[Osmf-talk] Remarks and question regarding board meeting minutes and circulars

Rihards richlv at nakts.net
Tue Dec 18 11:03:05 UTC 2018

On 17.12.18 22:29, Michael Reichert wrote:
> Hi,
> for the sake of clarity, you is used in plural only in this email.
> Am 17.12.18 um 20:58 schrieb Mikel Maron:
>>>  yet it seems all three board members who work for corporate OSMF
>>> members participated in the vote despite the obvious conflict of
>>> interest.
>> Was there discussion of Conflict of Interest on this topic?
>> Yes. None of the companies we work for (GeoFabrik, Telenav, and Mapbox) are looking to make use of this facility, so whether it was available or not would have no impact on us. Therefore CoI was not a factor.
> Why don't you document such discussions about CoI, e.g. "Three board
> members work for corporate members but none of them is looking to make
> use of this option."
> Not planning to make use of something does not overcome CoI concerns.
> From my point of view, a CoI is not about an actual conflict of interest
> but also about potential conflicts.

Christoph, if I may suggest a slight change in the approach - imagine
somebody with a completely different background and genuinely not seeing
your point (think a completely different culture). You'd probably
explain the point politely, focusing more on arguments, less on emotions.

There is (on average) a fairly large difference in some areas between
European/USAian[1] views[2]. The cultures are fairly similar, which
might make it harder to recognise the differences.

Michael's point above is great.
Dear board, if you have the capacity, consider recording not only things
you do, but also things you don't do, and why.
When creating documents that describe how something should be done
(think specifications), I always try to note what was decided not to be
done, and why. What seems obvious at the moment can seem stupid a month
later, and the details will have escaped my mind.

A great point from some corporate training was that perceived CoIs cause
more damage than real CoIs. We can recall such cases from other areas or
just look at the time that has been put in this thread.

[1] Other regions are important, but this discussion mostly arises
between these two.
[2] Some OSM members have mocked mentioning such a difference, but I'd
like to concentrate on the facts and would love be convinced otherwise.

>>>  This decision was also revealed by the board to the advisory board  (through Mikel) on November 28 while it was only made public through  the minutes on December 6.
>> Why was the Advisory Board notified of the decision before the rest of the Foundation?
>> The decision was made by circular. We typically announce circular results publicly in our Board minutes. I shared back the results with the AB, so that companies making budgeting plans for 2019 could know as well. Not everyone tracks the Board meeting minutes so closely.
>>>  Such a process is then the opposite of  transparency because it deprives the OSMF members and the OSM community  in general from the opportunity to provide input on and participate in  the decision making process and fulfill their supervising function (see above).
>> Did the community have any awareness or chance to comment on this decision?
>> The topic was announced in our November Board meeting https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Board/Minutes/2018-11-15#Aiding_sponsorship_of_regional_SotMs, though we did not get a chance to discuss.
> Well, you had the chance but you decided to postpone it.
>> There was little discussion on the AB list, outside of brief remarks of
>> support from local chapters and other companies, and one remark
>> against from the FOSSGIS local chapter representative.
>> It didn't seem like the topic was particularly controversial, so we moved ahead on circular. What we didn't have at that point were details on the process, which led to the 3 votes against. Process is important, but no one was disagreeing with doing this on principle.
> Three of seven votes against are a sign that a proposal is somehow
> controversial and should get more discussion if it has not been
> discussed a lot already.
> Best regards
> Michael-- 

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