Talk:Agenda 17Nov12

From Wikimedia UK
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Executive business section


I really don't like the way this has potential to label parts of the Board agenda by people rather than topic. If the Treasurer, Chair or Secretary want to report on something, then we have a reports segment so they can have their 5 minutes to report. If we have an issue to discuss, then it should be presented and discussed as an issue. Other normal functions of the Board such as declarations, approving past minutes (decisions and ratification of votes taken) are functions of the board, not functions of the Secretary.

Alternatively, please add a time for this section to end. That way I can read everyone's report the day before and turn up late after spending an extra hour in bed. -- (talk) 23:26, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Even better would be making sure everyone reads the reports in advance and then the meeting just needs to be noting the report and discussing matters arising from the report. We were never very good at reading reports in advance when I was on the board, and it sounds like that hasn't changed, but it's not good... --Tango (talk) 11:22, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I guess none of the trustees is reading this page, so I'll just make a fuss on the day instead by objecting to the Agenda. Nobody could claim to be surprised considering I have raised my objections 3 weeks in advance of the meeting itself. -- (talk) 16:42, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm reading this page, but haven't managed to find the time to reply until now - sorry. My aim in suggesting this section was to try to divide governance issues from programmatic issues - so trying to focus on topics rather than people. Personally, I'd like to see a clearer division between the things I present to the board in my role as secretary, and those that I present as a regular trustee, and I think it also makes sense to try to group those things from the different roles together in the agenda. I probably haven't suggested this in the best format, though, so I'd encourage you to edit the draft agenda to improve it before Chris as Chair works through it to finalise it. I'd note that approving minutes and checking declarations is definitely a board responsibility, but it does fall to the secretary to ensure that those things take place, hence why I've listed them under that role. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 06:00, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


Hi Mike - in response to these actions arising from the Coventry board meeting (ACTION 6.1: SB will set up a blank page so that the community can discuss what questions we should ask if we were to do a general volunteer survey. and ACTION 6.2: KB (& others?) to work on a joining pack for new members.) I've set in motion a members survey and consultation on members strategy.

Do you think this should go on this agenda in the form of an update report, with with final recommendations to the December meeting? Or (given that its a busy agenda) would the Board prefer I just refer to the ongoing work in my staff report and present all membership items (strategy and draft joining pack) in a final version to be agreed in December? Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 09:18, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

(Is there a December meeting planned?) -- (talk) 09:55, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Hmm - I must have heard someone say there would be, but having now checked the forward plan there is nothing written down (!) so either they were referring to a possible/potential board meeting or I'm in error. I suppose the question can stand whether there is a board meeting in December or Jan (There is one scheduled for 9th Jan) - all I want to know if if the Board want a full report with recommends for approval in two weeks time or later in the year, as I'd not been given an instruction re timescale in the action as minuted (such as 'By the next meeting') and given the amount of business on the agenda. Will do as asked either way :-) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 10:51, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh well, it must be one of the secret meetings that I am not supposed to know about. -- (talk) 12:53, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


I hope to attend this board meeting, purely in the capacity as a member of the chapter. I won't need any support to attend. I hope that will be possible. Many thanks Seddon (talk) 02:37, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

More than possible — the meetings are open and public, unless there are necessary topics that must be in-camera, in line with the values of the charity. The board would only expect some notification if you would like to have a slot on the agenda to make a presentation and, of course, it would be polite to let staff (or the Secretary) know who is intending to join the meeting for reasons of courtesy and to ensure we can plan to have sufficient space and refreshments. Thanks for thinking to drop this note in advance. Cheers -- (talk) 03:52, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Security Policies

Sorry all - I really haven't been able to arrange to get these out their to the community for comment and re-draft and I think this is too important as a step to skip - I spent more time than anticipated in the last three weeks on tasks like recruiting the Office Support post and Membership survey.

I understand that Jon is presenting a report on strategic risk management, and it would seem appropriate to present policies and procedures as part of a response following this at the January meeting. I do hope that's OK - I will push on with getting the policies in the public domain and inviting comment at the

Final apology - I wasn't logged in when I edited the page (!) but it was me, and I can assure you I swore after hitting save changes... Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 10:10, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Backlog of in-camera votes - requested agenda item somewhere under 'Governance'

The board of trustees has a significant backlog of proposed decisions and draft board statements that require trustee votes or have been left open and unresolved after questions have been raised (there must be 10 or so by now, I'm not 100% sure as the list of open decisions on :office does not appear accurate?). In my opinion a wheel has dropped off this decision making process, and this should be on the agenda if we are going to fix it, particularly if we expect trustees to engage with on-line voting on the :office or :board wikis as part of meeting the Trustee Code of Conduct. Thanks -- (talk) 18:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

There were eight links listed under 'pending decisions'. Of those, I've now moved one to approved, one to rejected, and one to decided elsewhere. Of the remaining five, two of these are pending additional information before the decision-making process starts, the other three are currently active and pending input from trustees. I'll send a reminder email around about those three decisions. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:19, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
The reminder email has now been sent. I would request that you contact me as Secretary first with any issues you have about this decision-making process so that I can get them sorted them out, rather than jumping to asking for a discussion of the process at a board meeting. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I was raising a generic governance issue relating to our interpretation of section 20 of the Articles of the charity, which have yet to be laid out in an agreed policy, a matter that requires discussion with all trustees. If decision by vote on-wiki is not working as we originally expected, then that seems wider that the Secretary updating categorization of the in-camera pages with various proposed decisions/resolutions/votes/statements. Sorry if I was not clear enough in my request for this to be on the agenda for the 17th. -- (talk) 23:24, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I have no clue what you mean here. Mike Peel (talk) 23:53, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I guess I'll have to phrase it more clearly, here's a third attempt, sorry for my failure of clarity.
The voting process of the Board of Trustees (namely the way in-camera "decisions" have been posted and apparently closed) has recently failed to comply with the Articles section 20.5 "No decision may be made by a meeting of the Directors unless a quorum is present at the time the decision is purported to be made", as decisions have recently been publicly claimed to be made by the board without evidence on record of a quorum as per practice at board meetings. With the same in-camera cases I believe that we fail AoA 20.12 (b).
To my mind, this seems an important and serious enough governance failure by the Board of Trustees to warrant inclusion on this agenda. If I were forced to do so, then as a Director I would apply AoA section 20.2 and formally ask you as the Secretary to ensure that this happens one way or another. Let me know if you require this request in a different format. Thanks -- (talk) 15:55, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Your previous two posts in this thread speak of a backlog of decisions that haven't been made. That is very different to claiming that decisions have been made improperly. What is it you are actually concerned about? --Tango (talk) 00:46, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Both, a wheel has dropped off as I stated in my first paragraph. As a trustee I still prefer not to publicly list out every problem we have had with the in-camera decision making process in painful detail, in order to get "permission" to have this on the agenda. -- (talk) 04:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I believe that Fæ is talking about one specific decision that was put into the on-wiki decision system but was not decided on using that system (I moved it to 'decided elsewhere'). There is a separate issue that the decision was not properly made outside of the on-wiki process, and I would agree that this (and the surrounding topic) should be discussed in an in-camera part of the meeting. If I am still missing the point here, Fæ, then please do put the topic into the agenda and we'll figure it out at the board meeting. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 16:15, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
There are two examples of these issues that I can point to, I agree this probably has to now stay in-camera. It would be useful if resolutions to the board had sequential reference numbers, this way I could be certain which were "official" or being drafted and we could more easily discuss their general status in a public forum without compromising in-camera detail. In the WCA we rapidly reached the conclusion that it was better for all resolutions to be made "official" for voting by the Chair rather than them being opened for voting by any board member. As you suggest, I have added this as a 3 minute line of discussion on the 18 November. Thanks -- (talk) 17:13, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
(out-denting) If my memory serves, we moved towards having on-wiki votes in order to reduce the amount of email traffic. I think we recognised at the time that, as with email, it was a method for reaching prompt decisions on fairly uncontroversial issues. It isn't a great way of conducting discussions on controversial issues. It would probably be helpful if we could formalise the arrangement a bit more, and we can have it on the agenda. Though if we're talking about "governance failures" we also need to consider whether we are failing to delegate authority appropriately, and trying to insist on taking more decisions as a Board than we have capacity to actually discuss and decide. The Land (talk) 20:56, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for supporting the view that we must ensure we adequately cover these topics in our board meeting. Yes, I agree that we are talking about serious failures to clearly delegate authority, so that those acting on behalf of Wikimedia UK act within a well defined scope rather than making unnecessary issues by not referring to the collective view of the trustees appropriately. With regard to the capacity of the board, if I did not have to repeat myself before I was provided with accurate information, or be surprised by being told after the fact that things had been presented on behalf the board of trustees without any proper advance agreement, so that my only recourse is to raise multiple complaints, then the amount of correspondence would decrease significantly for all of us. Cheers -- (talk) 21:24, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


There is so much that we need to discuss at this meeting that I don't believe it can be completed in the 11.15 hours proposed (10.00-17.15 + 10.00+14.00, excluding breaks). I think that we need to have significantly more time than that. As such, I've proposed an extension to the timings of the meeting. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:30, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Remote participation

Will it be possible to phone in to this meeting? If so, could the details please be posted publicly ASAP? Thanks, Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:14, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately I have seen no plans to live webcast or audiocast the meeting, though recent board meetings have been videoed (by staff as no volunteers have offered to help either with the recording or the processing of the files). I believe some of these past videos are still pending release, and so I do not think we can claim this is a way of providing an alternative of timely virtual access compared to coming to the meeting. Should anyone wish to present on an agenda item using Skype, this has been done before, and might be arranged if necessary. Thanks -- (talk) 15:23, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Certainly I believe we can have people phone in. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 15:47, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Richard, (not ignoring you, Fae, but I think you might have misunerstood my question) could you post the phone number and the code before Saturday, please? Thanks, Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:46, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Hi Harry, I wanted to pick this up on here. I'd like to extend my apologies for not doing this. It was on my task list to arrange the conference call dial-in. However, this slipped due to a particularly demanding week. I had planned to do this on Friday, but I was distracted from this by a call from The Times about Saturday's two-page spread about Wikipedia. Given that there was an urgent need to deal with this story, to notify relevant colleagues and to liaise with the communications team in San Francisco, this slipped. I've been in discussion with Mike Peel this afternoon and we agree that the best solution is to record these meetings in future, so I'm committing to this happening here. Where possible, this is something that I'd like to offer volunteers the opportunity to do. We have the equipment to make this happen. I'll also post this on the Water Cooler and ask volunteers who are keen to do this to come forward. This is the best solution, however, I am also able to record the meetings if I'm not an active participant. Once again, I'm sorry I didn't make this happen. If you;d like to discuss this further, please do let me know. Thanks. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 14:35, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Apologies from me too, Harry. I had spotted this and had intended to suggest that I would have Skype running during the meeting, so you could call in and comment when we reached items you were interested in. As usual Friday arrived before I'd noticed that Wednesday had gone, so I forgot to mention it to you. I did have Skype running and even left a couple of IMs for you when we were talking about conferences in case you were online. We might want to look at using Skype or Mumble as a low-cost means to involve interested members remotely in future. I think that would be in accord with our desire for openness, even if it might give Chris more work to do in managing that. --RexxS (talk) 19:02, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
That's two different issue Stevie. Recording it is great for those who want to find out what happened afterwards, but there also need to be a way for member to attend / listen in real time. KTC (talk) 19:25, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
They are very connected issues, though. I think I can safely say that the WMUK trustees want to provide as much access to board meetings as we can to WMUK's members. There are four key ways that we can do that - by allowing members to attend board meetings in person; by allowing them to attend board meetings virtually; by posting textual minutes of the meetings; and by posting recordings (either audio or visual+audio) after the event. I think that we're currently doing the 1st and the 3rd fairly well - but the 2nd and 4th need improvements, and we need help with technically and logistically doing that. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:45, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Education Committee Charter

For information: