[IAEP] FW: Commenting on Treasurer Motions Enabled!

Adam Holt holt at laptop.org
Tue Apr 5 15:15:22 EDT 2016


If this becomes a stable proposal in coming weeks, can you repost to
wiki.sugarlabs.org with a link off of http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Finance
for wider consideration?  If so, here are questions I'd hope eventually get

- Expenses less than $200: who do I contact and what is the expected
turn-around time for (a) response and (b) receipt of funds? (c) Public data
trail expectations?

- Expenses above $200: can we refresh procedure clarity similar to the
above, and also how does one find out what happened in the last few
quarters (or last few weeks/months if we pay someone to organize and
publish documentation trails) so that legit applicants can learn what is
working and/or apply to assist Sugar Labs with a investment of such funds?

- What refreshed SL guidelines exist for measuring ROI, to help applicants
and save us all from gratuitous applications?

- What level of granularity should be public (archived documentation trail)
in both above cases, how promptly?  This would depend on paying someone, as
megabytes of financial info are not going to be karmically redacted of very
personal/private addresses and phone numbers every month with the wave of a
Magic Wand, and summarizing can take even more work (endless PDF's of every
toll booth receipt may exist, but certainly this is not conducive to
strategic/community decision-making).  What level of granularity is
appropriate I don't know; this can be worked out if community consensus
emerges.  SFConservancy.org provides extensive details (sometimes after a
couple months, when there is a data-entry backlog) but they do not provide
such data in publishable or even broadly understandable form -- to those
who do not have financial/accounting expertise.  Unless SL chooses to
cancel its relationship with SFC, and send the 10% of all funds to another
financial/legal umbrella non-profit who provide similar services more to
our liking.  Others may disagree, but as far as I can tell this is neither
likely nor advisable!

- Are we so sure detailed/monthly reporting is the best thing for Sugar
Labs, when SL Board meetings have not been monthly over many recent years?
(It's entirely possible monthly is an option, I'm just asking if SL is
willing to pay compliance costs, or conversely are we just
fantasizing/bikeshedding about Transparency arriving from God, asking
others to do our dirty work for us for free...a well-known pattern leading
to well-known results.)

In any case, training with http://ledger-cli.org and
http://k.sfconservancy.org/npo-ledger-cli is required first, if not a
professional accountant as well, one who understands subversion (svn, ssh,
etc) to check out the files on whatever pace the Sugar Labs community calls
for *(presumably monthly, quarterly or annually)*.  There are very real
limits to what is genuinely possible here, until we know what degree of
financial transparency and promptness the community actually deserves.  I'm
willing to be trained on the above software (within limits) if there is
truly a purpose at the end of the tunnel, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

But thank you for having raised the central question: why has this (prompt
financial access/process/awareness) been quite continually neglected over
~8 years of Sugar Labs' existence, and why have all volunteers run away
screaming from this role (I got a taste of this when I ran into OLPC CFO
Robert Fadel in the hallway at MIT ~6 months ago!)  Still, you have not
however provided the central answer however, by conveniently pulling
yourself out of the running from such a role, so let's be incredibly
cautious not to pat ourselves on the back with a poetically dysfunctional
unfunded FOIA-style mandate.

And we haven't even got to income/fundraising, where this all begins!  So
we get what we pay for investing blood+tears -- as intelligent
accountants/treasurers everywhere know very well* (you may be one of them
Caryl, demonstrating such financial maturity, my apologies I can't remember
your career full history, and thank you for your time wherever this goes

On Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 1:38 PM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Fellow SL members…. In case you would also like to comment on the
> proposed motions to define the office of SL Treasurer here is a link
> (below) that should give you access.
> Caryl
> ------------------------------
> From: cbigenho at hotmail.com
> To: d.crossland at gmail.com; holt at laptop.org; tony at olenepal.org;
> walter.bender at gmail.com; sverma at sfsu.edu; lionel at olpc-france.org;
> logobot at gmail.com; callaurrea at gmail.com
> Subject: Commenting on Treasurer Motions Enabled!
> Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 11:36:11 -0600
> Hi Dave… (and SLOBs0
> Commenting for the Treasurer Motions is now turned on. The link is:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/16jIFuZ9bX-Bv675BpA1KmcEcRcX4PRCOUEX0ICRUkOc/edit?usp=sharing
> Thanks for bringing this to my attention!  If anything else needs
> changing… let me know!
> Caryl
> --
> Unsung Heroes of OLPC, interviewed live @ http://unleashkids.org !
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