A while ago, I wrote on the FSFE's web mailing list a review I'm currently making of our web pages, and in particular our section which explain the organisation (About). One of the documents in this hierarchy, which I believe is critical to update, is our "Self Conception".
In principle, the document is good, but in several parts, the document hasn't been updated with the work distribution and authority of the various organs and thus is not consistent with neither current practice or authority. Most importantly, it pre-dates the Fellowship, and the position of Executive Director. While the document has seen some smaller updates over the years to at least mention Fellows, it's largely been unchanged since the 2004 version.
When I read through the document, I identified two two critical bugs:
- it said employees are not part of the decision-making process,
- it defined employment as a decision of the members.
Neither of this is true: decision making involve anyone who care to participate within one of our teams, regardless of if they're employees, volunteers, Fellows or part of our members. And as for employment, the only employment decided on by the General Assembly is that of the Executive Director.
I've now committed a new revision of the self conception with some limited updates, that bring the self conception closer in line with the actual structure (it's not perfectly aligned, nor will it be for some time). When discussing this in the core team (which include our members), comments I received were largely in favor of the changes with just some proposal of removing the document completely, which seems like it would've been a drastic measure to take.
There's a lot of work that's still needed to be done in cleaning up information about the organisation, as well as many formal documents which we'll eventually need to update (our constitution is not exempt from this; it still contains clauses that define national associations, which we don't have any in practice, as just one example).
Watch this space for more to come! :-)