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.
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.