How does the Fedora budget work?

Fedora operates on fiscal year from March 1 to February 28.

Every year the Fedora Council allocates the budget to various groups inside of Fedora. Mechanically, these groups are expected to:

  • Maintain accurate transaction reporting in this repository.

  • Ensure that overspends and underspends are accounted for on a quarterly basis to the council by way of the FCAIC.

What is a fiscal year?

A calendar year is the conventional year that begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. A fiscal year is used for accounting purposes and preparing financial statements. It can start on any arbitrary date and ends 1 year later. For Fedora, it begins on March 1 and ends on February 28.

Fiscal years are numbered by the year in which they end. For example, the fiscal year from March 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017 is FY17.

The fiscal year is divided into four quarters:

  • Q1: March - May

  • Q2: June - August

  • Q3: September - November

  • Q4: December - February

It is spelled fiscal not physical. The abbreviation is typically, FY.

How do I get permission to spend money?

Go to the appropriate group for what you want to do. For example, approach the Council about a FAD or an Ambassador Region about an event.

How do I complain? I don’t like how the money is being spent!

Start a discussion with the appropriate group to discuss it.

How do I get more details on a transaction?

Start a discussion with the appropriate group to discuss it.

Who decided we would spend the money this way?

Budgets are allocated by the Fedora Council. There is an approval process for expenses after that, but typically the decisions are made at a "local" level in a working group, such as in an Ambassador Region.

How is the data stored?

The Fedora Project has adopted ledger, a plain text accounting tool. The tool was selected after consulting with all of the transaction creating stakeholders. The benefits cited are:

  • Plain text - the data is future proof and human readable.

  • Easily maintained in a shared location - because the data is in plain text management is easy.

  • Reporting - ledger supports register, balance, budget, and csv reporting.

  • FOSS - ledger is open source, free software.

  • Packaged - ledger was packaged in Fedora long before it was adopted for this purpose.

  • Community - ledger has an active upstream community. There are serveral cooperating forks and related projects that keep the tool current.

Where is the data stored?

This repository has directories name FYxy where xy are the last two digits of the Fiscal Year. Therefore, data for Fiscal Year 2017 (1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017) is stored in the FY17 directory.

Each directory contains files that separate out the transactions by area of responsibility. This is done to make updates cleaner. Using FY17 as an example, you will find these files:

  • fedora.ledger - This file is the master ledger file and includes all other files

  • council.ldg - Transactions related to the Fedora Council and high-level budget allocations

  • fad.ldg - FAD transactions and FAD budget allocations

  • flock.ldg - Transactions related to Flock. Large events will typically get their own file.

  • fudcon-apac.ldg - Transactions related to FUDCon APAC.

  • fudcon-latam.ldg - Transactions related to FUDCon LATAM.

  • na.ldg|latam.ldg|emea.ldg|apac.ldg - Transactions and budget allocations for each Ambassador region.

  • pending.ldg - When necessary this file contains encumberances for budget planning and transactions expected to be delayed in clearing.

Additionally there are some files in the common directory. Most of these are not used, but are planned for use.

  • cc-report.sh - this is the beginnings of a script to generate credit card reports for regional meeting card holders.

  • notes.txt - notes :)

  • validator.ledger - a validation file that can be used to verify the validity of the ledger files. This needs additional work.

By convention, budget entries are listed first and transactions entries follow.

More details on the contents of these files can be found in the Entries FAQ