Re: Mission Statement


On 2014-08-06 20:19, Emmanuele Bassi <ebassi gmail com> wrote:
On 6 August 2014 19:49, Michael Hill <mdhillca gmail com> wrote:
"This hasn't only exposed us to substantial financial risks; it has
caused actual financial problems for the project.  This year, GNOME
temporarily ceased funding of hackfests in order to recover from the
cashflow problems caused by the size of OPW." -- Ryan Lortie

Result: day to day operations of the Foundation disrupted.

the disruption has been put in place to recover reserves that we
burned through; those reserves were burned through because of a
reduction in the cash flow of the Foundation in general — i.e. our
finances have been shrinking for the past few years. the OPW was an
expenditure to make up for invoices not being paid, but *any*
expenditure (hackfest, conferences, travel assistance) could have
caused the freeze.

I sit on the travel committee, and witness a large part of the Foundation's expenditure on travel assistance and hackfests, as well as approving (together with other members of the committee) those expenses within boundaries set by the Foundation board. To my knowledge, the travel committee has not exceeded its event budgets since I have been a member.

While it is possible for any expenditure to trigger an emergency situation (given a sufficiently large amount), it is probably better to concentrate on situations where spending limits have been exceeded, and to reduce the likelihood of those situations occurring in the future.

in general, the freeze that has less to do with OPW and more with our
own issues in tracking payments and invoices, and handling our own
accounting. the whole issue could have just as easily happened if we
didn't have OPW, to be fair. in a way, the OPW growth and this whole
finance situation has forced the board to get a better handle on the
foundation's own funding and processes, to streamline them, document
them, and track them.

According to the Foundation board's FAQ about the financial situation when it was first announced, the Foundation "had to front the costs of OPW":

While the issue could have occurred without the OPW, in this case it happened because of the OPW, and the board put it rather unequivocally:

"The GNOME Foundation had a temporary lack of reserves due to processing the funds for the Outreach Program for Women (OPW)."

now that things are tracked properly the remaining effect of the OPW
growth is the administrative burden on our own administrative
infrastructure; that still needs to be fixed, and it would be good to
have ideas on how to increase our volunteer base.

Does that mean that all the outstanding invoices for OPW have been paid? If not, there is a financial burden as well as an administrative one.

we also still need to build up cash reserves, so that we can unfreeze
the expenditures of the foundation.

It seems reasonable to expect that OPW is subject to spending freezes just like the rest of the non-essential expenditure of the Foundation, including hackfests, travel and so on. However, there are very few minuted discussions of OPW payments from the board since the freeze. I can find no record of a decision for sending out the second part of the stipend for the current round of OPW:

I would have expected a decision some time before the 7th July stipend payment, but I can only see an inconclusive discussion and partial vote from the start of June:

As the payment date has now passed, did the board vote on the expense, and were the payments sent?


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