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

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Tue Dec 18 12:04:35 UTC 2018

On Tuesday 18 December 2018, Kate Chapman wrote:
> What is so amazing?

As said there are multiple levels.  But the most obvious one is the from 
my perspective very condescending approach to not actually acknowledge 
and reason with my remarks by asking a bunch of questions and answering 
those in a monologue like fashion.

For example the first question Mikel asks himself is:

"What is the benefit of this arrangement?"

I know exactly what the benefit of this arrangement is - it is a 
circular, the decision the board made is written in the minutes and i 
can read up exactly what this decision is in those minutes and i don't 
need Mikel to interpret it for me.  And incidentally i also know the 
request from the corporate AB members that led to this decision.

By putting a question like this into my mouth Mikel essentially seems to 
say:  I would prefer if you would not make up your own mind about 
things and instead rely on me to step this out for you so i would not 
be confronted with having to deal with a different, independent 
interpretation of the matter that inconveniently clashes with my own 
view of things.  If that was not as blunt and transparent as it is that 
would be pretty insulting.

I will leave it at that - but as indicated there are also other 
remarkable aspects of this question-answer monologue.

> That it is difficult to get sponsorship money to 
> local communities and there was a request for the OSMF to help? To
> me, it seems like one of the main reasons the OSMF exists to support
> local communities.

For that i would need to go into the details of what i wrote on the AB 
and as said for that i wanted to first give the board the opportunity 
to move to a more comprehensive and transparent minuting of the 
communication with the AB.

> Regarding the Advisory Board finding out first, they were the ones
> who asked for it. It was also noted in the minutes. Yes, we probably
> should have posted on OSMF-talk, I think that was simply an
> oversight.

I don't think so.  Mikel's announcement to the AB was not simply the 
announcement of a board decision, it contained further interpretations 
and procedural details - interpretations by the way of which it is not 
clear if they are just Mikel's personal views (along the lines of 'this 
is how i would like to see things implemented even though this is not 
actually what the board has decided') or if this is a confidential part 
of the board decision that is not publicly minuted.

> Related to the conflict of interest, to me that isn't any different
> than the Conflict of Interest related to the Organized Editing
> Policy. Only Mikel and Martijn did not vote in that case because they
> worked for companies with organized editing teams. In this case,
> nobody was making use of the option being voted on.

If this is the collective position of the board the problem is indeed 
much worse than it seemed to me at first.  The idea that you can remove 
a CoI by declaring yourself to be unaffected seems preposterous to me.  
This would be the same as in a case where you decide on hiring someone 
and one of the applicants is a relative of a board member and the board 
members in question says:  Does not matter, i don't like my brother 
anyway so i won't be affected by a CoI.

The board decision says all corporate members are eligible for the 
service that has been decided on - including the employers of Mikel and 
Martijn and the company of Frederik.  The fact that one or more of them 
state they won't make use of this does not matter.  As Michael already 
indicated a CoI does not require an undue influence of a secondary 
interest to take place, the existence of a secondary interest that 
could unduly affect the decision from an objective outside perspective 
is sufficient.

If the board is not able to see that - as said, then i think we have a 
big problem.

Christoph Hormann

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