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.
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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- [board-discuss] Open Letter from Membership Committee · Florian Effenberger
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