As liaison to the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) from the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, I am writing to share the Board's decision regarding the appeal submitted by Wikimédia France and the FDC’s grant recommendation.
The Board has decided not to amend the recommendation from the FDC for Wikimédia France and therefore approves it without modification. The Board considered the email about the appeal that was privately sent by the chapter, reviewed the assessment prepared by the FDC, and heard from the FDC liaison who had personally observed the process from start to finish. The Board found that the FDC had thoroughly and independently considered the material provided by the chapter, and had adequately explained the reasons for the financial funding allocation it recommended. In addition to the financial portion of its resolution, the Board supports the additional recommendations made by the FDC, such as the governance review.
The Board chose not to override the recommendation of the Committee because it found that the FDC process and resulting recommendation were both thorough and proper. I personally observed the full FDC review process that began in October with the submission of the proposal and resulted in the Committee’s recommendation. I read all of the documentation, and I was the liaison for the Board who attended the deliberations and observed the conversations about Wikimédia France. I reviewed the process again when I received Wikimédia France's notice of appeal, at which point I also reached out to and solicited additional input from several members of the FDC.
Based on the documentation, the input from FDC members, and my own observations, I believe that the FDC made its recommendation following a process that was fair, reasonable, independent of bias or inappropriate influence, and consistent with the FDC Framework. The FDC's recommendation was based on careful consideration of the submissions and responses provided by Wikimédia France, and its recommendation was adequately substantiated. In addition to the reports provided by the chapter and WMF staff, FDC members independently interpreted and evaluated the relevant submissions. The FDC explained that it was concerned about the chapter's programmatic impact, based on a lack of performance indicators that correspond to the request for increased funding. The FDC also identified a number of possible governance concerns and recommended a review to handle these concerns in more detail. Based on my own review, I concur that a governance review is warranted.
The Board strongly agrees with the recommendation that the chapter obtains an independent governance review, which among other things will help it to determine if it is following best practices. The governance questions raised by the FDC led the Board to this position, and the Board further believes that the governance review should be undertaken as soon as possible and an appropriate expert hired after consultation between the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimédia France. We believe that an independent review can help ensure that the chapter's governance properly reflects the best practices of the Wikimedia movement, including working together cooperatively and openly, within a good structure.
Given the rigorous process, thought and care that went into the FDC recommendation, the Board does not believe that there is a reason in this case for it to substitute its own judgment for that of the FDC.
In approving the FDC grant recommendation and as reflected in the resolution, the Board requested that the Foundation determine and report back to the Board, through the Executive Director, that it is satisfied with Wikimédia France’s progress towards addressing the points raised by the FDC. The Board requested that the Executive Director ensure the financial and governance practices are consistent with best practices.
We also wish to thank Wikimédia France for the work their staff, board, and volunteers have done to submit a proposal to the FDC. We particularly appreciate Wikimédia France’s approach to developing partnerships and the chapter’s focus on regional development. We value our partnership with Wikimédia France, which is an important stakeholder in the Wikimedia movement. Pundit (talk) 14:34, 28 June 2017 (UTC)