[Global_chapter_committee] Discussion on New Chapter Finance Policy

Jason Li jason.li at owasp.org
Wed Jun 29 21:20:36 EDT 2011

I think Alison handles all the financials (
https://www.owasp.org/index.php/User:Alison_McNamee)... so she's probably
more the de facto treasurer in that sense.


On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Mandeep Khera <mkhera at owasp.org> wrote:

> I agree with Tin that the money left over should not be automatically
> transferred to the Foundation. I think this will encourage the chapters to
> spend the money even if not necessary. This is obviously not the right
> motivation. As far as the Treasurer role goes, I think of Kate as the
> defacto treasurer for all the chapters anyway since all the money
> transactions go through (as far as I know) through Kate/Sarah. We don't need
> to have a formal Treasurer at the chapters. Chapter leaders should act
> responsibly in conducting business and not take on financial
> responsibilities. Unless we are seeing major abuse anywhere, I think less
> cumbersome the process the better.
> Mandeep
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 7:29 AM, Kate Hartmann <kate.hartmann at owasp.org>wrote:
>> 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>
>> 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.
>> --
>> Tin Zaw, CISSP, CSSLP
>> Chapter Leader and President, OWASP Los Angeles Chapter<http://www.owaspla.org/>
>> Chair, OWASP Global Chapter Committee<http://www.owasp.org/index.php/Global_Chapter_Committee>
>> Google Voice: (213) 973-9295
>> LinkedIn: <http://www.linkedin.com/in/tinzaw>
>> http://www.linkedin.com/in/tinzaw
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