[treasurers] WMF governance/accountability/transparency
Josep Nogué Felip
josepnogue46 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 1 13:53:13 UTC 2012
The association was formally created in 2009. The situation is provisional
pending the negotiation of some form of recognition with WMF that can lead
to change the bylaws or to dissolve it and create a new one. Currently is
registered only in Catalonia according to the Catalan Civil Code.
Since the 2011 it is one of the 67 organizations recognized by the
Government of Catalonia as organizations that promote the Catalan language.
So, among other benefits, residents of Catalonia have the right to a 15%
tax deduction on donations made to Amical.
Currently the number of registered members is 60 of which 53 are
wikimedians and 7 not wikimedians. In addition there are 351 supporters
among Catalan Wikipedia editors. Anyone can become a member of the
association but the procedures to be accepted vary:
Wikimedians who made over 100 positive edits on Catalan projects are
For wikimedians who made over 100 positive edits on other language
projects, having edits related to Catalan culture are taken in
consideration (50 is a reference) and they are also automatically accepted.
Non Wikimedians they have to go through a process as follows, they have to
attend a meeting where the values of the wikimedia movement are explained,
they need the endorsement of two members, and must pass a trial period of 3
months then a vote of the assembly is needed. There is no written rule, but
the consensus is that non wikipedian members mus be a maximum of 1/3 of the
In 2011 members fees has been € 1,704. The revenue in these years was €
1,208 in 2009, € 7,169 in 2010 and € 38,158 in 2011. For 2012 could reach €
80,000. At 31-12-2011 financial reserves were € 4,921. In 2011 received a
grant of € 3,150 from WMF that has covered 30.7% of the costs of Barcelona
Digital Commmons forum.
In 2012 there will be activities whose economic efect won't be reflected in
the accounts of the association. For example, recently a project of €
39,292.83 to investigate and promote the use of Wikipedia in Catalan
universities has been approved. The project is funded by the charity branch
of a savings bank and the job will be done by a university. The university
is paid directly from the savings bank. The association participates in the
project and get the results.
In 2012 it was agreed to request the declaration of public utility in Spain
that will mean that the Spaniards will be entitled to a tax deduction of
25% of the donations. For residents in Catalonia the deduction would be
addeed to the previosus 15% leading to a 40%.
Formally the association has a president and a board of trustees who are
the spokespersons and legal representatives but the association is governed
directly by the General Assembly. Every decision is done by creating a page
in the wiki and all members can vote. This system is traditional in many
Catalan associations, some with more than hundred years history and
thousands of members. Lately it had been losing the traditional model due
to lack of agility and replaced by a model where the board is who governs
the association. But the Internet has come to reviltalitze the traditional
The association has no permanent employee. The members of the board and the
president are not remunerated. Some scolarships have been awarded to
By 2012 we want to promote renting of offices and the recruitment of staff
to provide us administrative and logistic support but all shared with other
Catalan organizations arround free knowledge and free software so that the
cost can be very low.
Any member or group of members can initiate activities to promote Wikipedia
and sister projects without asking for permission. There are rules
governing the procedure. For example should inform the assembly, the
project must be aligned with the values of the movement, we must ensure
they provide the financial resources necessary for the project and an
additional safety margin that goes to reserves of the association if not
consumed, it should be reported monthly progress ... The treasurer handles
the money and contracts are signed by the President but do so at the
request of members who have total freedom to administer and manage project
resources within the rules. For the recruitment they must follow a public
and transparent selection process established in the regulations. Suporters
of the association can participate in the projectes but the members are
responsible in front of the association for the compliance of the
The association has a code that governs the behavior of employees and
members on wikipedia and sister projects. In short, when acting as members
of the association they can not edit anything on the main areas only on
discussion pages, wikiprojects and vilage pump.
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