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Thread: Conflicts of Interest

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  1. #1

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    Chris and Maria's nominations raise an interesting point, which I know the founder members discussed after the problems when we were initially forming GAGB. The discussions resulted in us and Tim and June resigning as UK Admins on GC.com, and Moss T taking a step back from work with GAGB to remain a UK admin partly to avoid accusations of a conflict of interest.

    We perhaps should consider whether it should continue to be applied with nominations for the chairman and for any committee members. Should they be independant of other geocaching sites and/or organisations?

    Looking at the list, Moss T and DodgyDaveD are GC.com admins, so a conflict of interest could be argued there. Same is true of the nominations of TheCat and Teasel with regards to GC:UK.

    Richard

  2. #2
    The Hornet Guest

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    I think the only problem arises when we are dealing with cache APPROVERS rather than any other function. The forums here on GAGB are being run perfectly well by members of the self appoinetd ad-hoc committee.

    Likewise, Mark & Ian (Cat & Teasel) are one step removed from the approval process as G:UK is only providing a "support" service to UK caching.

    Moss T & DaveD (has he been "outed" now ) are continuing to do an excellent approval job and although I was one of those concerned about approvers setting THEMSELVES up as committee members, I have absolutely no problem with them being ELECTED.

    So as far as I'm concerned, let anybody be nominated and if the membership want them, let them be elected.

    Just my two penn'orth.

  3. #3
    Chris n Maria Guest

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    Yeah what Hornet said

    As long as we know who people are where is the conflict of interest? If people vote for moderators to be on't comittee that's OK if that is what they want.

    If both mods are voted on then there may be some conflict, with getting approval, If the cache doesn't meet GAGB guidelines but is OK as far as GC.com then perhaps another non GAGB mod might be needed. But this presupposes the GAGB guidelines are vastly different from GC.COM as that is not the case at the moment lets not worry about it till it becomes an issue. The issue could easily be resolved by asking a non UK moderator to look at any caches that may fall in to this problem.

    I can't see any senario at the moment where a conflict of interest could happen by being involved with GC:UK. Can anyone enlighten me? :unsure:

    If we carry on along this route the only people we will be able to elect are people who have never ever done anything for the caching community

    Chris

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by Chris n Maria@Jul 23 2003, 05:16 PM
    I can't see any senario at the moment where a conflict of interest could happen by being involved with GC:UK. Can anyone enlighten me? :unsure:


    The main issues I would see that could be a problem for some people is the same as if all the UK admins are on the committee. GC:UK has a relationship with Groundspeak by virtue of being a UK reseller of Geocaching merchandise, and also by making use of Groundspeak data to provide their files. Whilst this may be seen as an advantage, at the same time an accusation that was levelled at the founders of GAGB when we said we wanted it to be for all UK geocachers, was that because we were closely associated with GC.com we couldn't be fair. Having said that, the self same relationship will be seen as an advantage when looking at it from a different angle.

    If we carry on along this route the only people we will be able to elect are people who have never ever done anything for the caching community
    Indeed, there are only a limited number of people who would be willing to put themselves forward, and they are more than likely to be people who have volunteered or done things for geocaching in the past.

    I just felt that since the conflicts of interest were highlighted so vociferously in the past, that we should explore them again before we get to the point of electing a committee. I would hate for the new committee to come into existence, and then have to deal with a flame war being accused of conflicts of interest as we did before.

    Regards,

    Richard

  5. #5
    TheCat Guest

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    Just one point about conflict of intrest. In the running of GC:UK I have no way of deciding what caches are or are not aproved in the UK. I feel that this might of been the reason for some of the unplesentness in the past. I have no problem with anyone standing for election. We should just leave it to the members to decide. Just my opinion.

  6. #6

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    If there are any GAGB members who consider (rightly or wrongly) that there is a conflict of interest with an individual person getting elected then we have a problem - bad feelings set in and we won't all be pulling in the same direction with this association. It is already plainly clear that members feel quite strongly about this.

    The moderators/cache approvers of GC.COM and those directly involved with the development of G:UK should consider carefully whether getting themselves elected onto the GAGB comittee is a good thing for the association as a whole before agreeing to stand. I can see GAGB members leaving in both instances, and we need a solid membership to take things forward.

    Besides which, I would question whether either the GC approvers or the G:UK developers have the necessary time to make a good job of steering the association in its infancy days. I'm sure something would end up not getting the attention it requires.
    Rich

  7. #7

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    Just to put my point over.. and those that know me will know I do not say much in public.

    I Am a founder member of GAGB.. It, no matter what anyone says or does.. will be a necessesity to caching in the future.. If you don't belive me.. look at the situation in US, Cache licences!!! .. or the do as we say or don't do in NZ, just two examples.

    To try and preempt this situation GAGB was formed.. and for those who thought it was months in the machinery.. wrong.

    I and the other founder members took a slating .. for what.. trying to make the hobby more accesible and easier to the masses.

    I came back as admin for one reason and one only.. to maintain the inroads made in the approving of caches perculiar to UK.

    I have been nominated for committee, I will not accept.. I do not actually approve caches on a great scale.. DD does that.. I do moderate the GC.com forum though.

    Just take it from me.. GAGB is needed.. it has a totally different area of concern than GC:UK.

    And I would hope that those who have signed up are here to promote cacheing in the uk as a sport/hobby and not to earn browny point for one side or another..

    Nuff said.
    Moss The Boss... Sorta

  8. #8
    Paul G0TLG Guest

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    As I've said before, I have quite a bit of experience of being on committees of various orgs (this is not a hint...I don't wish to be nominated )...

    My experience leads me to believe that the fewer rules we have about who can be on committee, the better.

    In one club I belong to, one of the hardest working club members cannot be on committee, because of a rule stopping husbands and wives from serving together. Meanwhile, another member who does little for the organisation gets elected year after year, because no-one stands against him.

    Let 'em all stand...come one, come all. If we don't want 'em, we won't elect 'em.
    If we elect 'em, we deserve 'em!

    Paul

  9. #9
    TheCat Guest

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    I can not agree more with you Paul. Moss Troopper re consider and stand for election.

  10. #10
    Teasel Guest

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    Besides which, I would question whether either the GC approvers or the G:UK developers have the necessary time to make a good job of steering the association in its infancy days.
    Everyone must juggle their available time between different persuits, be they running a Scout troop, helping in the parish church, looking after a child, running a website or a million other possibilities. Indeed, personally I'd be reluctant to give my vote to someone who's not active in something else!

    It's up to everyone standing for any post on any committee to decide for themselves whether they can commit sufficient time to that post to do the best job they can. It's also up to them to convince the electorate that they have their priorities straight and can fulfil the requirements of that post. To single out four people (*) with visible roles in geocaching and suggest they have less time available to commit than anyone else... well, I can't see the basis of your assumptions.



    (*) there's a rule against being pedantic, so no complaints about the logical impossibility of singling out four people! :P

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Jul 24 2003, 01:50 PM
    To single out four people (*) with visible roles in geocaching and suggest they have less time available to commit than anyone else... well, I can't see the basis of your assumptions.
    I didn't suggest they had less time available. I actually said I would question whether they had the time available. Having the neccessary time is something anyone standing for election would have to convince me of before I voted for them.

    I certainly couldn't fit the work into my schedule regardless of how much I want to be involved, which is why I'm not standing.

    In essence, I think I am agreeing with you. Sorry if my initial post expressed it wrongly.
    Rich

  12. #12

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    So after a couple of months of relative calm, up pops Moss Trooper to throw his cap back in the ring for committee membership. We are again in the position of having both the G:Com UK cache approvers standing for places on the committee of GAGB.

    This was one of the main things that caused disquiet and acrimony at the outset of GBGB. If we finish up with a situation where GAGB is chaired by Tim & June (no doubt in anyone's mind that they are right for the job and will be elected unopposed) and both UK cache approvers on the five person committee then we have a position where decisions made by the GAGB committee will pretty much automatically become policy for what can and can't be done by geocachers who wish to have their caches posted on the G.Com website.

    We already have a unilateral ban on glass containers OF ANY KIND, despite an overwhelming vote against such a blanket ban in the G.Com forum.

    After conciliatory moves in the right direction, GAGB seems now to be teetering towards what many had feared.

    Being on the committee of GAGB and being a UK G.Com cache approver is clearly a huge conflict of interest and should not be allowed under any future constitution to be agreed.

    I would like to nominate Icenians for committee. Only by having them on the committee can we be sure that the interests of those ordinary geocachers who just want to be left alone to find and hide caches are looked after.
    Muggle - One Voice - One Vote

  13. #13
    Omally Guest

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    Muggle, I think you should stand for election yourself. You clearly are able to "talk the talk" of what one would expect from a committee type person. You also seem to know an awful lot about the ins and out of Geocaching.

    We do need diversity on this committee, but I'm not 100% sure about your suggestion of a conflict of interest statement re: GC.com approvers being on the committee. Both nominees seem to have a good handle on the needs of cachers and also (and this is the really important bit) seem, to myself at least, to be willing to take the "sport" forwards.

    I may have a unique voice on that one, I'm not always right!

    So anyway, Muggle, are you game? Of course, I would like to know more about you before I cast a vote in your direction, but I'm open to discussion.

  14. #14

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    Now how do I answer the charges???

    Firstly.. I have been a cacher since march 2001 and UK admin of and on for 2 years. As one of the two who instigated GAGB I don't think I would be doing anything to harm it. I do not see any conflict of interests, on the contrary, if a decision is made by the committee with reference to GC.com.. would it not be better that a member of the GC.com UK Admin put forward the points raised to GC.com.

    Case in point the HCC guidelines. These are now the guiedlines that I and the other UK approver use to approve caches. I have informed all other approvers via the approvers forum that this is the case and if they get involved in approving UK caches to apply these guide lines.

    Now to the point of popping up.. I t seems that you are the one who has popped up! You joined on 20th June, you have made one post.. that above.

    Omally said "You also seem to know an awful lot about the ins and out of Geocaching" which is fasinating as you don't even have a profile on GC.com or Navicache. Well a one under that name .. So can I please ask as I have explained my position you explain yours?

    I'm sure the rest of the members would love to hear it?
    Moss The Boss... Sorta

  15. #15
    Icenians Guest

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    Originally posted by Moss Trooper@Jul 30 2003, 08:30 PM
    Firstly.. I have been a cacher since march 2001 and UK admin of and on for 2 years. As one of the two who instigated GAGB I don't think I would be doing anything to harm it. I do not see any conflict of interests, on the contrary, if a decision is made by the committee with reference to GC.com.. would it not be better that a member of the GC.com UK Admin put forward the points raised to GC.com.

    Case in point the HCC guidelines. These are now the guiedlines that I and the other UK approver use to approve caches. I have informed all other approvers via the approvers forum that this is the case and if they get involved in approving UK caches to apply these guide lines.

    I see that a new members opion is worth less than a old hand.

    The guidelines of the HCC are guidelines for the HCC. Why should this now override the guidelines of GC.com just because you say so. I think that is exactly the point Muggle was making.

    As to you not harming the GAGB, I think Muggle was more concerned at you harming the game for GC.Com players that don't want to be organised by the GAGB.

    Caches on the GC.com site should be approved by the guidelines for GC.com NOT HCC. :angry:

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