Visitors at WMF Audit Committee meetings

One idea we’ve had on the Wikimedia Foundation Audit Committee is to put in place a visitor program.  We think it could be a good way to drive additional transparency, and also to help share some useful practices with other movement organizations.

Our next meeting is scheduled for 14 February from 1:30-3:00 pacific time.  The primary agenda item is the review a draft of our annual public disclosure filing with U.S. tax authorities.  If that sort of thing interests you, and you are available to dial-in to a conference call at that time, and you are comfortable with the parameters outlined below, please let me know via a comment or email at stuwikimedia.org.

Thanks.

Selection of visitors

  • The committee chair will drive process of soliciting visitors for each meeting, likely thru treasurers list, internal-l, blog post.
  • We will limit to one visitor per meeting (we often have complex and confidential discussions so smaller group discussion are likely to be more valuable)
  • To give many people the chance to participate, individuals can only “visit” one meeting
  • Preference will go to visitors with an audit committee or treasurer role in movement organizations.
  • We will also try to ensure rotation among geographies/languages/etc. 

Conditions for participation

  • Visitors must agree to keep any sensitive content confidential, and to keep confidential any materials that are distributed prior to publication
  • Visitors would be allowed to participate in most discussion, though the Chair reserves right to ask visitors to take some questions/conversations offline
  • Visitors would not participate in executive session (when just the committee members meet, without management, the auditors, etc.)
  • Visitors who have a financial/auditing background must be careful, because if they show too much interest they will be sought as future audit committee members.

This is an experiment that we’ll try for a couple meetings, and all of these are subject to change/improvement.

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