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Transparency Should Matter to Open Source Matters, Inc., Does It?

07 Jan 2013
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Trade unions, corporations, humanitarian organizations, schools, hospitals, political parties, and other voluntary organizations all must operate under laws and regulations designed to ensure that the interests of their members and the general public are properly served, and that these institutions do not violate the public's trust.

 Democracy Web

"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

 James Madison, Letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822

"...[T]he concentration of power and the subjection of individuals will increase amongst democratic nations... in the same proportion as their ignorance."

 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 2, 1840

 For the past two plus years transparency at OSM has been mentioned in passing but unfortunately missing in reality!

 We are now at the one week mark in January, 2013. What has not been forthcoming from OSM?

 

01It is January 7, 2013. Why hasn't OSM posted their 2011 Form 1120 that they must have filed with the IRS long, long ago?

02It is January 7, 2013. Why hasn't OSM provided their NY Charities Tax Form CHAR 500 to the NY Charities Bureau for 2011? In fact, why hasn't OSM updated their link on their Federal Filings page to the proper location for filed reports?

03It is January 7, 2013. Why haven't we seen more then one financial report in each of the last two years?

04If OSM is producing financial reports on a regular basis, their own bylaws require that they share those reports in a timely fashion for public review. Seen any other then the above?

05OSM is required by its own bylaws and by laws of the State of New York to produce an end of year financial report that is attested correct by both the President and Treasurer. There hasn't been one in 2010 and 2011. Do you really think there might be one for 2012?

06OSM has promised on numerous occasions to share the plans for trademark changes they are considering. Instead, they appear to be implementing rather then sharing. Did I miss a communication?

07Neither November, 2012 nor December, 2012 board minutes have been shared with the public. You would think improved and timely sharing would engender more engagement and trust from the public and cause the opposite if not shared, wouldn't you?

08Back in October, OSM announced the addition of 4 new board members and the loss of one. None of those changes have been reflected in OSM's own roster of board members. Geez, it takes over three months to get such a simple task completed?

09OSM continues to announce projects, strategic direction changes, new policies, etc. None of these are reflected in the minutes that we eventually see that would indicate the board ever voted on these initiatives. And when they do vote for something, they fail to have discussions and ask questions. If they do ask questions it is after they have already voted for the thing they didn't understand. Not good practice, not at all.

10Finally, OSM makes a big deal out of creating objectives for the year. Nothing wrong with that. But those objectives are never summarized at the end of the year and a score derived as to what degree they were accomplished. Why bother if you are not going to evaluate yourself?

 So, what do you think? Does transparency matter to OSM? I think not!

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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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