Do you know Mr. Frost and Mr. Buck from ISO? Here they are again with "great news" from the International Standards Organisation.
ISO and IEC members give go ahead on ISO/IEC DIS 29500 which is rather about the rejection of the appeals.
"None of the appeals from Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela received the support for further processing of two-thirds of the members of the ISO Technical Management Board and IEC Standardization Management Board, as required by ISO/IEC rules governing the work of their joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology."
A rejection means that the ISO 29500 could be published and set into effect unless further complaints are launched. We and others discussed before the appeal water down documents and the offensive Bryden interview. From this ISO appeal recommendation document we may get a clue what the voting process was precisely about:
14. The TMB and the SMB may choose one of two options for each appeal:
14.1 Not to process the appeal any further. This is the equivalent of denying the
appeal. If all four are denied, publication of ISO/IEC 29500 may proceed. The NB
concerned may appeal this decision to the Councils.
14.2 Process the appeal further. This has the consequence that a conciliation panel
must be organized. In this event it seems indicated to organize a single
conciliation panel for all the appeals being processed.
So apparently option one was chosen. Additionally the recommendation was:
The processing of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 project has been conducted in conformity with the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives, with decisions determined by the votes expressed by the relevant ISO and IEC national bodies under their own responsibility, and consequently, for the reasons mentioned above, the appeals should not be processed further.
I wonder what the subject of the vote precisely was as recommendation 20 apparently goes further than 14.1 and 14.2.
Just curious, how does the voting work
It is evident to me that the appeal voting is highly vulnerable to manipulation when you have to get a 2/3 majority. The voting was not even on the substance of the appeals but on "further processing" them and I am not aware of any "further processing" formality decision requirement. A 2/3 majority rule always means that one option is favoured in advance. In ISO and national bodies it is common for processing of specifications where the bias is usually towards adoption. Do you need a 2/3 majority for "processing further" the appeal or "rejecting it before consideration"? You get the point. At times you vote until you get the wanted results. A friend of mine was furious about the ISO/IEC decision and asked himself similar questions:
Where is it written that it is needed a support of 2/3 to process an appeal? This could be considered a humiliation for the countries that have summitted the appeals.
Looks like the ISO/IEC procedural rules and their interpretation offer great surprises again. Or as a more devilish commentator suggested
It is an elegant abuse of newly invented rules to justify the abuse of previous rules. You have to admire the way it even sounds democratic…
Or as ISO/IEC words it:
Experiences from the ISO/IEC 29500 process will also provide important input to ISO and IEC and their respective national bodies and national committees in their efforts to continually improve standards development policies and procedures.
or as Mr. Bryden would say:
Some of the negative publicity is quite extreme and as ISO's Secretary General it's not exactly pleasant for me to see ISO vilified, particularly when much of the extreme criticism is based on false assumptions and a lack of understanding of what ISO is and how it works.
We will find out once again. It is a challenging task to carefully study all the details but sure someone would do.
This is not the end
The NB concerned may appeal this decision to the Councils.
I am curious if that would happen. The effects are described by the ISO press release
According to the ISO/IEC rules, DIS 29500 can now proceed to publication as an ISO/IEC International Standard. This is expected to take place within the next few weeks on completion of final processing of the document, and subject to no further appeals against the decision.
Effectively it would make a lot of sense for National Bodies to do it.