[OSGeo-Conf] Underwriting FOSS4G events

till.adams at fossgis.de till.adams at fossgis.de
Wed Aug 19 05:24:19 PDT 2015

Steven, @Conference committee,

many thanks for your thoughts on that. I have some comments inline.

> I agree that it is time for OSGeo to formalise our commitment to
> ‘underwrite’ a FOSS4G (Global or Regional). The reasonably loose
> understanding that has worked in the past is probably past it’s
> time.


> Thoughts on the process:
> 	* We need a clear statement from any FOSS4G seeking OSGeo’s
> financial backing

Yes, I think that is in progress.

> 	* Initial advance(s) required and timing

(+1) I am working on this for now.

> 	* Potential loss through cancellation at different stages

(+1) I am working on this for now.

> 	* Potential loss if conference goes ahead but attendance is less 
> than
> target

(+1) I am working on this for now.

> 	* OSGeo will confirm the maximum level that it will underwrite

How will OSGeo come to this maximum level-number? Maybe good to 
formalize this as well...

> 	* OSGeo will need to set aside a reserve to cover the maximum
> underwritten losses of all FOSS4G events that it is supporting. This
> will probably limit our ability to underwrite multiple events and may
> require the Conference Committee to select between competing regional
> events if there are several applications

In my eyes, OSGeo should keep the number of covered events very 
The lighthouse of OSGeo events is FOSs4G.

> 	* It would probably be prudent for the Conference Committee to
> require a member to join the LOC with financial oversight of
> expenditure, forecasts and risks.

I absolutely agree on that - and give the question back to the 
committee to appoint someone.

> 	* The Conference Committee will need to continuously review 
> financial
> risk and may require changes to the financial and operational plans 
> of
> an event.

That's exactly what we are planning to do and I recently spoke to 
Torsten (our "finance minister"). We will do a financial review every 
month starting now.
COuld be senseful to densify this next year.

> 	* The LOC will need to accept that OSGeo will not accept unlimited
> financial liability for their event, any losses exceeding the maximum
> level underwritten will need to be borne by the LOC or insured
> locally.

As said - now the time has come to fix this. So I would accept that but 
we'll have to cover not covered losses by an insurance.
This is an important issue for the upcoming bidders as well - please 
tell them ;-)

> 	* The LOC agrees to remit xx% of any surplus to OSGeo to support
> future events and other OSGeo activities (I would suggest at least 
> 85%
> but no doubt this could be a subject for discussion across the
> community but it should be standard for all events)

I agree on this as well. But can't put in a number here, as the covered 
amount is not clear yet.

> 	* OSGeo will need to draft a legal agreement with the LOC that sets
> out these terms


> Sorry if this sounds very formal but if OSGeo are making financial
> commitments running into the $50-100k region which could be the case
> for a global FOSS4G then there needs to be some proper process and
> limits in place.

No - as this is such an important point, I think a formalized way is 
the best we can go.

One last point to add from my side: I know, the Conference committee 
looks briefly over the financial plannings of the bidding teams,
but the above mentioned potential losses should already be part of the 
proposal and then be examined on a more realistic base later in the 
planning process.
Or however, but a more formalized budget planning for the proposal 
could make things easier later...

So my last bid to the Conference committee is to formalize a clear 
procedure and pass it to the board for decision.
In the upcoming month we'll have to sign some contracts ;-)


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