Grants talk:PEG/Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 – Macedonia Organizing Team/Wiki Loves Monuments 2013

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GAC members who have read this request but had no comments[edit]

  1. Support, in general I agree but I think that few points have to be fixed (see the comment of Polimerek). --Ilario (talk) 14:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  2. Like Ilario, support in principle, noting the comments of Polimerek and Asaf. Craig Franklin (talk) 02:41, 5 August 2013 (UTC).

Comments[edit]

Just one comment regarding costs:

  1. Project management - 1500 EUR - although the explanation is given in the table - can you try to be more specific on that? I mean especially - what does it mean "compensation" - does the amount consist of only refunding costs of travel and other costs of management, or do you plan to pay some kind of sallary? If so - state it clearly - how many people and how much sallary...

Polimerek (talk) 10:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi Tomasz and thanks for your questions. We don't plan to hire employees for the project and pay them salaries, but to compensate some of the people for their work and expertise brought to the project. The compensation will have to pay for the expertise they bring to provide the service we need and the time they need to do it. Note that some of the people will have to go out of their full-time job in order to do this. Refunding of expenses to the organisers is not planned and they will have to bear it on their own. The main reason for doing it is to prevent some parties to game the system by submitting bills and invoices that are not attributed to the activities of the project. However, the compensation will be enough to cover these expenses that they may have. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand. You're proposing to pay people some money without specific expenses, to avoid paying them (presumably less) money for fraudulent expenses? That's a terrible reason to pay people! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:40, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
As for the other reason, i.e. compensating people for time off work and "their expertise", I'd like to see a more compelling explanation of why this cannot take place with engagement by volunteers only, as it does in many other countries that run WLM. Alternatively, since this is the first grant by WMMK, I'd like to better understand why the very first activity WMMK seeks funding for requires paid work, rather than starting with a more modest undertaking as a first attempt. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:40, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Asaf and thanks for your questions. I found your comment containing three strong points and that's why I decided to divide my response into three separate answers to these points:
  1. The principal idea beyond the proposal is to introduce a system that closely resembles on the one used to pay salaries or compensation to the people employed in any organisations or commissioned to work on other projects. As the salary, the compensation and the other contributions paid don't detail a list of expenses that are covered, the money that will pay as compensation in this case also doesn't detail any similar expenses. If we reimburse the organisers for their expenses relating the project, then they'll be encouraged to gather a collection of bills and invoices to state that they did them as part of the project. A simple solution might be to set a maximum amount that they can be reimbursed for, but setting this amount apart of their compensation might not be welcome evenly as if it were included, i.e. most of the people agree to get higher salary or compensation and bear the expenses on his/her own instead of getting lower salary or compensation with the possibility for reimbursement. However, we can reduce the amount of this item for the anticipated expenses that can be reimbursed if you believe it will make the budget clearer and much easier to understand.
  2. We considered the possibility to engage volunteers to carry out this project, but quickly came up with the opinion that it would be difficult to successfully implement it. Some activities require expertise and many hours spent out of work in order to execute the project. Services like web hosting and web design cannot be entitled to volunteers and will have to be provided by external parties. The members of our chapter capable to do it have already responded that they're not interested in the project or haven't responded at all.
  3. It's true that this one is the first grant application submitted by Wikimedia Macedonia, which doesn't mean this is our first project and that we haven't done nothing important in the past. Henceforth, the paid work reflects the amount of work that is necessary to succeed with this project and has nothing in common with our internal policies or habits of some members to activate only if there is money to be paid for the work. You can note that Wikimedia Macedonia is not the first one in the line of the other grantees submitting request for this project including paid work in the budget. If it were a different type of project, perhaps it wouldn't include any paid work. In the past, we did many projects with zero-budgeting or in-kind contributions from another parties and have, thereby, become able to squeeze as much as we can from anything at our disposal.
Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 00:10, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Regarding this cost, in notes you also include web hosting, did you plan to build special web site, how long you will pay for hosting and how much it will cost? You will upload pictures on Wikimedia Commons? --brest (talk) 06:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Dimce and thanks for this one and the other questions you have. Yes, we plan to host official web site of the project in the same fashion as the organisers in the other countries did it in the previous years. The price to register a domain costs 620 denars or app. €10 (please see here). Upon its registration, it will be accessible for one year, which is far enough until the conclusion of this year's project. Pages with instructions in Macedonian will also be available on Wikimedia Commons and all the photographs participating in the competition will have to be uploaded there. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • It's registration costs not hosting costs, of course you also have designing costs. I see that you underestimate those costs. --95.128.188.12 11:31, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The other costs that should pay for web hosting and web design of the official web site are included in the costs for project management (please see the description of this item in the budget). Best.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:44, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Do you know how much web hosting and web design costs? How much you estimate to spend on hosting and design? Why you didn't express those costs separately from project management costs?--brest (talk) 10:32, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
The costs for web hosting and web design have been estimated with the use of the prices for similar services that can be provided in Macedonia. It's difficult to set an exact amount and in most cases these costs are determined on contractual basis. Some contracts can even worth more than €1,000 depending on the service demanded. This, of course, is not the case here and the amount attributed to these costs will not pay extra premium.
To detail the cost for project management is not a good idea since it may create incentives to game the system if so many information will be available. The financial management theory explicitly states that the decision for such allocation should be made internally. A fine example that supports the statement could be easily found in practice. Most of the employers or project managers who hire employees or commission individuals or groups announce the total amount of salary or compensation that they are able to pay for their work per hour, week, monthly or annually. They never give details about how any activity or service on that working position is specifically paid. Furthermore, the theory also states that the approach used to calculate any item on contractual basis should be distinguished from the one used to distribute the funds from that item. That is, we always seek the easiest way to estimate an amount for a given item and the easiest one it can be later spent if not exactly specified. Conversely, if we have to calculate any item attributed to an expense that is not on contractual basis, then we're obliged to spend it exactly in the same way that was used to estimate its amount.
Sorry for the voluminous comment. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:51, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Short comment: you game the system. You are project leader (this project), you are member of GAC & Flow Funding, you are member and advocate of other members of the WMMK Board, you collect a lot of different costs in one item - project management.--brest (talk) 06:19, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid I do want to see precise detail for the "project management" cost. And, crucially, I'd like to see a list of who is to be paid. I will point out that we expect board members to not receive any compensation for their work (expense reimbursement is fine). Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:40, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
The item for project management is a separate from the other items and does not include more than one cost. All the money will be paid as compensation for the work by the people who will be engaged in the activities of the project. Members of the Executive Board are not planned to be paid for their work.
We've already concluded the list of people who will be given assignments to work on this project and only unanticipated changes can be made. Thus the amount of information available should not matter anymore and more details can be prudently disclosed. The following is a list of organisational positions with detailed description that each of the persons commissioned will have to undertake as part of the project:
  • two organisers - setting rules and criteria for the competition, soliciting other partnerships and sponsorships, negotiating with other external parties, recruiting and selecting members of the jury, extending contacts with the media, finding a venue for the Award ceremony, organising the Award ceremony, advising to evaluate the project;
  • one person for web development - registering a domain, web hosting, web design, maintaining the web site;
  • one person for advertisement - developing a marketing strategy, executing the marketing campaign, soliciting different marketing channels, advertising the contest, extending communication with the public;
  • one person for creating manuals - taping video tutorials, creating a manual.
Snezhana and I are the Board members who will be actively involved in the project as well. Our responsibility will be to find people for these positions (already done), edit information for the project pages, maintain the official web site, coordinate the activities of the others and monitor the project's progress. Please tell me if you need list of these people with their names and I will send it to you via e-mail. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 00:32, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • If you pay some kind of personal compensation/sallary for project managers, for jury members, for photographs and best contributors, do you include 10% personal tax in compensation?--brest (talk) 06:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The amount includes 10% income tax.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Organization[edit]

  • Wikimedia Macedonia request this grant, can you provide link to chapters official web where this project was planed and which members of WMMK (Board) accepted this project or have a plan to work on project? --brest (talk) 06:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The project wasn't planned on the chapters Wiki of Wikimedia Macedonia, but information and news about the competition will be announced there as well. We used an in-person communication to plan the project, which was later advertised on the private mailing-list of the chapter.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • In "private mailing-list" I can't see clear support of majority. I think that this project is not private project.--95.128.188.12 11:43, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Do you have this project in WMMK program plan for 2013 with high priority?--brest (talk) 06:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The project is part of the programme plan for 2013 (please see here). Since we intend to achieve all of the strategic goals specified for the current year, there is no "high priority" designated to specific projects or activities. All of them are treated evenly. Two of our Board members have already agreed to work on this project. The good news is that some people with experience in similar activities, who are not members of Wikimedia Macedonia, wish to participate in the project. I strongly believe that this can be beneficial for our chapter, since these people may later become members of Wikimedia Macedonia (note that the membership fee in Wikimedia Macedonia is exactly 0) and thus increase the professionalistion of our members. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • In "private mailing-list" you didn't accept this program plan at all nor for particular projects and that that project plan was not plan of Wikimedia Macedonia and that it is illegal. I see change of your mind but not change of your attitude. I'm not clear why? --95.128.188.12 11:43, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your additional comments. The private mailing-list of Wikimedia Macedonia is used to discuss most of the internal issues concerning our chapter. We use it to discuss project proposals, changes in the organisational structure, changes in the bylaws, scheduling meetings, and many different topics that we think should not be disclosed in the public. Since you were concerned about the support of this project, the project with the budget presented here was supported by 4 out of 5 Board members (disclosure of any additional information may break the privacy of our mailing-list). The programme plan of the chapter for 2013 is available on the chapters Wiki. Please note that this page is for discussion related to the grant application submitted; it's not a place to advertise things that are not directly related to this project. If you think that it's important to discuss these issues, feel free to present them on a more prominent place. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 12:28, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • So in "private mailing-list" you say that program plan is illegal but in public (meta) if you need some plan you can use illegal one, but who knows what you discuss in private.--brest (talk) 10:44, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Can you provide link to chapters official web or to meta where members of WMMK (Board) support this project or have a plan to work on project? In "private mailing-list" project/budget was supported by 2 out of 5 Board members, 1 was against and 2 of them didn't vote, 1 ordinary member of WMMK (who is not resident in Macedonia) express his support. How you will conduct project activities in the name of Wikimedia Macedonia if you have such a small support?--brest (talk) 10:28, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Your questions relating to our private mailing-list and the work of our Executive Board are off-topic here, but I still decided to answer them at the best of my abilities with no disclosure of important private information. The Executive Board of Wikimedia Macedonia consists of 5 members, who are all eligible to vote regardless of their physical location. This implies that the decisions made within the Board have not to be voted on in-face meetings but also through the use of other communication channels. A practice that was adopted in our chapter is to vote via e-mail, which is the easiest way to collect votes from all Board members in a decent time manner. Because the Board consists of 5 members, only these members can participate in the voting process. Some of them may decide to share their vote with the non-Board members, but they're not obliged to do it at any price. However, after the conclusion of the voting, the Board must announce the decision that was made. The three votes you know (2 supports and 1 oppose) are result of the good will assumed by the Board members who decided to share it with the other members of the chapter. The other two you're referring to come from those members who decided to keep it in privacy within the Board. Of course, it doesn't mean that these votes do not exist. If you don't like the way we make the decisions within the Board, you're welcome at any time to propose changes on the right place. Once again, please use this page for questions concerning the grant application or the project itself. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 14:18, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I know that you work in private and you are not transparent, now you just confirm that.--brest (talk) 06:22, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I will note for the record I have received evidence that a discussion among WMMK's board did take place in the closed board list. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:16, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

A note on tone[edit]

Dimce, it's fine (and good) that you want to express your concerns. It's not acceptable, however, to use insinuations and personal attacks. Please confine yourself to discussing the merits of the proposal (certainly including how it was or was not discussed within WMMK and the MKWP community!), but refrain from attacking Kiril. It is clear you two have an ongoing conflict (and I have seen it play out before), but that is none of our business here in evaluating this proposal. Please express your concerns clearly, directly, without rhetorical questions, and we shall ask Kiril to address them, and take the entire conversation under advisement. Thanks. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:01, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Asaf, I ask for transparency, here on meta, but also between members of Wikimedia Macedonia, at Macedonian Wikipedia, at official site of Wikimedia Macedonia, at different mailing lists and so on, it's not a personal attack. Can you point me where I use any insinuations? I have no any personal conflict with Kiril, I just concern that this guy use this project to earn some money as his primary goal, and anything other is just byproduct of this. For me is acceptable Kiril and other board members of WMMK to receive some compensation for their work on this project but at appropriate level and considering accountability. --brest (talk) 12:12, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Evidence of Community Discussion requested[edit]

Hello, Kiril.

We are unfortunately not in the best position to judge the merit of Dimce's concerns, as we don't have access to most of these discussions, quite apart from the language barrier (somewhat mitigable by machine translation).

In light of these concerns, I feel it would be appropriate to ask for this grant proposal to be discussed by the Macedonian Wikimedia community, as a proxy validation of both the project's desirability to the community and the reasonableness of the plan.

Please start a discussion on-wiki and draw our attention to it when some evidence of community support is available. Thanks. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:48, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Before two days I started a new tread at village pump @ Macedonian Wikipedia with hope that the members of the wider wiki community will express their interest for this project.--brest (talk) 00:25, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment Asaf. Most of the things that Dimce addressed in his comments are concerned with the private mailing list we use inside our chapter. Our internal discussions have been partially disclosed in the discussion above, but no more details from the mailing list can be given since there must remain some privacy kept among the members of our chapter. Else, the existence of private mailing lists is highly questionable and makes no sense if the information discussed there are due to be taken out anywhere in public. This, of course, is not valid for the related discussions on any page that is publicly available and can be easily accessed by everybody.
Your concern could be met with a discussion following the notification that Dimce left on the village pump on the Macedonian Wikipedia, but this would provide only a small evidence of the community's attitude to the project. Wikimedia Macedonia, as a local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation active on the territory of Macedonia, intends to promote the projects in the other languages spoken in Macedonia as well. Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in Macedonia will not be a closed competition for Macedonians only and people of other ethnicity living in the country are also encouraged to participate. The competition will be even open for non-residents of Macedonia, who will upload their photographs taken from monuments located in the country. Hence, this creates incentives to advertise the project on the village pump of, at least, the Wikimedia projects in the languages spoken in Macedonia. Furthermore, since the direct effect from the project will be immediately visible on Wikimedia Commons, the same reasoning would require consulting the community there for opinion about organising the competition in Macedonia. Another important note relating the Macedonian Wikipedia to underline is the fact that most of the very active users are not even members of Wikimedia Macedonia and are thereby not familiar with details from the chapter's work to be able to judge the project at this stage properly. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 02:48, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Granted, there are contributors to Commons and the other sister projects in Macedonia, as well as contributors in languages other than Macedonian. Nevertheless, the Macedonian Wikipedia community is the only community which is both large enough to generate more than one or two responses, and relevant to the project. The general, global Commons community, for example, is not useful here as a proxy to assess the legitimacy of the way this project was discussed within Wikimedia Macedonia and with local volunteers. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Asaf and we will try to get feedback from the Macedonian-Wikipedia community as much as we can. However, my personal opinion on this one remains the same and I'd appreciate if you make it clearer with more convincing evidence. We don't plan to execute the project specifically for the Macedonian-Wikipedia community and what this community "wants" brings very little relevance to the project. I presume that you wish to see more transparency in the process with the Board members of Wikimedia Macedonia who voted on the project's approval to show up on the village pump on the Macedonian Wikipedia and express their opinion in public, but inviting the community to give legitimacy for something which should be done internally in Wikimedia Macedonia discredits the position and disparages the work of the chapter's Executive Board. If you really insist to counterbalance something, then you might be interested to call each of the Board members to check their attitude to the project. Could you please give a clearer explanation as to how the opinions of the active users on the Macedonian Wikipedia, who are not members of Wikimedia Macedonia and do not live in Macedonia, are more relevant than that of anyone else? With partial exceptions, the users who satisfy all of the aforementioned requirements (active user on the Macedonian Wikipedia, member of Wikimedia Macedonia and resident of Macedonia) are exactly the Board members of Wikimedia Macedonia. Best.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Kiril, you have good points here, local community has little relevance to the project. Violetova just ask the local community to vote for project commons:Wiki Loves Monuments not for support of this particular grant, so the results of voting is understandable, this project commons:Wiki Loves Monuments is lovely project of course. We can see the votes of 2 board members of WMMK without any comments and your vote with short comment (now we know that you already build your project team, and public don't know the names of team members). --brest (talk) 09:54, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I want to say something. Wikimedia Macedonia is NGO, and has some changes recently (in the beginning of June 2013). New Board members is one of the changes, all of the members are with long presence on Wikipedia Macedonia. As a member of the new Board of Wikimedia Macedonia, I want to say that we are trying hard to prove ourselves and move the chapter from zero level where it was almost last three years of existence. Hence, we create a lot of new project in attempt to promote and to improve Wikipedia Macedonia, which is our main goal. Finally, we found persons who are willing and have time to carry out the project Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in Macedonia. Main goal about this competition is to have upload photos of monuments in Macedonia, something which is missing right now on Wikipedia Macedonia. Is it a problem if five members of Board, all with long presence on Wikipedia decide what is good for the community? Or we have to ask everyone who has create user name on Wikipedia Macedonia for their opinion any time we create a project? Please keep in mind that we all work for the best of Wikipedia Macedonia. p.s. Dimce is out of the Board from June, and his weird questions here looks like he is trying hard to create obstacles for new Board. Best regards. --Violetova (talk) 15:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Violetova. No need to exaggerate: of course you are not expected to ask every username on MKWP. A public post (like Dimce's, but you're welcome to make one of your own if his was somehow unclear or biased in your opinion) on a public page, with some public comments, is enough.
To be clear: it is not a requirement for every project. As I have explicitly stated, I consider it necessary to see an endorsement by the community in order to counterbalance the fact that a current (and longtime) board member has made claims about a lack of due process in planning this project.
I understand this may have a personal background; I understand it is possible Dimce is attempting to obstruct this for the wrong reasons. I am not taking sides. I am asking the MKWP community to tell me what it wants. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Asaf for your comment and direction. I just wrote on MKWP village pump new post with explanation about what this project means for community, and I hope there would be comments soon, even though most of the people are on summer vacation this days.
For clarification: Dimce, who made claims about this project, is not a board member any more, from June 2013. (I don't know where to change names of the new board. Please guide me, I would like to accomplish that task.) But Dimce still remain responsible about finance of our NGO Wikimedia Macedonia, so it's up to him to answer your requirement for annual financial statement for 2012 (several comments below). Board members still don't have insights into finance of Wikimedia Macedonia. Best regards --Violetova (talk) 12:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
We already have comments on MKWK village pump. I asked MK Wikipedians to give their vote: do we need photos of monuments, and are they are PRO this project and competition or not. You can see several comments PRO (they said: odlicen proekt = excellent project). Best regards. --Violetova (talk) 23:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Violetova, You asked local community about the support of commons:Wiki Loves Monuments. I'm also PRO this project. Here we arguing about the validity of organization and grant request. As you know I resign from the board to give you more space to express your volunteer work. I'm still part of WMMK with a duty to take care about the organization. My direct questions for you and Kiril, please elaborate:
1. How do you plan to pay the costs for Project management? Trough your personal transaction accounts? --brest (talk) 09:54, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
2. We know that you have the names of your project team, they will work voluntarily together with you. Do you have the names of jury members? It's very important to hear their names before the grant acceptance.--brest (talk) 09:54, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi Dimce. English is not my first language, but sorry, I cannot see that we are "arguing about" anything. We are discussing. Asaf said: "I am asking the MKWP community to tell me what it wants." That request is done, I think. Best regards. --Violetova (talk) 23:03, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Then I will translate: Ја прашавте локалната заедница за проектот Вики ги сака спомениците. Јас исто така сум ЗА овој проект. Овде расправаме за валидноста на организацијата и барањето за грант. Како што знаеш јас го напуштив Извршниот одбор за да ви дадам повеќе простор да го покажете вашиот волонтеризам. Јас сеуште сум дел од ВММК со обврска да се грижам за организацијата. Мои директни прашања до тебе и Кирил, молам за поопширно објаснување:
1. Како планирате да ги платите трошоците за проект менаџментот? Преку вашите лични трансакциски сметки?--brest (talk) 11:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
2. Ги знаеме имињата на вашиот проектен тим, тие ќе работата волонтерски заедно со вас. Дали ги имате имињата на членовите на жирито? Многу е важно да ги слушнеме имињата пред да биде прифатен грантот.--brest (talk) 11:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry -- I really am, and I realize this must be demoralizing -- but the discussion you pointed to was not what I asked for. Please see at the beginning of this section: I asked for "this grant proposal to be discussed by the Macedonian Wikimedia community". It's easy to support Wiki Loves Monuments in principle; what we need evidence of is the MKWP support of this proposal, and implicitly an endorsement of the current leadership. Again, we need this because Dimce has brought concerns that, if true, are serious, and that we are not in a good position to judge. So I'm sorry for the time wasted, but please start a new section on the village pump and explicitly link to the grant proposal and ask for a community endorsement of the grant. If a similar show of support can be shown, and the compliance issue (see below) is resolved, I'm happy to approve. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:31, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and help me understand your comment: "Board members still don't have insights into finance of Wikimedia Macedonia". How can that be? Who (specifically: please name names) has access to the Wikimedia Macedonia bank account? Dimce, if you too can shed light on this statement, please do. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:36, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi Asaf. "Board members still don't have insights into finance of Wikimedia Macedonia" - yes, that's true. Dimce Grozdanoski is the only one person who has access to the Wikimedia Macedonia bank account. No one else. According to Macedonian law, this is like he is an owner of Wikimedia Macedonia. I have to admit that I am embarrassed now about this situation. Didn't think that this could be a problem, but obvious it is a problem we have to get settled as soon as possible. Regards --Violetova (talk) 18:06, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
It is indeed. I would advise WMMK to do whatever it takes -- presumably a board resolution -- to make at least two current board members have access to the account belonging to the organization, and to take that resolution to the bank to enact it. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:09, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • According to article 33 of our By-law, The President of WMMK is responsible for bank accounts and one of the vice-presidents of the WMMK in the case of absence of the president. Any interested to Annual Financial Statements can read them if they visit mk.wikimedia.org. So I'm not only one who has access to the accounts, and according to the MK law owner of the bank accounts is WMMK.--brest (talk) 08:52, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
You are very right. We will do that as soon as possible.
About community endorsement of the grant, I think it's already done. Now I am going to translate what I posted on the village pump, and please decide if it's the endorsement you need or not:
Hello to everyone. I want to ask you to share your thoughts about the project we are asking fund from the foundation, in order to organize the event successful, and on high level. That's why we need fund. This project is open competition for the photos of monuments, which is successful carried out by many Wikipedias, and now it's time for us to organize this in Macedonia. In short (about project): would be announce a contest for photografies of the Macedonian monuments, open for everyone to take part, even people who are not Wikipedians. We would create video-instruction for how to upload photo on Wikipedia. There would be particular web site for this competition; we would send a message everywhere about the contest; there would be jury who would decide which photos should get prizes. The prizes would be in cash, which would attract attention to many photographers to take a part. Awards would be on formal ceremony, with exibition of the awarded photos. The Vikipedia community would use the photos to ilustrate the proper posts, which speaks that this project is on the whole benefit of Wikipedia. The people from foundation want to hear the opinion of the WKMK community, so please share your thoughts: do we need this photos? Regards --Violetova (talk) 18:39, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Almost, but two crucial elements are missing: 1. a link to the actual proposal, so community members can see the budget etc.; 2. mention of the "project management" component, which appears to be the one that generated most objections. Asking people "do we need these photos" is misleading; of course we need the photos... If you could post, even as an addendum to that section, an explicit link to this grant proposal on Meta, and explicitly mention there is also a project management item (which you left out of your original description), and ask people to re-endorse the request, it would be clear the community is happy with this proposal, and we'd be able to proceed. Thanks, and once again, I'm sorry it took so long to reach this clarity. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:46, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
But of course that there are people who are part of the "project menagement". Who are WE in the text above, then? You can see on WKMK that nobody asked "who are we", exept Dimce's objection here on discussion board. Noone else said something about we. And about the budget we are asking for, I mention that we need fund in order to organize the event successful. The last part is "do we need these photos", but their comments are not the direct answer of this question. Sorry to say, but asking them again to think and comment about the project, is wasting of everybody's time. What I could do after all, is to link this proposal without asking them to comment again. Regards. --Violetova (talk) 19:09, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Done. I link this proposal, and just noticed that Dimce done the same (linked this proposal page) 4 days before I asked the community to share their thoughts. So they were already informed. Regards --Violetova (talk) 19:23, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Laugh loudly. If you realy think that this notice change after votes of community is OK. --brest (talk) 11:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry Asaf, but your recent demands incline me to think that you're introducing different standards. Wikimedia Macedonia is not the first party submitting a grant proposal including the item "Project management" (or whatsoever it's called in the same context) in its budget, but it, probably, is the first one that should provide community's support for this particular item (please correct me if the other grantees were asked to provide the same elsewhere). Calling the community to interfere in the work of the chapter can only disparage the work done by the chapter's members; in addition, you still haven't answered on my question as to the opinions of the active users on the Macedonian Wikipedia, who are not members of Wikimedia Macedonia and do not live in Macedonia, are more relevant than that of anyone else. Hence, it would be much appreciated if you refrain from using double standards. This is not a perfect grant request and the current state within the chapter is somehow chaotic, but in an unfortunate case when the members who are qualified to provide the expertise needed are not interested to participate in the project, paying compensation for anyone's efforts is, trust me, the only solution to overcome this problem. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 19:32, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I disagree. Certainly, this is not the first project to include financial compensation for the organizer's time, and I would not have made an issue of it just because of that. However, as I have explained earlier, the concerns about non-transparency and the way this project was decided on, raised by WMMK's own board member, make it impossible to assume all is well. In the absence of visibility into WMMK's membership -- you say yourself the list is closed and the discussions are not available to see -- I resorted to the MKWP community, which WMMK ostensibly serves (yes, WMMK can/should technically support all Wikimedia activity in Macedonia, in all languages and projects. In practice, MKWP is the only community it makes sense to turn to in this case.). I have explicitly said this is a "proxy" method to gauge the community's support of this project in this form and budget. While you could have posed the matter to the community plainly, you were reluctant, and it seems avoidant as well, as this exchange immediately above shows -- I had to drag every component out of you.
Please understand: Given these concerns, WMMK's history of non-compliance (still only partially resolved), and the odd situation of the board vis-a-vis WMMK finances -- please note, these are the cause for this extra scrutiny, not some "double standard" -- the only alternative is to simply decline the grant proposal, and let WMMK resolve its internal tensions, get back into compliance, sort out its finances, and regain its stability. Since I don't want to reject this proposal just yet (especially considering this is the first grant WMMK is seeking, and there's clearly enthusiasm for the project among the board, at least), I'm asking you to cooperate in showing the project was legitimately conceived, duly discussed, and that its terms, including the paid labor aspect, are acceptable to at least most of the active voices in the community. If you can't, or strongly disagree and don't want to do so, please say so, and I will make a decision as things stand. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:47, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi Asaf. Of course that we can and we want to provide evidence of how board members made their decision about this project. What Kiril meant when said that it's private - is that Macedonian law allow NGO's board members to schedule a meeting and make decision by e-mail or even skype. We used this way (via e-mail) all the time. I am going to forward to you all 15 e-mails with translation. I hope this would solve the confusion. Best regards. --Violetova (talk) 20:18, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi Asaf. The concern wasn't raised by a "WMMK's own board member" since Dimce is no longer a Board member and was stripped of his membership before this grant request was submitted. To say that the non-transparency is concern because the project itself was discussed on a mailing list doesn't hold, as the private mailing lists are widely used among other chapters and groups across the movement, which doesn't mean that the work and discussions there are non-transparent. Yet, it's nice that you finally decided to stop muddling with weird methods that weren't applied to other grantees and addressed your attention on the bigger problems relating Wikimedia Macedonia at the moment. If I had the right to participate as a GAC member to evaluate this request, my opinion would have already declined the request because of these bigger problems. I'm glad to hear that you see there is enthusiasm for this project among the Board, but the only thing that may break this sentiment is to see that previously unknown criteria are applied, with some of them creating interference in the work of the chapter. You're welcome to decline the request because Wikimedia Macedonia does not comply with its chapter agreement or simply because there are ongoing disputes among some of the members, but please don't introduce new criteria or, at least, make sure that we will keep them in use when evaluating other requests. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 21:31, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
P.S. My wish is to resolve the strategic problems that we face in the chapter and all the efforts are put to deal with them. Your attempts to throw off some attention and shed light on some other things, unfortunately, offer only temporary solutions to part of these problems. I believe that you would have not demanded to call the community for opinion if no "relevant authority" complained on the grounds of its validity. Best.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 21:48, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Kiril, there is no separate mailing list for the board, even if there is, at least the decisions should be public, because of our by-law. Your work, as an executive board should be public, according to article 39 of the by-law. And according to article 40 every member of the WMMK, including the President, has a right to know your work. Until I'm the member of WMMK I will request this.--brest (talk) 11:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Board members of WMMK remind me that I forgot to upload "Board Decision" on WMMK web site. I did it now, maybe this could help: http://mk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_Decision_from_15_July_2013 Regards --Violetova (talk) 13:11, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I see that you upload scanned document named "Odluka za spomenici.pdf" unsigned. Can I remind you that you forgot to upload signed document?--brest (talk) 11:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Non-compliance[edit]

I also notice that Wikimedia Macedonia is out of compliance with its chapter agreement, in that it has not posted regular activity reports on Meta. It would be necessary for WMMK to get back in compliance before we would approve this grant. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:07, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

WMMK post regular monthly activity reports (in English), see Category:Chapters_reports/Wikimedia_Macedonia. And detailed reports for every particular activity (in Macedonian), see WMMK News . --brest (talk) 00:00, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh! That's great to discover! I'm glad WMMK is reporting about its activities!
Please do go to the small additional trouble of linking to those monthly reports from Reports. Otherwise, they'll remain as invisible as they've been to me until just now. Also, please note WMMK is obliged to provide an annual activity report as well as an annual financial statement for every fiscal year. The latest in Reports are for 2011, so 2012 is still missing. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, important links from Reports to monthly reports was missed, now links are updated [1]. The 2012 financial report exist in hard copy version and we need just to scan & depersonalize & upload. We missed to write some annual activity reports, it's "unpaid" work which is usually postponed and avoided by volunteers, but the work is in progress ... :) --brest (talk) 01:09, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Dimce for your swift response on this one. I hope it's clear now that Wikimedia Macedonia complies with its chapters agreement and this will not raise any barrier towards the decision for this request. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 02:53, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm glad about the progress, but no, I'm afraid Wikimedia Macedonia does not yet comply with the agreement. It still has not posted an annual activity report for 2012, nor an annual financial statement for 2012. The link in Reports, as of this writing, does not lead to either one of these two documents. I am glad to hear WMMK is working on closing this compliance gap, but to be clear, WMMK has violated its chapter agreement, and is current out of compliance. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi Asaf. The annual report for 2012 has been added in the list of reports, and we only need to scan and upload the financial report for the same year. Best.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 18:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Excellent (and I'm glad to read about activity I was not aware of!), thanks. Now just let me know when the financial report is up, so we can proceed. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:33, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Finally I scan and upload the Annual financial statement for 2012. http://mk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Annual_Report_2012 --brest (talk) 08:08, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad WMMK is back in compliance. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:58, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Terms for approval[edit]

To sum up the current status: we would like to support WLM in Macedonia. To do so given the concerns voiced in this discussion, these would be the terms under which we will approve this proposal: 1. The people who are to be paid with the "project management" budget item are to be named in advance. 2. If a board member is to be paid, we'll need evidence this has been discussed outside the board, to mitigate the inherent conflict of interest.

If these terms are met, I will approve this proposal.

Additionally, while this need not delay approval, we will not wire WMMK funds before we are satisfied that at least two members of the current board have access to WMMK's bank account.

Please indicate if WMMK is interested in pursuing this proposal under the terms above. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:27, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the answer Asaf. Yes of course we are very interested and soon will complete the terms above. Best regards --Violetova (talk) 23:15, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Excelent, thanks. Please also clarify the bank account situation, below. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:39, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
  • By-law, article 33, say the president (currently not member of the executive board) has a right to sign financial documents, and one vicepresident (see the list of actual vicepresidents, vicepresidents is not nesecerily members of the executive board) has a right to sign financial documents in the absence of the president but with prior authorization of the president. So, I'm afraid that your request should not be legally satisfied, the current version of by-law doesn't allow it. The possible solutions are: change the by-law, change the president, do not change anything just work by the rule. Up to now there is no problem with the access to bank accounts, also I think that in the future we will not have such problems, especially if we consider the by-law, article 35.--brest (talk) 10:35, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
By-law says "has a right", but noone except Dimce Grozdanoski has access to the WMMK bank account. Up to now, WMMK executive board already had problem this July, when Dimce refused to sign official statement in Notary Office about finance of WMMK, saying: "I am a volunteer, you cannot make me do anything." (We needed that document in order to participate in the local "Academy for NGOs", seminar). One man against 5 board members, and all WMMK community: there has to be more changes at next Assembly meeting, for sure. Regards --Violetova (talk) 09:37, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Hey, your wish is not my command, now we talk about your WLM grant proposal, if you want to talk about your participation in local NGO Academy please start new tread. There is a legal way to take control of the bank account. It's not my business to help you to gain some revenue. FYI, I'm not afraid with changes at the next GA, just do it in a legal way, ASAP.--brest (talk) 11:49, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Access to bank account[edit]

Above, Dimce wrote:

According to article 33 of our By-law, The President of WMMK is responsible for bank accounts and one of the vice-presidents of the WMMK in the case of absence of the president. Any interested to Annual Financial Statements can read them if they visit mk.wikimedia.org. So I'm not only one who has access to the accounts, and according to the MK law owner of the bank accounts is WMMK.--brest (talk) 08:52, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for this information. Even according to this article, the situation described above is incompatible with good governance: WMMK's own site suggests Dimce is still (since 2009) the President (though not a board member -- is that compatible with your bylaws?), and I found it impossible to learn who the vice-president is from the WMMK page on the vice-president, which lists several names. According to the statement above, the current board is not aware of a way to access the bank account (the actual acount, not the financial statement), which suggest even the vice-president, whoever s/he is, doesn't have the access article 33 calls for.
Also, perhaps it would be good to update the WMMK board members page here on Meta to reflect the composition of the current board (also in Macedonian). Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:39, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Updates on pages are done. Board members are now in process of electing two memebers among them which will have access to the WMMK bank account. Regards --Violetova (talk) 09:46, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
The President can be out of the executive board, it's compatible with our By-laws. Asaf, I want just to draw your attention that when we talk about "board" we should consider terms of Macedonian law and terms of our by-laws for "executive board". Your "the board" is more equivalent to our "General Assembly". Violetova, please read our by-laws and act upon them.--brest (talk) 11:08, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, Dimce. I don't think the general assembly is the equivalent of a board; I've now read WMMK's (English) bylaws again, and it seems to me that in WMMK, what we expect to be "the board" is a combination of the "Presidium" and the "Executive board". Article 38 explicitly states it is the executive board's responsibility to make decisions about income and expenditure. I find it is quite problematic if the executive board at the same time doesn't have access and full visibility to WMMK's bank account. This can be mitigated in several ways: 1. ensure the president is on the executive board; 2. ensure at least two vice presidents (i.e. presidium members) are on the executive board; 3. explicitly grant two executive board members access to the bank account. 4. change bylaws.
One way or another, I'd like to see the current executive board clearly state they have access to the actual bank account (not just to a bank statement). Without it, we are setting ourselves up for potential conflict and problems down the road. Please indicate how you intend to resolve this. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:18, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Note that WMMK's (English) bylaws is unofficial translation and do not correspond to the Macedonian official bylaws. The second part of article 38 also states "in accordance with the financial plan and the program of work" which is under responsibility of General Assembly (article 21 alinea 5, Macedonian version of bylaws). 1. According to the last General Assembly decision, the president is not member of the executive board; 2. / 3. According to article 33 (35 - English version of the bylaws, translation is not valid), states that ONE vicepresident authorized by GA in the absence of the president have a right to sign financial documents, so bylaws restrict access to the bank account and your proposal is against the bylaws 4. we already start to change the bylaws and I hope that the process will finish as soon as possible in transparent way as we started in early days of 2010.
Any way, I think that change of the bylaws is home work for WMMK and should not be criteria for this grant application, because in the current situation there is no obstacle WMMK to process any grant which is in line with the bylaws. If you not act according to the current bylaws then wire WMF money directly to project leader in similar way as in the case of this project.--brest (talk) 10:51, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Notes upon approval[edit]

This grant proposal is approved. However, as stated above, WMF will not send WMMK funds before we are satisfied that the current executive board has access to the actual WMMK bank account, and that in any case at least two people (at least one of whom must be a member of the executive board) have access to the account. The current situation is evidently dysfunctional and needs to change. How it is to change is up to WMMK, and I would urge WMMK to seek advice from the Affiliations Committee, whose collective experience could be helpful here. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:04, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Failed[edit]

Macedonia failed to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments 2013. Now User:Brainmachine tries to organize something anyway. This is a change of project scope and I am strongly against funding this. Multichill (talk) 16:17, 27 October 2013 (UTC)