[OSGeo-Conf] Underwriting FOSS4G events

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 13:19:51 PDT 2015

Hi Till, Stephen, Girt,
Your suggestions all make sense and I like what is being suggested.
Who owns the risk can be different for each conference, whether that be 
a LOC legal body, or the OSGeo Foundation, or a proportion of both.
The key is that the risk is defined, and that their is a strategy for 
all scenarios.
Typically there will be a requirement to pay a deposit by DATE1, more to 
be paid by DATE2, ...

I feel a plan should be put in place, which goes something like:
By DATE1, if the exposure is greater than $XXXX, then the conference 
will be cancelled.
By DATE2, ...

With regards, to defining a process, I'd encourage you to draft some 
suggestions into the wiki here:
(Feel free to change existing content)

Once it is in a reasonable state, invite the conference committee to 
review, and we can finalise it.

On 19/08/2015 10:24 pm, till.adams at fossgis.de wrote:
> 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.
> +1
>> 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 limited.
> 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
> Who?
>> 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 ;-)
> Till

Cameron Shorter,
Software and Data Solutions Manager
Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

P +61 2 9009 5000,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099

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