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Not Now - We're Too Busy!

07 Mar 2015
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You can picture it can't you? I certainly can. For a number of years now I have been pointing out that OSM fails to provide the Joomla! community with the transparency appropriate for this not-for-profit organization. Even members of the OSM board attempt to remind their colleagues of that duty. As recently as towards the end of last month on the Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing list Ryan Ozimek OSM Board Member stated:

Board of Director friends, I've seen a lot of great discussions happening on our private mailing list that, while full of beneficial information, really need to be posted on this public list to continue our focus on transparency. Please use this email list by default for all board-wide conversations. Unless it is something that must require privacy to be communicated safely, if it is a board-wide email you're sending, it should be sent here. This is a core tenant of our goal to improve online communications, not just within the Board of Directors, but across the project's growing leadership team. Let me know if you have any concerns

 Guess what happened. No discussion ensued at all. Any wonder there is mistrust of the board members of OSM?

 In my last blog I posted about the failures to post minutes of OSM board meetings and complete sets of financial reports on a monthly basis. Just to let you know NOTHING HAS CHANGED! The last set of board minutes that was posted is dated October 23, 2014. Let's see -- today is March 7, 2015. Some 4 months of board minutes seem to be missing. Guess the board secretary is too busy to post them because she may be up to her ears in secret communications about structure changes. You think?

The last set of financial reports posted includes November 2014 Budget versus Actuals, September, 2014 Balance Sheet, 2014 adjusted budget. Missing is a P&L statement of any time frame and the 2015 budget. So, not posted on the OSM site is the 2014 year-end Budget versus Actuals and two months of 2015 Budget versus Actuals, five months of Balance sheets reports, many many months of P&L statements, and the 2015 Budget.

On February 1, 2015 in response to Victor Drover's request for 2015 Budget Feedback and Discussion, I posted this:

Victor: I see focus on financial transparency listed on your goals. However, you only post limited financial information on the Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing list which few people realize even exists. How about posting on the OSM web site regularly each month at http://opensourcematters.org/about/finances.html which is already structured for financial reports and is more likely to be known by the public. It would also be helpful if you would post each month the following reports which I remember from my days as treasurer rather easy to generate from Quickbooks Online: Balance Sheet Budget compared to actual year-to-date P&L Statement It would also increase financial transparency if the IRS financial filings were posted in a timely fashion at this OSM location http://opensourcematters.org/about/finances/financial-filings.html The last posted IRS report was for 2012 and I suspect that the 2013 was filed some time ago and probably should be posted.

This was Victor's response:

Hi Dave, The reports are indeed easy to prepare. I've simply been too short-handed and have not prioritized this. It's something I am looking for FiT to improve upon in 2015. The reality of the matter is that our budget has grown quite large, and volunteers are spending most of their time issuing invoices to sponsors and categorizing bank transactions. It leaves little time for much else, especially with the 3-month budget process followed by tax season. The idea for 2015 will be to get some professional help doing the time-consuming and tedious work of categorizing the bank transactions and reconciling the books. My hope is that we will get the reporting in a much better position then also. As for transparency, it's an important issue for me personally and increasing transparency was one of my personal goals as a board member. I have spent more time making it easier for team members to see their budget status (i.e. the monthly reports you mentioned above) and also on a project-wide financial policy that was first delivered to the project leadership at the 2015 summit in Mexico. Please feel welcome to add your comments (get in line ;) ) here. I appreciate your feedback and will work to have done better next year, assuming they allow me to continue on as Treasurer :)

 Doi you think after an entire year as Treasurer both the Board and the Treasurer would see to fill their fiduciary duties by demanding these financial reports? Personally I would if I was still on the board.

So, what's the board's mantra nowadays? Not now, we are too busy! Maybe you should think again about who you elect tol this board and whether they are doing the job you want to see.

 

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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

Comments   

0 # Michael Babker 2015-03-20 18:56
Well, this assumes they actually have an election. Unless I've misinterpreted the by-laws, come April 8 all the OSM Board Member terms are expiring (based on date of last election). So I'm kinda holding my breath for that date and see how they handle what to me looks like a major oversight in their responsibility to elect a board.
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0 # Dave Huelsmann 2015-03-24 12:50
Bylaws will keep the officers ONLY until they are replaced/re-elected. They finally published 4 months of minutes. Still haven't published or approved a finalized budget. Also haven't published IRS returns for 2013. Nor any financial reports for review by the community. Read the minutes and see how they covered up complaints from a partner.
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