Today the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia UK are announcing the release of the final report and recommendations regarding the governance of the Wikimedia UK chapter. The report was completed by Compass Partnership, consultants in non-profit management based in the UK. The report was commissioned jointly by the Foundation and Wikimedia UK in October 2012 following important Wikimedia community discussions about potential conflicts of interest arising from a series of wiki outreach projects.
The Foundation and Wikimedia UK saw the potentially damaging effect of these matters and we ordered this review and report. We both expect the highest standards of governance, and this report is an effort to chart a strong course for Wikimedia UK and also thoughtful and valuable counsel for any organization in our movement to consider.
The report discusses important conclusions based on discussions with and materials provided by all of the major stakeholders. The aim of the report is not to lay blame, rather it seeks to determine if pre-existing policies and practices around conflicts of interest and governance were sufficient. Through this report we also aim to lay the groundwork for better and stronger governance for Wikimedia UK in the future and for its development as a chapter in our movement. We also believe the report may benefit the wider community of Wikimedia affiliated organizations by providing an example of best practices around governance and decision-making as applied to a chapter.
With a clear list of recommendations and timeline for their implementation, Wikimedia UK is now in a position to improve and expand its policies and procedures, related not just to the management of conflict of interest but also its management structure. The chapter will be discussing the findings with the community and begin their implementation at their forthcoming Trustee meeting in February.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported this process over the past three months, including the authors of the report, Compass Partnership, the staff and trustees of WMUK and the Wikimedia Foundation, and Wikimedia community members who shared their insights and feedback about the whole process.