Draft Openness Policy

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Comment This is a draft for a suggested policy created by Harry Mitchell (who, being a humble volunteer, has no power to set policy whatsoever) and inspired by Mike Peel

One of Wikimedia UK's core values is "to be transparent and open". In order to fulfil this, the board and staff of Wikimedia UK should seek to share information about the charity and its activities with the charity's volunteer base and with the general public.

As would be the case with any charity, some information must be kept confidential, for example personal information about members or donors—which Wikimedia UK has a legal and ethical duty to protect. To this end, Wikimedia UK maintains non-public wikis and closed email discussion lists, which are used by trustees (and in some cases staff) to inform the board and/or office of sensitive matters requiring attention. Additionally, the board holds an in-camera session at most meetings in which matters are discussed privately, the minutes of which are recorded on a non-public wiki.

In circumstances where information does not need to be confidential, the board and staff should share it with the volunteer base and make it available to the general public via the Wikimediauk-l mailing list and the public wiki. Such information includes, for example, reports on the day-to-day activities of the staff, decisions made by the board outside of publicly minuted meeting, and expenditure of charity funds. Where such reports contain sensitive, non-public information, every effort should be made to publish the report in a redacted form where possible.

Wherever possible, staff and trustees should seek to involve volunteers in every aspect of the charity's activities and, in particular, its decision-making, and volunteers should be given all the information they require in order to carry out a given activity, except when Wikimedia UK's legal or moral obligations preclude such disclosure.

In some cases, information may need to be withheld from the public for a definite period of time. In such circumstances, the relevant trustees or staff members should endeavour to make the information available to volunteers and the public at the earliest proper moment. In cases such as embargoed press releases, it is usually preferable for volunteers and members to be informed in advance where practical.

All information kept confidential should be reviewed regularly, and due consideration given to releasing it where appropriate.