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[board-discuss] Open Letter from Membership Committee


Hello,

the following e-mail titled

        Open Letter from Membership Committee

was sent to the Foundation's Board of Trustees on September 2nd. It is now shared with the general public as discussed with members of the Board and of the Membership Committee during today's meeting.

Florian


In the last weeks, some TDF members reached different MC members in private, because they have been worried about the transparency of the decision process shown in recent times by the Board of Directors, especially when important topics such as a 5 years marketing plan or a business entity is being discussed.

Because of this, the Membership Committee of The Document Foundation wants to express these shared concerns about the future of the Foundation itself (with regards to the Board of Directors behavior).

What we can see, as anyone among the Board of Trustees, is that two times in less than half a year, the Board of Director had to clearly communicate (more broadly) its intentions with regards to some strategic decisions for the sustainability and the future of the Foundation and its Community. And that happened just and only because of strong complaints.

Those events have been useful to improve the transparency, which is now much better than before, but still sub-optimal. Discussion now is in public, but either too late (business entity) or without enough time to discuss (marketing paper) before an action was taken.

It has been additionally brought to public attention, in various threads and more or less recently, that a possible Conflicts of Interest could exist within the Board of Directors, with regards to tenders, business entity, trademarks or the marketing plan. Probably, some interviews appeared on the web, reporting some Directors own opinions, has further deepened the convincement of such idea.

It looks like there is a stalemate situation, because of the impossibility to conceal the different interests of the ecosystem and of the community which TDF represents. The image of TDF perceived publicly is dangerously deteriorating, and since MC is the Foundation’s second governing body, it cares about it and the Community.

We know it’s a really hard problem to solve and the demonstration is the fact that in many years it wasn’t sorted out. So MC's intention is to start helping the BoD, but in order to do it, we’d need to be updated promptly on BoD discussions, before they become actions. That’s why we ask to receive full minutes of BoD meetings as soon as they are shared with the BoD itself through the official mail message. This is also something we’ve been asking in the past, now and then, and sometimes we’ve been satisfied, but what we ask here is that it becomes the standard procedure and thus automatically iterated, without having us to ask each time.

Finally MC will try to look for a possible CoI policy to be adopted and then refer to the BoD, which could possibly do the same in the meanwhile, to have a confrontation at a certain moment and a process of merging, in order to take the best from both proposals.

The Membership Committee

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