[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Motion: To appoint Volunteer Laura Vargas as Sugar Labs Financial Manager [was Re: [SLOBS] URGENT action needed]

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Fri Sep 8 22:52:34 EDT 2017

Yes, this may introduce a conflict of interest.

Laura may be unduly influenced by a secondary interest of stipend.

Laura can defuse the conflict by either

1.  absenting from any discussions that involve finance, and
abstaining from any motions that involve finance, or

2.  resigning from the oversight board.

I don't think either are a good outcome for Sugar Labs.

In other organisations where I am a board member, a board may cover
some costs of a board member for attending to board matters, usually
after the costs are incurred, and with independent verification of the
amount of remuneration.

Independence is lacking in this motion.

On Sat, Sep 09, 2017 at 02:12:51AM +0000, Caryl Bigenho wrote:
> Hello All...
> I came late to this discussion as we have been very busy the past few days and
> I didn't check my email until this am.
> I wish to question the propriety of making the financial manager a paid
> employee who is also serving on the board. This is quite out of the ordinary
> and begs for a conflict of interest problem. This holds true for family members
> of a board member (spouse, children, mothers etc.). This is not just coming
> from me. A quick search turns up plenty of information:
> From Google:
> Can an employees of a non profit be on the board of directors?
> It is not a good idea to have a paid staff member serve on the board and may
> even be limited by your state's nonprofit laws. The chief reason staff members
> do not usually sit on a nonprofit's board is the risk of a conflict of
> interest. ... Staff may attend board meetings, especially the CEO or Executive
> Director.Oct 25, 2016
> What state is SFC, our umbrella organization incorporated in? The state laws
> may actually forbid paid staff and/or their spouses, children, etc. from
> serving on the board.  There are also some IRS complications that may come up.
> Sugar Labs is already paying SFC to do the books. It should not be a "job" to
> collect their periodic report and share it with the Sugar Labs membership. In
> the meantime, I understand the SLOBs have been granted access to the financial
> information now on an ongoing basis, which should help clear up some of the
> questions people have had.
> Other Sources
> https://www.thebalance.com/
> can-nonprofits-pay-board-members-or-appoint-paid-staff-2502271
> https://nonprofitquarterly.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/56/files/2017/08/
> Screenshot-2017-08-21-06.14.27.png
> [1]https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/
> can-board-members-be-paid
> [2]                         [3]Can board members be paid? | National Council of
> [questions-answers-feature] Nonprofits
>                             www.councilofnonprofits.org
>                             The vast, indeed overwhelming majority, of board
>                             members of charitable nonprofits are unpaid
>                             volunteer members of their boards of directors.
>                             This is because of the ...
> Caryl
> ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
> From: IAEP <iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org> on behalf of Laura Vargas
> <laura at somosazucar.org>
> Sent: Friday, September 8, 2017 10:32:28 AM
> To: Adam Holt; SLOBs
> Cc: iaep; Sugar-dev Devel; Karen Sandler; OLPC para usuarios, docentes,
> voluntarios y administradores
> Subject: Re: [IAEP] Motion: To appoint Volunteer Laura Vargas as Sugar Labs
> Financial Manager [was Re: [SLOBS] URGENT action needed]
> Adam, 
> I'm OK if you are not willing to mentor me. I'll research and learn as well.
>     I have published all the ledger commands here, that I know of to hopefully
>     get you started: [4] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2017-August/
>     019935.html
>     PS a quarterly financial report makes Far More Sense that monthly voodoo /
>     feel-good economics, when most transactions are reported at highly
>     uncertain times many months after the fact. 
> Yes. Approved MOTION 2017-13 Approves the Sugar Labs Financial Manager to have
> a monthly stipend of US$ TBD in exchange for: 1 complete financial report per
> quarter and it's publication on the Sugar Labs Finance Wiki page.
>     20 hours or anybody's time to repeatedly run the same numbers is an
>     extremely bad use of anybody's time in my opinion, particularly as there
>     are many months with no transactions at all.
> I estimated I would need to dedicate least 20 monthly hours, considering that:
> A) English is not my native language and I have to account time for translating
> and rechecking.
> B) Reports publication are due since February 2016 (1 year and 2 quarters to
> catch up).
> C) All financial procedures require to be debugged and properly published on
> the SL wiki.
> Anyhow, if this is what you are requiring please feel free to modify up or down
> the amount of the stipend so we can move on. 
> Regards,
> --
> Laura V.
> I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org
> “Solo la tecnología libre nos hará libres.” 
> ~ L. Victoria
> Happy Learning!
> #LearningByDoing
> #Projects4good
> #IDesignATSugarLabs
> #WeCanDoBetter
> References:
> [1] https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/can-board-members-be-paid
> [2] https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/can-board-members-be-paid
> [3] https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/can-board-members-be-paid
> [4] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2017-August/019935.html

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James Cameron

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