[foundation-board] Engaging a PA/Admin Assistant: Nearing a Decision

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Jul 12 10:20:28 UTC 2010

On 12 July 2010 10:32, Ian Brown <ian.brown at oii.ox.ac.uk> wrote:
> On 12 Jul 2010, at 10:21, Rufus Pollock wrote:
>> und HEFCE institutions though non-HEFCE institutions can partner. In
>> this case OKF is partnering but my role was as a subcontractor to the
>> principal insitution (university of cambridge, cheminformatics). The
>> reason this did not go through the OKF was a) I am still a JRF at Emma
>> until October b) they needed a named person for project manager -- it
>> could not be an org.
> In this case, we should make it entirely clear that this is a Rufus personal project, not an OKF project, and funds (and their consequent obligations) should not come near OKF.

Why? OKF is a partner on the project, my involvement and position at
the OKF was stated in the submission. What is it you are concerned
about here?

>>> Sorry I missed the discussion about a PA (which sounds entirely sensible), but why would s/he be engaged by you rather than OKFN?
>> a) it was about credit checks (it was easier to arrange credit checks
>> for me as an individual) b) the OKF not needing to engage them as an
>> employee (as they would be engaged personally)
> Again, we need to be crystal clear whether this is a Rufus or OKF matter. If the latter, there MUST be a clear separation. I am *extremely* uncomfortable if courts or journalists could in any way interpret a "Rufus" hire as an OKF hire.

Right, and I agree. However they are going to be a admin assistant/PA
assisting me in the first instance.

However, if and when we appoint a formal exec director (or at least
create title and have a process around this) I would imagine this
person might transfer to them.

>> I am completely open to the Board's opinions here and am happy to do
>> this either way.
>>>> * Is late-middle-aged with 2 grown up children (youngest of which is
>>>> at university)
>>> Age and family status are of course entirely irrelevant to a hiring decision - and it would be illegal discrimination for either to play any part in the decision.
>> Indeed and I am aware of that -- perhaps I should have simply left it
>> out of the summary. However, I think that it was useful to give some
>> background context to e.g. why they wished to work part-time as
>> opposed to full-time etc -- age/family status is in no way relevant to
>> a decision but it does give context as to why they were seeking this
>> kind position and those motivations may be relevant in a decision.
> You should not have asked the question in the first place - you have already potentially opened up OKF to legal action from the unsuccessful applicant.

I didn't ask the question: I did not ask anyone about their marital
status or their age! The lady about whom I made this comment brought
her children up in a conversation about why the had left her current
job and in discussing her use of skype. I apologize for making any
mention of age and had only included it to give some impression of
where they were in their careers and the skills and interests they
might therefore have.

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