A Region is a constitutional element of the multi-layer representative structure and has a its own government directly elected by all of the citizens in the Region.
Within the structure of Variable Law, Communities may elect to promote aspects of their law and some service responsibilities to Regions. So every Region has a constitutional responsibility to uphold the constitution and to provide the BASE services that are promoted to it by the majority of its constituent Communities.
The Region’s primary role is to support Communities through the provision of services that require more resources than their constituent Communities can muster. There will be primarily on the areas of transport, legal servcies and education.
Along the with the right to create laws comes the responsibility to administrate the infrastructure necessary to support the government of the Region. There are aspects of governance that a Region cannot promote or relinquish, because to do so would abdicate the core responsibilities of being a Region.
To this extent, an inability to manage and administrate these aspects of government, precludes a group from forming a legal Region and having its own government:
- government assembly
- legal services to codify, police and prosecute the law
- BASE services as promoted to the Region by constituent Communities
- Information network connectivity
- Transport integration
- financial control for tax revenues and expenses
By definition a Region has its own government and so it must necessarily be able to run elections for representatives.
Elections must be held using the LIFE PR system and requires that the Region is able to validate its constituents’ identity and provide a suitably accessible method for them to cast their votes. Region governments must be re-elected every four years.
The elected representatives meet in assembly to review matters before them and make laws.
The Region must provide facilities for the representatives to meet, and for there to be public scrutiny and a premanent record of the proceedings and voting.
The size of the assembly is determined by the size of the Region’s population, but can not be less sufficient than to accommodate seven representatives, assembly reporters and a public gallery.
The remuneration for representatives should be approximately 8 times the median earnings of their constituents, such that the best candidates are attracted to public service and so that they can devote themselves full-time to the execution of their responsibilities.
The principle of Variable Law allows for a Region to retain unto itself aspects of law promoted to it by the Communities it contains, and, in practice, it is likely that some aspects of law will be further promoted by Regions for governance at higher layers.
Regions, like any other layer, that decide to retain, or retrieve, any apsect of law, have a concombinant responsibility to adjudicate any alledged transgressions thereof. This requires that the Region have the personnel and infrastructure necessary to police and prosecute the law. Regions will have to fund these services, and the others outlined below, out of their BASE tax distributions and any local taxes levied.
Separation & Unification
The constituent Communities of a Region are voluntary members of the Region and linked by geographic proximity. Communities can elect to change their affiliation between Regions, so long as they have geographic continuity with a Community in the other Region. The citizens of a Community joining an established Region automatically inherit the Variable Law status and State affiliation of their new Region.
Regions do not have the right to accept or reject a Community’s election to affiliate with them.
The Communities of a Region can elect to divide into multiple Regions – effectively allowing secession. In such an event, each new Region inherits the same Variable Law status and State affiliation as its origin Region. Material fixed assets, and directly associated debt obligations, are assigned to the new Regions based on the geographical boundries of the new Regions. Other financial assets and debts are proportionally assigned to the new Regions based on the portion of the previous population they encompass.
In support of the constitutional responsibilities of the Region there are various practical management duties necessary to the functioning of the Region.
The organization of the adminstrative and management functions resembles a standard management structure in which departmental managers of each of the functions below report to, and serve at the discretion of, the representative assembly.
In addition to the functional service departments below, there are various general management reponsibilities that will most likely be executed by a general manager. These functions include planning and licensing.
Provisional estimates of the management and staffing required to run a Region with a population of 1,000,000 are 20,000. This excludes contributors who support public services through volunteering or micro exchange.
A Region must be able to manage its finances and keep accurate, public records thereof.
At a minimum this will involve the management of BASE distributions for the provisioning of public services (see below). Should the Region decide to levy local sales or income taxes, then the collection and expenditure of those revenues will also need to be managed.
A Region Finance Manager should report regularly to the Region Assembly on the state of the public finances.
Sales & Income Taxes
Regions that decide to collect local taxes based on sales or income must either provide their own mechanisms for their collection, or submit applications to the constitutional authorties at higher layers that are already collecting taxes, based on the same sales or income, on behalf of the Region. Such requests shall not unreasonably withheld and revenues therefrom shall be subject to the deduction of the collecting authorities’ costs.
Regions receive disbursements of tax revenues to cover the costs of provisioning the BASE services that have been promoted to them. The receipts of the Region are proportional to their population as a part of the entire population covered by the tax and do not factor any special circumstances of the Region (except insofar as the assessment of average service costs across the entire taxable population is affected by the inclusion of the assessed costs of that Region in the overall assessment).
Regions must meet their service obligations, but within those parameters they have discretion over the proportional allocation of tax revenues between services.
Additionally, Regions may coordinate with other constituencies to ammeliorate their service costs and they can levy additional taxes on their constituents to fund additional or enhanced services.
One of the primary responsibilities of every Region is to manage their environment, and their impact on it, to create a sustainable living space.
There are three primary elements that each Region must manage:
It is in the self interest of every Region to become as energy self sufficient as possible, with the lowest environmental impact. The objective of every Region should be to become entirely self sufficient without the use of stored energy sources, such as coal.
As carbon taxes are applied and the cost of centrally generated energy escalates, the desire for end-user efficiency and local micro generation will grow. Regions that can increase their efficiency and develop their own renewable generation capacity will be best able to serve their constituents by diverting funds into their Regional infrastructure, that would otherwise have gone to outside energy producers.
Public transport and shelter services can have a large impact on energy requirements.
Waste management is basically a Community responsibility, although it may be shared with others through Regional cooperation.
As part of the standard Community setup, each Community will assess its waste management costs as granularly as possible (i.e. per product or material type). If the Region is the taxing authority with responsibility for sales tax collection, it will apply the appropriate additional waste taxes to sales in the Community, and return collected revenues to the Community.
An adequate supply of clean water is necessary for life and it is a key responsibility for every Region to plan for and secure this.
Necessarily, water management is defined by the catchment basin, watersheds and aquifers of the geography that the Region occupies. In many cases this will require Regions and Communities to form water management authorities that cross constituency boundries.
Where there is no reasonable prospect of, or ability for, competitive supply of a critical resource to the inhabitants of a Region then the supply channels and source will be publically owned. This is especially true of water, but can apply to other utilities the supply of which is crucial to the health and well being of the entrie Region, in even the most dire of political or economic circumstances. There may still be value in the use of commercial operators for some parts of utility systems – see Topic – Infrastructure for further discussion.
The provision of promoted BASE services to all Regional constituents is a mandated constitutional responsibility of every Region. There are bound to be variations in the nature of the services, the extent to which they are delivered through promotion of the responsibility to higher layers and the priorities of different Regions.
The content of the services is self described by the constituents of the Income Tax catchment area. So it will be the case that there will be Communities and Regions whose mandated service responsibilities in each of the BASE services will be little more than what is necessary for survival, because the wealth of the Region/State/Transterritory cannot support anything more.
In this wiki, much of the detail of these service descriptions applies to implementation in the industrialized societies and is not intended to be a prescription for everyone or every situation. The linkage between the levels of BASE services, the cost of providing them and Income Taxes is intrinsic to the Standards of LIFE and specifically allows for great variety to best fit the people and the situation at hand.
Each of these services will most likely require management that reports to the assembly, and staff to provision and maintain the services and facilities.
As Communities have primary responsibility for the provision of Shelter, Regions are likely to have only emergency relief responsibilities.
A Region should probably have permanent relief capacity to acommodate one or two Communities and the ability to deploy temporary shelter services for a quarter of their population. Disaster planning and analysis will allow Regions to determine the appropriate extent of the facilities they maintain.
Given the nature of Sustenance services and the implementation of BASEC, Regions are likely to be involved simply in assisting Communities with the distribution of food stuffs and planning for emergency relief in line with the situations described in Shelter above.
The primary responsibility of Regions for Healthcare services will be to provide remedial services to support the preventitive services of Communities.
The high costs of hospital facilties and more highly specialized medical practioners, will make these services too expensive for many Communities to support on their own, and so will be promoted to their Regions.
Regions will have to provide the mandated healthcare services included in the BASE specification, free at the point of need, for all constituents. They will have to fund these services from their tax distributions, unless they are further promoted to the State.
There will be opportunity for the private, competitive healthcare facilities, but these should not be mixed with public services or facilities.
Efficient provision of many BASE services in a Region, as well as the health of the local economy as a whole, will require the availability of public mass transport systems.The primary focus for Regions will be on providing interconnecting transport services between Communities. Because of these integration responsibilities it will be appropriate that the Region also set safety standards for transport systems in the Region and its constituent Communities.
Any local transport network needs to integrate in a coordinated manner with the transport infrastructure of the wider area, in order to provide meaningful services. To this end Communities will undoubtedly promote some of these responsibilities to their Regions, and Regions to their States, and States to their Transterritories.
Tertiary education will often be promoted by Communities to the Region. These should include trade schools that reflect the needs of the local economy as well as the more traditional, academic opportunities.
Education is a very significant investment for a Region on account of the facilities and specialized teaching staff necessary. The opportunity for the construction of competitive educational facilities may arise for private ventures, but it will unlikely make sense for public services. Given the investment burden and efficiency restriction, voucher systems will not make sense for many Regions. Better, and simpler, then, to secure quality management of the educational services, and give them the discretion to hire the best teachers and to manage the schools for the benefit of the students.
Information access responsibility falls primarily to Communities, and it is Regions that have the responsibility for the first layer of interconnectivity. Reliable, secure connectivity between Communities and onwards to higher layers, at the fastest speeds possible, needs to the objective of every Region. The ability of residents to access information will be key to the vitality of the economic activity of the Region, the health of the society and the democratic involvement of all.
The xID and SPEx specifications will likely mean that Regions carry the heaviest burden, of all layers, for secure data store facilties and their management and maintenance. In hosting xID stores on behalf of Communities, Regions must do so in such a way that the stores can be easily and quickly transferred to Community stores, as soon as they are ready to host them themselves.
The Region needs to provide network connectivity to ensure that Community access systems are connected to wider area networks.
While public access networks can be built using the best available solutions at the most affordable prices,the Region is also responsible for providing secure connections from Communtities to the secure network that allows them to manage their xID records and access other privacy sensitive systems, for such things as checking their medical records. Because of the security requirements there is likely no opportunity for commercial, private operators to be involved in the infrastructure rollout and maintenance, so these will be public responsibilities.
Most Communities will not have the expertise or the infrastructure to be able to build and maintain their own xID Store. In these cases Communities will promote responsibility for the storage of the xID records to their Region. So Regions will have to build secure xID Stores that meet the xID specifications and secure networks that connect the Stores to the Communities.
Furthermore, Regions will have to implement disaster recovery processes and facilities in association with other Regions, inside their own boundries or with their States – or all of the above.
To enable a vibrant micro economy the Region needs to provide support, guidance and basic technology infrastructure for a Regional Services & Products Exchange (R.SPEx). This exchange provides a consolidated marketplace using Inter-SPEx to connect the Community C.SPEx systems and allow anyone to publish the services or products they are willing to provide across the Region, whether for monetary compensation or not.
Where Communities do not have the ability to provide their own C.SPEx they can promote this to the Region, and the Region will provide C.SPEx systems for each Community.
The Inter-SPEx network links the R.SPEx to the State’s SPEx, which in turn links to the Transterritory’s and so forth to create a worldwide exchange for micro services and products.
It is vital to the sustainable health and prosperity of every Region that every effort be made to foster and support micro economic activity. While all of the BASE services indirectly support that goal, Information services are the catalyst that ignites the flame.
Regions must provide the require Legal Services to their constituents including the defense of any accused, at public expense.
Most likely Regions will be the holders of many aspects of law, especially in the areas of criminal harm. Additionally, it is likely that Communities will promote to Regions the responsibility for the remand of criminals deemed to be an ongoing danger to society, and so Regions will have to provide incarceration facilities and the services to manage those. Enhanced incarceration facilities for the most violent and dangerous criminals may be escalated to higher layers, so long as the same aspects of law are promoted along with the responsibilities.