Leaks, Drips, and Spills

What happened to Open Source Matters, Inc. and transparency for board minutes and financial reports in the past 12+ months?

07 Oct 2011
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On December 4, 2009, Ryan Ozimek, then Secretary of OSM, Inc. posted this blog in which he promised that the minutes of the OSM board meetings would be published in a reasonable time frame. In fact, he stated: "Our meeting minutes have been recorded internally, and more often than not, sent to the board members for approval shortly after the completion of board meetings." which would imply at least publication during the month following the meeting. Unfortunately the publications of OSM minutes has been very inconsistent with the current state as of today having minutes only available through the July, 2011 board meeting. This kind of delay makes it impossible to have a somewhat current discussion with OSM board members on any decisions that might have been made in the past month. The current board secretary frequently refers to the OSM bylaws when someone pushes the issue of why the minutes are not published in a more timely fashion:

ARTICLE VIII - PUBLIC OVERSIGHT To the extent the corporation creates any of the following documents, it will, within a reasonable period of time, publish such documents for public review: annual reports on the state of the organization and plans for the coming year, minutes from all board meetings, financial reports pertaining to periods of 3 months or more, tax filings, reports of audit results. Nothing in this provision will be construed to require the corporation to create any of the mentioned documents.

as the reason why documents are not published in a more timely fashion. Of course, that fails to take into account why the 2009 secretary of OSM Ryan Ozimek and now President of OSM would be willing to accept such a backslide in transparency when he appeared to be such a strong supporter originally. In fact, the current secretary of OSM, Jacques Rentzke stated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 15:35

"The next Minutes (for the previous month's meeting), as well as the monthly financial reports that Dave Huelsmann prepares, will be up by the end of the month. (usually a week after a board meeting)."

On March 27, 2010, then Treasurer of OSM, Inc. posted this blog in which it was promised that the financial reports would be published monthly and specifically listed those reports that would be made available. In fact, on the OSM web site where the financial reports are displayed, it still says the following:

The following unaudited reports will be available at this location, and updated monthly.
  • Current year budget
  • Balance Sheet
  • Budget compared to actual year-to-date
  • P&L Statement
  • Company Snapshot

These reports were easily generated by the accounting sofware OSM was using which was Quick Books Online. The reports were provided to the board members and members of the leadership teams prior to the board meeting so it was no real extra effort to provide them to the Joomla Community. As of today, there has been only one set of reports provided to the community for the entire 2011 fiscal year-to-date. What was provided was provided in May of 2011 and consisted of the 2011 budget (The fiscal year starts in January),  a balance sheet, and a P & L statement. There was no budget compared to actual.

In the last board minutes available (July, 2011) the following was the treasurer's report:

The checking balance to date is $128,178. There are no additional taxes to be paid, and all tax paperwork will be finalized next week.

This treasurer's report is pretty sparse and assuming it was the entire report (none of the previously described documents made available) then board members should have been concerned whether they were meeting their fiduciary responsibilities by not demanding more information. In addition, questions should have been raised as to why such a large sum was being maintained in a non-interest bearing checking account (again assuming that the accounts remained with the same banking system as they were in 2010).

Is there something hinkey going on? I don't know and I am not saying there is but how would the Joomla Community or the board members  ever know? And, why is it when someone asks, they get attacked? And, why aren't more people asking? Perhaps the negative vibe they see other's receive is a major disincentive?

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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

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

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