## Final Board Findings Regarding 2019 SOC Incident
Shortly after the conclusion of The Perl Conference (TPC) in Pittsburgh, 2019, The Perl Foundation (TPF) received a report alleging a Standards of Conduct (SOC) violation in a video that was posted to TPF’s YouTube account.
A complaint regarding a video posted after the conclusion of an event was unprecedented for TPF. Our SOC policies were written to address issues that may come up during events and we had not considered complaints that could be brought up after the event was over. Presently, the SOC subcommittee exists only for the duration of the event. There is no standing team to receive and review complaints between events. With the SOC subcommittee for the 2019 conference already disbanded, a decision was made by the 2020 event leadership that they would review and address the complaint without involving the Board of Directors. The initial finding of that review was [posted to our blog on July 8, 2019](https://news.perlfoundation.org/post/soc_incident_2019). The post originally contained information about the identity of the reported individual but was later redacted to remove that information.
TPF Board posted an update on [July 12, 2019](https://news.perlfoundation.org/post/clarification_on_2019_perl_con) to clarify the original statements and to inform the community that the decision was under review by the Board and that the video would remain delisted. TPF Board posted again on [July 18, 2019](https://news.perlfoundation.org/post/board_response_to_soc_incident) to reveal steps being taken and to indicate that more details would be forthcoming. A final update was posted on [July 25, 2019](https://news.perlfoundation.org/post/board_update_to_soc_incident) after TPF Board had determined that reviewing all material would be an extensive process and that we would provide an update once we were prepared to do so. We intend to make good on that promise now.
After reviewing all material, consulting with the reported individual, and consulting with a diverse group of experts, TPF Board upholds the original findings of TPC 2020 leadership and deems that the Standards of Conduct were violated. The video will not be republished to TPF’s YouTube channel. Furthermore, it is the decision of TPF Board that while talks proposed by the reported individual were not accepted in 2020, the individual is invited to submit talk proposals for TPC in 2021 (subject to the same review criteria as all other proposals). The individual is not restricted from participating in TPF events or participating in other TPF programs on the basis of this incident.
The Perl Foundation also used this time to consult with legal counsel and confirmed that, from a legal perspective, TPF has done nothing wrong. But we also acknowledge the investigation and reporting process caused unnecessary pain. The Foundation has acted in good faith to explore uncharted territory and we have learned much in this past year. While our errors do not change our position that a SOC violation occurred, we know we could have done better, and we must improve. Some steps we are taking to improve include:
- Establishing a Community Affairs Team (CAT) that will eventually provide a year-round replacement for our event Standards of Conduct Subcommittee and have authority to act within certain parameters separately from event leadership. Details here: [https://news.perlfoundation.org/post/introducing-tpf-community-affairs-team](https://news.perlfoundation.org/post/introducing-tpf-community-affairs-team)
- TPF has recently invested $3,900 in training for TPF Board, TPC leadership, and CAT members to improve processes for incident handling.
- While we remain committed to transparency, TPF will not publicly disclose the identity of reporters or reported individuals in the future.
The Board regrets that it has taken over a year to make good on our promise to provide additional information. Unfortunately, the scope of this issue was much larger than what we could have envisioned last July. Costly formal matters that arose after the initial finding, which we now hope are resolved, have prevented us from speaking publicly on this matter until now.
This is The Perl Foundation’s final public statement regarding this SOC incident. While we are receptive to suggestions for future improvement, we will not provide additional detail or enter into further debate regarding the 2019 incident.