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Something Hinky At OSM?

26 Jul 2013
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hink·y
/ˈhiNGkē/
1. Adjective (of a person) Dishonest or suspect: "he knew the guy was hinky".
2. (of an object) Unreliable: "my brakes are a little hinky".

 I really want to wash my hands of Open Source Matters, Inc. and their many failures to the Joomla! community - but, they keep persuing a strategy of secrecy - that's another way of saying they don't like being transparent much. Still sounds like secrecy to me.

So, what now? Some more of the same and then something different.

More then two months ago, I blogged that I discovered OSM had failed to file their CHAR500 annual report to the New York Charities Bureau (Bad Bad OSM). Board members expressed somewhat indirectly that they had been aware for some time that the Bureau said it didn't have their report and they described how they were going to take care of it - more then two months ago. Still not done. In fact they owe the Bureau both 2011 and 2012. Still not done. They don't seem too worried about it as Thomas Hampton stated "We are content with a 35 dollar late fee..."

Update 8/6/2013

Jacques Rentzke updated the Joomla Leadership Google Groups List with the following:  "I'm aware that there's still an issue with our 2011 NY Charities filing now (not) showing on their web site. (we already have submitted it twice). I'm following up with our Accountant about this to see if there is any issue that we are not aware of, and hope to have this sorted soon (or understand what the issue might be)."

Update: 8/20/2013

Jacques Rentzke again update the Joomla Leadership Google Groups List with the folowing: "Regarding the NY Charities financial filings:  Our accountant again made contact with an official from the Bureau. We received the following from the Charities Bureau - Registration Section":
Date: Wednesday, 07/08/2013 2:06 PM

Open Source Matters, Inc

State Registration  #40-39-53

The registration status of the organization is current.  Current status means that the Charities Bureau has not determined that the organization is delinquent in its filings with the Charities Bureau as of the date the registration status is reviewed.  In providing information about registration status, the Attorney General's Office is not expressing any opinion on the accuracy of the contents of any report filed by an organization or whether the organization is entitled to government or other funding.
"I did a quick search on their web site this morning, and found the 2011 filing is now there"

"The 2012 filing is pending the finalization of the 2012 tax return."

"I will post copies of the CHAR500 filings on the OSM web site."

Note several things. First, the CHAR500 now filed for the 2011 fiscal year is not the same one OSM has had up on their web site for almost a year. The web site version has now been replaced with what is likely the "resubmision" from May, 2013.  Second, while I believe the email note above from the Charities Bureau, you will note if you proceed to the NY Charities Bureau site and find the OSM submissions that a date is not present for the last submission. NY Charities Bureau states: "If no Filing Year End date appears, then the filing is currently being processed." Some 10 months overdue. Kind of sad that an external force had to prod OSM to follow up on their fiduciary duties. Wonder if they will get 2012 submitted on time (in November, 2013)?

Oh, that brings up another issue - Thomas Hampton. Of the next twelve board meetings since he was elected Treasurer on April 17, 2012  (haven't seen June or July, 2013 yet)  Thomas attended 5 meetings a dismal 42% attendance for the Board Treasurer. Here we are approaching the end of July, 2013 and the board has failed to publish a budget for 2013. More than half of the year has passed and they are supposed to be operating month to month on the amount that was budgeted for December, 2012. But, you don't know what is happening since neither the board or the treasurer seems to want to publish a budget to actual report. Did the U.S. Congress take lessons from the OSM board?

Update 8/6/2013

Jacques Rentzke also stated:  "As most of you may be aware, Thomas recently resigned as a board member of Open Source Matters (OSM) to allow him to focus on a new career. The OSM board appointed me as the Interim Treasurer until we have a new board member that we can elect as our new Treasurer.  We are actively looking for a suitable candidate."

He then goes on to say:  "At our last board meeting, the board voted for and approved the 2013 budget. We subsequently found out that there was an error that caused some of the totals to not be correct. (this was not Thomas' fault)   This error was corrected, and we also adjusted the provision for tax to be closer to what it is likely to be. The OSM board is currently voting on the adjusted Budget for 2013 and that should be approved, and published within 7 days. I think we will however all agree that it is not good for us to be finalizing a budget so late in the financial year, and that we need to do much better with keeping to deadlines for finalizing it."

And finally he says: "Once the budget is approved, we will again also have the "Budget vs Actual" report available. (that would be useful for teams to track their spending against what was budgeted)"

Update: 8/20/2013

Jacques Rentzke also stated: "The board of Open Source Matters approved the adjusted 2013 budget, and I'll be posting it to our web site by the end of the week. (along with a Budget vs. Actuals - 2013 report)" It looks like the "approved and published within 7 days" promise turned into more like 17 days if it actually appears on Friday. Better than some previous OSM promises but still not accurate and could be considered a broken promise by some. All we can do now is wait an see if this one is broken as well.

Still missing are the board minutes from June and July, 2013.

Of note, Paulo Griiettner resigned from the board on May 12, 2013. OSM is notoriously lax in maintaining their directory of board members. Paulo's name and bio was removed around July 3, 2013 along with Thomas Hampton's. On that same day a blog was published stating that the board was seeking a new Treasurer. Usually, OSM publishes some word of kindness about the volunteers who leave the board no matter what the reason. So far nothing on Thomas Hampton.

Update 8/6/2013

There were some positive words about Thomas Hampton published in the August, 2013 Joomla Community Magazine and again by Jacques Rentzke in Leadership Google Groups List on August 6, 2013.

Thomas Hampton was just re-elected as Treasurer in May, 2013 for the period April, 2013 through April, 2014 - a somewhat tardy action on the Board's part. We are missing two months worth of board minutes (June and July, 2013)  so no discussion is available for us to determine what might be really happening. With incomplete and untimely financial reports and no budget, and little communication --

Update 8/6/2013

I don't know about you but I just have this overall warm and fuzzy feeling that the OSM board (or at least one of its members) is making some attempt at verbalizing transparency. Though, truth be said, we are still missing two months of board minutes. So, as usual, transparency can only be proved by actions - not be verbal assurances. Would be nice to see more movement in this area. Who knows, maybe it is contagious? Kind of looks like someone at OSM has been reading someone's blog, doesn't it?

What do you think - hinky?

hinky alert

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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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