[Osmf-talk] Conflict of interest (was: Remarks and question regarding board meeting minutes and circulars)

Steven Johnson sejohnson8 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 17:07:58 UTC 2018

> conflicts of interest are natural, to declare them when they arise, and
to deal
with them when necessary

Well said!

The standards organizations and industrial consortia I've participated in (e.g.
ISO, ANSII, OGC) routinely call for members to declare any material
interest or patents prior to voting or other official actions. OSMF could
adopt a similar mechanism to identify & acknowledge inherent conflicts of

-- SEJ
-- twitter: @geomantic
-- skype: sejohnson8

Wretches, utter wretches, keep your hands from beans! - Empedocles, *Fragments,

On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 6:41 AM Andy Allan <gravitystorm at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 19 Dec 2018 at 12:09, Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de>
> wrote:
> > I have already made my most basic suggestion on the matter - to not have
> > anyone with business or organizational involvement related to OSM on
> > the board.  This would enourmeously reduce the likelyness of CoIs
> > occurring because the vast majority of CoI are related to business and
> > organizational connections.
> Christoph, you make many good suggestions, but this is not one of
> them! You are attempting to avoid all conflicts of interest entirely,
> by pre-disqualifying a large number of OSMF members from our board
> elections, regardless of whether or not a conflict actually arises in
> the future, and regardless of the nature of these future conflicts of
> interest - that might not even warrant any action anyway. Your
> suggestion is an enormous over-reaction.
> It's also unworkable. Imagine that a candidate has no organisational
> involvement in OSM through work or otherwise, they are instead a
> geography researcher at a university working on unrelated matters. So
> you would allow them to stand for election. But what happens if their
> supervisor suggests that they should put in a SotM bid? Oh no! A
> conflict of interest has arisen! And we are trying to avoid CoIs
> completely. So we should ban all university researchers from board
> elections too, just in case.
> Still, another OSMF member has nothing to do with the geo world, they
> are employed making sandwiches in the catering industry. But the next
> SotM needs some local catering - so let's disqualify anyone in the
> catering industry from the board elections too, just in case.
> I hope you see how this pre-disqualification idea is both unworkable,
> and unnecessary. The better way forward is to realise that conflicts
> of interest are natural, to declare them when they arise, and to deal
> with them when necessary - rather than trying to avoid them in the
> first place.
> Thanks,
> Andy
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