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Meeting_talk: 2012 AGM/Candidates/John Vandenberg

< Meeting talk:2012 AGM‎ | Candidates

I will be mostly offline between Saturday and Tuesday, and responses will be via phone. Please excuse delays and spelling mistakes.


Hi John

I've noticed that you have yet to post any statement given that its now 18:00 AEDT and elections open tomorrow I have some questions;

As a current member of the committee;

  1. Why would the proposed employee be based in Brisbane when the association is incorporate in Victoria given that we have legislative reporting requirements there?
    Craig's draft PD is only a draft. We have allocated $20,000 for the process of employing someone, and that process is to include membership engagement on decisions like this. In 2011 Craig was able to secure an agreement with Creative Commons for us to have an office in their office in Brisbane. That offer was withdrawn when they relocated offices. However, last weekend I talked with Professor Anne Fitzgerald at the Asia Pacific Creative Commons Conference and they are again able to provide us with office space in their new premises. We have yet to request this, so there is no firm offer as yet, but it is once again on the table. It's an attractive offer that we should seriously consider. The proposed employee will not be doing the work of the public officer/Secretary, so they have no need to be in Victoria. John Vandenberg 15:14, 16 November 2012 (EST)
  2. Why was there a need to develop a new COI policy when it was already incorporated into the new rules that were published in April and at a time when the FDC application appears like it should have taken a priority in committee work?
    While we do not have a COI policy, I am not surprised that we are not granted such large amounts of money. As I have said on the members mailing list, there has been conflicts of interest that have not been disclosed to the members. Unfortunately I cant tell you what that was, as it is confidential and the people involved currently have the right to not have that conflict of interest published without their consent. The Act requires that the committee of management does the minimum necessary to avoid that conflict of interest being active in the relevant committee decision making processes. I initiated the Proposal:Conflict of interest policy because the Act and our current Rules are not good enough for an organisation like ours. As I have said on the mailing list and on Talk:Conflict of interest policy, we need public disclosure of interests, and even potential interests. The UK chapter has done this, and we should also do it before we receive large chunks of money. The new Act and the new Rules do improve the baseline, but they still do not go far enough. John Vandenberg 15:14, 16 November 2012 (EST)
  3. Why was there delay with FDC application? How does the current board see this as impacting our ability to get funding and our relationship with the Foundation?
    Please see meta:Talk:FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round1/Wikimedia_Australia/Proposal_form#Late_application_justification. I don't see it impacting our ability to get funding or the relationship with the WMF. We informed the FDC that should they deny our application, we would like them to allow us to submit into round 2. I highlighted that the rule that prevents application into both rounds isnt in sensible. I believe they should prevent a grantee from receiving funding in both rounds, but that isnt the same as being disallowed from putting in a second application. Sometimes a funding body needs to say "no, please address these concerns and reapply". We've been asking the members to help writing proposals. e.g. you provided the concept behind Proposal:2013 national town hall meeting program. Unfortunately that proposal isnt polished enough yet, but we did include $50,000 worth of breathing space in the plan for new proposals to be incorporated into our program activity. I hope you will help finish that proposal so it can be sent to the board and it can commence in 2013. Unfortunately I think the only other proposals were submitted privately by Laura Hale, and she has not published them yet despite them being seconded and being ready to be published according to our proposals process. Next year we will need to have a more formal process of proposal writing. The Swiss internal application process is quite nice. Their members wrote good proposals which they could pull into their Annual Plan. John Vandenberg 15:14, 16 November 2012 (EST)
  4. Why did you not disclose your COI with the president of Indonesian chapter during the last years AGM vote on WMAU proceeding with the language conference? What steps did you take to ensure that WMAU was not being compromised by its involvement in a situation that has the appearance of a COI? Has WMAU funds been used that enable you and/or Siska to attend any events ?
    I did not have a COI with the president of the Indonesian chapter at that stage. I have wrote a very detailed brief about this months ago, and sent it to the members, internal-l, and functionaries-en. Why didnt you ask this question months ago? I will publish that email now since you have raised it. John Vandenberg 15:14, 16 November 2012 (EST)
    My email that you received on 26 July is now public at User:John Vandenberg/Marriage announcement. Perhaps you would be so kind as to publish your reply to this announcement sent the following day at 10:25:40? And then explain why you've changed your opinion so drastically and dramatically at this juncture of time. John Vandenberg 15:38, 16 November 2012 (EST)
    When I started talking with Siska more regularily that normal and necessary, and seeking concensus for a smaller and cheaper event, we cut WMID out entirely. They have and will not receive a dime from WMAU, and I have instead used my time to organise the workshop.
    in my two years of being president the only funding i have received from WMAU is what i described in that email. I have paid for all the other trips. To Miles. To Perth. To Melbourne. To Bathurst. Etc. Etc. Wmau has not paid any other expense for me or Siska, or anything of the kind. If that ever was to happen, you should be confident that the management. I have also never had any benefit indirectly from any of our partners other than coffee and biscuits and sandwiches at the SLQ workshops. The only item i am not sure abiut is one or two nights accom for the strategy workshop. The treasurer would be able check for us. John Vandenberg 10:33, 17 November 2012 (EST)
  5. Do you believe that this years committee communicated in a fast and effective manner? What are some examples of the board not responding quickly and effectively this term and how will you address those if elected in the next term?
    The committee has acted admirably. I am sorry that you feel otherwise. We often have to be nudged, but we also have to nudge members to do their bit too. We're all volunteers. John Vandenberg 15:14, 16 November 2012 (EST)
  6. What actions did you take address concerns raised about the inadequacies of last years AGM? What have been the problems so far in this election cycle and do you feel the board prepared adequately for these election?
    Regarding the AGM last year, the inadequacies were a) the voice recording software failed us; b) mixing IRC and teleconference is messy and we failed to do it well; c) the open source software that we have used for years, and has used by Linux Australia and Linux Users Victoria for even longer, does not use STV; d) the meeting went way too long and nobody changed their position.
    a) Test everything in advance, and have backups!
    b) At the meeting this Sunday we will make a decision on how/if we will mix IRC and teleconferencing. The membership and the committee are divided on this. A decision is needed. We're obviously aware now that mixing the two is very difficult and our decision will be informed by this.
    c) We have organised for the new software which implements STV to be released 28 days before the AGM.
    d) As chair I wont be allowing long discussions about any item.
  7. Why given the issues raised about communication for the AGM has the committee not made arrangements for each city to have a venue available for members to join the AGM more effectively?
    No. We have made arrangements for the venue in Melbourne. Members in other cities will need to organise their own venue. John Vandenberg 15:14, 16 November 2012 (EST)

Thanks Gideon Gnangarra 18:23, 15 November 2012 (EST)

Prepping for the new FDC round

John, the next round is due 1 March, little more than three months away. Presumably we'll be in there for dosh. So does this mean a reasonable time for encouraging members (and committee members) to assist this time would be, say, third week of January onwards?

Will there be a formal back-up plan for seeking funding from the GAC this financial year? Tony1 19:05, 17 November 2012 (EST)