Declaration of Conflict of Interest - Paolo Vecchi

The Board of Directors of The Document Foundation, in accordance with paragraph 8.3 letter d of the Statutes of the Foundation, publicly acknowledges that Paolo Vecchi, in his capacity of member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, has been determined to have a conflict of interest, lasting longer than one month, at least over the following topics: LibreOffice online, ecosystem and staff.

So, the CoI for Gabor, Cor and Thorsten is: "budgeting, tenders, contracts and management of foundation’s assets (trademarks). "

While Paolo’s is “LibreOffice online, ecosystem and staff.”

I don’t quite understand.

  • How can Thorsten, as the CEO of allotropia not be as CoI’ed as Paolo about staff or the ecosystem?
  • How can, say, Cor, who’s in a senior position in Collabora, not be CoI’ed regarding LibreOffice Online, the LO ecosystem, and staffing, while Paolo is CoI’ed for those?

Plus, would appreciate more information about what Omnis cloud does that merits the CoI’ing. I understand it offers cloud solutions to organizations, but how does this translate into the CoI’ing? Is it through the use of LibreOffice Online in these solutions? or Collabora products?

The title should have been “Determination and public communication of Conflict of Interest of Paolo Vecchi” and the rest of the decision is missing.

The decision has been taken the 15/08/2023.

To be noted that we have a legal opinion against the addition of “staff” as a conflict of interest.

It’s also unclear how a conflict of interest has been determined in relation to “ecosystem” and “LibreOffice online” as it has been discontinued 3 years ago.

For the curious here’s my defence: The Document Foundation Nextcloud


When a decision of this nature comes to light, the vote of each board member should also be made transparent, as well as the arguments supporting the decision.

On the other hand, I share Eyal’s concerns about the CoI of at least Thorsten and Cor.

Hi Eyal,

you are asking the same questions I’ve asked but I have received no meaningful reply.

The only replies I received seems to indicate that Thorsten and Cor were very keen in finding me in conflict with something and even if LibreOffice OnLine does not exist since 3 years ago it would do for them.

In regard to the solution I offer I surely cannot use LibreOffice Online as it has been forked 3 years ago and left unmaintained. While it would have been great to promote LibreOffice OnLine as an alternative to other web based editing tools its availability never affected, positively or negatively, my business.

I have no business relationships or interests with the company that forked LibreOffice OnLine or any other members of the ecosystem. Several years ago I decided to not pursue any commercial agreement with either companies and I have no plans to review the situation for the foreseeable future.


It’s not “should”, it’s “must”. TDF Statutes §8.3.c:

The Board of Directors shall assure public knowledge through express publication… with regard to: … (c) the processes, discussions and decisions of … the Board of Directors…

So, does Omnis cloud offer other services involving LibreOffice?

If it doesn’t… well, you do have a potential business interest in reviving LibreOffice Online, but that’s a bit of a weak argument if you weren’t using it before.

I also don’t even understand what the CoI about “staff” . Is it that people can potentially “poach” staff from the TDF to work at your own company? That’s super-oblique, and applies to Collabora and Allotropia as well.

Hi Cor,

What does mean having a conflict of interest over ecosystem and over the staff ?


Interested by the answer.
I suppose the conflict of interest is something like not awarding a contract to a company of which you are the director or shareholder
but even as an ordinary employee, it can be difficult to take a decision against a contractor you work for…


Régis Perdreau

Hi @EyalRozenberg,

No it doesn’t and it never did offer services around LibreOffice, LibreOffice OnLine or it’s forked version. It would be great to help also with that side but it’s not part of the core business of my company.
I did look into offering the version of LibreOffice supported by ecosystem companies years ago but then decided not to pursue the opportunity further for various reasons.

Anyway when I looked at LibreOffice OnLine before 2020 the documentation was incomplete, there were issues in setting it up and the container was outdated so I didn’t pursue the matter further. After 2020 the opportunity to use LibreOffice OnLine has been removed from everyone so even if I would have wanted to do it I couldn’t have based a business offering on LibreOffice OnLine as other did.

While some platforms I’m working with offer integration with the forked version of LibreOffice OnLine I do not sell maintenance/licenses for that. The presence or absence of that integration doesn’t make any difference to my company as it is not part of its core business.

I surely promote LibreOffice, as I always did, but that’s due to my personal passion for it, and Open Source in general, but completely unrelated to the private Cloud infrastructure services my company offers.

From a business point of view having LibreOffice OnLine available or not doesn’t matter as it isn’t part of my company’s core business. Other tools are available for users of the platforms I recommend but I don’t get involved in the decision of what web based editing tool to use as I don’t support third party add-ons. If LibreOffice OnLine Community was available for those platforms then it would promote it, as I do with LibreOffice, out of personal passion and not as a business opportunity.

Since February 2020 I surely had an additional interest on it as a member of TDF’s board of directors. LibreOffice OnLine was promoted as a community project but it wasn’t being made available as a “user-centered” project as from our Statutes so I thought it was necessary to clarify the situation. The clarification of the status of LibreOffice OnLine came in October 2020.

There has been a time when I declared an interest which had nothing to do with a business interest but I was ready to offer my company’s resources to fulfil that interest.
When COVID came I tried to work with others so that we could, collectively and including TDF, offer on-line services to mitigate the issues caused by the lockdown.
In August 2020 I sent out an email with a clear disclaimer:
“Disclaimer: I’m interested on the development of the issue [another provider asking if they could deliver LibreOffice OnLine to schools promoting that brand] as I’m setting up a hosting environment where I intend to offer LibreOffice On-Line to individuals, schools and non for profit on a free or cost sharing basis.”

Frictions about offering LibreOffice OnLine to those in need started so nothing came out of it as a collective effort.
Regardless of that I did start providing free services to a lot of schools and non-for-profit organisation at the time and I keep doing it to this day without LibreOffice OnLine. Some contributed a bit to the costs but mostly my company keeps sponsoring those free services and I personally keep providing sysadmin work for free for these services.

I mentioned the above only because the disclaimer I wrote in August 2020, and AFAIK I’m the only director that openly declared a personal interest before we adopted the CoI Policy, has been used as the main point to justify an investigation, led only by Thorsten and Cor, and then a determination of CoI with LibreOffice OnLine 2 years after it has been killed.

So it is clear that I have a general personal interests (and passion) for LibreOffice and FOSS in general and that I had an obvious interest as a member of TDF’s BoD to see LibreOffice OnLine being widely used. How that has been turned into a determination of CoI by those that at the time influenced the whole discussion and voted to kill LibreOffice Online makes an interesting reading in itself.

I guess it’s up to the community and the new board, if it wishes to do so, to evaluate if I’ve actually ever been in CoI with LibreOffice OnLine.

I would be very pleased to have members of TDF staff working with me as I know they would do a fantastic job and I could fully trust them but I know their passion is with LibreOffice and they love to contribute to it and the community through the great work they are doing at TDF. For that and the respect I have for TDF I wouldn’t even think about “poaching” them.

To explain the addition of “employees” to the CoI determination some might link the removal of the RoP, the vote (not yet published IIRC) to impose Laszlo and Gabriel for the new employees oversight committee, the change of the deputy chairperson among other things and conclude that some just wanted to remove non aligned directors from some positions. If some people came to that conclusion then I can’t really blame them for it.

I’ve been told that the official position is that I might try to influence TDF’s developers into starting developing LibreOffice OnLine, or something similar, so I should stay far away from anything to do with members of staff/employees.

The information in my possession lead me to think that the official explanation is quite weak but also in this case I leave it to others to judge.


Good questions have been asked on this thread. Are we going to get answers from the board?

This is also relevant with regard to the currently ongoing elections, where some members of the current BoD are running for the next BoD. But we (the Board of Trustees) don’t know how they voted on this issue and what was their reasoning.

Sorry for the lag here, mostly busy with a handful of urgent year-end topics (and of course trying to get all ducks in a row for xmas). More follow-up in a bit, for the moment: quorum was 3 directors, Ayhan and László approved, I abstained.