[Global_chapter_committee] Discussion on New Chapter Finance Policy

Kate Hartmann kate.hartmann at owasp.org
Wed Jun 29 10:29:16 EDT 2011

The inclusion of the treasurer is to allocate responsibility of the funds should be called for specifically when the amount exceeds a particular threshold.  To point to the chapter handbook doesn't really work as those are "suggestions" on how to run a chapter.  We should be very careful when referencing the handbook since, as I think we all know, the community is allergic to policies.  :) The handbook should be used as " best practices" not policies.

That being said, when we are referring to finances, there needs to be checks in place to prevent potential accusations and to protect our leaders.  Since the local funds reside as a liability on the foundations p&l statements, the foundation retains ultimate responsibility for oversight.

The treasurer can be the chapter leader, but there needs to be clear accountability within the chapter for use of funds.

Again, this all probably is not as critical for chapters with $200 or so who want to order pizza, but more so for chapters with thousands.  Thus, the threshold for balances or amounts.I 

How about a reimbursement request form that requires two chapter leader signatures for an amount over (insert amount here) and maybe over another amount needs to be addressed as "new business" at a chapter meeting.  It's not any different at the global level.  I can not expense or purchase anything over $500 without approval of the board, no matter how important i think it might be to global operations.  It's just good accounting to make sure that expenses are approved.

If we approach this with the intention of protecting the chapter leaders and not restricting them, then we should be able to collectively develop a process that works.

Kate Hartmann
OWASP Operations Director

On Jun 28, 2011, at 10:04 PM, Tin Zaw <tin.zaw at owasp.org> wrote:

> Dear Committee Members,
> This is rather an important topic that we should discuss on before sending it to the board for vote.
> The details are outlined at https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Chapter_Finance_Policy_and_Procedure
> In short, I disagree with this policy proposal. Here are the reasons. 
> First, I think it is redundant to state that "have a named treasurer listed on their chapter page". I believe the chapter leader handbook requires that each chapter need a treasurer and that the chapter leader may be the treasurer. This is, however, a minor issue.
> The important issue is the automatic transfer of "expired" chapter funds to the Foundation. The 60/40 split between the Foundation and the chapter is based on the principle that the chapter's funds are for local purposes. When we recruit members -- individuals and companies -- we always make a commitment that 40% of the dues stay locally, and we put our personal reputation on it. We should honor that commitment. As the Foundation's funds from local membership don't have expiration date, the chapter funds should not have expiration either. 
> As an alternate, I propose the following.
> 1. At the end of the year, chapters are asked to allocate their extra funds to the Foundation, other chapters, OWASP projects, or other special purposes such as OWASP Summit. This is like the a fund raising drive for the foundation. It should be OK for the chapters not to participate. 
> 2. Above option should be available to the chapters at all times.
> 3. At the end of the year, each chapter with significant funds (to be decided, I am OK with $3000) needs to acknowledge that they will continue to use the funds to advance OWASP mission. Failure to do so may result in automatic transfer of funds to the Foundation. (In practice, we should contact chapters that did not do that in the first call so that we can be sure they don't have technical issues, etc. If a chapter does not respond after three tries, automatic transfer happens). 
> Please let me know what you think. 
> -- 
> 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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