[Board] Stolen computer

Venkatesh Raghavan raghavan at media.osaka-cu.ac.jp
Thu Jul 27 06:59:01 PDT 2017


Dear All,

Regarding the unfortunate theft of computer belonging to Nicolas and 
Niroshan
(and also some currency in case of Niroshan), I would like to express my 
sympathies
to Nicolas and Niroshan.

Niroshan is a student at my lab and the computer that he lost belongs to 
the university.
I will deal with this matter with my university authorities and take 
appropriate steps
to replace his computer with university funds.

For Nicolas, my good friend, the loss is even more heavy as the computer 
was his personal
one and contained months of his private work.

I deeply appreciate the kind gesture by Luca and others in requesting 
for Nicolas and Niroshan
to be compensated in some way for their loss. However, I think that 
OSGeo Board is in
no way responsible of such loss and feel that it would better not to set 
any precedence in
extending compensation for such unfortunate incidents, which I hope will 
never
occur in future.
The best OSGeo Foundation could do in their future events would be 
announce that while
the organizers take utmost case regarding the safety and security during 
the event, the organizers
are in no way responsible for loss/theft of personal property. Perhaps, 
organizers of future events
could think of providing cloak room facility for participants to 
officially handover personal belongings
for safe keep and receive a receipt for the same. Perhaps such facility 
could be nominally
charged.

Regarding the present incident, the information booklet of FOSS4G-Europe 
clearly states
on page 6 [1] "Insurance & Liability
Participants  are  adviced  to  provide  their  own
personal  insurance.  Neither  the  organisers  nor In2Events will 
assume any responsability
whatsoever for damage and injury to persons or property during the 
conference.", so it
will not be appropriate to affix responsibility for the loss to 
organizers. It would have been
a different case if the items were missing from an official cloak room 
with Nicolas and Niroshan
having an official receipt for the items deposited for safe keeping.

In light of the above, I am fine of helping on a personal level and am 
even willing to make my
contribution to compensate for loss of Nicolas's computer and Niroshan's 
cash (I will
find a way with our university authorities to compensate for his 
computer). I do not think
that it is appropriate to involve the OSGeo board and request them to 
deal with this matter
at an official level and also feeling that board voting on this matter 
by the board is not necessary.

I, once again, would like to express my sympathies to Nicolas and 
Niroshan for the loss
of their items and the anguish they had to undergo as a result. I also 
thank all our community
members for coming forward with offers of help and also thinking about 
ways of compensating
their loss.

If we as a community can come up with a plan to try and compensate at a 
personal level, I will
be most willing to make my contribution.

Best

Venka


On 7/27/2017 10:05 PM, Jody Garnett wrote:
> Cameron and Michael your words of caution are very much taken to heart.
>
> Maria has started a motion here
> <https://www.loomio.org/d/csZ2X8ap/stolen-computers-at-foss4g> and I am
> copying my words to email for wider discussion:
>
> *I am in favour of us helping assist in this case, but I understand their
> is a series of groups, including the local organizing committee who would
> like to help out. I would be the most comfortable with the local organizing
> committee (or even the rented venue assisting.)*
>
> *We have been cautioned about "setting a precedent" last time the board
> acted in a generous fashion outside of our mission statement (since we are
> responsible for our actions to our membership which elected us). In this
> case the people effected individuals are both productive members of our
> volunteering in an official capacity with our organization: one as a summer
> of code student, and the second as a member of the marketing committee. I
> believe our membership will understand why we are making this choice.*
>
> *While it may be sad in the future if trouble befalls an attendees at one
> of our events we do not wish to set a precedent or expectation for future
> events to follow. We are taking action both out of compassion (this sucks)
> and these individuals our volunteers in our organization we do not want our
> membership to loose the benefits of their productivity (this sucks for
> osgeo). This is in a similar spirit to the liability insurance we hold for
> our board members and officers.*
>
> And on the specifics:
>
> *From the email thread it sounds like both computers are covered by
> insurance, but not the full costs. There are two ways to understand this
> email:*
>
>
>     - *For a $2500 computer, perhaps it was only insured for $2000 (often
>     this is fine as computers get older).*
>     - *Or perhaps it is a "deductible" - for example for a $2000 computer
>     there may be a $500 deductible needing to be paid. So while the insurance
>     covers everything, you are required to pay $500 to access the insurance.*
>
> *I would be comfortable making a proposal making up to $2000 available to
> the treasurer to assist with paying any insurance costs incurred while
> replacing the stolen laptops. Subject to "prompt reimbursement" on receipt
> (if paid for already) or invoice (if there is an email/bill that can be
> sent to the treasurer to show the amount needed).*
>
> This is the kind of discussion is difficult because we all have the "it
> could of been me" response, and general annoyance this incident would
> reflect poorly on our community (even though it is not our fault). It also
> paints board members into a bit of a corner; because we do not wish to
> appear mean / heartless / insensitive (cameron's all things to all people).
>
> --
> Jody Garnett
>
> On 27 July 2017 at 04:16, Michael Terner <mgt at appgeo.com> wrote:
>
>> + Conference Dev
>>
>> Two very small points from the Boston perspective as these kinds of things
>> are on our mind, and we are seeking lessons learned to improve our event:
>>
>>     1. Insurance can be expensive. We have an insurance policy that does
>>     not cover things like lost/stolen items for attendees, but does cover
>>     eventualities like needing to cancel the event due to catastrophe. The cost
>>     of a policy covering lost/stolen events - at least for an event the size of
>>     Boston - would have been significantly higher than the cost of replacing 2
>>     laptops (and there is additional administrative time in setting it up).
>>     2. This incident also illustrates the need to have appropriate
>>     physical security. We will be mindful to not leave our registration desk
>>     without someone there; and to discourage people from leaving items in
>>     places where there are not people actively watching. We also have access to
>>     a couple of locked rooms where things can be stored and will encourage
>>     their use to the extent possible.
>>
>> We too regret the hassle, inconvenience and loss that Nick and Niroshan
>> experienced. As with all negative things, hopefully there is a silver
>> lining and this community can improve processes to reduce the risks of loss
>> at conferences...
>>
>> MT
>>
>> On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 4:46 AM, Cameron Shorter <
>> cameron.shorter at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I'll let others comment on this particular thread. It is very sad to hear
>>> of people having a computer stolen and noble to hear of people helping
>>> those in need.
>>>
>>> But on a general level, I suggest that OSGeo should be careful not to
>>> become all things to all people. We should focus on what we are best at.
>>> There are insurance companies designed to manage loss of items. For future
>>> incidents of this type, lets make use of them rather than designing our own.
>>>
>>> Cheers, Cameron (not a current board member, so my vote doesn't count)
>>>
>>>
>>> On 27/7/17 12:21 am, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>>>
>>>> Thank you Luca for bringing this to everyone's attention.  Indeed this
>>>> was a very unfortunate incident.  I am a strong +1 to help Niroshan and
>>>> Nick in any costs not covered by insurance.
>>>>
>>>> The day before this happened I also left my bag for a few hours behind
>>>> the registration desk; this could have happened to anyone.
>>>>
>>>> This kind of thing has been at the back of my mind for a while now; how
>>>> lucky we have been for accidents at FOSS4G events.  We travel to areas all
>>>> around the world, and anything can happen. Luckily Niroshan or Nick were
>>>> not hurt or injured.
>>>>
>>>> It might be a good time to review the event insurance for our FOSS4G
>>>> events, and how it relates to unfortunate accidents like this.  (and how we
>>>> would handle the cases if the attendee had no personal insurance, which
>>>> would have been my case - for example, maybe the OSGeo Board should set
>>>> aside a small block of funding in each yearly budget for this)
>>>>
>>>> But my gut feeling is that was a small warning, as our FOSS4G event
>>>> grows in popularity, we must take care, to take care of our attendees.
>>>>
>>>> I am very sorry for such a hassle to Niroshan and Nick, to their studies
>>>> and their work.  I hope we can agree to make sure that they have to pay
>>>> nothing out of their own pockets to replace lost equipment; and also agree
>>>> to take this as a small lesson and review our own event policies.
>>>>
>>>> -jeff
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> --
>>> Cameron Shorter
>>> M +61 419 142 254
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Board mailing list
>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> *Michael Terner*
>> *Executive Vice President*
>> 617-447-2468 <(617)%20447-2468> Direct | 617-447-2400 <(617)%20447-2400>
>> Main
>> Applied Geographics, Inc.
>> 24 School Street, Suite 500
>> Boston, MA 02108
>> www.AppGeo.com
>>
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>
>
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