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The Silence Is Deafening!

04 Apr 2016
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Here we are in April. In at least some places across the US it is starting to actually feel like spring and in others it is still wintery.In Open Source Matters, Inc. it is actually dreary. There seems to be serious problems in this transition process OSM has embarked upon. It started at JandBeyond in 2014 (Some ground work was actually done in 2011). You will note that once the Structure Team completed it's work and the votes were cast in about May of 2015 there was a supposed: "There is a commitment to increased transparency." However we haven't seen any increase. In fact transparancy is looking more and more opaque every day. For instance, board minutes for August, September, October, and December of 2015 were not released until February of 2016. OSM is doing better so far this year. We actually have minutes up through the March meeting. That was very helpful to be able to see that the OSM Board which was disolved in October 2015 except for the three officers as called for in the current bylaws is allowing former members of the board to attend board meetings and perhaps vote on matters or maybe only influence the outcome. Don't know if they allow a vote for sure as they don't record votes nor do they provide the actual quorum numbers other than to say they have a quorum. While the former board members are still classsed as OSM "Members" due to the quirky setup caused by their New York corporate changeover a few years ago, those "members" are only supposed to vote in an election or in a special meeting.  "Members shall have the right to vote on the following matters only: election of the Board of Directors. Voting on all other matters is expressly reserved for the Board of Directors." So, why are they attending at all?

 Now, upon reading the backlog of minutes I find that the Structure Team turned to the Transition Team sometime in September last year. (Keep in mind that Come October 8th that the Board was down to only three Directors: Sarah Watz, Victor Drover, and Marijke Stuivenberg). Unfortunately the Transition Team has gone from the original six members to three over the last 7-8 months.

"b) Status Transition Team Moving slowly towards the goal. There are three active team members right now. The team has got access to the draft of the bylaws and will give their input to the Legal Team. The team is waiting on the changes to be completed as requested for the Volunteer Portal so they can send an email to the team members and team leaders to make sure that all the Volunteer Profiles and Teams are up to date. Then we will have a current list of team leaders and team members. All leaders need to support the Transition Team in all their efforts and help them along the way to make it possible as soon as possible with quality at the same time. We need to see tasks be completed before the next board meeting. All leadership teams are hurting, since we haven’t added new members as usual to the leadership teams for a long time now, which means that most of the teams are lacking in bandwidth to carry out the responsibilities in a timely manner. This hurts the volunteers and the project in the long run. And the time for the Annual Meeting of the Open Source Matters, Inc Members is fast approaching."

Since OSM is not sharing with us and their Transition Team seems to not be doing whatever it was they were supposed to and obviously no one is communicating very much or effectively.

Unfortunately Victor Drover continues the excuses of not being able to provide details to the Directors of the financial position of OSM. "Numbers of accounts can not be provided by the Treasurer at the meeting, but he assures the board they are similar to what they used to be." The other two remaining board members should not accept this situation which has gone on now for at least two years. The last published balance sheet was in September of 2013, Haven't seen P&L for two years. March 16, 2016 he finally published last years Budget vs Actuals. Kind of looks like they went in the hole  but since we don't have a balance sheet we have no way of telling the financial position of OSM. You can't control what you don't know about.

[Update: June 28, 2016] Since I wrote this blog in early April almost two months have past. Opens Source Matters, Inc. managed to publish their April, 2016 minutes. Based on those minutes, it appears that the board is still allowing non-directors to attend the board meetings which may unfortunately influence board decisions and yet not have fiduciary responsibility. Very sad that the remaining board members allow this situation to continue. Victor Drover Treasurer of OSM published what he characterized as a draft budget in the forums which opened an opportunity for discussion.  In an attempt to have a reasonable discussion with him, I raised the issue of transparaency and could he start published the financials each month along with correcting the misposting of the 2014 IRS tax forms and failure to post the current IRS tax forms. If you visit that forum discussion you will see that he hasn't even bothered to respond. Still there is complete silence on what the transition team might be doing. This continues to not bode well for transparency in spite of all the lip-service that is made about it.

Don't know about you but this seems to be a complete Failure To Launch!

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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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