Grants talk:APG/Funds Dissemination Committee/Pledge of Commitment and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire

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First of all, I hope that the edit I've just made to this page is OK - please yell at me (or preferably, partially revert me) if I shouldn't have made any of the changes that I just made. :-)

Secondly, I have a query about:

"Please disclose any compensation that you have received from a Wikimedia affiliate organization within the past two years."

This could be a rather long list where members volunteer for a Wikimedia organisation (e.g. as a board member, project lead, etc.), and most entries on that list wouldn't be of interest in this situation. I'd suggest changing "compensation" to "compensation related to the FDC", or otherwise specifying that the compensation from each organisation can be summarized somehow...

Thirdly, what does:

User Groups

actually refer to? Does this include Wikiprojects, or something else? *confusion*

Fourthly, the phrase:

organization of which I am a part

is rather ambiguous in terms of the roles of the members in that organisation. For example, I would argue that if a member of the FDC is also a member of a chapter, then they shouldn't be required to abstain from decisions related to that chapter. Of course, if they are a trustee/board member of that chapter, then they should naturally be required to abstain. I'd recommend using phrasing along the lines of "other organization of which I am a trustee or board member for", or similar.

Hope this helps!

Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:37, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Too bad this doesn't seem to have been considered at all. Looks like any FDC member is required to write a complete autobiography and all personal diaries will be confiscated in case the WMF will feel the need of an inspection. --Nemo 16:58, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Mike, sorry this response has been so delayed, but at least I can claim you asked these questions before I came on board. :-) Overall, I understand the pledge to be written from the pov of making sure each FDC member is being transparent and clarifying any potential conflict of interest to the community, in order to protect the FDC member in case of any eventualities, rather than to make life more difficult for them! So really, in each specific case of disclosure, we expect individual FDC members to disclose whatever they feel comfortable with, in a form suitable to them.
In terms of 'compensation': I think it's best left to each FDC member to disclose this in whatever form they feel suitable, including summaries.
Re 'user groups': this is the nomenclature that's part of the affiliation models framework, and I believe AffCom is currently formulating procedures for recognizing groups of the new models, and once they're ready, those procedures would be submitted to the board for approval. Only after that will these entities/'user groups' be recognizable, formally.
Re 'organisation of which I am a part': this has been left as inclusive as possible, because entities/chapters have different governance structures and membership size, so again, it's up to the individual FDC member to disclose the degree to which they feel 'being a part' is a conflict of interest in any specific FDC decision. --ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 19:30, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

More questions[edit]

  • "I will conduct my activities with the FDC so that I do not advance or protect my own interests, or the private interests of others with whom I have a relationship, in a way that is detrimental to the interests or fundamental mission of the Wikimedia movement." (my italics)

    The italicised wording seems to loosen it: a member could argue that advancing the private interests of others with whom they have a relationship is not detrimental to the interests or mission of the movement. Case dismissed.

  • Pledge 5: "When an apparent, potential, or real conflict of interest arises, I will promptly disclose it to the chair of the FDC, the chair of the Board of Trustees, and the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, to seek a resolution of that issue." So this means that Sue Gardner and the board chair have to receive emails every time someone recuses? That would start to get irritating. I suggest a more practical wording.
I understand your concern for Sue and the Chair receiving multiple emails regarding recusals, but we want to make sure there are alternative options for recusal and discussion on potential conflicts. Some members of the committee, including the Chair of the FDC might need alternative outlets to raise recusal issues. We suspect there will not be a large volume of recusals and it is meant to be an interactive process to discuss whether there really is a need for a recusal given the circumstance. The key to this pledge is disclosure. Disclosure is meant to protect the FDC member from any allegation that he/she took a decision when there was an undisclosed potential conflict. It is in no way meant to be a listing of all personal interests. The FDC member should apply their personal judgment in determining if another FDC member, the community, or the public would think the activity or interest could give rise to a conflict of interest. Kkay (talk)
  • Per Chicago MoS and the Oxford styleguide, I've reduced the number of lumpy initial caps that was crowding the text.
  • "Shall" is now olde-world legalese; replaced with "will".
  • Numbered the pledges for easier external reference.
Thank you, it looks better. Kkay (talk)

Tony (talk) 04:41, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Deviation from Framework[edit]

I happened to notice that FDC framework called for only staff/board members of entities requesting funds only to recuse and not ordinary members of the organization as mentioned in the Pledge page. (From Framework: "Staff / board members of entities requesting funds from the FDC may serve on the FDC; however, they must recuse themselves from deliberations pertaining to their entity's application." From Pledge page: In any matter before the FDC that may favorably impact my own financial interests, or the private interests of others with whom I have a financial relationship, or another organization of which I am a part, I will reveal that relationship, and will abstain from any discussion or decision on that matter.) This discrepancy needs to be reviewed and resolved. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 08:04, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Arjuna. See the last part of my comment at the top of the page from 2012 - and Anasuya’s reply there. ;-) It’s something that could do with being tidied up, in my opinion, as FDC members that are ordinary members of a chapter shouldn’t *have* to recuse themselves unless they have an involvement in the budget-setting and FDC application process (e.g. if they have voted on a budget at a general meeting, or have provided input into the organisation's budget creation process). If they're an ordinary member that doesn't have a role in the financial side of the chapter then they probably don't need to recuse unless they feel like they have a conflict of loyalty. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:16, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
MM, I think that for reasons of transparency and being beyond any doubt, it is a good practice to recuse from your home wiki. Pundit (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2013 (UTC)