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Bad Bad OSM!

20 May 2013
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I hadn't planned on blogging again now that OSM is not overseen, can appoint its own board members and, in my opinion, is likely to go further downhill. But, as I have been pointing out all along, OSM's failure to be transparent is likely to result in some cover-ups that the community won't be aware of until it is too late to salvage the brand of Joomla. The failure to post monthly financial reports is one example of where things can go wrong quickly without, at least some public oversight. To my knowledge, the Audit Committee has never performed an audit so that only leaves the public to keep some eye on what is happening.  For example, it is 5 months into the year and we have only seen the January financial reports. How much longer till we see another? Who knows?

Update May 22, 2013

Looks like Thomas Hampton was stimulated to publish a few of the financial reports in the last few days since this blog was published. He managed a P&L statement but he only did it for the Month of April, 2013. He also managed a YTD Balance Sheet up to the end of April, 2013. Don't know why OSM doesn't feel the need to be more transparent by publishing not only current montthly period reports but also YTD reports and, oh, by the way, a YTD Budget versus Actual would be a useful report to see each month.

This blog will be short and sweet as I don't really want to go into another long haranguing blog spurt with this group again. But it is only appropriate that I let the community know what I discovered today. For some time I have been eying the New York Charities Bureau site wondering why they didn't post the 2011 CHAR500 and the 990 that OSM had obviously completed. After all they had a copy of the 2011 report posted on the OSM website. So, I figured they must be behind and waited and waited and checked and checked. Nothing. So, on May 12, 2013, I sent this email to the Charities Bureau not really expecting an answer:

 Gentlemen:
I do not find in your Charities Bureau Database any posting for the required Annual Filing for Charitable Organizations (CHAR500) for the below listed organization for the Filing Year End 12/31/2011.
Was it not submitted? If it was submitted did they also file an Independent Accountant's Report and is that normally available to the public and published in the Charities Bureau Database?
Thank you.

Sincerely,

David Huelsmann

Organization Name: Open Source Matters, Inc
Registration Type: NFP Registration
Category: Dual
Month number fiscal year ends : 12
Federal ID No. (EIN): 760803008
NY State Reg. No.: 40-39-53
County: NEW YORK
Address: PO BOX 4668 #88354 NEW YORK , NY 10163
Web Site: www.opensourcematters.com

 Imagine my surprise and even my shock at receiving today a reply to my email from the Charities Bureau in New York dated today May 20, 2013:

 Hello,

Open Source Matters, Inc is delinquent in filing annual reports with fees as required. They must submit complete filings with fees for periods ending 12/2011 & 12/2012.

Thank you

So, guess what Joomla! fans? OSM has been hiding at least these failures and attempted to cover up by posting a completed report for 2011. What else are they hiding? And as our sorely dysfunctional U.S. Congress keeps saying:

Who Knew What and When Did They Know It? Why Did They Do This and How High Up in OSM Did It Go?

Update May 22, 2013

Interesting happenings on the Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing list concerning the NY Charities Bureau filing. Jacques Rentzke stated:

I've been made aware that our CHAR500 submission for 2011 (or fee for that) may not have been received.

To my knowledge, Paul did submit our 2011 filing last year (and there's no reason to doubt that he did).

We also asked our accountant to check on this after noticing that the filing was not showing up on the Bureau web site.

@ Thomas, could you confirm what our accountant's reply was, and could you perhaps follow up with the relevant office to find out if there are any filings/fees still outstanding?

Emphasis mine. Looks like he was implying that they were aware of this issue all along and just hadn't bothered picking up the phone to find out what was going on. Of course, if they had been aware, why wait a year plus and then just happen to start to work on it the day after this blog was published? You be the judge.

Thomas Hampton then states:

1. OSM filled the 2011 990 and 1120 as seen on the OSM website. After Paul and I signed all appropriate filings provided by the OSM accountant we sent the documents to the NY Charity Bureau on time well in advance of the deadline. At my request the OSM accountant has been in contact with the NY Charity Bureau since last fall regarding the NY Charity website and our filing status for 2011. Due to the lengthy delay and instead of debating with the Charity Bureau if they have the forms or not, we are in the process of resending the filings again. The OSM accountant informed us if there is a fine for the delay it is in the range of 35 US dollars. Ironically, shipping the documents between the four participants again will likely be more than any late fee/fine.

2. As for 2012, we have an extension filed for 2012 as the OSM accountant wanted to ensure all items meet IRS requirements. Also I did clarify with our OSM accountant whether the Charity Bureau recognizes our Federal Extension and this was her response. "You have extensions every year when necessary for the 1120, CT-3 and NYC EXT as well as the Char500, which is simply an email sent to the charities bureau." We are content with a 35 dollar late fee to ensure all Federal level dollars are inline. Once she is satisfied that all items are correct we will file 2012 documents with the IRS and NY Charity Bureau. After this is complete I will ask Alice to post the Charity Bureau certificate(s) on the OSM website.


Emphasis mine. As you can see from the emphasized area there is another statement essentially saying they knew about it and it really isn't a big deal -- at least not to them. Looks like the NY Charities Bureau wasn't very happy with them.

Update May 22, 2013

Open Source Matters, Inc. had Total Support and Revenue of $571,360.09 for the fiscal year ending 2012. In 2011 it was $330,137. Note that the CHAR500 report that they failed to file for 2011 and the one yet to be filed for 2012 has another requirement they don't seem to meet. As a Dual registrant in the State of New York, they are required to also file an Independent Accountant's Report which is one of three types:

  • Audit Report (total support & revenue more than $250,000)
  • Review Report (total support & revenue $100,001 to $250,000)
  • No Accountant’s Report Required (total support & revenue not more than $100,000)
Which report do you think they should also complete? Why, it is the Audit Report of course. Haven't heard a peep out of OSM or in the minutes indicating that they made any such arrangements. Nor is such a report attached to the "published" report on OSM's website. Bad, bad OSM.

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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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