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

joost schouppe joost.schouppe at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 18:48:46 UTC 2021


There were rules in place within the committee to make sure applications
with a relation to one of the members would be treated equally. For
example, even though I was just facilitating, I left the meeting for a bit
while the Belgian application was being discussed. I was very much aware of

However, once on the Board side in the general positive mood about having
reached a nice set of proposals to accept in bulk, I did fail to realize
that the bulk vote included one project I should have not voted on. So it
was "glaringly obvious" in one role, much less in another. If we would have
voted on them one by one, I do suppose it would have spontaneously occurred
to me or any of the other participants that I couldn't vote on the Belgian

Now I understand that it sounds great to have noone on the committee that
has a possible CoI, but I think that it would be a bad idea to try and
enforce that. As mentioned before, we are a small community. I would really
hate to see a project disqualified, just because I'm on the committee. It
would mean that anyone considering to volunteer for the Committee would
have to check if they are close to anyone with a good idea. Which would be
true in 95% of cases.


Op di 2 feb. 2021 17:02 schreef Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch>:

> 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.
> Simon
> 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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