Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Halting OWASP Board Election

Dear OWASP Community,

The OWASP Global Board has become aware of an issue that affects the integrity of our ongoing Board of Directors election.  

It is with respect for the integrity of our election process, due sensitivity to the impact it will cause and fairness to all our candidates and voting members, that we have decided to halt the current election and restart it with a clean slate once the issue has been corrected.  We do not take this action lightly, but as a unified Board feel we have a duty to do so. We are committed to free, fair, transparent and open elections.

There are two irregularities that need to be addressed to ensure that we have fair results:

  1. A candidate was left off of the ballot.  
  2. Some community members whose membership expired between June - October had one of two issues:
    1. Their memberships did not auto-renew
    2. They did not receive proper reminders that their membership was expiring and that they need to renew.

For #1:  As far as we can tell this was a clerical oversight on the part of an internal staff member - and nothing more suspicious.  We are walking through the process to ensure there are appropriate checks and balances to ensure this doesn’t happen again when we restart the election or in future elections.

For #2:  We recently moved to a new AMS (Association Management System) and there were cases that were not tested well enough.  We believe the glitch we encountered has been fixed but we need time to bring those members that were impacted back into the system so that we can restart the election with the proper voting membership.  Once we have a timeline for the updated election process, we will communicate that.

The Board generally keeps an arms length from the election process to ensure that we do not influence it.  In this case, I wanted to take responsibility, communicate clearly about what had happened and how it is going to be addressed.  I apologize on behalf of the Board and staff for the mistakes that caused this.

I hope that you will participate to make the election a success as soon as we can restart it.  The process to restart it will be as follows:
  1. Ensure that all candidates are properly listed.
  2. Re-open the election with a clean slate and reasonable time window to allow voting.
  3. Cross check the voter registration lists with the member lists and identify gaps.
    1. Address the gaps to ensure members can vote.
  4. Determine appropriate communication to folks that have already voted - then send that.

Our primary goals are to make sure that the election is fair, that candidates are represented properly and that members get to vote. Please feel free to reach out to any board members, compliance committee members, staff or other leaders if you have concerns.

Again, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, mistakes and confusion around this.

We will continue to update this page as the timeline and other details become clear.

Thank you for your support.
Matt Konda

Chair - OWASP Board of Directors


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