(j3.2006) (SC22WG5.5941) Convener's report from SC22 meeting

David Muxworthy d.muxworthy
Fri Aug 18 12:14:58 EDT 2017

Bill Long wrote:

> This does seem at odds with the whole idea of us being a ?panel of
> experts? rather than representatives of specific countries.  I guess
> the main substance to that idea is that we no longer have country
> votes at the WG5 level.

We have country votes in WG5 when there is something contentious, but
the whole business of representing one's country has become confused.
If anyone is interested in the history:

In 2007 the JTC1 directives were:

   All participants at each WG meeting must be authorised by their NB
   or appropriate liaison organisation.  WG members shall, whenever
   possible, make contributions in tune with their respective NB
   positions and shall keep their NBs informed of their verbal and
   written contributions to WGs. WG members shall indicate whether
   views expressed reflect NB positions or personal opinions. WGs
   shall distribute and consider documented NB positions, individual
   contributions, and liaison contributions relevant to work items
   entrusted to the WG.

This seems eminently sensible and is the procedure that BSI, for one,
still adheres to.

However by 2009 this had changed (without anyone taking much notice)
to :

   A working group comprises a restricted number of experts
   individually appointed by the P-members, A-liaisons of the parent
   committee and D-liaison organizations, brought together to deal
   with the specific task allocated to the working group. The experts
   act in a personal capacity and not as the official representative
   of the P-member or A-liaison organization by which they have been
   appointed with the exception of those appointed by D-liaison
   organizations. However, it is recommended that they keep close
   contact with that P-member or organization in order to inform them
   about the progress of the work and of the various opinions in the
   working group at the earliest possible stage.  It is recommended
   that working groups be reasonably limited in size. The technical
   committee or subcommittee may therefore decide upon the total
   number of experts and also upon the maximum number of experts
   appointed by each P-member.

In 2015, acting on a recommendation from the JTC1 SWG on directives,
the JTC1 Technical Management Board passed a resolution:

   Requests the ISO Central Secretariat (ISO/CS) to include in its
   2015 ITES projects the development of a participant management
   platform similar to the one used by the IEC which could be used for
   all ISO meetings,

It is not clear from available records where the initiative came from.
The IEC Expert Management System had been running for over 10 years.

This resulted in a new paragraph in the 2016 directives:

   The composition of the working group is defined in the ISO Global
   Directory (GD). Experts not registered to a working group in the
   ISO GD may not participate in its work.

In 2017 "or the IEC EMS" was added.

Incidentally a former BSI Secretary repeatedly told the committee that
"may not" was ambiguous and should never be used in standards work.


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