[LEAPSECS] Who do we develop standards for?

Michael Deckers michael.deckers at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 1 15:11:03 EST 2011

On 2011-01-01 17:50, Finkleman, Dave wrote:

> I have learned in my ISO work that we develop standards for those to

> whom the issue matters -- not for those who are unaffected or have no

> stake. In our AIAA paper we enumerate the criteria for a standard.

> Working groups are appointed to develop specific standards. Each member

> must be a recognized expert. Each must have a material stake in the

> outcome. Membership must be balanced among industry, academia/research,

> and government at least to the extent that no single group can dominate.

For the issuance of ISO standards, only national standardization
committees can be contributing P members, not persons. While I have
contributed to ISO IEC JTC1 SC32 via the German standards
organization (over ten years), the committe was always dominated
by participants from industry. I am not aware of any ISO rule to
the contrary.

IMHO, the most effective control of ISO standards is the public
review and comment period (usually of 3 months) to be held before
an "FDIS" can become an ISO standard. Every comment raised within
that period has to be considered and resolved by the working group.
This prevents contentious standards being adopted without serious
discussion and without a big majority in favor (it does not
prevent useless standards, though).

The operating procedures of ITU (as well as those of many other
consortia like IEEE, MPEG,...) do not seem to require a public
review before a standard is adopted. The only way to influence
the content of a standard is the participation in the
standardization work -- which is laborious and expensive, and
therefore limited to the immediate stakeholders.

The standard defining UTC should be up for public review before it
is imposed on the world because nobody can choose not to use it.

Michael Deckers.

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