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Re: Q to all candidates: spending money

also sprach Mehdi Dogguy <mehdi@dogguy.org> [2015-03-15 00:02 +0100]:
> Can you please explain why you think that kind of work cannot ever
> be achieved with volunteers? Or, maybe I missed your point?

I assume that everyone volunteering for Debian is primarily doing so
out of interest in the project, community, technology, and
philosophy. I don't know of any volunteer who's primary attraction
to Debian is the ability to work on financials and paperwork.

Over the years, we've come by, but I think we're missing
opportunities. We have a few people graciously donating their time
to do they best they can, but in all these years, we have not
managed to ever produce an annual report, and Lucas as current DPL
had to admit that noone has a firm grasp of the big picture.
If you were to lead a company like that, you'd be in trouble.

The kind of work I am talking about is repetitive, dull,
error-prone, and deadline-based. It does not slot in with "when it's
ready" and it's not the kind of work a hobbyist just does on the
side with a spreadsheet or org-mode. We could free our volunteers
from having to use their time to do this work just to get by and
instead let those with an interest in money flows and finances work
on growing a cash flow.

Let the books and treasury be done in the backoffice, not by people
who'd use their time for the project differently, but by those who
do this all the time, for their jobs. These are standard tasks with
standard interfaces and neither would we grow dependent on any
service provider (they can be swapped with ease), nor do we actually
need to care about how they do it.

> Or maybe a better idea would be to create an external project that
> would offer this kind of services to free and open source
> projects? Admittedly, SPI matches this description. Can you
> explain what you do not like with their approach?

I have no problems with their approach, but they are a fundraising
partner and a bank. They do not offer controlling and treasury
services to Debian.

If you wanted to create an external project, you'd create a whole
lot of additional administrative work. How would you fund that? How
would you staff it?

> Besides, Why do you think it will more effective than the current
> status when uncertainty about finances also comes from TOs
> statuses?

Fully agreed, and I'd hope that we would put clear guidelines in
place and not be afraid to remove TO status and demand our assets

We trust the people involved not to do misappropriate our assets
(though we might well not know if they did, even erroneously so),
but the 'T' in TO does not describe this sort of trust. Instead,
when it comes to a trusted organisation that manages finances, I'd
argue that uncertainty should immediately trigger an audit.

 .''`.   martin f. krafft <madduck@d.o> @martinkrafft
: :'  :  proud Debian developer
`. `'`   http://people.debian.org/~madduck
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems
"the only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of
 the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that
 I have always cultivated."
                                                        -- oscar wilde

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