I thought it might be useful to collect all the irregularities in the OOXML standarization process that we have become aware of. Try to "document" them, giving a link, and if possible a named source.
While not all the documented irregularities are ''verboten'', they all make a mockery out of the standardization process, which has historically (for good reason) been based on ''technical considerations of merit'' rather than political power games. A free and flourishing information infrastructure also depends on a technically sound standardization process of high integrity. To prevent a further corruption of the process, we document the unprecedented way in which a single vendor has tried to game the system this time.
This could be handy to show that the process has not been fair and to argue that it needs to be changed.
For a start, I tried to compile such a list from articles linked here, but certainly many are missing, not all sources are verified, and for some sources lack altogether. Ideally, these would be outside links, not nooxml-posts as several still are. Please extend the list but also point out unsubstantiated or dubious claims, so that they can be removed.
Thanks for your help.
The process in general
- abusing the ISO fast-track process by ramming through a huge, unfinished standard at record speed: (as illustrated in this graphics by Rob Weir
- 'committee stuffing: an unprecedented number of coutries that never before were interested in standard setting have been signing up just before the OOXML vote, and voted, with almost 90% majority pro Microsoft Rob Weir's blog, Sep 4
- spreading misinformation (as the one that "yes with comments" would be appropriate for conditional approval)
Irregularities in specific countries
- Brazil: committee stuffing (Microsoft is funding the assistance (including all expenses) of most of their partners in the country) [noooxml.org] ([openxml.info] (Portugese)
- Colombia:* committee stuffing [noooxml.org]
- Denmark: committee stuffing [version2.dk]
- Hungary: rule bending (deadlines and majority rules were bent in favor of Microsoft; after a complaint, the government annnulled the vote) [groklaw.net]
- Italy: committee stuffing (The number of members of the committee in charge of to decide the vote of Italy suddenly grew from 5 to 83 after Microsoft introduced a lot of its local partners paying 2.000 EUR per each one to be in it and get voting rights.) [piana.eu]
- Malaysia: (the two responsible technical committees reached the conclusion "no with comments"; this was then overridden by government, bowing to pressure from Microsoft) [noooxml.org]
- Mexico: committee stuffing
- Netherlands: denial-of-service (Microsoft alone vetoed the committee decision ("no with comments") without providing any technical arguments, thus preventing NL from submitting comments) [isoc.nl]
- Norway: committee stuffing [isene blog]
- Poland: after the responsible technical committee reached an unwelcome result ("no with comments") the subject was taken out of its hands and given to another committee which quickly rubber-stamped Microsoft's proposal, ''discrimination'' (several OOXML critical participants were not admitted to the technical committee) [polishlinux.org]
- Portugal: discrimination (the technical committee did not admit several competitors of Microsoft with the argument that there were not enough chairs) [noooxml.org]
- Spain: spreading misinformation (Microsoft announced that, among others, the autonomous region of Analusia has urged acceptance of OOXML, while in fact it was strongly opposed) [neutralidad.es] (spanish)
- Sweden: vote buying (Microsoft urged its partners to join the technical committee and vote there in favor of OOXML, promising to make up the incurring costs by "market subsidies", this was admitted (and regretted) by Microsoft [nyteknik.se] (Swedish)) [vuorio blog]and [computerworld.com] (eventually, the vote was declared invalid (Swedish))
- Switzerland: committee stuffing (number of committee members increased from 20 to 50 just before the OOXML vote) [woz.ch] and [inside-it.ch] (both in German), conflict of interest (improper dismissal of technical comments by chairperson); the result has been appealed
- Ukraine: discrimination (competitors not allowed in the technical committee) [sources?]
- USA: committee stuffing
- Venezuela: discrimination (competitors not allowed in the technical committee) [sources?]