Index Council members to provide conflict of interest disclosure before accepting position

Index Council members to provide conflict of interest disclosure before accepting position

iip: XY
title: IIP-XY: Index Council members to provide conflict of interest disclosure before accepting position
status: proposal
author: @afromac
Created: 2021-11-26

Simple Summary

This proposal seeks to install a safeguard in the new Wise Owl/Index Council governance framework in which newly appointed members must provide a comprehensive Conflict of Interest disclosure in advance of assuming their position.


As an open organization, Index Coop has limited capacity for vetting new members. This is a net positive when the goal is to attract new members, however it introduces risk when we seek to empower community members with enhanced and extraordinary influence over decision-making. A Conflict of Interest disclosure is a step that can be taken to enhance transparency around that decision-making, and should enable the community to:

  1. Ensure that the well-being of the Index Coop is the priority in that decision-making.
  2. Enable the community to better understand the context around that decision-making.


The creation of a Wise Owl/Index Council has been deemed an essential step forward for Index Coop governance. This body will be tasked with an executive decision-making role, and will have significant influence on strategy and crisis-management in future. While it is a generally prevailing consensus that this is a positive and necessary step forward, it is not without risks. Implicit in the short time-frame and community request for clarity over this group’s remit, is the expectation that this framework should be iterated on and improved over time. This proposed IIP is a first step in that process of improvement.

Primarily, as an open organisation without legal contracts, Index Coop is vulnerable to capture by participants with contractual obligations to closed organisations. The event that a community member will have a contractual obligation to another organization is normal, likely, and should not preclude them from participating in the majority of circumstances. However a full disclosure of those obligations and associations should be made in good faith so as that all community members have full context and awareness of their actions. This need for transparency and accountability is essential for us to continue to function as a successful open organisation.


All elected Wise Owls / Index Council members must provide a Conflict of Interest disclosure before accepting their position.


FOR: All elected Wise Owls / Index Council members must provide a Conflict of Interest disclosure before accepting their position.

AGAINST: All elected Wise Owls / Index Council members do not need to submit a Conflict of Interest disclosure before accepting their position.


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


Fully agree with the motivation, I’d also like to see some recourse and requirements added so that all WOs are on a level playing field in terms of transparency, and all community members can feel a bit more confident in their elected leaders. Further, current WGLs are also elected by the contributor community, extended this requirement to all elected leadership should be considered.


This is a good idea to ensure Index Coop’s needs are put first. In effort to ensure a standard is maintained, I suggest we create a Conflict of Interest Disclosure and Best Practices Policy. This will give folks guidance and provide visibility around what everyone can comply with. Otherwise, what should or should not be included is somewhat open to discussion. There are many NDAs throughout the communities and some WO members may or may not have NDAs preventing them from sharing they are bound by NDAs. This is fairly standard for the space as IP theft is a real risk.

Disclosure: I have exposure to PAY, which was communicated prior to DG1 and is linked below. However, if history is anything to go by, it is not likely this product will be launched during the council’s first term . It is not yet known if PAY will proceed to DG2 or if it will be launched by Index Coop.


Excellent suggestions Mel and Matt. I think firming this up into a clearly defined policy/standard is a great step. I will begin reaching out to people after the weekend, and would be happy to hear any suggestions you would have for specific items you would like to see here.

1 Like

My existing COID from September; all credit to @oneski22 for the suggestion I do this at that time.


May I suggest, as renumeration for the WO role is an open discussion, it would be prudent for elected WO to remove themselves from this discussion.

A strong testament to avoiding any potential COI, would be for the WO to recognise that if WO determines their own renumeration, it could be considered a COI. If I am elected a WO, I would like to strongly recommend that all elected WOs step away from such renumeration discussion and place trust in the community to come up with a suitable reward for WO.

To give some colour here, WGL have already recognised that the WO role is a part time hourly contribution that replaces other activities around the coop. For WGL and Full Timers who pivot their time towards WO responsibilities, additional contributor rewards ranging from 150 to 350 INDEX per month on top of existing WGL and FT packages has been discussed. The premium ranges from 41% to 97% for the highest paid WGL for pivoting their time allocation from WGL operations matters to the WO role. For Full Timers, it is a lot less of a market up as the base is considerably larger.


Thanks for the initiative on this @afromac I see a real need for this and agree w. @mel.eth and @Matthew_Graham feedback.

As an example, I am sharing here my COI statement over at Aragon, which has a statement of support from the legal eagles. Maybe this is step to far for the council here?

As community contributors and elected Executive SubDAO members, we recognise that we will be at times put in a position to make funding decisions about projects that we are personally invested in.

When this happens, we believe the best option would be to abstain from final voting so as to prevent decision making bias.

We would appreciate the community’s feedback on this mechanism to ensure we the @ExecutiveSubDAO members operate with the highest level of integrity and transparency as we grow this network together with you.

Personal comment to post

As a strategic business, growth marketing and performance professional I would like to contribute to the growth of the Aragon Network in any way I can add value.

I hope to take a proactive role in helping our community develop proposals to both the Main DAO and the Executive Sub DAO and therefore would need to abstain from voting on proposals where I am directly involved.

As a historic record, I will add links within this post to every proposal where my role as an Executive SubDAO member may present a bias in decision making and/or a conflict of interest. In these matters, I trust my fellow executive team members will make the best decision for the community.

CC @daniel-ospina @fartunov

I would also like to clarify that the executive team at Aragon have nowhere near the extent of power of the IC council is granted. The extent of our power is limited by a legally binding charter and even within our mandate, decisions are subject to immediate veto by the compliance committee as well as member removal by community vote.


I saw this posted on CT this weekend: LegalForms/DAO Contributor at main · LarryFlorio/LegalForms · GitHub

I’m not sure whether this is the right direction, but it’s always good to see what’s out there and how people are thinking about it.

And specifically the conflicts section below.

We also see our friends over at Sushi grappling with the centralization question as well. It’s a tough one without clear answers and I wonder if part of the Index Council charge should be setting a template or roadmap for the future of disclosure and contributor-DAO relations.


FOR this.

Given the interconnected nature of daos, overlapping incentives are inevitable, and often somewhat beneficial. However, those incentives should be identified and managed. Removing conflicts of interest is not necessarily the goal, but acting transparently is.

I do have an issue with conflicts that cannot be disclosed because the existence of an agreement is confidential. To that effect, council members could agree to not participate in decisions for which they have conflicts of interest that they cannot disclose.