Working on the latest Board meeting minutes

Hi everyone! Apologies that the minutes from the last two Board meetings are not yet online. The Board is working on many topics, including a backlog, and making good progress I feel.

But we want to inform all TDF Members (and the public) in time about what we discuss. So I volunteer to work on the missing minutes in the next two weeks to have them published, so that we can also translate them for our native language communities.

Thanks for your patience! :blush:

Mike Saunders
Deputy Member of the Board of Directors

Please list those topics, @mikesaunders . No need for a long description of each, just list them.

That is a bit difficult to believe, given that you (= the BoD) are actively refraining from informing us trustees about the matters you’re discussing or handling, don’t ask for input on any of them, and refuse to disclose information regarding these matters: Non-BoD meeting summaries; subject-matter reports; incoming and outgoing correspondence etc.

I don’t understand why you (Mike) have to volunteer. BoD sessions are supposed to be minuted, and finalizing the minutes are part of the board’s duties. Why are you (= the BoD) not just publishing the minutes a short while after the sessions are held (up to content for which a disclosure embargo has been adopted)? Say, a couple of days after the session, when people have had a time to correct their attributed statements in the minutes? The design meetings work like that; and even if the BoD needs more time to finalize its minutes, that can’t be relegated to a backlog but must rather be carried out as part of the routine of holding BoD sessions.

Please list those topics

You can see the topics that the Board is working on in the agendas for the Board calls. For instance, this agenda shows that the topics are: community sessions; tenders; growing the ecosystem; the budget; the LibreOffice Conference; and others listed.

don’t ask for input on any of them

We specifically have in every call “Questions and answers from the community”, where we ask community members for their input.

Why are you (= the BoD) not just publishing the minutes a short while after the sessions are held (up to content for which a disclosure embargo has been adopted)?

Here you’re right – we’re behind on this, and need to improve. It takes some time to convert the notes taken from a meeting into checked and corrected minutes that are good for translation, but we need to be a lot quicker here, I agree.

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So, in the design meetings, Heiko minutes the discussion as we go along, and we sometimes take a slight break for something to be minuted. Thus, by the time the session is over, the minutes are done, up to corrections. This is not necessary the absolute ideal mode of minute-taking, and I’m sure that for BoD sessions, things are a bit more complicated (e.g. adding the legal boilerplate for votes). But the gist of what I’m saying is that minute completion should not be some daunting after-the-fact task - because that tends to get left behind in favor of other pressing matters.

(BTW, maybe I should ask @htietze about some kind of rotation in minute-taking)

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Minutes are supposed to be short but sometimes need context explanation.
Could we ask some improvement ?


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Whether they’re short or long depends on the organizational culture actually. My alma mater’s academic body session minutes were quite extensive.

Having said that - the context should indeed be extensive. Before each session of the importance of a TDF BoD session, a preparatory document-packet PDF be prepared containing recent relevant documents (including correspondence) for the different agenda items and sections from minutes of the BoD or other bodies relating to that item. That way, a board member or deputy has a 50-150 (or so) pages of concentrated prep material to read in a single PDF, and if s/he does so, they are at least reasonably ready to meaningfully discuss and make decisions. Trustees can get a version of this prep packet with redactions of disclosure-limited content.

This requires some work from staff and/or the board member who holds secretarial duties for a given session, but saves quite a bit of work for all others, as well as the “but didn’t you read the XYZ file I sent last week about this?” situation during sessions, and a bunch of questions from trustees asking for explanations.

The topics in the BoD meetings are more delicate than what we discuss around design. Reading and verifying the essence transcribed from spoken to written English by everyone takes time. The board is aware of the interest from the trustees and works on better solutions and workflows, as we can see in Mike’s message.