New York—In 2020, the Board of Directors (“Board”) of Open Source Matters, Inc. (“OSM”) became aware of certain irregularities regarding financial accounts, including those involving OSM’s past President, Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall (“Rowan”).
In the intervening time since then, the Board has conducted an exhaustive investigation and undertaken a thorough forensic review of its accounts. Ultimately the Board has determined that US $37,149 in expenses fall outside OSM’s written financial policy.
Accordingly, this figure is being reported today on OSM’s 2019-2020 tax filings as a specific line item under “Other Expenses.”
To prevent a recurrence of paying expenses deemed to fall outside OSM’s financial policy in future, the Board has taken action to modify its accounting practices and strengthen its internal control policies.
In May 2020, as part of a larger effort to tighten internal controls and obtain greater oversight over expenses, the Board passed Motion 2020/074. Among other things, the motion requires that bank statements be shared with the Board instead of only a select number of officers. The statements were shared in June 2020. Shortly thereafter, Rowan tendered her immediate resignation, admitting that she owes OSM money and that her actions constitute unacceptable behaviour from an officer.
A review of the banking statements confirmed irregularities regarding certain financial transactions. A full and thorough investigation ensued. The investigation revealed $23,497 of expenses incurred by Rowan that the Board determined do not comply with OSM’s financial policy. An additional $13,652 in other expenses paid in previous years were determined also not to comply with OSM’s financial policy, bringing the overall total to $37,149.
The Board is committed to the principles of full transparency. We are issuing this press release to underscore the seriousness with which the Board is treating this issue and explain what has been done to address the situation. First, the Board took immediate action to safeguard existing assets and issued, in June 2020, a new corporate policy regarding the use of bank cards drawn on OSM accounts. The policy sets forth more stringent rules concerning the use of such cards. Second, the Board now has access to bank statements and accounting system details, which enables the scrutiny and questioning of irregular transactions by all Board members. Third, the Board appointed an external bookkeeper to manage and oversee financial transactions. Fourth, the Board passed a number of motions relating to financial matters to help increase visibility, responsibility and accountability. Fifth, following a recent vote, Rowan has been banned for life from the community or any of its channels. And Sixth, the Board sought and obtained the guidance of outside legal counsel throughout this process, and counsel has contacted Rowan regarding the repayment of any monies owed to OSM.
The Board is keenly aware that Joomla is not only a world class content management system but also a community of developers, users, and distributed groups working together through a network built on mutual trust and support. We are a unique community that fosters deep friendships and professional respect. It is the Board’s sincere hope that the difficult issues addressed here—and the transparent manner and improved controls flowing from this incident—will only make our community stronger. The Board is cognizant of its duty of care and recommits to continuing to serve our incredible community.
- The FAQ with additional information and details can be found on the OSM website: https://www.opensourcematters.org/news/311-faqs-regarding-expenses-determined-to-be-outside-osm-financial-policy.html
- Should you have any questions about the investigation process and the measures that the Board implemented to prevent any circumstances like this one, please do not hesitate to contact us to the following email address
- A public discussion channel named "Financial Investigation Q&A" has been opened in RingCentral Glip for any eventual question.
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