@Asaf n all WMKE members,

As outlined by Asaf below, i do second his ideas of managing WKME finances. It should be noted that if anyone has issues regarding the mismanagement of finances should kindly provide facts supporting their accusation & if any does not like the way things are done, they should raise the issue immediately for proper clarification or correction steps to be undertaken.


Mabiria David

On 2012-08-08 17:59, Asaf Bartov wrote:
Dear WMKE colleagues,

Following the recent conversations around finances, I wanted to make
a few comments, hoping the uncertainty can be resolved:

1. We acknowledge it is an unfortunate situation where chapter funds
are in anyone's personal bank account.  In hindsight, WMF should have
insisted a separate bank account be created to wire the money, even if
not yet the official WMKE bank account.

1b. Now that that's done, we should seek to transfer the remaining
grant funds to a dedicated account as soon as possible: either the
WMKE account (if incorporation and the subsequent creation of the bank
account seem around the corner -- any updates?), or an interim,
joint-ownership dedicated account, with access to _at least_ two board
members (one of whom would be the treasurer, of course).  It would be
good if the WMKE board can decide to pursue that course of action.

2. The current treasurer has sent me his tracking sheet of the grant
funds, and it generally looks in good order.  I hope the board has a
copy too and can review as well.

3. The treasurer did confirm he has made some decisions to spend
money (for chapter business) on his own, without board approval,
citing previous experience with sending messages to the list and
receiving no response for days.  This is _not okay_.  The way to fix
this, now, is for the board to review all those spending decisions and _retroactively_ approve them (unless there's genuine concern about the
expense).  If there are expenses the board does not approve _per se_
(i.e. on material rather than procedural grounds), the treasurer will
have to return those funds to the chapter.

3b. The board would do well to discuss and establish a clear
procedure for authorizing expenses.  "When it's everybody's job it's
nobody's job."  Once a procedure is adopted, the board members should
_commit to following_ that procedure, as it would be unfair to the
treasurer (already doing much unenviable work for the rest of us) to
leave his requests hanging.

4. I have no reason to think the current treasurer has otherwise
mishandled funds.  Unless anyone has material proof to the contrary,
we shall assume good faith, and once funds are transferred to a
separate account, a full audit by the board can confirm this to
everyone's satisfaction.

5. I understood there have been some payments to chapter members for
expenses incurred, that have been issued on the understanding receipts
will be furnished, but the treasurer is still awaiting receipts from
several members.  That, too, is _not okay_.  Please submit your
receipts to the treasurer as soon as possible.  If you ever received
a reimbursement from the treasurer and you're not sure whether or not
you owe any receipts, please contact the treasurer privately to make

6. I also understand there is some confusion about per diem
allowances and receipts:  the usual way per diems work is that the
rate is determined by the board (You can use the WMF travel policy[1]
if it helps), and then money is disbursed according to the number of
days (deducting appropriate amounts when meals are provided, as in the
case of lunches in Berlin and at Wikimania), but _no receipts_ are
required.  This as distinct from other expenses, which do require
receipts.  The rationale for this flexibility is that on the one hand
there are all kinds of small unforeseen expenses, including (in some
places) expenses that don't issue receipts (like the matatu :)), that
are not specifically budgeted for in the per diem, and on the other
hand the allowance is enough to cover them, without requiring minute
record-keeping.  This is easier for both sides, and is based on trust
and good judgment.  But that's just the usual way, and it's fine if
WMKE chooses to commit to providing receipts for per diems as well.

I hope this helps WMKE move forward toward incorporation and program
activity with clarity and confidence.

As always, please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.



[1] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Travel_policy [1] --
specifically, guideline 7 under "ALLOWANCES FOR MEALS AND INCIDENTALS"

    Asaf Bartov
    Wikimedia Foundation [2]

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share
in the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
https://donate.wikimedia.org [3]

[1] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Travel_policy
[2] http://www.wikimediafoundation.org
[3] https://donate.wikimedia.org

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