[OpenID board] Usage of the Public and Private Board Mailing Lists

David Recordon david at sixapart.com
Tue Aug 11 23:39:57 UTC 2009

While this was a hot topic of discussion around the Board election  
almost a year ago, we as an organization seem to have slipped back  
into a pattern of using the board-private mailing list in many  
situations where it is unnecessary to do so.  I would like to see us  
discuss our existing board-private usage policy (http://wiki.openid.net/board-private 
) in an upcoming Board meeting, evolve it if necessary, and ultimately  
have the current Board ratify an appropriate policy.  Not only is this  
important to myself, but members have also expressed concerns multiple  
times over a lack of transparency within the Foundation.

The current policy states:
> The board-private mailing list is a hidden mailing list for  
> conducting certain types of sensitive conversations pertaining to  
> the responsibilities of the OpenID Foundation and its board. The  
> list should be used sparingly and only under certain circumstances.
> New issues should be submitted to the public board mailing list, and  
> ongoing updates about its pending resolution should be made public.  
> The work to resolve an issue may be best be kept to the board- 
> private list.
> Dick Hardt provides the following examples of private conversations:
> 	• Executive Director candidates and their status while recruiting  
> and negotiating with them. Often people are employed somewhere else,  
> so public disclosure is inappropriate.
> 	• Recruitment of new corporate board members. Companies will  
> usually want to (or for compliance, may have to) control disclosure  
> of joining the OpenID Foundation. It may be part of a larger  
> strategy that they want to control the disclosure of.
> These conversations are examples that should be kept to public  
> mailing lists:
> 	• OIDF is looking for a new ED, a new ED has been hired
> 	• OIDF is recruiting additional corp board members, a new corp.  
> board member has joined (but not to be disclosed until they are ok  
> with it)
> Martin Atkins has said that "there is a standing policy that  
> everything sent to the private list must begin with a justification  
> for it being private. Other board members can and often do reject  
> these justifications and the discussions move to the public list."


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