[Global_chapter_committee] Finances Section of the Chapter Leader Handbook

Andrew van der Stock vanderaj at owasp.org
Tue Jun 28 23:13:51 EDT 2011


There should be ethical considerations in chapter's disbursement of funds. I don't want a situation where funds are used to pay for room hire or staff where the local chapter leaders work. Arm's length between local approval of funds use and those who might profit from it. is vital to emphasise our open and transparent nature. 

I do want to allow chapters to start acquiring basic video equipment to allow the recording of chapter meetings (so a small HD camera, wireless mike, and stand), so we do need to work out a policy on hardware. 

Hardware should be returned to other active chapters within a country first, and then to the closest Foundation for re-distribution or donation to a local charity of the Foundation's choosing if the returned assets' life is more than the depreciated cost. 

For example, the local OWASP Chapter in Smallville bought LCD projector four years ago. If the Smallville chapter goes quiet, the LCD projector and all other hardware items should be sent in the first instance to a nearby chapter so that shipping costs aren't huge if a chapter ever restarts in Smallville. If there is no other nearby chapter, the Foundation could decide to donate the LCD project to a local charity or pay the shipping back to the nearest Foundation. 

thanks
Andrew

On 29/06/2011, at 11:35 AM, Tin Zaw wrote:

> Kate,
> 
> Thanks for kickstarting the chapter finance discussion. In this email, I will focus on reimbursable expenses and hardware. I will start another thread for chapter finances (https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Chapter_Finance_Policy_and_Procedure).
> 
> On reimbursable expenses -- or appropriate use of funds -- we should expand the list of reimbursable items.
> 
> But before that, we should make it a policy and practice that all chapter finances are subject to OWASP policies and ethics, as well as common-sense, fiscal responsibility and good judgement. In other words, funds are to be used for advancing OWASP mission in a prudent (and frugal?) manner. 
> 
> We should add "Administrative support for the chapter", or expand "Promotion of a meeting" to "Managing  and promoting chapter activities" which includes administrative support. 
> 
> As for the hardware, how about this policy? Hardware -- computing equipment, audio visual equipment, etc. -- is owned by the Foundation but dedicated for use by the chapter that funds it for its useful life. If a chapter dissolves and has some hardware, it must be returned to the Foundation. For tax purposes, we could depreciate it within whatever the allowable period is (2 years?). Fully depreciated equipment can be disposed or continued to use at the chapter's discretion. 
> 
> Does the Foundation need to track the hardware assets? If so, the chapters should be required to report (via Google Spreadsheet, for example) the status of the hardware including depreciation. 
> 
> I think it sounds good for US chapters, but I don't know what the complications are for international chapters and chapters under European Foundation. I need help and comments from our international committee members. 
> 
> The question of if the hardware is needed, yes it is. Many times, we use our own equipment or borrowed equipment (such as the host organization's) for our hardware need. For example, I have been using my personal spare laptop for many of the OWASP activities -- most chapter meetings and AppSec conference -- until it died recently. It came in very useful when a keynote speaker at AppSec conference got her laptop stolen. (BTW, I requested a reimbursement for a laptop because my personal spare laptop I was using for OWASP purposes died, and I thought it will be good use of LA chapter's funds. LA Board agreed too). We could also use things like video camera to record meetings -- some members requested it -- but we held on to this idea because we do not have time for post-production work. 
> 
> Committee members, please share your thoughts. 
> 
> 
> 
> On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Kate Hartmann <kate.hartmann at owasp.org> wrote:
> During the last Chapter Committee Call, the topic of the Finance Section of the Handbook and it’s impending update was discussed.  The date for this to be completed was set as July 11 (for the Board Meeting).  https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Chapter_Handbook:_Managing_Money
> 
>  
> 
> We are seeing some reimbursement requests for items that do not fall within the current reimbursement guidelines:
> 
> (Meeting venue rental.
> Refreshments for a meeting.
> Promotion of a meeting.
> Travel for speakers.
> And I believe that we need to clarify what might be considered appropriately reimbursable items/services.  We need to include contracting services (as are currently in place in NY and LA) and be sure to include other support systems for chapters.  One reimbursement request is for hardware.  With a request for equipment, the issue of proprietary and depreciable Foundation Equipment arises.  If the Foundation reimburses for the hardware, then it essentially belongs to the Foundation, even though the funds are “chapter funds.”  Since we are 99.9% volunteer organization, how do you suggest we manage this?  Also, since we are all in the computer industry and most of our work is done via the internet on the wiki, can we approve a hardware purchase for use by a volunteer?
> 
>  
> 
> I want to be sure we clarify this, and other situations.  Sarah, I’m not sure that we are the best people to decide what is appropriate for chapter support since neither one of us are chapter leaders. 
> 
>  
> 
> Kate Hartmann
> 
> Operations Director
> 
> 301-275-9403
> 
> www.owasp.org
> 
> Skype:  Kate.hartmann1
> 
>  
> 
> 
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Tin Zaw, CISSP, CSSLP
> Chapter Leader and President, OWASP Los Angeles Chapter
> Chair, OWASP Global Chapter Committee 
> Google Voice: (213) 973-9295
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tinzaw
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