws. The agency then forms the platform under which the bylaws are taken to participants for public participation exercises, during which participants air their views and recommendations on the laws. The agency considers this input and uses it to improve the bylaws.

All participants commit that by joining the community, they agree to abide by the bylaws. They are therefore a form of a contractual relationship between the community and a participant, whereby going against the bylaws is deemed a breach of contract, and can attract penalties on the participant. It is therefore important for the community to achieve a broad consensus on bylaws, and for participants to be thoroughly acquainted with the bylaws as early as possible.

From time to time, community public servants and participants may identify areas of bylaws that need review. The aims of the review include adapting bylaws to business operations, updating them to move with the times, and enhancing the community’s ability to meet its obligations to participants. The Bylaws & Infrastructure Agency is again the platform on which the review is facilitated. The agency may hire contractors to review recommendations and advise on the best way of implementing them. The agency forms the collaborative environment needed to ensure all input is considered before any adjustments are realized.

Facilitating training on bylaws

All participants, especially those who serve as community public servants need to be well-versed with bylaws. Through its automated system, the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency offers training to participants on the bylaws & monitors their understanding. This can be done through online automated tests after each module. The tests are an important element in the selection of community public servants, who must have a good grasp of the regulations they will work with. As mentioned above, the agency works with the Life Planning Agency (agency 5) to integrate bylaws’ training in education.

Aligning bylaws with the law

Ultimately, bylaws are subordinate to the laws of the area within which the community operates. The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency continually studies bylaws, while surveying the legal environment within which the community operates. The agency then aligns the bylaws with the law as necessary. In some instances, the agency may need to reach out to lawmakers for better interpretation of various laws as they come into being or are implemented. The lawmakers will then study the bylaws as well, and offer their opinion, which the agency uses while adjusting the bylaws.

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure closely works with the Legal Agency to ensure the alignment of community bylaws and the law. The Legal Agency (agency 14) provides consultancy services and also helps in monitoring contractual agreements to ensure they are enforceable beyond the community in courts of law.

IT Infrastructure

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency handles specific community assets: server farms, and computing equipment including laptops, desktops, and similar items.

Server farms

A server farm is a cluster of servers located close together, to provide superior server functionality. Server farms are favored for providing high network redundancy – making the network more resilient and reliable, such that even if one server fails, the overall performance of the server farm is not affected.

Server farms are a type of cluster computing, which provide users with high-quality services, often through high-speed connectivity. These server farms are expensive to acquire, install, and maintain. For instance, they use enormous amounts of power, which, if not harnessed and used for other needs, can make the maintenance costs prohibitive in some instances. To get around this, places with cool all-year weather such as Iceland and Northern Canada are being favored as the ideal location for remote server farms, because of the abundant energy resources and less expense in cooling them.

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency handles server farms. The cost implications involved will usually lead the agency to lease the facility from server farm providers. The agency liaises with the contracted entity to ensure the integrity of data and ensure optimal performance. The agency in turn charges users in the community a fee to use the facility. Users access services through an automated system that enables them to secure services and make payments.

Computing equipment

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency provides participants with the computing equipment they need, including computers and laptops. The community is highly digitized, and a larger proportion of its 100,000 participants likely need computers from time to time for business or personal needs.

The agency obtains the computers needed to meet demand in the community. To estimate demand, the agency uses its automated system to interpret trends in the market. It also uses data supplied by the Stewardship Agency to estimate how many people need computing devices, and the type and functionality needed. The agency may hire researchers to do additional surveys on the target market and enable the agency to make better decisions when acquiring the equipment.

The agency relies on contractors to provide computers to participants. The contractors have access to the automated system through which participants place their orders for the hire of equipment. The contractors handle the logistics bit of the operation, delivering the equipment, and collecting it as requested, while keeping track to ensure proper usage and payment.

The decision to buy or lease assets

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency controls assets of significant value, and whose operation determines the quality of services they provide. Server farms and computers are expensive to acquire, and the agency must make a series of business considerations before deciding whether to buy or lease.

 In the long term, it is cheaper to buy an asset than to lease it. If an asset is being used for a long time, it will have slower depreciation than the leasing costs, and could still manage to fetch some money once its time for disposal is due. Additionally, buying an asset instead of leasing it could be beneficial from a tax standpoint, through tax incentives on acquiring assets and depreciation deductions.

The question with asset acquisition lies in whether the asset will be usable for a long time. The hardware in server farms, for instance, if well maintained, can last for around 8 years. Based on the revenues that the server farm is likely to generate, and the fact that replacement can be done in phases, the agency may decide to buy.

Personal computers and laptops may be a different ballgame altogether. For instance, the Apple Lisa 2, a 1983 release by Apple, with among other features, a 5 MB hard disk, was initially retailing at the equivalent of $29,000. While it could certainly compete then, it would struggle to complete any task that modern computers can handle with ease. Going by the quick depreciation that such items undergo, and the speed with which new and better inventions are released, it would be more advisable to lease such expensive equipment to get the best quality service out of them, without being tied down by the likelihood of the assets becoming obsolete too quickly, often before they break even.

Some assets need rigorous and expensive maintenance, making ownership less appealing than leasing. Additionally, leasing agreements can have provisions for upgrades. If they are there, it means that based on time or the availability of better versions of the leased asset, upgrades can be provided to replace the leased assets. This prevents the possibility of the agency having to pay leases for obsolete equipment that no participant wants to use anymore.

How the agency works

Background on presidencies

Every presidency in the community presidency is a four-member entity whose members represent one of the four major demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D). However, a president serves the whole community in their role, rather than only their own demographic. Presidents’ diversity and commitment to serve all is provided for in the community bylaws and ensures that all access services without any discrimination.

These four major demographics are evenly split in ordinary society, with each group accounting for between 23 and 27% of the population, and with regular fluctuations as people’s status changes. The community appreciates that discrimination across all social categories happens based on marital status, other social categorizations notwithstanding; married men are likelier to dominate other demographics, especially single men and single women. Married women are also likelier to have better outcomes in careers and leadership than single women.

The community’s infrastructure promotes equal access to economic and social resources and opportunities. The composition of the community as a whole and those who serve it in the community public service is closely monitored to prevent numerical domination, which can lead to nepotism or unequal access.

Besides marital status, the recruitment to be a participant, and to serve in the public service carefully considers other social categorizations, to ensure racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual groups are well represented in the community as they are in the society in which a community operates. These considerations inform the constitution of the community public service. The diversity in community public service, which is provided by bylaws, is aimed at creating a community that is blind to all other considerations besides service to participants. The service is therefore designed to be free of discrimination.

Executive presidency, bureau board, and demographic presidencies

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency is served by an executive presidency, comprised of 4 presidents from the four major demographics,[1] which handles strategy formulation and adjustment, as well as formulating and communicating operational procedures for the agency. Additionally, the presidency also facilitates the setting up of the agency’s automated system and adjusts it as necessary to better achieve its goals.

As part of the Public Administration Bureau, the executive presidency forms a bureau board with executive presidencies serving the Communication and Public Relations agencies. The board acts as a check and monitoring tool for individual presidents and agencies, especially when decisions have far-reaching implications for the community.

Within the bureau board, three presidents from the same demographic form a demographic presidency. There are four such presidencies in the bureau. The demographic presidency performs an advisory role to presidencies and agencies regarding a particular demographic; it does not have operational or executive authority. that cut across the three agencies. The demographic presidency also plays an important role in the mentorship and training of new presidents.

Demographic presidency ADemographic presidency BDemographic presidency CDemographic presidency D
Executive presidency, Communication (10)10A10B10C10D
Executive presidency, Bylaws & IT Infrastructure (11)11A11B11C11D
Executive presidency, Public Relations (12)12A12B12C12D

 

Limited partners and branch presidencies

Limited partners and group council

A limited partner is the basic unit in the community. A limited person, usually above 18 years old, but sometimes as young as 16, has been admitted into the community and has invested $20,000 as partnership interest, for which they earn a return. This is regarded as one unit of partnership interest. Over time, a limited partner can add more units of partnership interest, as their business prospers. The more partnership interest units a limited partner has, the more the return they receive from the agency.

A dependent is a minor, or a person living with a disability, under the care of a limited partner. In some instances, a dependent may be a fit adult, who for various reasons is supported by community agencies, and assigned by contract to a limited partner.  Limited partners are responsible for any legal agreements that their dependents enter into, either with community agencies or other participants. Together, limited partners and dependents are referred to as participants.

Participants who are dependents, because they are still minors, can start a business when they reach 12 years of age. This allows them to save up and invest USD 20,000 into the community by their 18th birthday, and possibly as early as 16. Limited partners and their dependents reside in apartments (village buildings). Each apartment has 4 floors, with each floor containing 16 apartments.

Each floor has floor has 7 – 12 limited partners, with each limited partner having 1 – 3 dependents. Each floor therefore has around 25 residents. With four floors, each building has approximately 100 residents. An apartment building also forms a branch.

Captains and branch presidencies

Of the approximately 100 residents in a branch, around 40 of them are limited partners. Each limited partner belongs to one of the four main demographic groups: married men, married women, single women, or single men. Each group has around 10 limited partners and forms a group council. In instances where members of one demographic group are too few to form a council, they can join another group for access to service delivery.

The council meets at least quarterly and provides limited partners with a platform to interact and discuss common interest matters to their demographic within their branch. One of the members of the group council serves the group as a captain. Four captains who serve the four groups in an apartment building (branch) form a branch presidency.

Captains are responsible for recruiting limited partners into the community through their council and by extension, branch. A captain does not recruit limited partners only from their demographic. Instead, they work to ensure that their recruits are diverse, considering social categorizations, gender, and social status, in addition to demographic groups.

Captains work in concert with their fellow captains in the branch presidency, and other presidencies in a village and district to ensure that the district is as diverse as possible. They are guided by present data on how diverse their district, village, and branch are, and what needs to be focused on to improve. They are also guided by community bylaws, which expressly require diversity as shown by demographic data about a population from which the community intends to recruit limited partners.

The captain serves as a service extension of the Human Relations Agency, though they also act as an interface between participants and other community agencies. For agencies that do not have operational presidencies, such as the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency, captains come in handy in helping participants navigate the agency’s automated system and other relevant tools used by the agency to deliver services.

10 branches form a village. Each of the branch presidencies also belongs to a specific branch board. Branch boards provide an additional check and balance for captains and branch presidencies. Branches are numbered based on the village’s hub, in the direction of the breezeway one-way traffic direction.

A hub is formed at the intersection of breezeways between villages. Hub buildings are used for a range of commercial activities that need to be closer to residential areas, such as daycare centers, grocery stores, and emergency centers, among others.

A branch’s number determines with whom its presidency will form a branch board. Branch presidencies 1, 2, and 3 form one branch board, as do 4, 5, and 6, and 7, 8, and 9.

Four villages make a district. The last branch presidency in each village in the community (branch presidency 10) combines with three others in their district or cluster of 3 districts to form additional branch boards. The last branch presidencies in villages 1, 2, and 3 in each district make a board. The last branch presidencies in village 4 of each of the 3 districts in a cluster also form a board.

Branch boards play an important advisory role in the recruitment process. As a captain recruits, he is advised by their board to ensure that their recruitment takes into consideration diversity, and utilizes available data to ensure balance in demographics, profession, social class, and any other relevant consideration.

Branch board formation can be illustrated as follows:

Besides belonging to a branch presidency and a board, every captain belongs to a demographic presidency of 3. A demographic presidency is made up of 3 captains within a board, and who serve the same demographic. The demographic presidency mainly serves an advisory function, safeguarding issues common to the particular demographic, and helping in mentorship and support for incoming captains.

The automated system is designed to help participants with all the help they need in matters related to various agencies. However, should they run into problems, captains assist them in navigating the system, or direct them to relevant contractors who help them at a fee.

Automated system

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency relies heavily on its automated system to carry out most of its duties. The automated system is designed to help in vetting contractors who are then given the task of running the agency’s services on its behalf. The agency also relies on the automated system to deliver training to participants.

The agency relies on its automated system for most interactions with participants. Those who may be unable to get the services they intend from the agency through the system can contact their branch president (captain) for assistance. Alternatively, they can contact contractors who are well-versed in the agency’s services, who help them at a fee charged to the participant.

Contractors

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency relies on contractors to do the tasks that branch presidencies, the executive presidency, and the automated system are unable to handle properly. As the agency sets up its operating strategies and policies, it enlists the help of contractors who are specialized in various fields of bylaws formulation and implementation. The agency also needs contractors to help it set up its infrastructure and facilitate delivery to participants. Additionally, the agency needs contractors to help in setting up the automated system, and the tools needed to monitor and adjust it to ensure optimal performance.

The Services that the agency provides are made possible by contractors. The agency needs contractors to develop and maintain its services offering access to servers, laptops, and related computing gadgets. It also needs contractors to handle the logistics of delivering and retrieving these gadgets to and from participants as per their lease agreements with the agency.

Inter-agency cooperation

The 24 community agencies form three columns of 8 agencies each. There is loose collaboration between the agencies in a column. The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency is part of the second column.

The Capital Bank (agency 8) grants loans to the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency to acquire the infrastructure needed to deliver various services. The Data and Publishing Agency (agency 17) provides the data analysis tools needed to harness the big data that the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure agency needs over the course of its services to participants. The two agencies work to make the data safe and help participants and agencies derive any value possible to help them with social and economic aims.

The Legal Affairs Agency ensures that bylaws are consistent with the law. The two agencies work together during the formulation and implementation stage to reflect the community’s aspirations, while still operating under the law of the area within which the community is based.

Presidencies’ offices, meetings, and quarterly conferences

Offices

The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency’s executive presidency has offices in District Building 11’s first floor, on the western side. Facing them on the eastern side are the offices for trustee presidency and Regulatory Bureau’s operational presidency serving the agency and District 11.

Trustees and the regulatory operational presidencies alternate their offices. Trustees have the offices in building 11 on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the operational presidencies use the offices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as shown in this timetable:

Building 11/ Bylaws & IT Infrastructure AgencyBuilding 23/ Community Land and Utilities Agency
MondayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
TuesdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency
WednesdayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
ThursdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency

The first floor’s layout is as follows, including other public servants who serve District 11.

Working hours and meetings

All community public servants work from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 8:45 in the morning. The Bylaws & IT Infrastructure Agency’s executive presidency uses this time to interact with other public servants and in some instances, contractors. On Thursday, each presidency (four presidents serving A, B, C, and D) meets for a 45-minute meeting from 9:00 to 9:45 in the morning.

On the last Friday of each quarter, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, each demographic presidency meets. The three-member presidency discusses common bureau matters that are of interest to the demographic they serve. On Saturday, again between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, the whole board meets, where the presidents present their input from the previous day’s demographic presidency meeting, and prepare for the quarterly conference. The aim is to have a cohesive presentation during the quarterly conference but tailored to specific demographic interests.

Quarterly conferences

Quarterly conferences are held on the last Sunday of each quarter, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a lunch break in between. During quarterly conferences, each demographic presidency sits together in the same row.

Quarterly conferences are held in District Buildings 5 and 17. Each building has a lower and higher assembly court. The different demographic groups use the assembly courts as follows:

BuildingAssembly courtDemographic
5Lower courtMarried men (A)
5Higher courtMarried Women (B)
17Lower courtSingle women (C)
17Higher courtSingle men (D)

Branch presidencies do not attend quarterly conferences. Instead, they follow the relevant proceedings online alongside other participants.

Each of the four assembly courts has seats for 480 presidents representing the respective demographic. In the diagram below each of the 4 courts is illustrated. The ceiling of each court has an elliptical arch that enables executive presidents, who are the only ones who make a presentation during the conference, to speak without the need to amplify their voices. The 480 seats are easily rotatable to enable presidents to face whoever is speaking.

Each of the four courts has an identical arrangement and number of seats. The exact arrangement of each court can therefore be illustrated using one court, in this case, building 5’s lower court that is used by married men (A).

Within an assembly court, the 480 presidents are arranged in terms of demographic presidencies of 3. The Public Administration Bureau’s demographic presidency for married men (10A, 11A, and 12A) sits in the highlighted seats. Various district demographic presidencies also sit on the same row as indicated.


[1] These demographic groups are married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).