[Osmf-talk] Board statement - Membership Working Group report on unusual signups before OSMF election

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Wed Jan 30 16:27:47 UTC 2019

On Wednesday 30 January 2019, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> MWG informed the board on 28 November that they were planning to
> start an investigation. They asked board if we could set up a
> connection with Global Logic. The board asked Global Logic if we
> could share the previous communication with MWG. Global Logic then
> asked if we could schedule a phone call. This ran into the elections
> and Christmas break, during which no meaningful communication
> happened, and the phone call was held in January.

Since the concept of the board having phone calls with third parties is 
new to me i would like to ask for some more information on what the 
procedure is for that.  With email this is quite clear - you have the 
board mail distributor and all communication goes through that and this 
way is distributed to all board members.  With a phone call - is this a 
conference call where all board members who have time participate in or 
is this one board member talking on behalf of the board?  Is the 
content of such call somehow minuted, i.e. is there some record of what 
has been said during the call?  So for example new board members 
joining the board later can read up on the situation afterwards.

> > When exactly did this communication happen?  What was the content
> > of that communication?  Was any information that was not publicly
> > available at that time shared with GlobalLogic that could have
> > influenced the reaction of GlobalLogic to MWG inquiries?
> There is currently no requirement for board email communication to be
> public, and whoever emails the board can have reasonable expectations
> of confidentiality. I am hence a little uncomfortable with this
> sounding like an interrogation. You have no *right* to know, I do not
> *have* to answer. It would be more fitting if you could ask politely
> instead of firing a volley of snappy questions.

I did not mean to imply you have to answer my questions or that i have a 
right to know what i am asking for.  I thought the sequence of 
questions in this case makes it clear that i would like to assess if 
the communication between the MWG and GlobalLogic (or the lack thereof) 
as it has been described in the report has been influenced by other 
communication between the OSMF and GlobalLogic.  Answers to the 
questions i asked would be helpful to form a more complete picture of 
the situation that would provide a more solid basis for developing an 
opinion on the matter but i can also do so without.

> The conversation with Global Logic started when board announced how
> the membership cut-off for voting eligibility would be handled. They
> asked some questions about this. A few messages were exchanged
> (written, on the board side, by Heather, Mikel, and myself) in which
> we, on the whole, politely welcomed their contribution and suggested
> that engaging with the OpenStreetMap community on the mailing lists
> could be a valuable step in avoiding any misunderstandings. I
> wouldn't say that any "sharing of information" has taken place at
> all.

Ok - that clarifies things a bit.  Does this also apply to the phone 
call mentioned above?

> > * The board has also approved a circular saying "The MWG suggested
> > the Board release or endorse the GlobalLogic report rather than it
> > coming from just the MWG"  Is your statement of receipt meant to
> > serve as such?
> No. This board decision was made redundant by MWG publishing their
> report without waiting for board to come up with an endorsement.

Ok.  This is however definitely not clear from the text of the circular.  
It says:

"The MWG suggested the Board release or endorse the GlobalLogic report 
rather than it coming from just the MWG"

I understand the "release or endorse" to mean that the decision would be 
to either have the report released by the board (and thereby be 
implicitly endorsed) or to have it released by the MWG (as it did 
happen now) and in addition have the board endorse it.  If - as you 
said - the decision is moot with the MWG releasing the report on their 
own the 'or' in the circular does not make sense, it would have to be 
an 'and' for that.

But if the board understands the meaning of the circular to be that way 
that is perfectly fine of course - you decide on a circular as you 
understand it, not as i understand it.  But my suggestion to try 
avoiding unclear formulations in board decision of course remains.

Christoph Hormann

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