[Community-Discuss] Questions about transparency

Mark Elkins mje at posix.co.za
Mon Jun 5 08:37:57 UTC 2017

I agree with you Ali. When Andrew first campaigned to be a Board member,
one of his goals was increased transparency. I believe that he has
helped, with the rest of the Board, achieve this. Transparency though is
an ongoing process and its a pity that Andrew was not re-elected to
continue assisting in that process.

Regarding Andrews points:

a) Travel in Africa is not cheap. Rather than just a single line for
travel, I'd like to see it a bit more broken up though, categorised
something like;
     i) Training sessions 10, people 20, cost $10,000
     ii) Meetings 2, people 40, cost $20,000
     iii) Board Travel 8, trips 32, cost $20,000

(or something like that)

b - d) Again, I'd like to see a bit more break down, especially in the
case of unaudited organisations. On d), the ASO/NRO fees are
proportionally paid by RIRs. AfriNIC does pay the lowest proportion.

e) I think the moratorium on Business class travel should be maintained,
but have the option to upgrade their flights at their expense. When
flying for AfriNIC, I was given a Priority Pass card. That privilege
should stay to give people access to lounges.  I'm happy the CEO flies
business (at his discretion). If it was a long flight (ARIN, USA) and
overnight and that Board member is the only AfriNIC representative and
was presenting the "AfriNIC" slides, let them fly business. I did that
once (but travelled economy).

On 05/06/2017 08:21, Ali Hussein wrote:
> Andrew
> 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*
> *Principal*
> *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
> <mailto: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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Mark James ELKINS  -  Posix Systems - (South) Africa
mje at posix.co.za       Tel: +27.128070590  Cell: +27.826010496
For fast, reliable, low cost Internet in ZA: https://ftth.posix.co.za

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