Final report on Wikimedia UK governance released

This post was written by Michael Maggs, Chair of Wikimedia UK

On behalf of the Wikimedia UK board I am pleased to announce the publication of the third and final report on the charity’s governance. The report has been prepared by Rosie Chapman and Sarah Loader of Belinda Pratten and Rosie Chapman Associates. It marks the conclusion of a process that began almost two years ago.

This report is the second Chapman review and is a follow-up independent audit of the progress that Wikimedia UK has made to improve its governance since January 2013. It comes 18 months after completion of the initial 2013 governance review (the Hudson review) and nine months after the first follow-up audit (the first Chapman review) which covered progress in addressing the Hudson review’s recommendations.

In summary, Chapman found:

“The charity has very largely addressed the 50 recommendations found within the original review. WMUK has developed very quickly, and the charity has clearly put a lot of effort into ensuring that its governance now meets best practice expectations. It has a cohesive, skilled and experienced board in place. They have a clear understanding of the charity’s vision and mission”.

In the section comparing WMUK with similar UK charities, we were pleased to note Chapman’s conclusion (para 42) that:

“For the stage that Wikimedia is in its life cycle it compares well with similar UK charities. Its transparency about its procedures is a beacon of best practice, and its conflicts of interest procedures are robust and well-tested”.

She further observes (paras 14 and 15) that:

“Inevitably, a lot of the Board’s efforts have to-date been internally focussed; putting in place robust governance arrangements and agreeing the new strategy that was published in March this year. Whilst there is still some fine-tuning to bed in the strategy, for example linking particular outcomes with detailed objectives, targets, budgets and performance measurement through-out the organisation, there is also the chance for WMUK’s Board to become more outward focussed in its time and efforts. This will, in turn, enable the Board to consider opportunities and choices for what the organisation does to deliver its strategy, and how it should be resourced to do so.

“From our discussion with trustees and staff it is clear that there is a real appetite for this shift in the board’s focus, and to consider more external opportunities”.

The report is worth reading in its entirety, as it includes a wealth of advice, analysis and commentary that will be of interest and use not only to Wikimedia UK itself but also to the community at large and to other organisations within the movement.

On behalf of the board I would once again like to thank Rosie Chapman for her comprehensive and insightful analysis which will be of great help in enabling us to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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