OSI Election Update: Investigative Reports and the Next Election

Effective self-governance is the bedrock of a healthy open source community. That includes an unwavering commitment to transparency, even when it’s difficult.

 

Today, OSI released two reports about what went wrong with our initial 2021 Board of Directors election. These reports were first released to the Board, then to the candidates, and now to the general public. Commensurate with the sensitive nature of elections, these reports are both authored by independent bodies: a specialist who conducted a forensic investigation, and an Oversight Committee which reviewed the forensic results and conducted additional interviews.

 

The results of this work paint a picture not uncommon among small nonprofits: technical and process debt accrued over time, and eventually creating an opening for things to go wrong. 

 

Ultimately, some people who should have received ballots didn’t, some people who shouldn’t have received ballots did, and one erroneously issued ballot was cast in the Individual Member election, which was the initial discovery that triggered the investigation.

 

Knowing precisely what went wrong, we are able to produce voter rolls that we can be confident in, in order to run a free and fair 2021 Board of Directors election. Better yet, we can implement technical and administrative changes that will give us greater confidence in all future elections.

 

We are grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding as we took the time to navigate a challenging situation diligently.

 

A special thank you to the volunteers of the Oversight Committee, who were generous with their time and extremely thoughtful in their work. Committee members who accepted the invitation to volunteer included several Board members (who were not standing for office in the election) as well as members of the broader open source community known to our membership to be neutral and trustworthy. The Oversight Committee Members were: Deb Bryant (board member); Chris Lamb (board member); James Vasile (OSI member); Liz Fong-Jones (OSI member); and Stefano Zacchiroli (OSI member).

 

Our new elections will begin on July 26, after we finish implementing our work plan and coordinate with all the candidates who have been waiting patiently since March.

 

Please find the reports enclosed here:

You may also find our public elections documentation to be valuable.

 

OSI Board & Staff

To promote and protect open source software and communities...

For over 20 years the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, and build bridges between open source communities of practice. As a global non-profit, the OSI champions software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition (OSD), and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

Open source software is made by many people and distributed under an OSD-compliant license which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software in modified and unmodified form. Software freedom is essential to enabling community development of open source software.