I was once involved in a contentious activity involving a polarised stakeholder group comprised of big business, activists, regulators and government representatives. Despite all parties agreeing to fact-based outcomes, I observed “the facts” changed depending on the party involved and decision makers were often presented with inconsistent, confusing and unverifiable information even by different members within the same faction. At times, I was contacted by policy makers or media with questions and frustratingly could not immediately respond as the information was not at my fingertips.
The lessons I learned from this were if you want to affect change, you must gather your supporting evidence (the “case for change“) early and it must be verifiable and readily accessible.
We’ve also seen the same reoccuring debates on aspects of our cause, often with no common view decided. For example, I’ve seen the same debate pop up over what is the number of impacted Australian residents / citizens by US citizenship-based taxation (actually ~200,000 persons). Wouldn’t it be nice if this information was readily accessible, with a clear estimate basis and source and the estimate was updated as new information becomes available?
Furthermore, despite the wonders of search engine technology, it remains difficult and time consuming to locate previously referenced material within social media and discussion sites. The FATCA and Australia thread within the Isaac Brock Society contains some real information gems but who wants to search for them within the nearly 1100 comments?
Introducing the FTT! Wiki
Today, we roll out the Fix the Tax Treaty! Wiki which aims, in time, to be the solution to the above issues and to serve as a one-stop knowledge resource shop for our stakeholders.
The FTT! Wiki will provide:
- Readily available, documented and clear factual support for our cause
- Common knowledge source
- A basis for clear, consistent messages avoiding the risk of confusing mixed facts and figures
- Foundations for future development of Media and Policy Maker engagement kits
- Source for Member / Stakeholder education and assistance
Like all Wiki’s, populating the information requires volunteer effort. Currently, the information contained within the Wiki is sparse but this will improve with time and community effort.
Please consider helping out as with this important foundation work. If you are interested in adding Wiki content, please see How to Become an Editor.
Suggestions on how to improve the Wiki structure or content can be made in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.