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FAQs

Andrew Turvey-2
I've been thinking a bit more about my post yesterday and reading through the reactions to it - thanks for the responses. I didn't previously appreciate the point about people who can't participate via wiki but can via email.

I guess the key thing I am interested in is to understand what decisions have been made and really what was the rationale for those decisions. We don't have to do these things in haste and I think it's important that we aim to be open and transparent - explaining the decisions that have been made is perhaps just as important as making the right decisions.

I should emphasise, I personally think that the decisions have largely been the right ones - particularly the tight timetable and the small interim Board. I might question some of the more minor details (why 18+ and not 16+; why mandatory CRB checks?; why is it not called Wikimedia UK?) and I think how those running this initiative respond to questions can be seen as an insight to how this venture will develop!

As an attempt at a solution, I've started a page at [http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Candidate_FAQs] to answer all these kind of questions and explain. I would appreciate anyone who could contribute - either there or in reply here - and answer these questions.

The questions so far are:
I've answered 1 & 2 myself already, and I'm about to answer 3,4,6,7,8

(5) i think needs some urgent work as nominations close on Saturday and it's not really fair to ask people to stand before they have a good idea about what is expected of them - another email to follow on that!
 
Andrew Turvey


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Re: FAQs

joseph seddon
I would like to answer question 3. The board is to work with members younger than 16 and
the possibility of working in schools. Given this, it was felt for the safety of our younger
members it would be best to have all board members undergo a CRB.


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Re: FAQs

geni
2008/9/9 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
> I would like to answer question 3. The board is to work with members younger
> than 16 and
> the possibility of working in schools. Given this, it was felt for the
> safety of our younger
> members it would be best to have all board members undergo a CRB.
>

It's complex hard work and time consuming. Leave it out for the initial board.



--
geni

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Re: FAQs

Andrew Whitworth-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Turvey-2
2008/9/9 Andrew Turvey <[hidden email]>:
> why is it not called Wikimedia UK?

Being on the Chapcom, this is a question I'm actually qualified to
answer. Even though groups are called "chapters" of the Wikimedia
foundation, we try to make sure that they are all independent (but
mutually supportive) organizations. To slice hairs, you are not a
"child organization of the WMF", but instead you are an individual
organization with common aims as the WMF (along with a few additional
rights such as the use of trademarks and the right to represent the
WMF to the press, etc). So, calling yourself "Wikimedia UK"
overemphasizes and misrepresents your relationship to the WMF, and
that's discouraged.

We do recommend that groups organize and incorporate legally prior to
applying for chapter status. Calling yourself "Wikimedia UK" before
you are accepted as a chapter seems to be a bit of a gamble. If we
(chapcom) feel that you've set yourself up in the wrong way, by being
too institutionally dependent on the WMF for instance, we might not
approve your chapter application anyway. (On a related note, you
should definitely run your bylaws and some other organizational
details past the chapcom before you do anything legally binding, just
in case you've made a decision that we don't approve of, which is
admittedly rare).

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: FAQs

Gordon Joly
At 18:02 -0400 9/9/08, Andrew Whitworth wrote:

>2008/9/9 Andrew Turvey <[hidden email]>:
>>  why is it not called Wikimedia UK?
>
>Being on the Chapcom, this is a question I'm actually qualified to
>answer. Even though groups are called "chapters" of the Wikimedia
>foundation, we try to make sure that they are all independent (but
>mutually supportive) organizations. To slice hairs, you are not a
>"child organization of the WMF", but instead you are an individual
>organization with common aims as the WMF (along with a few additional
>rights such as the use of trademarks and the right to represent the
>WMF to the press, etc). So, calling yourself "Wikimedia UK"
>overemphasizes and misrepresents your relationship to the WMF, and
>that's discouraged.
>
>We do recommend that groups organize and incorporate legally prior to
>applying for chapter status. Calling yourself "Wikimedia UK" before
>you are accepted as a chapter seems to be a bit of a gamble. If we
>(chapcom) feel that you've set yourself up in the wrong way, by being
>too institutionally dependent on the WMF for instance, we might not
>approve your chapter application anyway. (On a related note, you
>should definitely run your bylaws and some other organizational
>details past the chapcom before you do anything legally binding, just
>in case you've made a decision that we don't approve of, which is
>admittedly rare).
>
>--Andrew Whitworth

Surely it is all to do with the trademark?

Gordo

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Re: FAQs

Katie Chan
In reply to this post by geni
On Tue, 2008-09-09 at 23:00 +0100, geni wrote:
> 2008/9/9 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
> > I would like to answer question 3. The board is to work with members younger
> > than 16 and
> > the possibility of working in schools. Given this, it was felt for the
> > safety of our younger
> > members it would be best to have all board members undergo a CRB.
> >
>
> It's complex hard work and time consuming. Leave it out for the initial board.

I'll copy what I wrote on wiki on this question.

The main one, although there were other reasoning, is that one can
envisage Wikimedia UK working with(in) a schools environment. The
Charity Commission strongly advise prospective charity to have its
trustees go through a CRB check if they are likely to work with
vulnerable people as a result of being trustee. Note the wording only
says that one is willing to submit to one, not necessarily that it will
be done. Whether those checks are done will be up to the (initial) board
to decide.

KTC

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Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
  - Heinrich Heine

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Re: FAQs

Thomas Dalton
2008/9/9 Kwan Ting Chan <[hidden email]>:

> On Tue, 2008-09-09 at 23:00 +0100, geni wrote:
>> 2008/9/9 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>> > I would like to answer question 3. The board is to work with members younger
>> > than 16 and
>> > the possibility of working in schools. Given this, it was felt for the
>> > safety of our younger
>> > members it would be best to have all board members undergo a CRB.
>> >
>>
>> It's complex hard work and time consuming. Leave it out for the initial board.
>
> I'll copy what I wrote on wiki on this question.
>
> The main one, although there were other reasoning, is that one can
> envisage Wikimedia UK working with(in) a schools environment. The
> Charity Commission strongly advise prospective charity to have its
> trustees go through a CRB check if they are likely to work with
> vulnerable people as a result of being trustee. Note the wording only
> says that one is willing to submit to one, not necessarily that it will
> be done. Whether those checks are done will be up to the (initial) board
> to decide.

I think it's definitely important to have the CRB checks done before
registering with the charity commission because they will probably
require it once they realise we plan to have child members and work in
schools. I would rather not skip it for the interim board because one
of their tasks will be processing all the initial membership
applications and that means having access to the names, address, email
address etc. of children, and I'd rather be on the safe side when
handling that kind of information.

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Re: FAQs

Ross Gardler
Thomas Dalton wrote:

> 2008/9/9 Kwan Ting Chan <[hidden email]>:
>> On Tue, 2008-09-09 at 23:00 +0100, geni wrote:
>>> 2008/9/9 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>>>> I would like to answer question 3. The board is to work with members younger
>>>> than 16 and
>>>> the possibility of working in schools. Given this, it was felt for the
>>>> safety of our younger
>>>> members it would be best to have all board members undergo a CRB.
>>>>
>>> It's complex hard work and time consuming. Leave it out for the initial board.
>> I'll copy what I wrote on wiki on this question.
>>
>> The main one, although there were other reasoning, is that one can
>> envisage Wikimedia UK working with(in) a schools environment. The
>> Charity Commission strongly advise prospective charity to have its
>> trustees go through a CRB check if they are likely to work with
>> vulnerable people as a result of being trustee. Note the wording only
>> says that one is willing to submit to one, not necessarily that it will
>> be done. Whether those checks are done will be up to the (initial) board
>> to decide.
>
> I think it's definitely important to have the CRB checks done before
> registering with the charity commission because they will probably
> require it once they realise we plan to have child members and work in
> schools. I would rather not skip it for the interim board because one
> of their tasks will be processing all the initial membership
> applications and that means having access to the names, address, email
> address etc. of children, and I'd rather be on the safe side when
> handling that kind of information.

For the record CRB checks are not time consuming. There are plenty of
companies out there that will do them for a filled form and a £50
(approx.) cheque. A couple of years ago my wife was using a charity that
would do it for youth oriented not-for-profits for about £15. I can't
recall the name of that charity right now but would be happy to look it
up when required.

Ross

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Re: FAQs

Thomas Dalton
> For the record CRB checks are not time consuming. There are plenty of
> companies out there that will do them for a filled form and a £50
> (approx.) cheque. A couple of years ago my wife was using a charity that
> would do it for youth oriented not-for-profits for about £15. I can't
> recall the name of that charity right now but would be happy to look it
> up when required.

I did a little research and it looks like we could do it for free. The
CRB doesn't charge a fee for volunteers so it's just a matter of
finding a handling agent that won't charge a fee, and they seem to
exist.
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Re: FAQs

Chris McKenna
In reply to this post by Ross Gardler
On Wed, 10 Sep 2008, Ross Gardler wrote:
>
> For the record CRB checks are not time consuming. There are plenty of
> companies out there that will do them for a filled form and a £50
> (approx.) cheque. A couple of years ago my wife was using a charity that
> would do it for youth oriented not-for-profits for about £15. I can't
> recall the name of that charity right now but would be happy to look it
> up when required.
>
> Ross

Actually, although they /should/ not be time consumiong, I have a friend
who had to wait 4 months for a CRB check (she needed it as a volunteer for
a local holiday playscheme). Although this isn't the norm, it's far from
unusual.

Chris

--
Chris McKenna

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The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes,
but with the heart

Antoine de Saint Exupery

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Re: FAQs

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Whitworth-2
2008/9/9 Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>:

> Being on the Chapcom, this is a question I'm actually qualified to
> answer. Even though groups are called "chapters" of the Wikimedia
> foundation, we try to make sure that they are all independent (but
> mutually supportive) organizations. To slice hairs, you are not a
> "child organization of the WMF", but instead you are an individual
> organization with common aims as the WMF (along with a few additional
> rights such as the use of trademarks and the right to represent the
> WMF to the press, etc).


I describe them to people as "sort of an official fan club - rights to
use the name, but no money sent back up or whatever."


>So, calling yourself "Wikimedia UK"
> overemphasizes and misrepresents your relationship to the WMF, and
> that's discouraged.


Though the organisation will trade under that name! But yes, it
shouldn't be its real name.

(This is also so that, in the event of a chapter dying or going rogue,
the Foundation can revoke its trademark licence [WMUK v1 had a 3-month
notice period] and assign it to a viable new organisation.)


> (On a related note, you
> should definitely run your bylaws and some other organizational
> details past the chapcom before you do anything legally binding, just
> in case you've made a decision that we don't approve of, which is
> admittedly rare).


This is a hard part in that every country's laws are different, yes :-)


- d.

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Re: FAQs

Thomas Dalton
>>So, calling yourself "Wikimedia UK"
>> overemphasizes and misrepresents your relationship to the WMF, and
>> that's discouraged.
>
>
> Though the organisation will trade under that name! But yes, it
> shouldn't be its real name.

It will trade under the name *once it has an agreement with WMF* -
that's the key point. It's needs another name before then.

> (This is also so that, in the event of a chapter dying or going rogue,
> the Foundation can revoke its trademark licence [WMUK v1 had a 3-month
> notice period] and assign it to a viable new organisation.)

A 3-month notice period? So the contract between WM UK v1 and WMF
wasn't the same one as Delphine has a copy of online (which is for a
year and it automatically renewed each year unless someone stops it)?
That should make things simpler for the new chapter if the old hasn't
finished going through all the bureaucracy of winding up by the time
we're ready to sign up with WMF.

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Re: FAQs

David Gerard-2
2008/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:

> A 3-month notice period? So the contract between WM UK v1 and WMF
> wasn't the same one as Delphine has a copy of online (which is for a
> year and it automatically renewed each year unless someone stops it)?
> That should make things simpler for the new chapter if the old hasn't
> finished going through all the bureaucracy of winding up by the time
> we're ready to sign up with WMF.


I'd have to double-check the contract to answer that, I might be
wrong! But it doesn't matter, 3 months or annual renewal or whatever -
the point being a mechanism such that the WMF can pull the plug if the
chapter dies or goes rogue, but can't do so with no notice.


- d.

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Re: FAQs

Thomas Dalton
2008/9/10 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:

> 2008/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>
>> A 3-month notice period? So the contract between WM UK v1 and WMF
>> wasn't the same one as Delphine has a copy of online (which is for a
>> year and it automatically renewed each year unless someone stops it)?
>> That should make things simpler for the new chapter if the old hasn't
>> finished going through all the bureaucracy of winding up by the time
>> we're ready to sign up with WMF.
>
>
> I'd have to double-check the contract to answer that, I might be
> wrong! But it doesn't matter, 3 months or annual renewal or whatever -
> the point being a mechanism such that the WMF can pull the plug if the
> chapter dies or goes rogue, but can't do so with no notice.

It's just a matter of how long it takes. If the contract is the one
that's online, then the WMF can't unilaterally revoke WM UK v1.0's
chapter status for another 10 months or so (I can't see this being an
issue, since I don't think anyone wants it to retain chapter status,
but it is a theoretical stumbling block).

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Re: FAQs

David Gerard-2
2008/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:

> It's just a matter of how long it takes. If the contract is the one
> that's online, then the WMF can't unilaterally revoke WM UK v1.0's
> chapter status for another 10 months or so (I can't see this being an
> issue, since I don't think anyone wants it to retain chapter status,
> but it is a theoretical stumbling block).


I see no barrier to cancelling the arrangement by mutual agreement. (Delphine?)


- d.

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Re: FAQs

Thomas Dalton
2008/9/10 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:

> 2008/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>
>> It's just a matter of how long it takes. If the contract is the one
>> that's online, then the WMF can't unilaterally revoke WM UK v1.0's
>> chapter status for another 10 months or so (I can't see this being an
>> issue, since I don't think anyone wants it to retain chapter status,
>> but it is a theoretical stumbling block).
>
>
> I see no barrier to cancelling the arrangement by mutual agreement. (Delphine?)

Precisely - it's only were it unilateral that there would be a
problem, so, like I say, I can't see it being an issue. I believe any
contract can be cancelled if all the parties agree (it would be a
strange law if they couldn't). For the WMF to serve in the role of an
overseer to make sure the new board doesn't go rouge (which was what
we were discussing before we went off topic!), they need to be able to
revoke it unilaterally.

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Re: FAQs

Alison M. Wheeler
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Wed, September 10, 2008 13:15, Thomas Dalton wrote:
> A 3-month notice period? So the contract between WM UK v1 and WMF
> wasn't the same one as Delphine has a copy of online (which is for a
> year and it automatically renewed each year unless someone stops it)?

Both are correct. The Contract between WER and WMF is on a rolling annual
basis, however it has a both-sides-option cancellation clause which
entails a three-month notice.

A couple of other things: Firstly (as has been partially noticed by some
but not made explicit) this talk of the first Board being an "interim" one
is misleading. The first Board have full management powers over the
Company and are not, in that respect, any different to subsequent Boards.
Those people named as signatories to the founding of the Company are that
first Board.

Secondly, the AoA and MoA we developed in 2005 were specifically put
together for the purpose and they and the agreement (contract) with the
WMF were the first to be developed properly too (the latter then being
used as a basis for other Chapters formal agreements). As such ComCom
shouldn't have any issue with re-accepting them so long as nothing major
is changed.

Alison


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Re: FAQs

Thomas Dalton
2008/9/10 Alison Wheeler <[hidden email]>:
> On Wed, September 10, 2008 13:15, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> A 3-month notice period? So the contract between WM UK v1 and WMF
>> wasn't the same one as Delphine has a copy of online (which is for a
>> year and it automatically renewed each year unless someone stops it)?
>
> Both are correct. The Contract between WER and WMF is on a rolling annual
> basis, however it has a both-sides-option cancellation clause which
> entails a three-month notice.

Ok, that makes sense - we were just talking at slightly cross purposes.

> A couple of other things: Firstly (as has been partially noticed by some
> but not made explicit) this talk of the first Board being an "interim" one
> is misleading. The first Board have full management powers over the
> Company and are not, in that respect, any different to subsequent Boards.
> Those people named as signatories to the founding of the Company are that
> first Board.

Indeed. I've been trying to use the phrase "initial board", rather
than "interim board", but it hasn't entirely stuck.

> Secondly, the AoA and MoA we developed in 2005 were specifically put
> together for the purpose and they and the agreement (contract) with the
> WMF were the first to be developed properly too (the latter then being
> used as a basis for other Chapters formal agreements). As such ComCom
> shouldn't have any issue with re-accepting them so long as nothing major
> is changed.

Unfortunately, the Charities Act 2006 and Companies Act 2006 have
changed a few things and the charities commission has published new
models. In order to make charity registration as smooth as possible,
we need to use the new models (with a few minor modifications, I
expect), and we'll just have to accept the hassle of getting them
approved by ChapCom again.

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Re: FAQs

Andrew Whitworth-2
On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 9:25 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Unfortunately, the Charities Act 2006 and Companies Act 2006 have
> changed a few things and the charities commission has published new
> models. In order to make charity registration as smooth as possible,
> we need to use the new models (with a few minor modifications, I
> expect), and we'll just have to accept the hassle of getting them
> approved by ChapCom again.

You'll need to resubmit them in any case. The Chapcom has learned from
it's mistakes in the past, just as some organizers in the UK are
learning from mistakes made. Bylaws which have been accepted without
problems in the past might get held up now if they don't meet our
current criteria.

So long as we are talking about change, We've also reduced the amount
of "hassle" it takes for new bylaws to be accepted. We've got a
quicker turnaround now then we have throughout most of the committee's
history, and are able to offer much more specific advice and
requirements for you to implement. Also, the fact that Michael
Bimmler, myself, and others have been active here on this list has
been part of our relatively new proactive guidance methods that we're
using to help avoid problems long before the bylaws get submitted to
chapcom. Trust me, we're the least of your worries.

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: FAQs

David Gerard-2
2008/9/10 Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>:

> So long as we are talking about change, We've also reduced the amount
> of "hassle" it takes for new bylaws to be accepted. We've got a
> quicker turnaround now then we have throughout most of the committee's
> history, and are able to offer much more specific advice and
> requirements for you to implement. Also, the fact that Michael
> Bimmler, myself, and others have been active here on this list has
> been part of our relatively new proactive guidance methods that we're
> using to help avoid problems long before the bylaws get submitted to
> chapcom. Trust me, we're the least of your worries.


Indeed. Think of getting through the Charities Commission as a sort of
puzzle quest ...


- d.

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