[Osmf-talk] Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team at the OSM Foundation in 2017

Martijn van Exel m at rtijn.org
Wed Nov 29 18:21:07 UTC 2017

> On Nov 29, 2017, at 10:02 AM, Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de> wrote:
> On Wednesday 29 November 2017, Martijn van Exel wrote:
>> [...] Merely
>> having an affiliation DOES NOT represent a conflict of interest. A
>> conflict of interest only arises when a topic is being addressed
>> where a board member has an interest in the topic stemming from their
>> outside affiliation that may not align with the interest of OSMF.
> I am no expert on conflicts of interests but i think this is not quite 
> correct.  As i understand it a conflict of interest exists based on the 
> possibility of an undue influence of a secondary interest, not just if 
> such an influence is actually exercised in a meaningful way.
> My understanding is that even if you know/believe your secondary 
> interests (for example as a Telenav employee) align perfectly with the 
> interests of the OSMF on a certain matter or even if you intend to act 
> against these secondary interests you would still have to recuse 
> yourself from participation in a decision making process on matters 
> where your employer has an interest in due to the possibility that 
> these interests do not align perfectly and you might put these 
> interests above your obligation as a board member.

Correct, but there still needs to be a situation to give rise to a conflict of interest, as the Companies Act states clearly. Merely having an affiliation does not constitute a conflict of interest in and of itself.

I think I caused confusion where I stated that the board has been able to self-regulate this. This may have implied that we rely on each other to call each other out on potential CoI. This is not the case, I trust my fellow board members to disclose when needed, and this has happened on a few occasions.


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