ANSTHRLD - Further clarification... unofficial

Kathleen O'Brien kobrien at
Tue Feb 23 10:01:05 PST 1999

>Caelin on Andred writes:
>>  You may set the parameters under which you are willing 
>>  to work, but I would prefer to go the other direction 
>>  except where a legal issue is involved. In particular, 
>>  reports are _much_ easier to build and send via email 
>>  than by hard copy and it is _much_ easier to extract 
>>  from a report to you to build a report to your 
>>  superior with email than with hard copy.
>And Adela responds with:
>>  Reports, applications, resignations, and notifications could all be
sent by
>>  e-mail; but good, hard copies would have to to be made and filed.

and Lord Stephen macThomas replies:
>I agree with Honorable Lord Star's decision regarding the use of hard copy
>communications for official business.  Electronic correspondence has a
>tendency to disappear on both sides.  [snip]
>What we submit becomes part of the permanent records
>of both the branch and kingdom files, and too often we (I stand guilty as
>charged here) forget to print a hard copy of correspondence for the files.
>Now, I also agree that e-mail is vastly more convenient and far less time
>consuming, and personally I'd prefer that we were able to communicate
>electronically all the time.  But I believe that permanence and
consistency in
>procedure is the best policy here.  

I am only going to address the "Why can't electronic stuff count as
official?" discussion.  (Since the consistancy, "not everyone has email",
discussion is pretty cut and dried.)

There is one answer:  "Electronic is way less 'permanent' than hardcopy."  

And by requiring hardcopy, I don't believe that Star means that you can't
use electronic (please do!), just that until the hardcopy is in his hands,
it doesn't count as official/turned in/etc.  This is what the Laurel office
has done.   

In taking up the office of Bordure, over the last 4-6 weeks I have been
figuring out how to properly create & send off LoIs, etc.  In doing so, I
found that Laurel has run into the exact problem we are discussing - and on
a much grander scale than we are dealing with - to the point that it went
into the Administrative Handbook.  [Finding the particular chapter & verse
is left as an exercise to the student.]

In practice this is what happens regarding the LoIs: electronic is fine,
even desired, but it is NOT official.  It counts as notification that an
LoI is coming via snail mail, but until the actual hardcopy arrives, it is
not an "official" LoI.  So when I'm assembling the packet of submissions to
send to Laurel, I need to include two printouts of the LoI.  If I don't,
then she has not officially received the LoI.  

I think what we are seeing here is a parallel situation.  It is WAY too
easy for the electronic bits of an office to vanish.  Sometimes when the
office changes hands, sometime due to electronic catastrophe (lightning
strikes, theft, viruses, etc.).  So if something needs to be "official" and
continue with the office / be kept for posterity, it needs to exist in
hardcopy.  Here again, electronic seems to be fine, even desirable (makes
assembling stuff much easier), but hardcopy is the final "official" form.   

For quite awhile, the Ansteorran Gazette has been acting as a "permanent
record" for ILoIs, ICC, and ILoARs.  The LoI "permanent record" is the copy
I put in the Ansteorra-LoI archive binder that goes with the bordure
office.  (If the web site ate itself, we could scan these back in and

But while the gazette covers the submissions process pieces pretty well, it
does not cover reports from locals, etc.  If I were a local facing this
situation, I would write my report in email and send it off.  Then I would
print out a copy and drop it in the mail.  It doesn't have to look pretty,
it just has to exist.  Also, I would put a copy in a file folder that goes
with my local office.  Then, when I hand the office to a successor, they
(1) have a record of what happened in case they are asked, and (2) will
have a template to use when they have to write a report.  It's real easy
when picking up an office to miss a detail of your job.  If you have
examples to work from, then you are much less likely to miss something.

My $.02 worth,


Lady Mari Elspeth nic Bryan
Bordure Herald, Kingdom of Ansteorra
mka Kathleen M. O'Brien
kobrien at

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