[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] Modus operandi of the board

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Tue Oct 21 14:59:52 UTC 2014

Am 21.10.2014 15:33, schrieb moltonel 3x Combo:
> On 21/10/2014, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> wrote:
>> Sarah Hoffman wrote:
>>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Frederik_Ramm/2014_OSMF_Board_Elections_Manifesto
> That was a disheartening read.
> The transparency issue is the one that shocks me (a "basic
> contributor") most, in a project that has open data as its founding
> purpose and that is firmly rooted in the open source community. I
> expect to be able to look into the inner workings of any important OSM
> body.

Note that Frederiks and my complaint has been about the inner workings
of the OSMF not being transparent to board members, that is a  different
kettle of fish than transparency to the members and the general public
(the later obviously wont work without the former though). To our
members and the general public, IMHO the largest annoyance is having
financials available in a reasonable time frame after the close of the
financial year. This is mainly a cumulative effect of

- choice of the financial year
- UK tax return filing date
- timing of SOTM/GM

which results in the financials typically being presented more than one
year after the end of the financial year they are from. As I've pointed
out they are available a -lot- before that, but we have up to now failed
at actually making them available.

To use the example of expenses that Frederik raised, yes I would
normally expect the board to have a good grip on the numbers and who has
spent what, but I wouldn't expect a breakdown per person to be published
(it likely wouldn't even be legal).

The other financials related issue is that we don't publish a budget for
our financial year (for the first time that I'm aware of we did try to
bring together the numbers for an internal budget this year, still this
is not really a replacement). We further have not really had a good
handle on the risks associated with the largest line item, SOTM.

>       I know that discussions can be heated, that opinions and
> wordings can change, that mistakes can be made, etc. It's par for the
> course, don't hide it, we don't mind and neither should you.
> The other issues are bad as well, but in a sense, they're not my
> problem. They make life hard for board members and should be fixed,
> but they don't cast a shadow over OSM as a whole. It's surprising to
> see such contrast between OSM's general doocracy and the OSMF's more
> bureaucratic approach, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Just fix
> it for your own sakes, OSMF members.

I don't think that even by a wide margin the OSMF could be described as
bureaucratic, yes, procedure tends to be invoked, as Frederik pointed
out, as a political ploy, but that is about it.


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