Notice on the status of Wikimedia Armenia

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Notice on the status of Wikimedia Armenia

On May 10, 2022 Wikimedia Foundation notified Wikimedia Armenia on official suspension of Wikimedia Armenia’s benefits due to Wikimedia Armenia’s continued non-compliance with the terms of the Chapter Agreement dated February 14, 2014 and continued failure to fully remediate issues despite multiple prior notices.

Affcom presented requirements which include a number of measures to address the organization's problems based on which Wikimedia Armenia has developed an Action Plan which you can see below.

While Wikimedia Armenia is suspended, it

  • will not be eligible for new funding except to discontinue the chapter,
  • will not be eligible to participate in International Wikimedia Affiliates conferences, and
  • will not be eligible as fiscal sponsor for community member scholarships.

Wikimedia Armenia will become eligible to formally apply for funding when it has both

  • met the mid-term goals based on AffCom’s assessment described later in this communication, and
    • Action Plan
    • Community Notification
    • A plan for active contributor involvement and improved chapter capacity
    • Financial reporting if the affiliate intends to apply for grants
    • A report on above listed actions submitted to Affcom & Community Resources by August 10, 2022.
  • submitted the requested expense reporting

If Wikimedia Armenia fails to address these issues and take specific actions by the dates described above, in accordance with terms of the Chapter Agreement, Wikimedia Foundation will send a notice of revocation on November 10, 2022 for the Chapter Agreement and Wikimedia Armenia will cease to be a recognized Wikimedia chapter after termination of the Chapter Agreement on November 10, 2022.

If Wikimedia Armenia does not believe that it is able, or willing, to meet these commitments, Wikimedia Foundation suggests considering the alternative option to reorganize our group as a less formal Wikimedia User Group instead.

The following are the current non-compliant issues of Wikimedia Armenia:

  • Bylaws updation and implementation without AffCom approval
  • Governance challenges- Removing members & closing Hubs without having substantial grounds, requests for action from members or processes.
  • Nature of activities- The issues of organizing objectionable activities like military-connected events in sensitive times.
  • Ineffective COVID-19 safety protocols
  • Reporting discrepancies- Lack of transparency in reporting activities and also similar lack of transparency in sharing information with the Armenian language community.
  • Negligence in publishing identity information of participants (minors) on social media.
  • Failure to follow the approved election process and system of voting.

Six months action plan for stabilizing “Wikimedia Armenia”

(May-October, 2022)

Key measures Dates Notes Status
1 Sending membership invitations to those whose membership has been terminated due to different reasons.

Keep AffCom updated about the process.

Sending invitations: Until April 17

Affcom update: end of May.

Done
2 Submit an Action Plan May 31 Done
3 Community Notification May 31 Done
4 Resolve outstanding grant issues/financial reporting May 30 Done
5 Departure of the staff June 1 Done
6 Hold an Extraordinary General Assembly aimed at electing a President of the organization and members of the Supervisory Committee. June 1: Announcement about the General Assembly, open call for candidates

June 15: General Assembly

AGENDA:
  1. Opening of General Assembly.
  2. Nomination and election of the Chair and Secretary of the General Assembly
  3. Introducing election observers
  4. Adoption of agenda
  5. Deciding the voting format (open/closed)
  6. Nomination and election of the Counting Committee of the General Assembly
  7. Introduction of presidential candidates, Q&A
  8. WM AM President’s elections
  9. Nomination and introduction of Supervisory Committee members, Q&A
  10. WM AM Supervisory Committee members' election[1]
  11. Other issues
  12. Closure

* A representative from AffCom should participate in the whole process as an observer.

Done
7 Receive comments from AffCom on the revised version of the Charter. Until May 15 Done
8 Submit a plan for active contributor involvement and improved chapter capacity By June 30 at least 20 active Wikimedia contributors (individuals with at least 300 contributions to a Wikimedia project under a registered account that has existed for at least 6 months and is in good community standing) Ongoing
9 Work on the revised version of the Charter confirmed by the AffCom.

Constantly and closely work with AffCom.

May-June See the "Updates" section Ongoing
10 Discussions on the revised version of the Charter with chapter members. June
11 Hold an Extraordinary General Assembly on the approval of the Charter. By July 15
12 Approval of the final version of the Charter by the Agency for State Register of Legal Entities of the Republic of Armenia. July-August
13 Prepare the official translation of the Charter and send it to AffCom. August
14 Prepare working guidelines for the decisions regarding membership and starting or closing the WikiClubs August
15 A report on what has been done about actions listed by Affcom & Community Resources By August 10
16 a) Discussions with AffCom whether there is a need to organize elections of a new Board (current Board is in service from December 2021).

b) In case of a positive answer, an Extraordinary General Assembly for the Board elections must be held in September.

July-August

September

1 Supervisory Committee members' term is coming to the end in June, 2022. Because of that new elections are scheduled.

Updates

  1. Some changes were made to the Action Plan. Dates and agenda of the General Assembly were finalized.
  2. The Board has discussed the changes proposed by Affcom, made appropriate changes accordingly and sent the reviewed version to Affcom. If we receive positive response from Affcom after the review, we will move forward to the next step of the Action Plan.
  3. The General Assembly that took place on June 15, did not elect neither a President nor a Supervisory Committee. The voting format of the General Assembly was closed. Two of the candidates had equal votes, however before the General Assembly AffCom informed the Chair of the Board that Vahagn Piliposyan could not run for this term of elections according to AffCom recommendations. There were observers from AffCom who joined the General Assembly.
  4. On June 21, the second extraordinary stage of the General Assembly was held. According to General Assembly's decision, the voting format was defined as open. Out of two candidates - Aram Soghomonyan and Arshak Shahinyan - the latter was elected as the President of the organization. The term of one of the members of the Supervisory Committee ended, and one of the other members Norayr Baghdasaryan resigned. As a result, the General Assembly decided to dissolve the Supervisory Committee. Three out of four candidates were elected - Karen Terteryan, Aram Soghomonyan and Sevak Ayvazyan. There was an observer from AffCom for the second extraordinary stage of the General Assembly.