At the last consortium meeting we had a lively discussion about how much transparency we can, and should, display as small arts organisations. This got me thinking - well surely in the era of Freedom of Information and Wikileaks nothing less than total transparency will do.
Well, yes and no. As an organisation, I agree. As a charity and company limited by guarantee our accounts, trustees reports and board meetings are matters of public record. There is very little about the company that isn't either in the public domain or could be put there very easily. Any project that has received public funds in turn makes our reports publicly available (eg via FOI requests).
But I would draw a distinction between information on the company and information on individuals. Our annual accounts show total salary bill, not what each person earns. What we paid each individual artist who worked for the company is likewise aggregated.
And I'm not sure I'd like to see a 'see salaries' button on our website. We support a lot of emerging artists and early career professionals. They go on and use our name, quite rightly, in securing future work. They probably over-achieved and were underpaid in the work they did, I'm certainly happy for them to present what they did for us in the best possible light.
Likewise, I would like to present myself and the work of the company in the best possible light to potential funders and partners. It's part of my job to get doors opened to senior people in the public sector. They are usually paid more than I am, and when they go our website to look at our work I wouldn't like what I earn to be necessarily one of the first things they see.
Trevelyan Wright, Executive Director.