Talk:Agenda 11May13

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Papers for the board[edit source]

Please put them at Reports 11May13#Staff. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:16, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Video[edit source]

The last board meeting for which videos have been released on Wikimedia Commons, as part of the charity's commitment to openness and transparency, was a year ago, in April 2012.

Has there been a decision to not video any of this board meeting as well? If so, then as it has been a year since the last video was released, I suggest we make this a decision of the board of trustees one way or another, rather than this appearing to be serendipity.

I will propose at this meeting that the WMUK board now commits to publishing video of open sessions of its meetings, after review for any suitable redactions, with the intention that this fulfils its commitment to access for those unable to travel to the meetings, acts as a firm record of the events of the meeting that the minutes can be assessed against and is a visible demonstration of the values of openness and transparency.

There are suitable meeting mics, camera, tripod in the WMUK office, and Big Blue Button is free to use which will provide an on-line video to instantly refer to, should this be preferred. All we need is staff or a volunteer to get it out of the cupboard, plug in it and switch it on and off.

Thanks -- (talk) 07:49, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Fae. While I'm all for making the charity open, I agree that this would need a clear board decision on whether or not to video meetings, before going ahead with it.
This is because videoing board meetings - especially live-streaming them - is not considered best practice, as all it takes is one misspoken word during the meeting to cause problems later down the line. Generally, recording the word-for-word exchange between board members will have a chilling effect upon participation, and it's important that board meetings are free, frank discussions where the board can speak their mind.
Finally, I'm not sure that there's anyone who can review the videos for appropriate redactions - the staff don't have time to, and I also doubt that the board have the time to review the videos themselves before consenting to release. These are all things for the board to consider in the meeting when you propose this, but I look forward to the proposal. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 10:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I take it that you believe the meeting is not going to be videoed? As a trustee I have no idea about any of this any more, I seem to be last in the food chain. -- (talk) 14:12, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
The process of videoing is more complex and time consuming than you might be aware. I'm not really happy to go ahead without clear authority from the current board, and a plan for how the videos are going to be reviewed to ensure that we don't breach any confidences. I applaud you bringing this up, though: I think it would be helpful for the entire board to discuss whether or not this is a good idea, and if the board decide to go ahead with filming, and if there are resources in place for review and upload, then we can go ahead - possibly even the same day, if the decision is made early enough in the meeting. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 15:05, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, there was never a decision to stop filming open board meetings, whilst there was a decision to film open board meetings. So if there is a discussion, it would be whether to stop our open board meetings being open to recording. If nothing else, an unpublished video record (I have not suggested live public web-casting here) helps avoid confusion over the content of board minutes, which has happened several times I believe. I may have missed a decision of the board on this in some recent minutes somewhere, happy to be corrected.
With respect to "I'm not really happy to go ahead without clear authority", I am unclear why this is a matter for your call, indeed this need take none of your time, or the time from any staff members as I will be happy to call a halt to the meeting whilst I get the kit out of the cupboard and set it up if necessary. There would be little problem in passing the video files to volunteers for processing and editing if needed (our practice is to switch the video feed off for in-camera sessions). In my view this would be a good use of my volunteer time as a trustee as a demonstration of the commitment of the trustees to openness.
By the way, I processed and published on Commons the first videos of our meetings (you may recall that Sue Gardner had no qualms about being filmed for open publication or had any concerns about the potential for one misspoken word, which are likely to occur in open meetings). As a result, you can expect me to be aware of the time it can take, hence I would consider using simple online tools such as BBB or the easy YouTube editor. Fortunately, there is no particular deadline for publishing videos of meetings, though personally I would want to do these within 2 months or it does not seem worth the effort. -- (talk) 15:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm with Fæ here when it comes to filming the board meetings. When we started doing this, we touted it as a significant improvement to our transparency as an organisation, both to our members and fellow Wikimedia organisations. Frankly, it's embarrassing that we've since gone back on that without saying why we've changed our minds here (or even figuring out whether we have changed our minds here).
Given where we are now, I think it's reasonable for us to have a brief discussion at the start of the meeting, to make sure that the current board is happy with the filming taking place (and when things need to be discussed in-camera) or, if not, to formally minute the reasons why we no longer want to do this. I would expect the office to make sure that the equipment is available at the board meeting, and is fully prepped and ready to roll, so that recording of the meeting can start immediately if that's what decided - this shouldn't be a lot of work to do. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:39, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I have added this to the agenda for Saturday's meeting. It's certainly not been a practice in the current Board term and I am not sure about its merit. The Land (talk) 09:21, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that, though you appear to have put this down for discussion after 14.45. I suggest and expect the meeting to be recorded up until then, if as the Chair you are not prepared to put any time at the beginning of the meeting aside to have a sensible discussion and for my voice, and Mike's, to actually be heard. Thanks again. -- (talk) 09:46, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
In order to keep everyone happy here, can I propose that we discuss this topic in two parts? The first being an item in 'housekeeping' right at the start of the meeting to cover videoing this meeting; the second being the afternoon discussion as proposed by Chris, to cover the general approach and release of video recordings. Although I hope that we can release the video recordings, at the very least they will be useful for those taking the minutes of the meeting to ensure that the minutes are accurate. I've been bold and proposed this change in the agenda, hope that's OK. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:25, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

QRpedia[edit source]

QRpedia is mentioned in only one place on the current agenda, within the risk report part of the CEO's report. This risk is one out of five, the report is one out of six items, itself just one out of seven other agenda items between 10:00 and 11:30. I would guess that gives us rather less than 5 minutes to discuss this critical project. I am concerned that the only proposal I am currently aware of coming to the board is "Major Risk 4" in the CEO's risk report of our top five risks. In that report the analysis of risk is not quantified with a measure or assessment of impact or a justification as to probability or residual factors. Further, there are no dates, owners, resource or budget against actions, and some actions I would class as general activities in the plan rather than actions that could be turned into SMART actions, such as "Maintain dialogue with [a party]". This looks like rather more than 5 minutes of discussion if the Board of Trustees are to reach a final and firm decision with the QRpedia project, or transfer the remaining properties by contract at this meeting.

After more than a year of leading discussion, I handed off this action to others in autumn 2012. At that time I was assured that it was only a matter of a couple of months and we would dot the i's and cross the t's by the end of 2012. We are close now to having spent a frustrating 2 years discussing taking ownership of QRpedia, so I find it "disappointing" that as a trustee I am not assured that a named individual is actively representing the Wikimedia UK chapter in leading the project, or has delegated authority and responsibility for ensuring that the charity has the processes and systems in place to maintain this project for the benefit of the global Wikimedia movement and users of the application. I am looking forward to all decisions that need to be made by the Board of Trustees either being made at this meeting, or full delegation of authority for remaining decisions is documented, so that this definitely, verifiably and publicly completes before the AGM.

Though all trustees will be aware of these related actions, for the record I refer to:

  • Action 1 and Action 3 of the Audit and Risk Committee meeting of 29 April 2013 - minutes.
  • Recommendation 50 of the January 2013 Compass Governance Review - report
  • Wikimedia UK announcement about QRpedia on 2 April 2013 - blog post
  • Example of how not owning the domain can cause community problems today - Wikimediauk-l 10 May 2013

-- (talk) 11:03, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Outstanding governance issues to be raised in this board meeting[edit source]

There are two of my governance related issues, previously raised by email with the board, that have been waiting for action, or the completion of actions committed to, for some time. I would like to raise these in the open board meeting on Saturday in order to ensure that corrective and preventative SMART actions are in place and openly monitored, rather than letting these drift any longer for unclear reasons. These are:

  • February 3, 2013
    Request: [Governance][Fae019] Digital scans of signatures are a security risk
  • February 28, 2013
    Action: [Governance][Fae021] Publication of CEO expenses

Thanks -- (talk) 19:56, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

I view the first of these two points as a complete non-issue - please recall that my signature is on the public record on behalf of WMUK, and is available via Companies House. I definitely agree with you on the CE's expenses, though - these should have been made public long ago, as per 8.1.2 of our Finance Policy - which also covers the expenses of our office. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:10, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
There were commitments to action for both of these items in past emails. I merely wish to give the board a chance to discuss these on the record and ensure these are openly monitored. Not every volunteer has their signature public, or wishes it to become so.
I agree it is unfortunate that staff have been too busy to pull together and publish the CEO's expenses over the last 12 months. It seems a rationale that puts openness and transparency as a very low priority compared to the many other activities that do manage to get delivered... such as having two members of staff quickly replying to my open Water cooler thread for feedback from the members on improving the charity's KPIs, for example. -- (talk) 12:52, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Make that 2 staff, 1 contractor and no unpaid volunteers, other than me. -- (talk) 12:22, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Start time?[edit source]

Can I double-check that this meeting is starting at 9.45am, rather than the 9am start that I was originally proposing? If we are starting at 9.45, can I suggest that we gather for coffee beforehand (perhaps at 9.15 or 9.30am) to ensure that we can start on time? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:30, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

I would be happy with 9:30 to allow a 15 minute coffee time. I changed it from 9:00 as it seemed arbitrary compared to the scheduled 9:45 start on the agenda. Yes check.svg Done -- (talk) 20:34, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

In-camera Board session cannot start at 17:00[edit source]

There are mission critical issues to be raised in-camera than would not be possible for a sub-set of trustees to come to any decision on. I recommend the session is swapped with one before 14:00, perhaps covering lunch-time if necessary. -- (talk) 07:42, 10 May 2013 (UTC)