Re: [Debconf-team] Budget status - travel sponsorship)
Richard Darst writes ("Re: [Debconf-team] Budget status - travel sponsorship)"):
> As I said, I think the difference is people need to make a conscious
> decision that more risk of a deficit is an acceptable trade-off for
> allocating (not necessarily spending) money sooner. If one watches
> carefully enough, they can see a wide range of slightly contradictory
> statements about wanting to take that risk or not.
The answer to this is perfectly clear: the Debian Project Leader, who
is the right authority for this has explicitly said that it is OK to
risk a deficit on this basis. Of course there is the question of how
large a deficit we (the DPL) are willing to risk. But that's just a
question of negotiation.
And I don't actually see anyone saying that they are unhappy with the
idea that some Debconf might result in a deficit; the aim is that
Debconfs as a whole will break even on average. With any such
conference series it is normal to have occasional deficits and
I think the right answer would be for the team for the _next_ Debconf
to go to the DPL, 6 months beforehand, and say:
"Hello. We are the DC13 team.
"Our current budget plans are not very well formed but we
would like to offer sponsored attendees confirmed travel
sponsorship well in advance.
"Based on past experience and the various special factors we think
are relevant to this Debconf, we think that ultimately our final
budget will include an item of $X for travel sponsorship. Of course
we don't know right now what our final budget will look like, so
$X is a guess, not a commitment. But our sponsored attendees
need a commitment.
"We would therefore like to request, based on the conversation last
year, that Debian underwrite $X travel sponsorship for Debconf.
That will allow us to confirm sponsorship to deserving attendees.
We anticipate that $X will allow us to sponsor Y attendees.
"To be perfectly clear, when we are making our budget, looking for
sponsorship, and so on, we will use or normal budgetary priorities.
So the travel sponsorship will not necessarily come first, and there
is a risk that Debian will end up having to pay.
"Debian's risk would be limited to the underwritten amount of $X.
"On the other hand if, as in past years, we can pay for the whole
travel sponsorship and even have a surplus, we will pass that
surplus on to the next Debconf where it can be used to increase the
travel sponsorship next year."
"Below you will find a sketch of the back-of-the-envelope calculation
we have done to come up with the numbers $X and $Y. These have been
shown to the DC13 local team, the DC13 global team, and past Debconf
organisers, who seem to think them reasonable.
"Thanks for your help to make DC13 a success!"
The question of what $X should be is a matter for the DC team and the
DPL. We should discuss it openly of course but perhaps not now.