The publishing platform created by councils, for councils.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Purpose

The purpose of this 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.

 

Values

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.

Code licences

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).

Documentation licences

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).

Liability

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.

 

Governance

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

Product 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

Technical Group

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
  • Testing

 

Finance

There is no plan to accept financial donations or hold money at this stage. At this time we do not envisage any money changing hands between councils.

 

Compliance

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.

 

Communication

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.

 

Future direction

We hope and expect to move to a more formal foundation model when it’s decided appropriate, provided the principles are consistent with this agreement.

We will keep open the possibility of making the code available through a commercialisation partner who can provide development and support for a fee. At this stage, no commercial partner is eligible for membership of the project.

 

If you would like to find out more or have any questions just drop us a line at hello@localgovdrupal.org. We are always happy to chat about LocalGov Drupal, provide a demo of the platform, or show how councils are using it.