Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Hey OSM - Was That Travel Really Necessary?

13 Dec 2014
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Victor Drover finally published the December 2, 2014 Budget Vs Actuals report on the OSM website either late yesterday or this morning - December 13, 2014. It has been available on the Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing list since December 2nd. Of course if you don't subscribe there, you rarely get to see the occasional interesting discussion. What's really interesting is he also published the CLT and PLT expenses there. You will note that there are no travel expenses listed for those two groups. The project wide expenses for travel through December 2nd are $213,011.63. If we assume that this expense is only for OSM travel (after all, it's not broken out for any other group that Victor Drover reports publicly) then the 12 members of the OSM Board average approximately $17,756.91 in travel expenses each for the last 11 months.Was this travel really necessary? Kinda doubt it myself. Especially this last trip to warm Mexico. You really can't accomplish a discussion on Skype, huh? That's how the board does all it's official business - also known as board meetings.

 PLT and CLT reports show expenses for the line item events of about $116,479 but the project wide expenses for line item events only show $8768.60 spent on events. That's quite a discrepancy. There is a line item called Conferences, conventions, meetings with expenses of $163,393.67. That's a  lot of meetings/conferences if it's just reflecting OSM expenses. Of course the line item Non-event Sponsorship with eleven months of expenses totalling $144,600.00 kind of boggles the mind. Just think, the OSM board gave away almost $150 thousand to non-Joomla events. Correction: I misread the line of Non-event Sponsorship. That was an income line presumably relating to sponsorship from others for the Joomla! Project. Who knows how much was the cost of a Silver Sponsorship to the  Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing?

Victor has failed to deliver many of the financial reports that would be appropriate for public review so far in his stewardship of the finances of OSM. There has been no P&L statement and as far as I can remember there has been only one Balance Sheet and that one is the one ending September 30th - a year ago! Even worse, he has failed to post the Federal Filings for the 2013 tax year and we have only 18 days or so until the new year. Severe lack of follow through there.

Supposedly in a new interest for transparency, the OSM board decided to vote on whether they should conduct most leadership communications to the public mailing list. Of course then they all had to vote on it. Then they decided to vote  for approval of the minutes (which they had all seen and reviewed) from the Joint Leadership Summit in Cancun, Mexico. Alice Grevet made the motion on December 4th. Fourteen out of 22 people who were at the conference voted positively and Alice closed the vote on December 11 - one week after it started. Of course, today is the 13th of December and I haven't seen these minutes - You?

Also recently released (yesterday most likely) were the minutes of the October 23, 2014 board meeting. Kind of surprised at some of the negativity expressed about the participation from the community. For example, Sarah Watz on the Structure and Organization noted: The proposal that was shared with the active community members, got a lot interest. It is a big issue, and therefore it is good to see that there is a lot of input, even though sometimes discussions got loaded(Emphasis mine)  And she further commented:  Disappointing was that information was shared by leadership members with the community that was asked to keep private at this time, in a negative way and without thoughts for the process at all. The excuse for doing so might be to be transparent, but transparency doesn’t mean one can go outside the process that was agreed on. 

There was also discussion of Joomla Day UK that unfortunately was scheduled on Yom Kippur. Don't know who made the comment but again: Arguments on all sides have been listened to and discussed with the people involved in this conflict. Most disappointing was the way communications were handled. 

Can't tell a lot from the above excerpts from the minutes but it seems like in these disparate events at least one board member is in the center of the controversy wouldn't you say?

So everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and keep an eye out on what Joomla Leadership is trying to sneak past you on structure and what they have already done with finances.


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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

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