Proposal [Non-Constitutional]: Establish the ArbitrumDAO Procurement Committee

We appreciate the time and effort spent on all proposals regarding a structure for Arbitrum DAO to review and interact with proposals presented on the governance forum. It is a natural step to search for improvement, especially after the massive workload that the STIP brought to all DAO participants.

However, there are a few points that we want to highlight in some proposals presented so far, especially the ones trying to manage the relationship between the DAO and prospective service providers that, from our point of view, do not improve the process.

For context, this proposal was approved on Snapshot vote to create a Framework for security services providers to abide by their relationship with the Arbitrum DAO. It mentioned the creation of a Procurement Committee, which would oversee the process for security-related service providers.

On the current proposal, we see this text: “The ADPC will be tasked with establishing procurement frameworks for a myriad of verticals/service-types that the ArbitrumDAO could need in the foreseeable future”.

One Committee for All Verticals

The current proposal presents a mandate that extrapolates from the original, security-focused proposal, making the Committee the bureau that will propose procurement frameworks for all verticals within ArbitrumDAO.

While it is mentioned that the DAO must approve these proposals, and any DAO member is free to submit proposals, that is not the expectation. The proposal intends for the ADPC mandate to, “play a pivotal role in achieving further organization within the ArbitrumDAO”.

This is presented as a benefit for the DAO, but it is important to note that this Committee would have three members to oversee all the verticals and propose frameworks for them.

Although the benefit is streamlined decision-making, we do not feel that such a small authoritative body should be making decisions across all verticals.

Overlapping Proposals or Lack of Framework Clarity

Another concern is that the Arbitrum Research & Development Collective proposal which recently passed on Snapshot calls for the creation of a collective which mandate “will naturally aid in ‘Governance Optimization’ through research & development of tooling related to the ArbitrumDAO’s governance framework.” It also states that the “ARDC’s mandate will aid in future-proofing the ArbitrumDAO by virtue of its member-specific verticals re. Risk, Research & Security”.

Reading further, there is a clear overlap between both proposals:

Both the ADPC and the ARDC ask in their proposals for a mandate to develop frameworks with the objective of enhancing the governance process.

Conflicting interests raise questions

Given the situation, it is natural to ask ourselves who will be responsible for developing a procurement framework, as both suggested structures seem to claim the responsibility for themselves. If the Committee of this proposal is the one responsible, which would be common sense, it also states that it is part of its mandate " […] creating a marketplace for service providers that would have gone through preemptive quality assurance."

Therefore, several questions arise from the current state of those proposals:

  • How would be the relationship with the members of the Collective, if the Procurement Committee will create a whitelisted marketplace of service providers?
  • If the Committee of this proposal will be responsible for creating all the procurement frameworks and support material, why is the Collective needed in its current form?
  • Is it in the best interest of the DAO to have a Collective helping to shape/draft proposals and a Committee creating frameworks for procurement proposals?

In addition to that, the structure envisioned in the current proposal (the ADPC’s) will create a centralization point that surpass the original intent of creating a framework: a list of actions/requisites that guide the relationship between suppliers/clients.

As mentioned previously, it is important to notice that the number of service providers eligible for any proposal is nowhere close to the number of protocols applying for grants. For this reason, we need to exercise caution not to create a system of bureaucracy that is not required and does not tackle the real issues of the DAO.

There are good examples inside the Arbitrum DAO of Ad-hoc working groups, focused on specific tasks and delivering good results. These task-oriented initiatives (with a well-defined scope and a short list of deliverables) constantly present good results and should be used more often in our context.