Share

Independent consultant appointed for Wikimedia governance review

Independent consultant appointed for Wikimedia governance review
News

Independent consultant appointed for Wikimedia governance review1

Governance | Kirsty Weakley | 1 Nov 2012

Wikimedia UK and the Wikimedia Foundation have appointed Compass Partnership to conduct a review and report on the governance of Wikimedia UK.

Mike Hudson, and independent specialist consultant at Compass Partnership, will lead the review into recent accusations of conflicts of interest concerning QRpedia, Monmouthpedia, Gibraltarpedia. It will also look at the charity’s current governance arrangements and policies.

In a statement the organisations said the review is expected to be published by 31 January or “in any event” by 15 February 2013. While the review is being carried out Wikimedia UK is unable to process payments for the annual fundraiser – the international Wikimedia Foundation will do so for the UK instead, but this means that the charity will be unable to claim gift aid.

Hudson will conduct interviews with current and former trustees, staff, and some stakeholders.

Wikimedia UK and the Wikimedia Foundation announced that an independent review would be carried out on 28 September following the resignation of one of Wikimedia UK’s trustees (Roger Bamkin) “to avoid confusion” between his role as a paid Wikipedia consultant and as a trustee. The legal teams of both organisations made suggestions and drew up a shortlist of two potential parties to carry out the review, before choosing Compass Partnership.   
 

 

Steve Virgin
former Trustee
ex-Wikimedia UK Trustee
3 Jan 2013

As someone relevant to this story, a former Trustee of WMUK who stepped down last May, I feel the need to point out the review is in two stages not one. This is how the review was explained to me in an email:

Hi Steve

We are producing two documents as follows:

1. A review of the current governance of Wikimedia UK. This will range across the broad field of organisational governance and not be confined to one aspect (e.g. managing potential conflicts of interest). It will offer the Wikimedia UK board a number of recommendations for them to consider as they develop their organisational governance further. It is in line with the forms of general governance review encouraged by the Charity Commission.
2. A descriptive chronology of the management of specific potential conflicts of interest. We don’t plan that this second document will draw conclusions or make recommendations. The aim will not be to allocate blame for historical acts.

Our chronology on the other hand will primarily set out what we understand happened, rather than offer commentary.

sent to me on 27/12/12

To be able to be involved in this review I was informed that I would have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement on anything I was shown or told. I refused.

I am deeply concerned the review is little more than a smokescreen. Its aim is to focus attention exclusively on what took place in the UK, when the actions of the WMF parent chapter are equally relevant. Particularly with regard to the granting of rights to use the Wikipedia logo (twice - Monmouth and then again in Gibraltar) and whether any form of sensible due diligence was carried out by the USA parent chapter with regard to granting of these rights. If it had been carried out in detail for the Monmouth instance, it would have led to deep discussions about any potential conflict of interest between the UK chapter and the USA parent foundation taking place in April. These concerns would have stopped the issue dead in its tracks and Gibraltar COI would never have happened later in July (after I had left the Board in May).

These matters (as per the email I was recently sent) are now seemingly not relevant to this review.

Hence my smokescreen comment. If we are all to learn from good and bad practice the whole process needs to be examined - not just selective parts of it.


Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Wellcome Trust's investment portfolio reaches £18bn

19 Dec 2014

The Wellcome Trust has posted a 15.4 per cent return on its investment portfolio, earning £2.5bn for...

HMRC tax statistics suggest large rise in charitable giving

19 Dec 2014

Tax relief on giving is expected to rise by 11 per cent in the year to March 2015, suggesting a large...

Andrew O’Brien moves from NCVO to head CFG’s policy team

19 Dec 2014

Andrew O’Brien is to join the Charity Finance Group as head of policy and public affairs.

Camelot CEO says deregulation of society lotteries may not increase good cause money

18 Dec 2014

The chief executive of Camelot has said that reducing the regulation around society lotteries may not...

Ukip supporters trust charities less than other voters do, NPC study finds

18 Dec 2014

A survey by Ipsos Mori for NPC about how charities are perceived by people who vote for various political...

Tobin Aldrich leaves Sightsavers to set up consultancy

17 Dec 2014

Former director of global fundraising for Sightsavers, Tobin Aldrich, has announced that he has left the...

CRUK crowdfunding effort flops

15 Dec 2014

Cancer Research UK’s three new crowdfunding campaigns did not manage to raise even 10 per cent of the...

Volunteering platform Do-it relaunches

12 Dec 2014

Online volunteering platform Do-it has been relaunched today by its new owner, the Do-it Trust, with more...

‘The challenge is getting people to use IT systems’

28 Nov 2014

Whatever type of customer-relationship management system charities use, the biggest challenge is convincing...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<