Re: Question to all candidates: Ongoing/future legal projects
On 2022/03/25 02:18, Felix Lechner wrote:
For example, I requested $217 for a one-time SSD & RAM upgrade to help
operate lintian.d.o in November of 2021. My request was not granted. I
didn't even receive a response from Jonathan (other than a request for
more information, with which I complied) even though I followed up on
That's odd, I usually approve them fast (as in, within 24h) because it's
a quick and trivial mail, but I can't find your request in my
reimbursements folder at all. I'm in meetings now but will take a look
later on if it reached the dpl-archives at all.
My idea for a Disbursements Committee was thus born by a simple desire
for greater accountability (or, at a minimum, a response). Plus, if
elected, I could never issue that $217 check to myself.
I disagree about some of your previous statements to make it more
difficult to spend money, I still want to work towards having an
expenditure policy, which I still hoped to finish the last month or so,
but there was just really too much going on. The idea would be that
there's some clear document that makes it really easy for someone to
know whether they can apply for something or not, and I think if it hits
a few checklist items that makes it a braindead yes, then we shouldn't
even require DPL approval. So, I would go for making it even easier to
spend money than not to.
During my 2 terms we went from having around ~$750k in available funds
to having about ~$1.25m now. Every time I mention what we've been
spending on (like DSA upgrades, hardware for DDs, etc), we get more
donations. As long as this is the case, I have no problem with DDs
spending any money they want to if it helps them make Debian better.
After all, this is literally the only reason why someone donates money
to Debian in the first place. So, I don't believe that the Debian funds
should be preserved like some kind of treasure. We should make it as
easy as possible for people to give us money, and as easy as possible
for DDs to spend money, all within our legal and social frameworks, of
As for your question about "huge wasteful spending," yes, I do worry
about Debian's expenditures in light of Jonathan's comment that he is
happy to "give a lawyer a lot of money." 
Happy is a loaded word that you chose there. If I have to spend money on
lawyers to protect the project and its members I will do so without
hesitation. I'd /rather/ not have to spend that at all, and find it
disappointing that you would even hold that against me.
I have worked with teams of lawyers. They get expensive fast.
Well, at least there's one thing we agree on.
Either way, the right person to address your question is Jonathan,
whom I copied as a courtesy. Jonathan ran on financial transparency
platforms in both the 2020 election  and again in 2021. 
Besides the updates I've sent out on our financial status every few
months, that's not something that will get better soon in the next term.
That's to no fault of me (or a next DPL), I've had a bunch of meetings
with the treasurer team and TOs to talk about this, and there's a lot of
things that need to be fixed along the way in order for us to get the
accounting that we need. I'm sure we'll get there. Our TOs have
indicated that they are willing to switch accounting systems, use the
same expense codes, etc to help make it easier to aggregate data much
faster (as in, possibly even almost real-time). That's a whole rabbit
hole on itself, but I do believe having a basic incorporation of Debian,
along with better agreements with our TOs will be a good starting point
to get our financial reporting on the standards that we want them.