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?
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:
I spent several weeks in the Caribbean towards the end of February and the beginning of March. Temperatures were in the 80's and I missed several snowfalls at home. While at in Philipsburg, St. Maarten we had a great opportunity to crew a 12 meter racing yacht and re-create the America's Cup regatta. Dennis Conner's America's Cup winning Stars & Stripes, Canada II and True North compete in this regatta. "Crew members" (about 11 of us and three regular crew) grind a winch… trim a sail… or punch a stop watch for the approximately three hours that the race takes. If you have never been sailing in a 12 meter racing yacht, this is definitely one of the BEST experiences ever. It is also a great life experience about cooperation and communication in business and life in general. You can't decide suddenly not to participate nor can you fail to communicate to the winch grinders or boom winch operator. By the way, I was in True North and came in second - Stars & Stripes first - Canada II third.
Hmmm, that would assume that OSM board members are actually capable of feeling shame for their many failures to keep the community informed and fulfill their fiduciary duty to the organization. So far there is no evidence of that at all.
Let's see, we are in the first week of February 2013 - what have the members of OSM's board failed to do so far?
- Publish the minutes of the last three board meetings on the OSM website (November, 2012, December, 2012, and January, 2013)
- Ensure that their treasurer timely filed all required tax returns (CHAR500 and IRS990 NY Charities Bureau and IRS1120 filed with the IRS)
- Questioned the Treasurer why there hasn't been a posting of the above on the OSM website and why the NY Charities Bureau hasn't been able to post their required returns on their website if they were filed on time.
- Questioned the Treasurer and the president of OSM why there hasn't been a completed financial report for the years 2010, 2011, and so far 2012 that has been attested to as correct by both the President and the Treasurer and made available to both the community and the NY Charities Bureau as required by both OSM Bylaws and NY Law.
For the past two plus years transparency at OSM has been mentioned in passing but unfortunately missing in reality!
In several other areas of Joomla! leadership, we continue to see schedules and promises but nothing ever seems to materialize. Though there has been some action to note - there seems to have been a very strong effort to reduce the expenses paid to OSM's trademark attorneys (Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, L.L.P.) over the last several years as I noted in the blog OSM - A Poor Performing Board of Directors. In 2009, the legal fees were $149,252.57. Based on the 2010 OSM 990 filing on December 14, 2011, legal fees were $84,411. For 2011, legal fees through October, 2011 were $12,194.99 (unfortunately, current financial information hasn't been made available in some time). A very significant decline. Let's see what is going on now with Trademark activity:
Here we go again. Empty promises over and over seem to be the rule in the Joomla! leadership house.
The latest, of course, is the one called the proposed Joomla! leadership changes. Why am I being sarcastic? Well, let's examine what is now going on. First, Paul Orwig while voting for additional discussion at the upcoming J and Beyond in Germany in May, 2012 stated:
I suggest that we take the next three months leading up to JAB to form one or more working groups that will study various aspects of the proposed leadership structure changes in more depth. That way we can have a more detailed set of recommendations to review and discuss at JAB, with the goal of making a decision there about the best approach to implement.
A posting by Robert L. Borosage in the Huffington Post accuses Republican Candidate Mitt Romney of “obfuscation, misdirection and straight-up lies.” A review of the meaning of those words should be very instructive:
- Obfuscation: literally, “to darken.” It is a word that means that a person makes an intentional act to muddy the waters, to turn out the lights, to deceive by hiding the truth. The main point of obfuscation is that it is intentional. It is not an accidental covering of the facts; the speaker is determined to confuse the listener in order to deceive.
- Misdirection: to give guidance or instruction which is incorrect. The implication of misdirection is, again, intentional for the purpose of sending someone the wrong way. It’s like stopping at a convenience store to get directions, only to be told by the clerk, who hasn’t a clue, the wrong information just to get you off (his) back.
- Straight-up lies are instructions that are intentionally designed to mislead the listener in order to avoid facts that undermine or deny the speaker’s truths.
Sound familiar? Just apply the above to what you have seen or failed to see from Open Source Matters, Inc. trustees.
I just don't get it!
Board members at OSM haven't done the following in the last several years:
- have a strong track-record of successfully collaborating with, enabling others and earning the respect of the Joomla! community.
- have proven themselves a person of high character, with a history of acting honestly, fairly and openly when in leadership roles.
Yet, if you read the latest posting by Alice Grevet, OSM is seeking 3 new board members who include the above traits in their repertoire.
li·ar noun \ˈlī(-ə)r\ Definition of LIAR : a person who tells lies
lie verb \ˈlī\lied ly·ing
Definition of LIE: intransitive verb 1 : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive 2 : to create a false or misleading impression transitive verb : to bring about by telling lies
What else would you call it?
OSM has repeatedly lied to the Joomla! Community. No, those lies were not mistakes. They intended to deceive. Let's take a look.
In the March, 2012 Joomla Community Magazine interview with Paul Orwig, former Treasurer of OSM and now President of OSM, said the following:
Emphasis shown is mine. Note that this is the same person who has stonewalled the Joomla! community for the last two years by failing to consistently provide "transparent" financial reports for community review as promised by the board, recommitted to on their J!People page, and required in their own bylaws.