[HOW TO] SafeDAO Governance Process

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SafeDAO starts with a lean and iterative governance setup. It is expected that over time, additional responsibilities will be transferred to the SafeDAO and the processes will adapt accordingly.

Phase 0: Forum Discussion

This phase is optional, however it is recommended to discuss new ideas on the Safe community forum, since a successful proposal will need to garner momentum inside the community.

Duration: No minimum or maximum time frame on how long a proposal remains in this phase

Who: Anyone can post

Form: No formal requirements

Phase 1: Safe Ecosystem Proposal (SEP)

A SEP provides a structured overview of the proposal that acts as basis for further discussions and also as foundation for decision making during the next phase.

Duration: Minimum 6 days

Who: Anyone create a SEP

Form: Post in the SEP section of the Safe community forum. The forum post has to follow the SEP template

Phase 2: Community Vote

The final ratification of an SEP requires a successful vote on the safe.eth Snapshot space that fulfills the following requirements.

Duration: Proposal must have a voting delay of 1 day and a voting period of 7 days.

Who: To prevent spam, only SAFE holders with at least 20,000 SAFE can post proposals on Snapshot. Governance participants that do not reach this threshold should find a proposal sponsor (such as a Safe Guardian) to launch a Snapshot vote

Form:

  • Voting system - Restricted to single choice voting. One outcome needs to be “Make no changes”
  • Quorum - 10,000,000 SAFE
  • Majority - Relative majority of the SAFE used for voting on Snapshot
  • Proposal title - SEP:
  • Proposal description - Has to follow the SEP template
  • Proposal discussion link - Link to SEP on the forum

Outcome:

24 Likes

great job. easy procedure to follow

1 Like

The participants agreement informs the participants about the ability of the signers to veto the proposal. Should this be included in the above process.

1 Like

Our very first proposal SEP #1 brought up the question whether the review period of proposals should be extended in case of edits. In case of minor changes, that should most certainly not be required. I suggest to make the following change to the process in the first post:

Current

Edit: Suggested change v2

Please vote below for a temperature check and comment if you have other suggestions.

  • Let’s do this
  • Make no changes
  • Abstain

0 voters

Note: I do not anticipate an extensive discussion around this change, but if you do, let’s move the conversation into a separate thread. I also suggest to keep this conversation here independent from discussing a more comprehensive governance framework for SafeDAO, which we might want to tackle after SEP #1 as well as a some sort of a manifest/constitution proposal have been passed.

4 Likes

I’m fine with the change in general but I think it should be more clear and err on the side of “requires delay”:

Proposed:

Duration: Minimum 6 days, plus 4 days after each edit (except when changing format or fixing typos/grammar/spelling). In case of doubt whether an edit constitutes a minor change, it is assumed to be a major change and triggers the 4 day delay period.

4 Likes

Good point to automatically fall back on the delay period, instead of coming up with some role of soft governance as I had originally suggested.

Only including these exceptions makes sense to have a clear rule that does not include any changes of contents. However, SEP-1 was an example were an arguably minor change was made to the contents of the attached PDF document and the general sentiment was that this should not require another delay period. To make sure this change is effective, I’d rather try to include “minor changes in content” as well, although I realise that this will always leave room for interpretation. In combination with your other suggestion to automatically fall back on the delay period in case of doubt, I can see this working though. We’ll also always have the Snapshot vote as an ultimate security buffer where everyone could coordinate in Discourse to vote against the Snapshot proposal in case the delay period was not respected even though it was not considered a minor change.

So, how about:

2 Likes

No, I totally disagree.
You can see protests against this meaningless waiting in SEP #1.
In fact, the last feedback from SEP #1 came from October 4, but we have waited for nearly two weeks to put the proposal in a snapshot vote(not yet), whether for those who make suggestions to SEP #1 or those who waiting to push other proposals forward, there was a long and meaningless wait.
I would also like to say that if the creator of a proposal frequently modify the proposal, the proposal will never enter the snapshot vote, and everyone will gradually give up participating in governance.

I also suggest not to assign the number to a SEP too early.
Only proposals that complete the final modification and are fully prepared to enter snapshot should be assigned the SEP # number.

1 Like

It is unclear to me why there needs to be such a rush. A 4 day delay is already questionably short (I would prefer a week to align with human schedules, as some people may only check things on weekends for example). Maybe this is just me being old, but it feels like clarity of rules significantly outweighs getting a proposal pushed through the process faster.

3 Likes

I agree with the 4 day edit duration, this will help people better reach a consensus on changes in proposals.

But of course irrelevant changes should not trigger delay for another 4 days.

2 Likes

Agree, to me that’s the point of this suggested change.

Including minor/irrelevant changes of contents however is tricky as it’s subject to interpretation.

I would absolutely agree. Truth is, beyond technically being a DAO, SafeDAO is still quite barebone in terms of operating frameworks which defines such rules. We have yet to align on several fundamental proposals, including a more comprehensive governance framework itself that expands on the initial process proposal in this thread. I believe everyone expects this governance framework to be an SEP itself - which it should - but then we might as well include this change discussed here in that SEP as well, just to prioritise clarity of rules over rushing this minor change through quickly. Would you agree?

In that case, I’d suggest to wrap up this discussion here and move it to a new thread in General Discussion - Safe Community Forum to collect inputs for a governance framework.

4 Likes

Thanks @lukas for putting this together. It’s great to see this process become more refined.
Since the issue of editing SEPs has come up in SEP-2, I’d like to suggest some related clarifications to something @theobtl proposed.

I think we should define when a delay period is necessary: when edits to a SEP constitute a change in the actions taken to implement or adhere to the proposal in the case that it passes.

This language excludes things like formatting and typos but adds some clarity to what constitutes a major change. It also allows for some flexibility in editing timelines since we are focused on what is being done rather than when it’s done.

Since you are referring to [SEP #2] Community Initiative To Unpause Token Contract (Enabling Transferability), then when is as – if not more – important as the what, isn’t it? From the comments in the SEP-2 thread, there seemed to be broad consensus on the what (i.e., enable transferability) but a variety of views on the when (i.e., now, after claiming period ends, later on, etc.). Doesn’t this show that editing timelines in a proposal can absolutely be a significant change that should not be considered a minor change, alongside changing typos or formatting?

As you can see from the comments above, the original question of defining when the review period is reset turned out to be quite controversial. The informal poll is currently at about 30%/70% and community members like @MicahZoltu have a point when they say:

If you ask me, it is therefore still a good idea to not try to force consent in this informal/non-SEP thread on aspects of SafeDAO’s governance, but rather collect a couple of these and bundle them in an upcoming SEP “SafeDAO Governance Framework”.

That would also legitimise this governance process here which has never been voted on itself.

The only downside I see is that we would have to fall back on the default review period of six days, no matter how insignificant a change was. Although I could also see this as a feature, not a big, since SafeDAO is still so early, not everyone has made it a routine to regularly check the forum (and could use more time) and the proposals we’re discussing are quite fundamental and important in nature. Giving them a few more days on this forum to mature won’t harm, I’m sure.

Does that make sense to you?

3 Likes

Agreed on everything you said here and I absolutely think multiple options should be presented in a SEP! @MicahZoltu makes a fair point.

I didn’t mean to imply that timelines were unimportant–rather, I was trying to point out that the change doesn’t solve The Timing Problem :tm: so if we used this wording we would need additional language about that. I could have been clearer. You and @netrunner.eth had some comments about coming to a conclusion in SEP-1 regarding changing phrases, and I hoped this change could help resolve ambiguity in cases like that.

I’m with you on the last point–it seems being cautious and restarting the review period for edits is a luxury we can afford when this SEP is proposed.

2 Likes