Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

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Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

Sam Hartman-5
Hi,

Following the discussion in
https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2014/03/msg00012.html, I asked
FFIS to describe how they met the features listed at
https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DPL/TrustedOrganizationCriteria.

I'm forwarding their answers below; please use the next two weeks to
ask follow-up questions. Based on this discussion, I will then decide
whether to officially add FFIS to our list of Trusted Organizations.

I haven't received answers from debian.ch yet.

- Lucas

----- Forwarded message from Martin Schulze <[hidden email]> -----

From: Martin Schulze <[hidden email]>
To: Lucas Nussbaum <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email], [hidden email]
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 16:16:09 +0100
Subject: Re: Evaluation criteria for (prospective) Trusted Organizations -- FFIS
Message-ID: <[hidden email]>

> Debian Trusted Organizations (TO) are organizations that hold and manage assets
> on behalf of the Debian project. The list of TOs is maintained by the Debian
> Project Leader (following [[http://www.debian.org/devel/constitution|Debian
> Constitution]] 5.1.11 and 9).
>
> In order to be accepted as a TO, an organization should provide some
> features, and satisfy some criteria. The list below should not be
> understood as required features, but rather as a set of desirable
> features. A prospective TO is expected to describe how it compares to
> this set of desirable features.
>
> <<TableOfContents()>>
>
> == The organization should share Debian's general visions ==
>
> The organization's bylaws, activities and political stance should not conflict
> with the Debian Social Contract.
>
> == The organization should remain loyal to Debian ==
>
> The organization should be considered fully trustworthy, or provide guarantees
> that Debian's assets will be managed according to the Debian Project's
> decisions.
>
> Some examples of possible implementations:
>
>  * The organization has a long history of successfully holding a similar
>    role for other Free Software projects
true.

>  * The organization is managed by highly respected members of the Free
>    Software community

true.

>  * The organization has a leadership structure that ensures a minimum
>    number and/or a majority of Debian developers
>
>  * The organization has decision-making processes that explicitely
>    delegate decisions on Debian assets to the Debian Project Leader

true.

>
> == The organization should provide accountability on assets held in trust ==
>
> Some examples of possible implementations:
>
>  * The organization provides, on a regular and frequent basis (e.g.
>    quarterly), detailed reports of assets tranfers and balance sheets,
>    in a machine-parsable format.
>
>  * The organization provides access to Debian's accounts live data, in
>    a machine-parsable format.
true.

> == The organization should be reliable, sustainable, and reactive ==
>
> Some examples of possible implementations:
>
>  * The organization is managed by a large group of active Debian Developers
>
>  * The organization's managers have been involved in Debian or other
>    Free Software projects for a long time, and have a high reputation
>    of being reliable.

true.

>  * The organization has several people sharing the role of treasurer in
>    order to react quickly to requests in all circumstances

true.

>
> == The organization should provide a reasonable financial framework ==
>
> For example, it is desirable that:
>
>  * Donations and sponsorship are tax-deductible for the donor

true.

>  * Donations, sponsorship, income from sales and transfers from other
>    TOs are not subject to income tax
>
>  * There are no major restrictions on what kind of expenses can be made,
>    either due to the organization's bylaws or to the legal framework of
>    the organization

Needs to support Free Software or free information.

>
>  * There are no major restrictions on how the organization could
>    transfer assets to another TO
>
> Some properties are often mutually exclusive (e.g.; ''tax-deductible for
> the donor'' and ''no major restrictions''). This is fine -- the goal
> here is to understand beforehand what will be possible for a specific
> TO.
>
> == Additional opportunities ==
>
> Some organizations might offer additional services to their affiliated
> organizations, such as legal counsel.
>
> Some organizations have might plans that result in possible income
> for Debian, such are giving to Debian some of the result of the sale of
> merchandising.
>
>


--
Linux - the choice of a GNU generation.


----- End forwarded message -----


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Re: Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

Lucas Nussbaum-4
Hi Joey,

On 11/03/14 at 11:58 +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> > == The organization should be reliable, sustainable, and reactive ==
> >  * The organization has several people sharing the role of treasurer in
> >    order to react quickly to requests in all circumstances
>
> true.

I was actually surprised by this: I've always thought that you were the
only really active person behind FFIS. Could you elaborate a bit on
FFIS' internal organization? I couldn't find that information on FFIS'
website, but maybe I just missed something.

Thanks,

Lucas

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Re: Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

Joey Schulze
Lucas Nussbaum wrote:

> Hi Joey,
>
> On 11/03/14 at 11:58 +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> > > == The organization should be reliable, sustainable, and reactive ==
> > >  * The organization has several people sharing the role of treasurer in
> > >    order to react quickly to requests in all circumstances
> >
> > true.
>
> I was actually surprised by this: I've always thought that you were the
> only really active person behind FFIS. Could you elaborate a bit on
> FFIS' internal organization? I couldn't find that information on FFIS'
> website, but maybe I just missed something.

ffis e.V. as an official association ('eingetragener Verein') has a
board of directors ('Vorstand') consiting of at least three people.
Currently we have six, see <http://www.ffis.de/Verein/vorstand.html>.
I'm only the one who is answering your mails. :)

Regards,

        Joey

--
Unix is user friendly ...  It's just picky about its friends.


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Re: Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

martin f krafft
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
also sprach Lucas Nussbaum <[hidden email]> [2014-03-11 11:58 +0100]:
> I'm forwarding their answers below; please use the next two weeks
> to ask follow-up questions.

*Almost* in time, at least if 2 == 4, and clearly, there are cases
when that is true. ;)


I have one question about Joey's responses regarding FFIS:

> >  * The organization has decision-making processes that explicitely
> >    delegate decisions on Debian assets to the Debian Project Leader
>
> true.

For completeness: where is this "explicitly" defined?

I also have a few questions about the FFIS association, especially
with regards to your bylaws.¹ I have already sent these questions to
vorstand@ on 31 July and info@ on 9 April, but have not received
a reply to date.

1. In § 7 Abs. 6 (of your minutes) it is stated that the board meets
   "publicly" and that such meetings are publicly announced; where
   are these announcements made? Is there a record?

2. In § 7 Abs. 7 it is stated that minutes of those meetings are
   made publicly available within two weeks of such meetings.
   I cannot find any such minutes online². Where should I look?

3. In § 10 Abs. 8 it is stated that the minutes of the members'
   meetings are to be made publicly available. Yet, the last set of
   minutes linked online² is from 2006. § 10 Abs. 2 states that such
   a meeting must take place once every two years. Where can I find
   the minutes for 2008, 2010, and 2012?

4. Have there been exceptional/extraordinary meetings (cf. § 10 Abs.
   3)? Could you please make the minutes public?

¹) http://www.ffis.de/Verein/satzung.html
²) http://www.ffis.de/Verein/Protokolle/

Please don't read my questions as distrustful. The reason why I am
getting involved in this is because we are evaluating possibilities
for cooperation with regards to DC15, and FFIS is obviously
a possibility/necessity. In particular, FFIS seems like the logical
recipient of any funds left over after closing a DC15 legal entity
an the tax authorities will look closely at that.

Thank you,

--
 .''`.   martin f. krafft <[hidden email]>      Related projects:
: :'  :  proud Debian developer               http://debiansystem.info
`. `'`   http://people.debian.org/~madduck    http://vcs-pkg.org
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems

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Re: Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

Joey Schulze
martin f krafft wrote:
> I have one question about Joey's responses regarding FFIS:
>
> > >  * The organization has decision-making processes that explicitely
> > >    delegate decisions on Debian assets to the Debian Project Leader
> >
> > true.
>
> For completeness: where is this "explicitly" defined?

Nowhere.

ffis e.V. supports Free Software in general, a small number of Free
Software projects in particular, and maintains close relationship to
the projects they are supporting, be it via an auditor, project leader or
via a contact person within the project.

We also have to be very careful with incoming and outgoing money so
that neither money nor the charity status is lost.

> I also have a few questions about the FFIS association, especially
> with regards to your bylaws.¹ I have already sent these questions to
> vorstand@ on 31 July and info@ on 9 April, but have not received
> a reply to date.
>
> 1. In § 7 Abs. 6 (of your minutes) it is stated that the board meets
>    "publicly" and that such meetings are publicly announced; where
>    are these announcements made? Is there a record?

The board of directors currently has no such board meetings.  They are
held on demand when issues are due that require a dedicated board
meeting.

> 2. In § 7 Abs. 7 it is stated that minutes of those meetings are
>    made publicly available within two weeks of such meetings.
>    I cannot find any such minutes online². Where should I look?

Most communication within the board of directors is held via mail
these days.  Most if not all issues touch sensible issues, such as
private communication with supported projects, donation issues that
may cause problems etc.  These cannot be made public.

> 3. In § 10 Abs. 8 it is stated that the minutes of the members'
>    meetings are to be made publicly available. Yet, the last set of
>    minutes linked online² is from 2006. § 10 Abs. 2 states that such
>    a meeting must take place once every two years. Where can I find
>    the minutes for 2008, 2010, and 2012?

The last members' meeting has been held in 2009.  Since then no
changes have been made to the association.  Minutes have been written
and are available on the web server as well.  However, not yet linked
properly.  That will be fixed.  Thanks for the note.

> 4. Have there been exceptional/extraordinary meetings (cf. § 10 Abs.
>    3)? Could you please make the minutes public?

There haven't.

Regards

        Joey

--
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Re: Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

martin f krafft
Dear Joey,

thanks for your replies!

> ffis e.V. supports Free Software in general, a small number of
> Free Software projects in particular, and maintains close
> relationship to the projects they are supporting, be it via an
> auditor, project leader or via a contact person within the
> project.
>
> We also have to be very careful with incoming and outgoing money
> so that neither money nor the charity status is lost.

This particular problem we'll also have with DC15 and it's important
that we keep in mind that trusted organisations are supposed to be
trusted to do the right thing in the interest of Debian, but within
the bounds of the local jurisdiction, not because they are really
just subsidiaries under the control of Debian. Such would not work
under most jurisdictions I assume. The German authorities won't
grant non-profit status to an association under the control of
"Debian", which cannot even be clearly defined in legally acceptable
terms in most countries, I'd say.

> > 3. In § 10 Abs. 8 it is stated that the minutes of the members'
> >    meetings are to be made publicly available. Yet, the last set of
> >    minutes linked online² is from 2006. § 10 Abs. 2 states that such
> >    a meeting must take place once every two years. Where can I find
> >    the minutes for 2008, 2010, and 2012?
>
> The last members' meeting has been held in 2009.

How did you handle re-elections and approval of the budget since
then?

Thanks,

--
 .''`.   martin f. krafft <[hidden email]>      Related projects:
: :'  :  proud Debian developer               http://debiansystem.info
`. `'`   http://people.debian.org/~madduck    http://vcs-pkg.org
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems
 
"i can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. there
 is something unfair about its use. it is hitting below the
 intellect."
                                                        -- oscar wilde

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Re: Prospective Trusted Organizations - FFIS

Joey Schulze
martin f krafft wrote:

> > > 3. In § 10 Abs. 8 it is stated that the minutes of the members'
> > >    meetings are to be made publicly available. Yet, the last set of
> > >    minutes linked online² is from 2006. § 10 Abs. 2 states that such
> > >    a meeting must take place once every two years. Where can I find
> > >    the minutes for 2008, 2010, and 2012?
> >
> > The last members' meeting has been held in 2009.
>
> How did you handle re-elections and approval of the budget since
> then?

Both, election and approval of past treasurer activities will be
handled on the next member meeting, hopefully this year.

Regards

        Joey

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