[Community-Discuss] Questions about transparency

Ali Hussein ali at hussein.me.ke
Mon Jun 5 06:21:27 UTC 2017


You raise pertinent and important issues. 

The rule of thumb for any public organization is that Transparency trumps (no pun intended) everything else. 

If I were asked and was a member of the Board, I'd advocate for FULL disclosure on financial and operational matters. How money was spent, how much, what was the impact, who received it etc. That in my humble opinion is the best policy. Let us err on the side of too much information as opposed to too little information.

Ali Hussein
Hussein & Associates
+254 0713 601113 

Twitter: @AliHKassim
Skype: abu-jomo
LinkedIn: http://ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."  ~ Aristotle

Sent from my iPad

> On 5 Jun 2017, at 8:42 AM, Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
> So – I want to open a bit of a discussion about transparency, specifically, financial transparency.
> In order to get this started – let me ask a few questions of all of you –
> While we talk about transparency and how it is required – can we analyze for a moment as to the level of transparency we want.   So, to kick this discussion off, let me start by asking some basic questions that we can use as the starting point for this discussion.
> a.)     How much detail should the board and AfriNIC be supplying us as regards how the money we pay towards IP resources is spent.  Is it sufficient to show an aggregated line item that refers to travel expenses for example, or do we want to see some kind of a breakdown on what that money is being spent on (considering that travel makes up 10% of the total revenue)
> b.)    How much detail should the board and AfriNIC be supplying us as members as regards other large scale line items – specifically – we spend hundreds of thousands each year on meeting expenses – should we be asking for a breakdown on what those meeting expenses are – or are we happy with the organization spending that kind of money under a single large line item.
> c.)     When AfriNIC is giving money to other organizations for sponsorship – what level of transparency and accountability should be required from those organizations.  Is it acceptable that AFRINIC makes a decision to give money to organizations that have no formal incorporation, no audited financial statements and no board of their own, or should AFRINIC be scrutinizing those that they give money to far more closely, and asking for the same level of transparency from those that they give money to that we require from them.
> d.)    When AFRINIC is funding organizations such as the ASO/NRO – how much transparency should be supplied back to the members about how that money is being spent and what that funding is actually being used for.
> e.)    When AFRINIC is funding board travel to meetings around the world – should board members be able to attend these conferences without ever supplying reports about what was accomplished at said meetings and what the purpose of the expenditure was, or are we prepared to accept that these meetings must be useful without further questions.
> Remember, every cent spent by AfriNIC can have an impact on our fees, and impacts the bottom line of the company.  Over the last 3 years, we have come a long way to stabilizing the company and its financial position, but in order to maintain that, we probably need to discuss openly as a community about the level of transparency we want into those finances and then once we as a community come to consensus, we can request the board supply the transparency we agree is necessary.  But let us have an open and cordial discussion so that we get to the right point.
> Thanks
> Andrew
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