[Board] Travel expenses for FOSS4G Seoul

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Mon Oct 19 05:38:42 PDT 2015

Hi Maxi,

Thanks for your comments.  It is good to speak of this in the open.

Regarding my travel, FOSS4G Seoul was the busiest I have ever been for 
OSGeo.  That you think I could somehow do client work or work on other 
things during that trip, is an absolute dream, a farce, so to speak. 
You may not know that each day I was the first at the venue to set up 
the OSGeo booth, and the last to leave the OSGeo booth at night (as you 
know, I didn't partake in drinking festivities this trip).  To use your 
reference to spare time, I had none, zero (I was even scheduled for a 
meeting with the UN on the morning that I flew out, on the last Sunday).

In a sense, I turned a corner for OSGeo, in my role, for myself, and one 
that is a professional one.

If one puts all the time on paper that I have given for OSGeo (in a 
sense, my career), and then here I am, literally sleeping in dorms, on 
floors, and in cheap shared apartments (all true, I did all that and 
more as president), and here I am asking for incidentals, which to me 
seems only fair.   I guess more than that, I am also asking for agreed 
guidelines (we cannot point to guidelines and then when someone/me 
actually tries to use them, is asked to take it publicly and is 
questioned on them).

But I am sure we all have other tasks and fires to put out today, so I 
will move on of course.

Talk soon,


On 2015-10-19 9:16 AM, Massimiliano Cannata wrote:
> Dear all
> Following the discussion suggested by Jeff:
> I think only live costs shall be reimbursed (based on bill tickets).
> Travelling ours is part of voluntary time to OSGeo, and it could be used
> also to work on other staff (for example I used my travel time to work
> on a publication).
> (I don't see it different from time used to participate in a meeting or
> writing this mail.)
> I believe that if we give a value to our spare time for OSGeo we are
> entering a very delicated debate.
> I strongly believe that OSGeo shall not pay any reimbursement to anyone
> to participate in FOSS4G.
> In the case shall be the LOC that invites and cover the costs of invited
> speeches and board members eventually. This could be included in the
> contract.
> This is more fair and transparent from my point of view.
> Maxi
> Il 18/Ott/2015 20:46, "Jeff McKenna" <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
> <mailto:jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>> ha scritto:
>     Hi Mike /Treasurer,
>     I've added my travel expense report
>     for FOSS4G Seoul to the "OSGeo-finance" DropBox folder at
>     /accounts_payable/travelexp/2015/foss4g_2015_seoul/jmckenna/, as
>     well as the major receipts.  The total comes to
>     $2,168.69 CAD.
>     Let me know if you need anything else.  Thanks,
>     Discussion
>     ----------
>     (below this message I have included a breakdown of expenses, for
>     those not on DropBox)
>     You'll notice that I have included 200 CAD for meals and travel
>     incidentals.  I'd like to discuss this openly now, especially as next
>     month I will travel to Moscow as president.  To be honest, this
>     incidentals total feels very low, especially considering I spent time in
>     4 different airport, just for my trip there.  One could argue that cost
>     would be just for my meals on the way to Seoul even, considering it took
>     me almost 40 hours one way.  So, how do we handle this?
>     I remember discussing this topic with Cameron years ago publicly, and it
>     was agreed that OSGeo advocates who are invited to speak be covered for
>     expenses per http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Advocate#Expenses  That
>     does mention meals, and points to the US State Department guidelines
>     (here are the rates for Seoul
>     https://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem_action.asp?MenuHide=1&CountryCode=1129).
>     If I were to follow those guidelines, my costs for meals & incidentals
>     would be close to 1350 USD / 1700 CAD, which, does seem extreme for
>     OSGeo.  However 200 CAD seems not realistic either.
>     You know me, I always make sure to keep costs very low, to respect the
>     foundation.  I stayed in an apartment with 5 others in Seoul, instead of
>     billing the foundation for possibly thousands.  But in this case, for
>     Seoul, there were incidentals and I somehow feel guilty even for
>     reporting 200 CAD, but I know I shouldn't feel guilty.
>     So, I'm just looking for your own opinion on this.  I am also fine for
>     bringing this publicly as well (insert: I sent this at first to
>     treasurer@ and was asked to take this publicly).  I'm not looking to
>     "pull a fast one" on the foundation, but my gut instinct sees that
>     incidentals total and it just feels wrong.
>     Thanks for listening to this long email :)
>     Talk soon,
>     -jeff
>     ****
>     OSGeo Travel Expense Claim
>     ==========================
>     Name: Jeff McKenna
>     Travel Dates: 09/12/2015 to 09/21/2015
>     Itinerary: from Halifax Canada to Seoul, South Korea
>     Reasons for travel: Represent OSGeo as president, at FOSS4G 2015
>     Expenses
>     --------
>     Flight to Seoul: 1435 CAD
>     7 nights stay in Airbnb apartment (with 5 others): 330 CAD
>     Bus to and from Incheon airport in Seoul: 36 CAD
>     Park-n-fly at Halifax airport: 84 CAD
>     Gasoline to Halifax airport & return: 50 CAD
>     Travel medical insurance: 32 CAD
>     Misc (food during travel and other incidentals): 200 CAD
>     Total claimed: 2168 CAD

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