The Debian Project Secretary

As the Debian project grew, it became apparent that there needed to be a set of semi-formal rules to help in conflict resolution, and as a result the constitution was written. The Debian constitution describes the organisational structure for formal decision making in the Project. The constitution delineates who makes decisions, and what powers are attached to each such decision making individual or body. The office of the Project Secretary is one of the six entities enumerated in the Debian constitution as a decision making entity.

Any Debian developer is eligible to be considered for the post of the Debian Project Secretary. Any person may hold several posts, except that the Project Secretary may not also be the Debian Project Leader, or the Chairman of the Technical Committee.

Appointment

Unlike other delegates, who are appointed by the Project Leader, the next Project Secretary is appointed by the Project Leader and the current Project Secretary. In case the current secretary and the project leader disagree, they must ask the Developers by way of general resolution to appoint a Secretary.

The Project Secretary's term of office is 1 year, at which point they or another Secretary must be (re)appointed.

Tasks performed by the Project Secretary

Conducting votes

The most visible task performed by the secretary is conducting votes for the project -- notably the Project Leader elections, but also any other votes that are run (General Resolutions, for example). Running a vote also entails determining the number and identity of the people eligible to vote, for the purpose of calculating quorum.

Standing in for other Officers

The Project Secretary can stand in for the Leader, together with the Chairman of the Technical Committee. In this situation, they may jointly make decisions if they consider it imperative to do so -- but only when absolutely necessary and only when consistent with the consensus of the Developers.

If there is no Project Secretary or the current Secretary is unavailable and has not delegated authority for a decision then the decision may be made or delegated by the Chairman of the Technical Committee, as Acting Secretary.

Interpreting the Constitution

The secretary is also responsible for adjudicating any disputes about interpretation of the constitution.

Contact information

Contact the Debian Project Secretary by sending e-mail in English to secretary@debian.org.

About Our Current Secretary

The current Project Secretary is Kurt Roeckx <kroeckx@debian.org>. Kurt has been involved with free software and linux since 1995, and has been a Debian Developer since August 2005.
Kurt has a Masters degree in Electronics and ICT, awarded by Hogeschool voor Wetenschap & Kunst.

Kurt has been Project Secretary since February 2009; he took up the position after the previous secretary, Manoj Srivastava, resigned from the position. Apart from being Project Secretary, Kurt is an AMD64 porter and maintains 12 packages including libtool, ntp and openssl.

The assistant secretary post

Due to the increasing amount of work (i.e.: votes) that the secretary was starting to need to handle, the DPL (at the time, Steve McIntyre) and the previous secretary (Manoj) decided that it would be a good idea to appoint an assistant in cases of unavailability.
Currently, Neil McGovern <neilm@debian.org> serves in this position.


The Debian Project Secretary