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Joomla Proceeding With All Due Speed To A Trainwreck?

29 Aug 2015
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Feel like you are not "part of the conversation" surrounding Joomla lately? Well you are correct. The Joomla leadership team (all of them, CLT, PLT, and OSM) have somehow mashed together leaving the rest of us on the sidelines while they conduct their conversations mostly behind closed doors. Every now and then a snippet works its way loose and we get a little insight on how the wheels may be coming off the tracks. For instance on August 28, 2015, Jessica Dunbar wrote (empasis mine):

Hi can we freeze any new Joomla installs, subsites or subdomains. Our current websites are grossly under maintained. Out of 29 Joomla installs 7 soon to be 8 are running on the latest version. There is a small team of people who are actively trying to get sites up to date, clean up content, make sure the templates and branding are correct. But new sites are being built faster than we can maintain.

 On July 2, 2015, Robert Deutz in reply to Ryan Ozimek's request on June 29th that everyone get together in late September "to meet to discuss and complete the transition deliverables needed to ensure success for the new leadership team" stated:

I think it is a waste of time and money. Why we need to have all LT + transition team at one place to speak about how to remove ourselves? Instead of meet and speak, doing is what is needed. I don’t see real progress and all the timelines before the decision was made are already totally impossible follow. We now have June and the transition team is supposed to be in place mid August. OSM is now running on a 6 months term ending as far as I know in October. Is OSM extending there term again without any community involvement? The project is more or less paralyzed. CLT has only a few members left, too less to fulfill there duties and I don’t see that they add new members. OSM, I don’t know. There are a lot of people in the team most of them are non existent when it comes to do something for me. You will not make the transition with talking, we talked 18 months now it is time (for the ya sayers) to do.

 Robert Deutz also commented:

I don't see any progress or these work is done in the dark, no reporting. The form for transition team suggestion should have been closed by the end of last months, it is still open. As George pointed out, no interviews for the transition team, a 1/4 of the August is already gone, so I have my doubts that the team will be set up by the end of this month. As some people said we should have setup the transition process before we vote on the structure change, so that we are not falling into a gap. The situation now is that we haven't seen meeting minutes from OSM since April. Last CLT meeting minutes are from Feb. this year. I am part of the internal lists and I have not absolutely no idea what is going on besides the PLT stuff. The structure change was labeled with more transparency and the team that pushed this most was OSM, how that fit's together.

 I note that the Joomla World Conference 2015 is occurring in India this year in November. The Joomla! Event Traveller Programme (JET) covers the cost of the admission ticket and provides assistance with travel and lodging for the conference. The following were chosen to attend (emphasis mine):

  • Alejandro Fabian Pascoli
  • Anibal Sanchez
  • Carlos Olivares
  • David Aswani
  • Fred Abuknyanga
  • Jacques Rentzke
  • Joe Sonne
  • Karim Embarek
  • Marco Richter
  • Mwijukye Osbert
  • Shadrack Serem
  • Søren Beck Jensen

Note a couple of things about the chosen. Not a single woman is among those chosen to receive financial support to attend the conference and a current board member - Joe Sonne - is included. Funds for his attendance should have come from OSM's budget. As I understand it, there wern't even a majority of the JET team present when they decided Joe Sonne would receive a scholarship. Also note a former long-term board member Jacques Renzke who received numerous trips while on the board is also receiving financial assistance.

You will note above that Robert Deutz complained about the lack of transparency due to failure to publish minutes. There is a huge blackout in information from the various Joomla leadership teams.

  • The last published OSM board minutes was April 8, 2015.
  • The last published Budget versus Actuals report was December 2, 2014.
  • The last published Balance Sheet was September 30, 2013.
  • There hasn't been a Profit Loss (P&L) report published in years.
  • The last published federal tax report was from November 20, 2012.
  • On August 24, 2015 or shortly thereafter the New York Charitable Tax report was supposedly published on OSM's website. Unfortunately the required CHAR500 is not there but the IRS 990 is. If you read carefully you will note that it lists Paul Orwig as the principal officer (obviously not true).

Update: October 18, 2015

If you haven't had the chance the read the most recent releases of board minutes, I suggest you do so. They can be found at http://opensourcematters.org/about/organization/minutes.html . Start with the the May 14, 2015 minutes to see clearly how the train is coming off the tracks. I won't dwell on details here as you can easily read the contents of the minutes on your own but there is definite indication of serious trouble with the Joomla organization in the last three minutes posted - May, June, and July.

Also note that after several years as Treasurer, Victor Drover still has issues with providing clear financial reporting to the board still using the excuse that the chart of accounts needs further changing before he can report. Balderdash! There is still no posted public reports of finances as described above, however he did report what is labelled as a 2014 federal tax report that in actuality is the same 2012 report that is already posted. I used to have some respect for Victor Drover however his actions on the board of OSM leads one to believe he is likely over his head or said another way beyond his level of competency in the role of Treasurer of OSM.

And, if you wern't aware, there was a last minute board meeting organized on October 8th - the day all board member's terms expired. However there has been no public information provided as to the status of those members to this date. According to the bylaws, the officer's terms, even if expired, continue until replacements are made. So, is OSM alive with only the officers active or has there been another temporary re-election of board members?

And, the restructuring of Joomla is where ...when...who...?

Another careful read shows that in 2014 OSM spent $102,614 more than what they took in. They also spent $239,130 on travel related expense which was 43.3% of their total income. I would say that OSM's board of directors and their current Treasurer are not operating within their fiduciary requirements. Other than the published 2015 budget, I have no idea how 2015 is going financially. That budget appears intentionally obfuscated as there are no subtotals for things like travel expenses. By my calculations Revenue for 2015 is budgeted at $695,575 while travel related expenses are budgeted at $319,900 or 46% of the budget. That's a 34% increase in travel expenses ($80,770). Looks like the train wreck could be just around the corner!

trainwreck poster number 2

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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71
MCB-71.

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

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