Wikimedia Project Governing Committees

This proposal made in early 2004 is not a current policy of Wikimedia Foundation

This is a proposal to set up official Wikimedia Project Governing Committees for each of the Wikimedia projects, such as each language Wikipedia. These would be committees under the umbrella of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (henceforth 'Wikimedia'), in accordance with Art. IV, section 3 of those Bylaws.

Open structure of each Governing CommitteeEdit

The members of each Wikimedia project (each language Wikipedia, Wikisource, etc.) may elect from amongst themselves, in any fashion they decide, a committee to consist of contributors (that do not have to be formal members of Wikimedia) from that Wikimedia project. Such committee shall be empowered to create policies that are not inconsistent with Wikimedia's corporate goals and vision (as applicable to that particular project).

Other channels for policy creationEdit

(how will the governing committee interact with non-committee-members who are hammering out policies to improve the project? will it accept suggestions and decide whether or how to implement them? will it have veto power over policies created by others?)

Recommendations to the Board regarding member disputesEdit

Such committee will also review any decisions of arbitration and member review committees of that particular project before such decisions are sent to the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia for confirmation (in accordance with the Bylaws). The commitee will forward a recommendation to the Board to overturn or sustain the decision of any such arbitration or member review committee, or other committee created under the authority of the Board of Trustees -- unless the dispute be about the content of a particular article or page on that project's wiki, in which case the Board of Trustees delegates to the members of the governing commitee the authority to directly confirm or overturn such decisions.

Reports of Governing CommitteesEdit

Each governing committee shall submit a formal report to the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia at least once a year of their activities, and if the governing committee does not operate in English, it shall endeavor to translate the Committee report into English (and other languages if possible) and release all translations of the reports to the Wikimedia community in general.

Limited Power of Board to Overturn Governing Committee DecisionsEdit

The only time the Board of Trustees may overturn any decision of the independent Project Governing Committee of any Wikimedia project is if such decision is contrary to the general principles as laid out on the Wikipedia MetaWiki for the benefit of all Wikimedia projects or if it otherwise contravenes the Bylaws or Corporate Charter of Wikimedia.

Role of the ChairEdit

The Chair of Wikimedia shall be ex-officio a member of all these Governing Committees and may be asked for an Advisory Opinion of the Chair before the Commitee makes any decision either by its members or by any contributor to that Wikimedia project. Such opinion shall be advisory and shall not be binding upon the Committee unless the Board of Trustees has determined that any potential decision of that Governing Committee is contrary to the general good of Wikimedia.