Re: Board Meeting Minutes :: 29th March 2007


Adrian Custer wrote:
>>  * We often deal with commercially sensitive information, which Advisory
>>    Board members (or others) provide in confidence.
> This is exactly the kind question I would love the board to consider: in
> the experience of the board over the past three years, can the board
> list the advantages for its mission of that secrecy and do the board
> members think that it's been worth it?

Yes. It's being a point contact for various groups who may not feel comfortable
(yet) to express their views in a public forum. Essentially it's formalizing a
private back channel of information, and archiving it for future board members
to benefit from.

> Now I can't evaluate the *actual* work of the board by the very nature
> of the secrecy; my only recourse is to trust you to auto-evaluate your
> situation yourselves. I hope you can do that and then re-iterate that
> you think it's best or necessary.

I would hope the relatively detailed public minutes give you a damn good idea of
what the board does in its day to day work. The stuff you can't see is usually
coming down the track as soon as humanly possible.

> Does the board continue to believe that having the pay of its employees
> private outweighs the cost of not being able to make public the bank
> account transactions of the foundation? A quick review by the board of
> its policies would be nice.

That's not quite true - we've had public budgets before, and although we've done
a pretty bad job at explaining the various items, details like employee salary
have been public in the past.

> No, not particularly, but remember Jeff that you've seen a completely
> different foundation than I have. You presumably also have a different
> experience of secrecy in general and of foundation secrecy in
> particular. 

I welcome your candidacy next year so, if elected, you can see what goes on
behind the closed doors you speak of. Really, there's nothing at all to fear,
and I've been privy to an amazingly responsible set of people during my time on
the board.


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