GLEP 7: New ombudsman position
|Grant Goodyear <email@example.com>
Obsolete, this function is now handled by comrel. Marked as Moribund by decision of the Gentoo Council on 2017-11-12.
This GLEP proposes that we extend the current proposed management structure by adding a position of Ombudsman that would fall under devrel, qa, and pr. An ombudsman is one who has been assigned to impartially investigate complaints and settle disputes.
Given the impressive numbers of both Gentoo developers and users, it is inevitable that there will be occasional clashes between developers and managers, developers and developers, and developers and users. Right now there is no mechanism to prevent such disputes from escalating out of control.
One developer (and one backup) will be appointed as ombudsmen. This positions should be far from a full-time job. It would appear as part of the devrel, qa, and pr projects (inasmuch as qa and pr both involve developer-user relations). Infrastructure requirements are an ombudsman.gentoo.org web page and a firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail alias.
One traditional method (circa early 1800s in Sweden, apparently ) for managing disputes is to have an impartial individual whose job it is to investigate complaints and mediate settlements. A quick search on Google  reveals numerous government agencies, universities, and industries that employ official ombudsmen. The key requirement for an ombudsman to be effective is support from management and trust from users and developers -- the ombudsmen must be considered by all to be reasonably impartial.