Until January 2023 we request that councils sign a Memorandum of Understanding - see below on this page.
From 2023 the MoU will be replaced with a Council Membership Agreement. This is driven by changes in our funding and governance models as we transition from a publicly funded project to a self-funding company.
LocalGov Drupal will always remain open source and free for anyone to download and use, but to ensure our financial sustainability we'll be asking councils to pay a voluntary membership fee.
Why we need to charge and what the fees will cover
We encourage councils to work with each other, but they don’t tend to do so without help.
Over the last few years the core LGD team has actively encouraged collaboration, onboarded new councils, run show-and-tell sessions, blogged about progress, facilitated working groups to build new features, and more.
The membership fees will cover both these core costs and product development, which up until now have been funded by the Local Digital Fund.
How fees will be calculated
Our membership fees are based on the successful scheme run by the Co-operative Council Innovation Network, and are designed to be as equitable as possible.
Membership fees will be calculated on a sliding scale based on turnover and population, varying from £1000 to £9750 per year.
This means that councils serving smaller populations with smaller budgets don’t pay as much as those with larger budgets. A cap on the overall fee will ensure that larger councils are not unduly burdened.
Benefits of membership
Memberships funding will bring significant benefits to the members involved.
Primarily we hope that councils will see the value in supporting a core team to facilitate the collaboration and produce a collective roadmap for feature development based on clear user needs.
We also plan to give members some clear and tangible benefits to encourage ongoing revenue through an annual subscription. You can find out more here in the Business Plan (opens as a Google doc).
If you have any questions on our new membership model or the MoU please contact us at email@example.com or via Slack.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
The purpose of the MoU is to establish and grow an active group of councils to co-develop, share and maintain open-source Drupal code for our citizen-facing websites.
Wherever possible we will re-use existing knowledge and solutions to avoid duplication of effort.
Through this, we aim to:
- Make it as easy as possible for all citizens, regardless of their community, to access council services, and for councils to provide information to those accessing and with need for their services.
- Share information between councils about the usability and user-response to Components.
- Show how collaboration between councils can work.
This agreement is non binding; all parties agree to follow this agreement in good faith.
We believe in and are committed to the principles of the Local Digital Declaration.
Specifically, we are committed to:
- an open culture that values, incentivises and expects digital ways of working from every member of the project team;
- working in the open;
- sharing our plans and experience;
- working collaboratively with other organisations;
- developing and reusing good practice;
- publishing our work under open source licences.
We agree to maintain a common codebase for the agreed projects and not to keep any improvements to the common codebase private.
We promote diversity in our community and value the input of a plurality of voices.
We want as many people as possible to benefit from this project. We welcome contributions in a variety of forms from inside and outside local government, building on the strength of open source communities both in the UK and beyond.
We take our inspiration from other code sharing organisations and initiatives and recognise we are part of a wider international movement and community.
Intellectual property and licensing
Code and other materials committed to the project will be automatically licensed to the other participants on an agreed open source licence (see “Code Licences” below), but, subject to that licence, each contributor will retain ownership of their copyright and other intellectual property.
As an example: A developer in a council develops some code. That council retains the intellectual property of the code. At the point of publishing the code, it is licenced under the appropriate licence for others to use.
Drupal is released under the GPLv2 (or later version), therefore by default, all Drupal code will be published under GPLv2 (or later version).
Where it is permissible to release under a licence other than GPLv2 or a later version, the product group will agree exceptions to this on a case by case basis.
All hosting of code repositories and testing infrastructure will be on platforms that support open source projects for free (such as Gitlab and Github).
All documentation and other materials will be shared publicly and published under creative commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY) or GPLv2 (or later version).
All code and other materials are provided to the project “as is”. No party bears liability for any contribution. Code and other materials are provided without any warranty or support or other liabilities.
All known bugs and security issues must be disclosed to the other parties in a private and secure manner and in accordance with good practice.
The structure will evolve as the project grows and will always aim to be “good enough for now” to enable it to be fit for purpose.
For now, there are two main groups that form the administrative body:
1. Product Group
2. Technical Group
The Product Group is a group of representatives from all organisations involved, expected to include product managers and technical developers from the Technical Group, representing the collective stakeholders to guide the direction of the product.
The Product Group is responsible for:
- Product governance and process (including this Memorandum of Understanding)
- Setting product roadmap and release dates based on user research
- Release quality standards
- Technical direction and architecture
The Technical Group is a sub-group of committers representing the required technical expertise to resolve rare disputes.
The Technical Group is responsible for:
- Development processes and coding standards
- Git repository hosting
- Security review and maintenance
- Conduct guidelines for committers
- Maintaining the list of collaborators / committers
- Resolving any disputes or issues related to the code
Joining and leaving
New participants may be admitted who are other Public Sector Councils, by agreement from the existing members.
Dispute resolution will be informal at this stage.
Any party may quit at any time without notice, but all parties may retain access to the common codebase in the repository on the basis of the open source licence.
Commitment from Councils
Councils who join the Product Group agree to commit some time to further the aims as outlined in the MoU. The Product Group welcomes commitment from a range of skills, including:
- Dedicated developer time
- Management / admin time
- User research
- Product management
LocalGov Drupal is transitioning from a publicly funded project to a self funded limited company by April 2023.
As part of this, we're asking councils and Drupal suppliers to consider paying membership fees, with amounts based on their ability to pay.
Our code will always remain open source, and free for anyone to download and use. Membership fees will bring additional benefits as outlined in the Business Plan which you can view here.
All public facing functionality should adhere to WCAG 2.1 AA at minimum.
The parties acknowledge that administering, contributing and otherwise becoming involved in the project will involve the processing of personal data about the participants, and therefore agree to comply with all relevant legislation and to establish appropriate practices and procedures.
No personal or transactional data is being stored as part of this project.
Any code that is developed as part of this project will follow the principles of data protection by design and default.
By default, we work in the open:
- Pull requests, product roadmap are all publically accessible.
- Minutes of meetings will be made public.
We aim to blog and tweet regularly about the project to promote it and gain wider recognition amongst councils and the wider public.
We would like to encourage informal gatherings every couple of months.
There is no expectation to provide reports to any participating council, any responsibility to report back will fall to the individual participant on the Product Group.
If you would like to find out more or have any questions just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to chat about LocalGov Drupal, provide a demo of the platform, or show how councils are using it.