On June 10–11, the working group advising on the design of the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) met in San Francisco to tackle several basic issues like who should be able or required to apply for FDC funds and how multilingual application processes will look. The FDC will be tasked with evaluating applications for funding, mainly by chapters, and on this basis will make recommendations to the WMF board of trustees on how funds should ultimately be allocated.
An "in-depth" point for discussion was whether staff and board members of organizations applying for FDC funding can serve on the FDC at the same time. While chapter functionaries had lobbied for chapter-selected FDC members, thereby being able to choose some of the people to be in charge of evaluating their own chapter applications, in the run-up to the meeting the working group stuck to the existing arrangement: five community-elected and four WMF-board-appointed voting members. On the wider COI question, the following clause remains in the draft:
"Staff / board members of entities requesting funds from the FDC may serve on the FDC; however, they must recuse themselves from deliberations pertaining to their entity's application."
The clause would come into effect if either the community elects or the WMF board appoints such members. However, the Signpost notes that a broad "recusal" requirement failed in the only comparable Wikimedia committee that has come under wider community scrutiny: the first German Community Project Budget Committee (CPB), established in 2011 to evaluate and recommend applications on how to use €200,000 of German chapter funds to the WMDE board of trustees. The CPB ran into trouble over CoI allegations against its own members and WMDE trustees who applied for CPB funds while in charge of its oversight and final approval. The unfolding debate triggered several resignations from both bodies. The chapter's general assembly responded by amending the CPB’s framework to exclude all sitting CPB and WMDE board members from applying for CPB funds.
Another point at issue in San Francisco was the management of FDC volunteers who become inactive. While the English Wikipedia’s ArbCom, one model looked at for best practices, has a larger pool of arbitrators to cope with members who become inactive, and the foundation's Grant Advisory Committee resolved to abandon fixed membership numbers altogether, it may still be decided that FDC members, who will number up to nine, might be replaced by alternate members if inactive for periods long enough to affect the workability of the body.
Topics like the concrete role of a community-elected ombudsperson to handle dispute resolution over the FDC’s work and details of the application papers will be discussed up until the final recommendations deadline to the WMF board on June 30.
Passing of an English Wikipedian: Philip Chalmers (User:Philcha), a recognized reviewer and the author of one featured and 42 good articles, died on June 4 after a long fight with brain cancer. As a tribute, a collaboration has been proposed to complete Philip's final article, Nematode.
Italian Wikipedia protest reloaded: The Italian Wikipedia community has set up a site notice on all pages, including the main page, to emphasize that the parliamentary bill they protested against in October 2011 (Signpost coverage) is not off the table.
Wikidata logo contest: The community process to pick a logo for the Wikidata project, aiming at providing a central Wikimedia data repository (Signpost coverage), got off the ground on June 9. Details are in the German Wikimedia chapter's blog.
Wikivoyage to join Wikitravel proposal: On June 9, the general assembly of the German non-governmental organization running Wikivoyageunanimously voted in favor of joining the Wiki Travel Guide proposal to establish a Wikimedia-hosted travel guide wiki. This idea has been under review on Meta since April (Signpost coverage).
Berlin Hackathon videos: Additional videos from the Berlin Wikimedia Hackathon, covering Wikidata and lightning talks, have been published on vimeo.
Ibero-American Wikimedia Summit 2012: Representatives of Iberocoop entities and the WMF met in Santiago, Chile June 1–3 to discuss issues such as indigenous languages projects and educational outreach to Latin American universities.