---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgard...@wikimedia.org>
Date: Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM
Subject: [Wmfcc-l] [PRESS] Civil Society UK | Wikimedia trustee resigns
over conflict of interest concerns
To: Communications Committee <wmfc...@lists.wikimedia.org>


Wikimedia trustee resigns over conflict of interest concerns

Governance | Kirsty Weakley | 24 Sep 2012

Roger Bamkin has stepped down as a trustee of Wikimedia UK “to avoid
confusion” between his role as a trustee and as a Wikipedia consultant
for the government of Gibraltar.

Gibraltarpedia was launched in July 2012 to improve the coverage of
Gibraltar-related topics on Wikipedia. Bamkin and another wikipedian
John Cummings have been hired as consultants by the government to
train residents on how to add appropriate photos and use QR codes to
link places with Wikipedia articles.

Chris Keating, chair of Wikimedia UK said: “Roger has always conducted
himself with openness and honesty with regards to his business
interests, which the board greatly appreciates. However we have
reached the decision together that it is best if Roger steps back from
the board, and thus the board has accepted his resignation.”

The Gibraltar project was inspired by a similar project which took
place in Monmouth in the first half of 2012, which Bamkin was also
involved with as a consultant and Wikimedia UK co-funded.

Bamkin did not vote on any decisions relating to Monmouthpedia or
Gibraltarpedia since becoming a consultant, but in a blog on the
organisation’s website Keating explained: “After discussions with the
board, everyone agreed that the best way to avoid any confusion
between Roger’s role running projects like Gibraltarpedia and
Wikimedia UK projects, was for Roger to step down.”

Wikimedia UK has not provided any funding to the Gibraltan project but
could do so in the future, Keating explained: “We have long intended
to give more formal support to the project; before we can do so we
would need a clear memorandum of understanding with the government of
Gibraltar setting out shared aims and objectives, and we are working
on such a document.”

Earlier this year Ashley Van Haefton resigned as chairman from
Wikimedia UK, after he was banned from editing the English-language
version of Wikipedia for adding inappropriate material.

--

Sue Gardner
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell

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