Re: Questions for candidates - board processes & significance

On Tue, 2011-05-31 at 11:41 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
> Hi German,
> Germán Póo-Caamaño wrote:
> > On Mon, 2011-05-30 at 16:11 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
> > Jeff Schroeder already did this question, my answer is here:
> >
> Not *quite* the same thing - you talk about open meetings and recording
> what happens in meetings. I'm specifically asking for accountability on
> email discussions, which you don't really address.

The minutes include the email discussions/decisions. So, I think I
already addressed your question with:

        "Considering the way Brian (secretary) works with minutes, I do
        not foresee any problem with adding details such as who voted,
        how directors voted, and who did not.  It would be more work for
        the secretary and the board should take care that controversial
        issues have comments to avoid misunderstanding, but it could be

Is there anything else you would like me to add?

> >> 3. I think financial transparency is important. If you plan on applying 
> >> for the treasurer position, what changes (if any) would you propose for 
> >> the budgeting process? How often would you publish financial reports for 
> >> the foundation? Are you happy with the level of transparency in the 
> >> board's finances now?
> > 
> > I think the budgeting process is not a one-person task.  Teams need to
> > think ahead.  For instance, the accessibility team has done a great job
> > planning their activities 1.5 years ahead.  The same I could say from
> > the Women Outreach Program, where Marina is already thinking in the next
> > editions of WOP.
> Do you have any ideas on how the budgeting process can be improved over
> previous years? I offered to help draft the initial budget in previous
> years, but in the end discovered the budget when it was announced on
> foundation-list. Do you think it would be a good idea to have a small
> group of people like the ED hiring committee or GUADEC organising
> committee working on a shared file to come to the initial draft?

I think working with teams is the way to go.  Later, discussing the
draft in this list.  However, I have the perception that the draft has
been taken as it were written on stone.

> [...]
> There are two aspects to financial transparency: the budget, and the
> actual expenditures. Publishing a draft budget and revising it based on
> feedback is one thing, but it's also important to publish regular
> updates on what has actually been spent, so as to foresee any budget
> over-runs or to show when allocated funds have not been used. KDE eV,
> for example, includes a small section in every report with the
> expenditures and income since the last report.

In you can find
the initial budget and the revisited budget (final) in 2010 (Oct
2009-Sep 2010).  In the final budget, you can compare both, what was
allocated and what was actually spent.

I think you are asking for something that already exists.  True, it
exists only for one year, but that was my first term as a board member.

> I notice that you have also done this for the quarterly reports - and
> this is good and useful. However, the last report was in Q2 2010, as far
> as I can see, a year ago. I know this is kind of a pain to do, so
> perhaps there's a way to improve the process to make it easier?

You missed the final budget.

In order to make regular updates, first we had to solve other issues.
Several of them has been solved or partially solved, such as automating
or semi-automating tasks, among other things.

> Also, one thing I'm missing is the actual relationship between income &
> expenditures  and the budget. We don't see the "balance forward" for the
> foundation, and we don't see whether expenditures came in under or over
> budget.

See my comment above.

> > Managing external accounts that gets bigger and bigger are also an issue
> > to our non-profit status, because they increases artificially the funds
> > we carry from one fiscal year to the next one. We can not earmark those
> > funds.
> I don't believe that this is a big problem - especially not for LGM,
> which has only had a surplus of a few thousand dollars (which is not a
> lot for an organisation with an annual budget over $300,000).

Our previous accountant raised the issue of holding too much funds from
one fiscal year to another. AFAIK, even before I became the treasure.

Carrying, for instance LGM + GIMP, from one year to another is more than
$70,000.  This is not like a few dollars.

> > In the future, it should not happen with external accounts according to
> > the minutes :
> > 
> >         "The board decided to no longer manage funds for external
> >         organizations. It is too much work, especially now that there is
> >         more of an interest for GNOME projects to get more involved with
> >         fund raising."
> I'm actually really disappointed at this decision, and it's one of the
> decisions where I would have liked to know who proposed this, and who
> was in favour. My personal position would be to work out on a case by
> case basis whether projects align with our mission, and figure out how
> to make the process work and set the management fee to an appropriate level.

I proposed it.

FWIW, this is for *external* accounts.  Projects that follow all GNOME
process and that are part of GNOME budget, I do not consider them as

Germán Póo-Caamaño

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]