The governance committee is a subgroup of the WMLGBT+ User Group established to assist the user group as requested with potential conflicts of interest and financial oversight. The group was established in June 2021 for a maximum of 2 years with the intention of being re-assessed in that period by elected representatives of the user group.
Scope of committeeEdit
To provide an independent review of financial-related processes and proposals. "Financial related" includes:
- recommending process improvements or advising on potential risks to the User Group, not limited to financial risk
- assessment of control of money and how suppliers or contracts are awarded, including when financial management is handled by a partner organization
- review of potential conflicts of interests or loyalty by any WMLGBT+ member contributing to spending decisions
- oversight of vetting of candidates for key decision making roles
- review of partnering, sponsorship, receiving gifts and donations in-kind
- assessment of vetting processes for User Group decision making roles in programmes of activities, proposals, and activity which is supported by the User Group or Wikimedia "brand"
- review and report on urgent cases may be addressed with exceptional meetings of at least 3 members of the governance committee
- managing confidential declarations of interest
Meetings and reportsEdit
The committee will self-organize meetings depending on User Group requests for assessments and reviews. By default, the meetings will be minuted and published. It is expected that meetings will be fewer than once every two or three months.
Representation for the governance committee of at least one member will be part of User Group meetings, which are normally on a monthly basis. Formal reporting, including agreement or proposals for membership changes, will be at User Group meetings.
Where confidential or personal information is part of a governance review or decision making, confidential meetings may be required and access to the information may need to be limited a sub-group of the governance committee, for example, where the data access is covered by a non-disclosure agreement. In these cases reports to the User Group must be limited to non-confidential information, however, all records of the committee will be considered records of the User Group.
Membership of the committeeEdit
The governance committee has a wide scope from oversight of procurement processes, potentially in multiple countries, to assurance of vetting of volunteers and employees or contractors. Consequently, varied backgrounds and skills are needed from participants. It is recommended that members have a minimum of:
- 2 years background of supporting the Wikimedia movement in volunteer or employed roles
- 2 years active within the WMLGBT+ user group or have been invited by the WMLGBT+ User Group to provide specific skills and knowledge to the governance committee, such as financial management or programme governance
- confirmed identity, either by having an existing public profile, or confidentially with an established WMF Affiliate or the WMF.
The quorum for governance committee meetings or reviews will be 3, with a recommended minimum membership of 4 people. Recommendations and reports should ideally be on a unanimous basis, but where this is not possible the balance of votes must be documented.
Members of the governance committee must not be part of the assessment of funding or procurement decisions for the User Group where they may be or later become a beneficiary within the following financial year. This excludes agreed expenses, such as travel costs.
At the June meeting of the WMLGBT+ User Group, the initial membership of the governance committee was confirmed as Fæ, Jeffrey Keefer, RachelWex and Owen Blacker. This carries over the experience of the financial team providing oversight for Queering Wikipedia 2021.