Hi Pine,

I think nobody wants to say that questions should take longer to get
answered - we all would like your inquiries to be answered sooner rather
than later. To accomplish this, the Committee has made changes in its
workflow several times in the past year, to especially make user group
applications less time consuming. Previously, decisions on User Groups had
to be taken by a formal committee vote, after a period of consensus
building. Recently this process has been delegated mostly to the liaisons,
who have some liberty to decide on behalf of the Committee.

However, I also feel a need to mention that it is unreasonable to compare
two such very different committees and expect similar response times
because of it. While I am not familiar with how discussions in the
IEG-committee go, I can say that the AffCom often has ''in camera''
discussions, which are not visible to the outside world. We're working hard
to come to a good *Committee decision* rather than a simple up/down vote of
individuals. We need to combine our experiences and skills rather than make
a choice all for ourselves. Unfortunately we don't have frequent meetings,
so these discussions mostly drag on via email - something to improve.
Especially when a new type of application (or an application with a new
component) comes in, that requires some discussion among the Committee
members - this unfortunately takes time.

This combined with the fact that there is little staff support (something
being worked on to improve as well) and that the number of members has been
low for some time (selections currently ongoing), I can confidently say
that the situation can be expected to improve over the coming months even
further. Will that solve all problems, and get all response times as we
would like to see them? Probably not. But improvement would already be a
big win, I'd say.

A last, general word of advice: if you don't get a reply to your question a
week after your email, feel free to poke again. Please do it genty, but
feel free. No need to get agressive, angry or insulted because it takes
long. It might well be that your liaison is busy at work, or even that it
ended up in their spam filter. A friendly reminder goes a long way.

Best regards,

Lodewijk
(outgoing AffCom member, not speaking on behalf of anyone else)

2014-10-11 10:23 GMT+02:00 Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com>:

> Thank you for that information, Asaf, Kirill, and James.
>
> James: my point still stands that somehow at IEGCom we are able to respond
> substantively to almost 100% if inquiries within 7 days. It seems to me
> that if we can do this at IEGCom, then asking Legal and Affcom to commit to
> substantively responding to all inquiries within 14 days is reasonable.
> There may be an exceptional case from time to time, but explanations for
> delays and regular updates should still be forthcoming. Users generally
> shouldn't need to go to Geoff or Wikimedia-l to get progress, nor should
> there be multiple weeks of silence from Affcom and/or Legal, especially
> when updates have been requested during that time.
>
> I would like to ask that the communication and timeliness issues discussed
> in this thread be addressed thoroughly, and that the specific actions taken
> be made transparent.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Pine
>
>
>
> On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM, Asaf Bartov <abar...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
>> That's correct. And for completeness, I am the primary staff liaison to
>> AffCom, with Stephen LaPorte providing support on legal matters.
>>
>>    A.
>> On Oct 10, 2014 3:40 PM, "Kirill Lokshin" <kirill.loks...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi Kirill, my understanding is that Affcom functions under the Legal
>> >> department, much like the Individual Engagement Grants Committee
>> functions
>> >> under the Grantmaking department. Is that so, and if not, which
>> department
>> >> is responsible for Affcom?
>> >>
>> >
>> > Hi Pine,
>> >
>> > That's not the case.  AffCom reports directly to the Board of Trustees
>> [1]
>> > rather than to any staff department.
>> >
>> > Kirill
>> >
>> > [1]
>> >
>> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Affiliations_Committee_Charter
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Affiliations Committee mailing list
>> > aff...@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/affcom
>> >
>> >
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