+1 Lodewijk -- I was thinking the same thing.
Abhinav and Kirill: thanks each for sharing these public updates.

On Mon., Jul. 15, 2019, 4:29 p.m. effe iets anders, <
effeietsand...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> I think it would be at the very least helpful to the wider community to
> better understand that component. Could you spell out in a bit more detail
> what those capacity concerns were, and what other findings may have
> existed? This may especially be helpful to the India community, as it would
> be especially hard to address the issues without a full understanding.
>
> Thank you!
>
> Warmly,
> Lodewijk
>
> On Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 3:03 AM Kirill Lokshin <kirill.loks...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Wikimedia-l readers,
> >
> >
> > AffCom understands the complexity and sensitivity of the circumstances
> > surrounding the decision to de-recognize Wikimedia India as a chapter,
> and
> > we would like to share more information around it. This decision was not
> > taken lightly, and only came after consistent warnings, including
> > suspensions of the chapter, and continued attempts by AffCom to bring the
> > chapter’s activities in line with the requirements for chapter status. We
> > understand that volunteers would like more information about this
> decision
> > and past actions that influenced its outcome. We will attempt to provide
> an
> > overview of the factors and history that led to this decision.
> >
> > Wikimedia India has been given ample time to address their lack of
> > compliance with minimum chapter expectations since their initial signs of
> > non-compliance in 2015 and concerns presented to them during their 2015
> > site visits, initial 2016 suspension, and most recent 2018 suspension
> last
> > November. The Wikimedia India Executive Committee (EC) has repeatedly
> > failed to respond in a timely and complete manner to call requests,
> annual
> > reporting timelines, and remediation deadlines for demonstrating
> > compliance.
> >
> > It is worth noting that there may be issues related to incomplete
> > information regarding the current relationship between WMIN and AffCom.
> > Abhinav is a current WMIN representative, but he was recently appointed
> to
> > the EC on June 14, 2019 [1] following the EC’s receipt of the final
> > revocation notice sent on June 13, 2019. He was not informed of, nor did
> he
> > participate in, our communications regarding the current suspension
> process
> > before that time, so he has had to rely on second-hand knowledge of the
> > situation. The remaining four members of the EC appear to have fully
> > abdicated their responsibility for communications leadership and as such
> > further confirm the chapter’s lack of capacity at this time.
> >
> > Suspension notices give explicit requirements for what and how to
> > communicate with respect to a chapter’s capacity and provide a timeline
> for
> > addressing gaps to meet requirements. We’re providing a table reflecting
> > the most recent suspension notice, the requirements included, and the
> date
> > they were to be delivered below for the community’s context:
> >
> > According to the suspension notice, Wikimedia India was to:
> >
> > Status
> >
> > Submit an Action Plan. By January 15, 2019, the chapter was to submit an
> > updated Action Plan including a timeline with dates for completing the
> > tasks outlined.
> >
> > Submitted past deadline.
> >
> > Received on March 4, 2019.
> >
> > Insufficient response; awaiting new action plan for potential
> > reorganization as outlined in April call.
> >
> > Complete and submit the required overdue chapter activities and financial
> > reporting. The chapter was to submit the reporting by December 1, 2018.
> >
> > Submitted past deadline.
> >
> > Received Activities Report on December 3, 2018 and Financial Report on
> > December 22, 2018.
> >
> > Develop a strategy and timeline for addressing the following potential
> gaps
> > in meeting the basic criteria for chapter status in terms of Legal
> > Structure, Open Governance, Active Contributor Involvement, and Capacity.
> > By
> > January 15, 2019, the chapter was to submit a plan, via email or posted
> > online, demonstrating how the chapter meets the specific chapter
> > requirements outlined. If the chapter does not currently meet the
> > requirements, they were to provide a plan and timeline for how to address
> > these issues before June.
> >
> > Submitted past deadline.
> >
> > Received on March 4, 2019.
> >
> > Insufficient response as detailed in April call.
> >
> >
> >
> > Resolve concerns related to organizational best practices. By May 1,
> 2019,
> > the chapter should be able to demonstrate that it is following the
> > Wikimedia Foundation Board’s recommendations for organizational best
> > practices
> > <
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Resolutions/Organizational_best_practices
> > >
> > .
> >
> > Submitted past deadline.
> >
> > Received on June 4, 2019.
> >
> >
> >
> > More information on chapter requirements is also available on Meta:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters/Requirements
> >
> > Although the Affiliations Committee has decided not to renew this chapter
> > agreement, this does not reduce the importance of the Republic of India
> to
> > the Wikimedia movement. We regret that this action has become necessary
> due
> > to the chapter’s failure to meet the requirements of continued
> recognition,
> > as outlined in the table above. We would also like to reaffirm the
> > committee’s deep and continued commitment to support affiliates in India
> > across geographies and languages.
> >
> > As we have previously indicated, all rights and permissions granted by
> the
> > Wikimedia Foundation to Wikimedia India in the Chapter Agreement will be
> > revoked as of the termination of the agreement on September 14, 2019. In
> > the meantime, we will continue to engage with Abhinav and the executive
> > committee of Wikimedia India privately until we can align on a public
> > communication plan and process to transition the chapter from its current
> > recognition status. We will continue to discuss whether and how we can
> > share the outcomes of these discussions on Meta once we have agreement
> > between the executive committee and the AffCom on the best way to do
> this.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Kirill Lokshin
> >
> > Chair, Affiliations Committee
> >
> > [1]
> >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2019-June/014128.html
> >
> > On Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 4:50 AM Abhinav srivastava <abhinav...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Friends From Affcom,
> > >
> > > I am posting an open public request for your notice of Suspension moved
> > at
> > > Wikimedia India (WMIN) which we continue to contest and to our ignored
> > > demand of having a public hearing as shared with you all over mail and
> > > shared again here under Annexure [A]. You have taken an official
> position
> > > on suspension without even hearing us even once, unexplained
> accusations
> > > have been provided and we continue to believe Affcom has been
> > > insufficiently investigating facts before making judgements. We
> > repeatedly
> > > over and over again provided justifications over Mail but you never
> took
> > > them to your notice and only over calls you heard us, provided your
> > > rationale for expectation gaps but never took our oral commentary which
> > > refutes your claims,in any action, anywhere. Now you say WMIN won’t
> > remain
> > > a Chapter after 14th September and be transformed into a User Group.
> > >
> > > Republic of India happens to be one of the only few countries where
> > besides
> > > volunteer driven Chapter and User Groups has a full-time staff based
> > WMF’s
> > > Allied Organisation CIS-A2K [1]. Wikimedia India activities [2] may be
> > less
> > > due to no source of funds [3] however, Community Members from India put
> > > their efforts, strive hard to take the movement ahead.  Whether it be
> the
> > > previous financial year or the present, no Wikimedia Foundation Grants
> > like
> > > Rapid Grant, Project Grant etc have been applied by Wikimedia India
> > members
> > > to support any Chapter activity. They remain self-financed. We received
> > > your notice last year when Wikimedia India was contesting a dispute
> with
> > > CIS-A2K over attribution grabbing for our self-financed projects and
> > > ignoring Chapter at important National level initiaves [4]. While
> working
> > > with virtually no source of funds and struggles with WMF’s Allied
> > > Organisation, your notice of suspension was the least bad we could have
> > > had.
> > >
> > > We continue to contest your suspension notice. It was Suo Moto (on its
> > own)
> > > decision making and as found and re-stated above and below in detail,
> > there
> > > were gaps and misunderstanding in your basis. We also continue to
> contest
> > > there has been a Rush-to-decision making. No written responses via Mail
> > to
> > > Chapter’s clarification are being provided and invitation for calls are
> > > initiated where brief responses are shared on a Cloud Document. It has
> > been
> > > subsequently found by both parties on there being gaps in
> communication.
> > > However, even after clarity during call, Affcom has not taken any
> action
> > > over them.
> > >
> > > The basis of your suspension notice has been shared here for the wider
> > > audience.
> > >
> > >
> > >    1.
> > >
> > >    Legal Structure : Affcom asked Wikimedia India to resolve and obtain
> > its
> > >    necessary license in order to obtain funds. At present, as per
> > > Government
> > >    of India restrictions it is difficult to obtain foreign funding.
> > > Wikimedia
> > >    India informed the Affcom on roughly 13,000 Non-Government
> > Organisations
> > >    (NGO)s [5] are struggling with a similar crisis to which Affcom
> > >    responded, “reconsider applying for a User Group.” and “no evidence
> > that
> > >    the current organization’s leadership will be able to drive this
> > problem
> > >    toward resolution”. Chapter efforts and commitment in resolving the
> > said
> > >    crisis cannot be dusted in few words. A Government restrictive
> policy
> > > which
> > >    has an impact on 13,000 NGOs and Affcom finding flaws in WMIN Board
> > > Members
> > >    capability. WMIN would leave it for public interpretation.
> > >
> > >
> > > Why not a capability audit for hosting zero-budget activities? While
> most
> > > of the time are being spent on resolving the said crisis, WMIN
> continues
> > to
> > > undertake activities as listed. Taking the Open Knowledge Movement
> > forward
> > > remains a commitment for the Chapter irrespective of whatsoever
> political
> > > climate may remain. Affcom was asked two questions respectively in this
> > > regard however no response has been attained. The questions are
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >    1.
> > >
> > >    Would zero-budget activities, those self-financed not meet
> > sufficiency ?
> > >    Please elaborate for us to stand better and to improve upon.
> > >    2.
> > >
> > >    Would resolving Legal Structure and being able to receive WMF Grants
> > be
> > >    a necessary criteria for WMIN to meet sufficiency or continued
> > > activities
> > >    not meet the fulfilment criteria?
> > >
> > >
> > > (2) Open Governance : Affcom informed Chapter that a member needs to be
> > in
> > > physical presence at the Chapter Assembly to cast vote and raise voice
> > and
> > > asked The Chapter to change its bylaws. This information is anything
> but
> > > false. This was communicated during the Call but Affcom did not bring
> > > anything in action. Also, as per the Chapter Agreement between WMF and
> > > WMIN, a copy of bylaws was provided in English Language to WMF. The
> > bylaws
> > > were approved by the then Chapter’s Council. No evidence has been
> brought
> > > to notice on WMIN violating the Clause 7.2 of the Chapter’s Agreement,
> > >
> > > “The Wikimedia Chapter shall be required to advise the Foundation of
> any
> > > planned or actual change in the bylaws or status of the Chapter which
> > might
> > > affect the Foundation or the continued existence or effectiveness of
> this
> > > Agreement.”
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (3) Active Contributor Involvement :The November 10 email carried the
> > > statement, “The chapter lacks broad and diverse membership, community
> > > representation, as well as buy-in and involvement “ and “Membership
> seems
> > > to be sourced through university leadership rather than through open
> > > community participation and representation.”  Chapter till date
> received
> > no
> > > evidence or logic construction on how the said argument was reached.
> > Later
> > > during the call, Affcom did acknowledge that there has been a
> > communication
> > > gap. Chapter further floated the idea of sharing the Member’s data base
> > > after discussing privacy policy over them.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (4) Capacity : WMIN was able to submit its annual reports on 21st
> > December,
> > > 2018 (3.5 months late) due to a notice by Income-Tax department which
> > > caused delay in preparing our Financial reports. Although we do not
> have
> > > any annual grants or use any money to support any activity, as per
> > > Chapter’s agreement, affiliate is required to submit Financial Results.
> > > Meanwhile, WMIN reported its activities on every quarterly basis and
> > shared
> > > it with the wider Indian community via India Mailing List and also
> other
> > > channels [6], [7], [8],[9]. Annual activity report is a compilation
> from
> > > the quarterly reports.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Affcom claimed via Cloud document that no high level response submitted
> > and
> > > repeated delay is not accepted. WMIN informed Affcom that previous
> delay
> > > needs to be looked at independently from earlier financial period and
> > > suspension notice (WMIN then had a grant), but we received no response.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (5) Organizational Best Practices : Affcom asked us to ‘Resolve’ issues
> > > relating to Organizational Best Practices, however, no information had
> > been
> > > received on respective deliverables not been met. The November 10,
> email
> > > carried the statement, “There are concerns about whether” referring
> that
> > > Affcom was also not sure themselves. WMIN shared the best practices
> after
> > > placing it in front of the community on member’s mailing list for more
> > than
> > > 15 days. To this Affcom responded that you are late with your
> submission
> > > hence we are terminating your contract. They never shared an evidence
> and
> > > when WMIN took its time placed it in-front of the community and then
> > > submitted, they said delayed and instead of sending their response in
> > > writing over mail they again invited us for a call. We continue to
> insist
> > > on providing a written response via Mail but no action.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (6) Action Plan : Affcom asked us to submit an Action Plan and we kept
> > > asking what deliverable are needed. We cannot commit on resolving
> > > Government restrictions within a said timeline as more than 13,000 NGOs
> > > struggle with the similar crisis. We emphasised again and again we have
> > > been running zero-budget activities and working for the movement. We
> > asked
> > > them to review Organizational Best Practices, based on gaps we could
> have
> > > taken things into consideration. They rather said, you have missed the
> > > deadline, so WMIN has to be closed now.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > To sum up, Affcom friends, you made up your own decision, you made up
> you
> > > own hearing and you made up your own decision. It was a monologue
> masked
> > in
> > > the name of a dialogue.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I encourage you all to be in our boots someday, hosting activities on
> > > zero-budget, fighting with the Government bureaucracy to attain some
> > > funding as a help, the challenge of having a staff-based organisation
> in
> > > parallel, struggle with self-financing activities and most importantly
> > > working with Affcom to save yourself from their de-recognition threats.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > If you believe you are correct, please abide to the request made under
> > > Annexure [A] and put everything in public domain. Let community read
> for
> > > themselves and decide. If Affcom is more transparent about its
> > > investigation and actions then community would be able to better
> > understand
> > > the work and provide an opinion.
> > >
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > Abhinav
> > >
> > >
> >
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/CIS-A2K
> > >
> > > [2]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2019-April/013994.html
> > > \
> > >
> > > [3] Foreign Currency (Regulation) Act, 1960 compliance do not permit
> > India
> > > Chapter to receive money from its primary fiscal sponsor, Wikimedia
> > > Foundation.
> > >
> > > [4] Board of Directors at CIS, acknowledged in March, 2019 for a
> > compliant
> > > made in August, 2018 for CIS-A2K Staff not doing their duty to the
> order.
> > >
> > > [5]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/07/democracies-need-a-little-help-from-their-friends/
> > >
> > > [6]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2017-July/013030.html
> > >
> > > [7]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2017-October/013089.html
> > >
> > > [8]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2018-January/013188.html
> > >
> > > [9]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2018-April/013295.html
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Annexure
> > >
> > > [A] Reallocating the Affcom - WMIN Communication To Meta : No
> > > communications over email, video call, social media, instant messaging,
> > or
> > > anywhere but wiki! While this would not just be aligned with the
> editing
> > > spirit, it would promote greater transparency and also helpful for us
> to
> > > communicate the message to our community members. While, we understand
> > > Affcom had been advocating the same, however, taking care of privacy
> > > concerns, do let us.  Once we hear from Affcom on having no privacy
> > > concerns, we may reallocate the discussions.
> > >
> > > If there a consent to this, would request a green light also for
> > >
> > >    1.
> > >
> > >    Archiving the entire email conversation over a cloud document and
> > >    linking it to the relevant Meta page.
> > >    2.
> > >
> > >    Documenting Internet Calls in an attempt to resolve communication
> gaps
> > >    and linking them to Meta page for greater transparency.
> > >    3.
> > >
> > >    Based on Principal of Free Speech, allowing anybody to use the
> > >    discussion page for expression of their views.
> > >    4.
> > >
> > >    Any Volunteer is free to translate the text into the language of
> their
> > >    choice.
> > >    5.
> > >
> > >    Upload All PDF sent via Mails to Commons and link them to the Meta
> > Page.
> > >    6.
> > >
> > >    All relevant customs and procedures which exist for any Meta page to
> > be
> > >    in action.
> > > _______________________________________________
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