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FSF Adopts New Governance Framework for Board Members

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The board of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has approved and implemented two new measures designed to help make FSF governance more transparent, accountable, ethical, and responsible. They are a Board Member Agreement that enumerates the responsibilities of board members, and a Code of Ethics that lays out principles to guide their decision-making and activities.

"The FSF has always been a steady beacon for freedom and against the widespread mistreatment of computer users," said FSF president Geoffrey Knauth. "In the last year, the board realized that we faced a challenge and opportunity to improve our governance practices and recruit new leaders to the FSF board. I'm proud of this important step in that ongoing work."

The new measures are the first products of a six-month, consultant-led review. They formalize crucial aspects of the FSF's governance, and will guide board members to understand and embrace their responsibilities to the nonprofit's worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom.

The new Board Member Agreement spells out nineteen duties and responsibilities, including minimum expectations for organizational and financial oversight, participation in board activities, the recruitment of associate members, and annual performance reviews.

The Code of Ethics details thirteen specific provisions establishing how the board of directors will conduct the business affairs of the organization in good faith and with honesty, integrity, due diligence, and competence.

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And now by Michael Larabel

  • FSF Adopts A Board Member Agreement, Code of Ethics For Board Members

    Following the Richard Stallman situation, board members leaving, projects seeking greater transparency from the FSF, and other issues within the Free Software Foundation the past two years, the FSF has finally adopted a new governance framework for board members.

    Free Software Foundation Board Members will now need to commit to the Board Member Agreement and a Code of Ethics in order to provide for greater transparency, accountability, ethics, and responsibility.

Free Software Foundation Adds a Code of Ethics for Board Members

  • Free Software Foundation Adds a Code of Ethics for Board Members

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced it is implementing a new Board Member Agreement and Code of Ethics that is meant to guide members in their responsibilities, decision-making, and activities. The documents, which FSF says were “designed to help make FSF governance more transparent, accountable, ethical, and responsible,” were created as part of a six-month long consultant-led review.

    In March, FSF founder and GPL author, Richard Stallman, announced that he was returning to the board, after resigning as director of the board and president of the FSF in 2019. His resignation followed a series of controversial remarks on rape, assault, and child sex trafficking, along with two decades of behaviors and statements that many have found to be disturbing and offensive. He was subsequently ousted by GNU project maintainers from his position as head of the project.

    Stallman’s controversial return was supported by the majority of FSF’s board, with the exception of board member Kat Walsh who resigned after voting against his reinstatement. The organization’s executive director, deputy director, and chief technology officer also resigned in protest.

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