[LEAPSECS] Get off my lawn!

Steve Allen sla at ucolick.org
Mon Jun 20 09:46:25 EDT 2011

On Fri 2011-06-17T10:19:09 -0700, Steve Allen hath writ:

> Here's something I missed until today: CCTF/09-38

> http://www.bipm.org/cc/CCTF/Allowed/18/CCTF_09-38_CGPM-ITU-resp.pdf

> the CIPM advises the 24th CGPM that henceforth the CGPM should

> assume responsibility for the definition of international time

> scales while the ITU continues its intergovernmental

> regulatory activities regarding the radio dissemination of

> precise time and frequency signals

The discussion of that draft recommendation is in

Dr Gill conveyed the position of the UK Government that
responsibility for definition and governance of time scales should
remain with the ITU.

A key concern raised in general discussion was that in practice,
definition of time scales includes not only technical but also
regulatory and other aspects. Dr Arias expressed the opinion that
the ITU may not be the ideal forum to discuss technical issues,
and Dr Cordara similarly recommended that UTC be under the
technical jurisdiction of the CCTF. In response, Dr Beard pointed
out that regulatory and related activities are also key issues for
definition of time scales, and that the ITU is an international
treaty organization with regulatory functions. Both Dr Beard and
Dr Bauch expressed doubt that full responsibility for UTC could
make the transition from the regulatory structure of the ITU to
the CGPM. Dr Levine and Dr McCarthy argued moreover for a formal
separation between technical and other aspects, and for the CCTF
to retain its primary focus as a technical body.

The President summarized the discussion by noting that the CCTF
was not yet ready to endorse the draft recommendation. Although
the BIPM retains technical responsibility for the implementation
of UTC, further consultation is needed between the BIPM and ITU to
clarify and develop responsibilities in this area.

These turf wars meant that the draft was not sent to the CIPM and
will not be on the agenda when the CGPM meets later this year, so
the ITU-R WRC in early 2012 has been left in the position of making
the next move.

Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> WGS-84 (GPS)
UCO/Lick Observatory--ISB Natural Sciences II, Room 165 Lat +36.99855
1156 High Street Voice: +1 831 459 3046 Lng -122.06015
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/ Hgt +250 m

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