Movement roles project/Accountability standards

Note: This page contains nothing more than rough drafts and notes from the Movement Roles project.
  • It was picked up by the Audit committee to generate their working draft.
  • Please continue discussions there to avoid further splitting.
  • Input and improvement is encouraged!

Below are potential accountability and transparency standards recommended for adoption by all recognized Wikimedia organizations. Some basic ideas about accountability are collected at Movement roles/accountability basics, they are part of discussion outcome of Wikimedia Conference 2011.


  • Local regulations: Comply at a minimum with the local regulations regarding public reporting of their activities in their jurisdiction.
  • Annual plan: Develop and publish an annual plan that includes strategic goals, program activities, a budget, planned sources of revenue, planned sources of people to support activities, and assessment of risks. The annual plan shall be approved by their governing body (or the association's membership as required by the organization's by-laws) no later than one month after the commencement of their fiscal year. A summary of the annual plan including the budget shall be published on Meta-Wiki to provide for transparency with the Wikimedia movement.
  • Activity reporting: Publish a report of the activities of the organization at a minimum of once per quarter. This report shall state how the activity is contributing to the goals of the movement and organization, and share any measures that might be available. A summary of the activity report shall be published on Meta-Wiki to provide for transparency with the Wikimedia movement.
  • Annual report: Publish an annual report that documents the major activities of the organization during the year and presents the financial accounts of the organization. The annual report shall be approved by the governing body (or the association's membership as required by the organization's by-laws) no later than six months after the end of the fiscal year. A summary of the annual report including the financial statements shall be published on Meta-Wiki in English to provide for transparency with the Wikimedia movement.
  • Trademark usage report: Prepare a report of the uses of Wikimedia trademark, if the organization has permission to use the trademarks, including all instances of usage in conjunction with third parties. The report shall also include an assessment of trademark violations within the organization's jurisdiction.


  • Donations and grants received: Publish summaries of donations and grants received within one month of receipt.
  • Donor thanks: Send donors a 'thank you' and any documentation for tax purposes within two months of their donation.
  • Donor accountability: Report to donors on how donated resources have been deployed, and how this aligns with understandings at the time of donation.
  • Partnerships: Disclose any partnerships and partnership agreements.
  • Reporting: Disclose grant sources and other major sources of funding, and attend to deadlines for reporting on grants.

Financial management and audits

  • Controls: Maintain minimum financial controls including the maintenance of good records of all financial transactions, requirement of two signatures for all payments over an agreed upon minimum, governing-body approval for all payments over an agreed upon minimum.
  • Independent examination: Comply at a minimum with the regulations regarding the independent examination of financial accounts in their jurisdiction.
  • Audit: For all organizations with revenue greater than $100,000 (see talk) complete an external audit of financial statements and publish the results of the audit publicly within one year of the close of the fiscal year.

Good governance

  • Membership: Keep an open list of members. No person shall be arbitrarily denied membership, suspended or expelled without reason being given.
  • Annual general assembly: Hold an annual general assembly, as required by their by-laws. Attendance and minutes of the meeting shall be published within one month of the meeting.
  • Public forum: The organization should hold a public forum with or poll their members and other stakeholders at least annually, to assess the degree of support for their direction within their communities.
  • Board meetings: The governing body should hold a minimum of 3 meetings a year. Boards should announce the schedule of board meetings at least one month in advance and publish an agenda at least one week in advance, and share public minutes of their meetings within one month of the meeting.
  • Selection or election of trustees: Select or elect trustees openly.
  • Conflict of interest: All members of the board of trustees shall sign a conflict of interest statement annually that discloses publicly any potential conflicts of interest they may have.
  • Updates: Governing bodies should publicly disclose any material change in the status of the organization and the board itself within one month(one week?) of an issue arising.
  • Bylaws: Disclose any bylaws change to the organization's members in advance. Major organizations should inform their peers and the Wikimedia Foundation (e.g., via internal-l) and should ensure that the changes do not conflict with existing agreements. Promptly disclose material breaches of bylaws.
  • Transparency: Be transparent to members, posting news, reports, announcements and disclosures on public wikis or mailing lists.
  • Data-driven decisions: Develop strategy and manage activities based on facts and data.
  • Disclosure: Promptly disclose any major problems, such as local legal challenges, political or PR battles, or the inability to fulfill agreements, to internal-l. Work to fix the situation and share updates on its development.