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White Belt Administration
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|White Belt Administration
|CEO Abigail Morrison
|Black and White
As a result of the Succession War, the Galactic Coalition was forced to come to the negotiating table and recognize the Federation as a sovereign entity. During these heated peace talks, a stretch of space was designated as a demilitarized zone where neither power would have authority. In essence, the existing colonies already present in the White Belt were left to their own devices when the Coalition and Federation withdrew from the area; they had assumed, of course, that local governments would fill the power vacuum that they had left in their wake. This, ultimately, proved not to be the case. The lack of oversight left the White Belt aimless for a time, but the value of the colonies that had been abandoned started to attract the interest of some of humanity's most wealthy megacorporations.
Both the Coalition and the Federation were approached with the idea of placing the demilitarized zone under the authority of several megacorporations as a sort of massive trust. They would administrate and oversee this area of space until such a time as it was safe to return it after a certain period of non-hostilities. With few other options and plenty of money changing hands to grease some palms, the two wounded giants relented and allowed the megacorporations to oversee the White Belt.
Many in the demilitarized zone were left summarily abandoned, however. Both Coalition and Federation aligned worlds were now in neutral space, much to their chagrin. Because of this, many saw the megacorporations' attempts to muscle in as overreach, and some colonies began to strike and riot. While many megacorporations had private fleets and militaries at their disposal, they were not as well equipped as an actual government entity might be. Faced with the choice of having to deploy their private military companies as strike breakers across many systems or acting more diplomatically, they took a rare step and convened a meeting between corporate executives and leaders from each colony in the White Belt. Together, the two groups put together an administrative framework that would suit the needs of the area. Nevertheless, the union of megacorporations maintain a heavy hand in White Belt politics, as they have the final say in the sector's administration, as they view the region as an investment and are effectively its shareholders.
Originally, the White Belt was part of human space and was comprised of human-majority colonies that had been founded by the Coalition. Once the war had ended and the region came under the control of the megacorporations, however, the administration pushed the sector towards commerce. Free market and open border policies were instituted, permitting trade with practically every galactic entity. As a result of the White Belt's central position in known space and its mercantile nature, it quickly became a galactic trading hub, allowing colonists of all species and cultures to immigrate and find new homes and profitable jobs on one of the many rapidly expanding colonies. The White Belt's strong economy was enticing to many alien species, and as such it's demographics have shifted over time, though the megacorporations and sector administration still are primarily human run and staffed.
The White Belt administration differentiates itself from other human governments, as it is a corporatocracy by nature. Since the White Belt sector is technically a trust that is being overseen by a subsidiary of much larger megacorporations, it is really at the mercy of its shareholders. The full name of the White Belt government is the White Belt Administration Associates, but is typically shortened to the Belt or White Belt as necessary. The area is overseen by a board of directors who are appointed from their much larger parent companies in an equal process to ensure fair representation for all investors. This board of directors is the highest governmental authority in the White Belt sector; they have the final say in almost every decision on how the region is run.
The reality is, however, that the White Belt is a large area and the support of local populations are needed to govern on a smaller scale. Each major system within the belt has an appointed System Govenor with responsibility for all matters within the system, a corporate king. Smaller planetary governments, who may be led by elected officals serve under the System Govenor, but this is mostly to provide the impression of democracy, rather then any real, meanigingful democratic representation. Taxes are paid to the local government, to the administration, which in turn provides funding and grants for civil structures. Many are unconvinced about this show of democracy, though, as the incomprehensible wealth hoarded by many of the megacorporations can be used to nudge local events in whatever way they see fit. Corruption is a specter that haunts daily life in the White Belt.
It is because of this perceived corruption and the administration's status as a corporate entity subservient to larger megacorporations that many are discontent with the status quo. More money goes out of the White Belt sector than is invested into it, and it is not uncommon for some to say that the sector is nothing but a piggy bank for the megacorporations, as the region is being run for profit as though it itself was a subsidiary, rather than to provide for the colonists that live there. Some of the border worlds on the outskirts of the White Belt's space have noticed a drop in funding from the days as a colony under the control of the Coalition. Cities and worlds are funded based on how they can make money for the administration, leaving many by the wayside for not being 'viable'.
The White Belt sector is administrated from no official city or planet. The board of directors typically meets on a government owned space station, the WBSS Athens, when necessary, but otherwise as corporate executives they are known to be very busy and travel quite often. Local civic structures handle most citizen concerns and the board is only convened to deal with serious issues that they feel require their immediate attention. This does not happen often.
The White Belt Administration maintains as neutral of a stance in galactic politics as possible, since their main priority is money. Alienating trade partners or galactic governments is antithetical to this end goal. However, with the constant threat of pirates and other unsavory criminal groups taking advantage of their open society, the administration does maintain a large fleet. The White Fleet is made up of detachments from many parent megacorporations working together in tandem as a defense force for White Belt space, and as police where necessary. The fleet patrols daily for pirates and as a show of force projection.
Compared to most other galactic governments, the White Fleet is not as large or as well-equipped, but it was never designed for direct combat. It excels at the small everyday conflicts that arise in less regulated regions, making it difficult to smuggle in White Belt space, unless you know the right people or line the right pockets.
As a mercantile state, profit is the major concern of the board of directors. They are, of course, focused on providing their parent companies with as much income as possible, and as a result the administration's economic policies reflect these concerns. The administration plays it safe, appeasing their local populace as best as possible while cutting costs where necessary. This bureaucratic balancing act has so far been working for them, and the White Belt has become recognized on a galactic level as a major trading hub that deals with practically everyone. Its open border policies, free trade agreements, loose regulation and low corporate tax rates have created an off-world haven for plenty of businesses, much to the chagrin of both the Coalition and Federation.