[Osmf-talk] Microgrants conflict of interest: an apology

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Tue Feb 2 15:58:32 UTC 2021

Am 02.02.2021 um 16:24 schrieb Rory McCann:
> On Tue, 02 Feb 2021 15:44, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
>> Well better late than never, but naturally the damage has already been
>> done given that it wasn't exactly secret that grants had gone to groups
>> with close ties to the board.
> Huh? how do you mean “close ties”? OSM is small in some ways. It wasn't obvious to me at the time of the vote that there were CoI issues.

Well to some it was glaringly obvious.

>> The amazing thing though, is not that there are people seeking grants
>> which would cause CoIs with board members, but that such requests were,
>> and continue to be, permitted applications. They should have never been,
>> I will share the blame in not noticing that appropriate rules were
>> missing way back, allowed in the first place.
> We're going to require that applicants do the work of telling us of potentional CoIs with the board so we don't have to do the work.
> Surely if full CoI rules were followed it shouldn't matter if someone close applies, because no-one close will vote. right? In theory it would be the same as if the relevant board member wasn't on the board.

I would agree if we are talking about normal contracts etc., however the 
micro-grants scheme is a competitive bidding process in which the 
applicants are competing with each other and clearly stricter rules, 
providing a level playing field, should apply. As everywhere else that I 
know of for similar competitions.

So, no close relatives in the micro-grant committee, OSMF "contractors" 
and board, and no involvement of individuals of those three groups in 
the applicants project. We are not just talking about direct CoIs here, 
close links to all three groups will have the potential to influence the 
decisions, if not actually, so definitely in appearance.


PS: if the rules get changed and if there is a next time: could the the 
ridiculous unequal treatment of people that sold their time and got to 
keep the funds vs. those that didn't charge for their time be addressed?

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