[IAEP] [SLOBS] New Finance Request: Airfare to EduJAM for Sebastian Silva

Mel Chua mel at melchua.com
Mon Apr 25 09:29:51 EDT 2011

Copying iaep back in on this.

>>>>>    Can I expect a timeframe for this? Are we waiting for Walter's info on
>>>>> how much is available before proceeding?

There have been an initial 4 +1's to this - myself, Walter, Bernie, 
Aleksey - and a confirmation of approximately $4k of funding 
availability from Walter.

 From Walter:
 > I have not had time to plow through all the old statements yet, but
 > whereas Chris has convinced me that the GSoC mentorship $ is part of
 > our general fund, I think we have just shy of $4000 available for
 > travel ($500 x 8 mentorships over 2009, 2010 GSoC).

So I believe the funding is approved. (iaep-ers, that's 1 of 2 things 
you missed).

I've updated http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/2792 accordingly. There 
are 2 things left to do:

1) Actually spend the money (who can do this?) Either Sebastian buys the 
ticket and gets reimbursed (which is what I'd suggest, given the short 
timeframe) or whoever has the ability to spend SLOBs money needs to buy 
a ticket for him.

2) Specify followup deliverables - Sebastian has listed some great 
specific things he'll be working on at EduJam, and I'd like to suggest 
that after the conference he summarize and link to all the stuff he did 
in a blog post, and link that to the ticket, so there's an all-in-one 
place to see the "and what happened?" results of the funding. Plus it's 
just a good thing to have hit Planet Fedora, anyhow.

iaep-ers, the 2nd thing you missed in the thread was from Bernie:

>> At next SLOBs meeting, I'd like to propose this motion:
>> MOTION: Mel Chua is given autonomy on spending decisions for refunding
>> travel expenses and purchasing things up to a maximum cost of $x per
>> request, within a budget limit of $y.
>> Where `x' could be something in the range $1500-$3000 and `y' depends on
>> what turns up from our financial records.

Walter's response: > Regarding the proposal to give Mel unilateral 
control over travel
> proposals, I think it is premature. I am in favor of allocating the
> responsibility now that we have a more formal process in place, but I
> don't think we, as a community, have sufficiently discussed the
> decision-making metrics we would like to apply.

And on my part, I like the direction this is going but don't think we're 
there yet, as Walter's said.

I think there should be someone (imo, this ought to be a seat appointed 
annually by SLOBs immediately after each year's election) delegated with 
this sort of financial control and responsible for transparent finances 
record-keeping - maintaining the budget numbers and the financerequest 
ticket queue. I also agree there should be a spending limit and that 
larger purchases than that limit will need a SLOBs quorum.

I believe there ought to be decision-making metrics outlined before we 
grant someone that responsibility, but very general ones, like "must 
directly support the SL mission" and "can't be illegal" and "decisions 
made need to be announced publicly on iaep for at least 1 week before 
the spending happens to allow time for community comments/objections" 
and "can't spend money we don't have" - actually, I think those three 
ought to be enough.

I also think it'll be incumbent on the first appointed person to define 
and drive more discussion of these metrics as actual "we need to spend 
$" cases come up, because it's only through action that we'll figure 
this stuff out well - I don't see any point in restricting ourselves to 
not act until we debate all hypotheticals, because that's an impossible 
task. I think the restrictions above, especially "needs to be announced 
for comment period before spending happens" and "can't spend $ we don't 
have," will keep us from screwing up anything major, and that we're 
capable of figuring the rest out together as we go along.

I'm happy to serve as the first person in this capacity until the next 
election, but would also happily have this person *not* be me (c'mon, 
folks! accounting is fun!).

Between the emails Bernie, Walter, and I sent, there seems to me to have 
most of the stuff for two motions - one to create the appointed position 
with certain guidelines and restrictions, and another to appoint the 
first holder of that position.


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