Leaks, Drips, and Spills

OSM Lacks Financial Transparency

25 Oct 2018
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 It has been quite a while since I used my bully articles to try and influence OSM to be more transparent in their financial reportings. Especially by sharing their month to month reports (which I assume they are doing based on the Board minutes and if not they should be very ashamed of themselves). I have actually lost a lot of interest in the goings on at Joomla except, of course, using the Joomla software which I deeply appreciate. I also deeply appreciate the time and efforts of those volunteers who make up the Joomla organization. I guess what I have distanced myself from the most is the drama that surrounded the various goings on at the management/Board level.

 I was trying to catch up by reading all of the various Board meeting reports and noticed that, once again, the Board generates financial reports (on occasion) and shares it with the various department heads and other board members but not with the Joomla public. And seeing that the Board and/or its Treasurer don't spend the time to carefully review the reports that they are required to submit to the various governmental agencies, it makes it clear to me that they would benefit the most by having others review what they are not sharing to date. For instance, there is a 990 report labelled short year 2016  in the list of available reports that indicates OSM is a 501(c)(3) charity which, of course, they are definitely not! 2018 10 26 13 19 18

The other thing I noticed by finding that short year 2016 990 report was the question it raised in my mind. Why was OSM filing a short year report? Couldn't find it anywhere in the minutes of the Board going all the way back to 2013. Essentially OSM switched from filing calendar year IRS and NY required reports to filing fiscal year of July 1 through June 30 reports. Nowhere is it noted that the Board approved the change. Appears to be more sloppy work by the Treasurer and the Board.

In June of 2017 I wrote about the failure of the Joomla leadership to publish the monthly reports that would allow those who are interested in Joomla's success and the Board Members who are required to operate in the best interests of this non-profit to see how well or poorly their labor and/or money are being expended. On June 13, 2016, I posted on the Joomla forum in response to Victor Drover's post on OSM's Draft 2016 Budget the following:  "Any chance you can start publishing regular monthly financial reports so that the community sees some evidence of OSM transparency?

Nonprofits must embrace the values of financial accountability and transparency as a matter of ethical leadership. Conduct that is accountable and transparent earns  trust and creates a positive  culture. By making full and accurate information about its mission, activities, finance, and governance publicly available, a non-profit encourages transparency and accountability to its constituents. However, as was true when I served as Treasurer of OSM, the Bylaws even revised still state:

Section 9.11. Public Oversight. To the extent the Corporation creates any of the following documents, the Secretary will, within a reasonable period of time, list and maintain such documents on the Volunteers Portal: Semi-Annual reports on the state of the Corporation and plans for the coming year, minutes of the Semi-Annual Meeting, minutes from all meetings of the Board or Full Board or committees of either, financial reports pertaining to periods of three (3) months or more, tax filings and reports of audit results. Nothing in this provision will be construed to require the Corporation to create any of the aforementioned documents.

I did publish monthly reports in spite of what the Bylaws stated. The Boards that followed, however, apparently take the board statement literally and make no effort to publish those reports even though monthly reports appear to be created. According to the Bylaws, if created, the reports MUST be shared if they cover 3 months or more. I feel even the monthly reports should be shared and why not?.

Since all my complaints about this issue have had little effect, I will likely take an even longer sabbatical from complaining after this post. No sense raising my blood pressure, huh? In fact, I just may go camping without all these electronic pressures. What do you think?

177579 Nebraska Panhandle


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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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