January 14, 2021

Joomla Board to Vote on "Massive" Overhaul of Ombuds Program

Open Source Matters, Inc., has called a special members meeting to amend its bylaws, primarily to bring its Ombuds program in line with IOA standards. Open Source Matters is a not-for-profit that administers Joomla, one of the leading open-source content management system for the internet. For the past two years, Joomla has had a poorly defined, Executive Ombuds program. It appears that this is likely to change soon.

Here is the summary of the relevant bylaw changes to be considered on January 21, 2021::
Article IX
Massive changes to section IX.09 on the Ombuds role. The current bylaws do not define the Ombuds role well. The proposed changes:
  • Specify Organisational Ombuds (as opposed to Classical Ombuds or any other type of Ombuds).
  • Ombuds adherence to the International Ombudsman Association’s (IOA) Ethical Principles and Standards of Practice.
  • Ombuds is not a part of any Member Class or contributor of the Corporation.
  • Gives Ombuds the right to add items to the agenda of any Special Full Board Meeting and the right to request Special Full Board Meetings for urgent matters and how to do so.
  • Gives the Ombuds the right to form an Ombuds Office that may/could include members of the community (not Members of the Corporation). There are no voting rights for the Ombuds or anyone in the Ombuds Office.
  • Ombuds reporting, advice, suggestions, and/or resources to be posted on the Volunteers Portal.
  • Ombuds to produce a Semi-Annual report with a summary about general systemic issues and/or complaints to Officers of the Corporation (but still following the IOA Ethical Principles and Standards of Practice).
  • Ombuds Office to have a dedicated line in the budget with the Ombuds as the owner.
Jennifer Gress, a website developer and long-time Joomla volunteer, was appointed to the Ombuds position in February 2020. (OSM Invitation.)

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