A liaison relationship is defined as OASIS obtaining membership in another organization, or entering into any other liaison relationship or joint agreement such as an MoU. (Other organizations seeking membership in OASIS under standard OASIS membership policies is not covered by this policy.)
The OASIS President has the authority to establish a liaison relationship with and/or sign up OASIS for membership in another organization.
The request to establish a liaison or membership with another organization should be submitted to the President, and may originate with the request from the external organization, the OASIS Board of Directors, a Technical Committee (TC), the Technical Advisory Board (TAB), or OASIS staff. The request to the President should include the following:
Who is the other organization, what do they do, and what is the nature of the relationship suggested? (e.g. is it suggested that OASIS join the other organization and at what level, or vice versa.)
What are the benefits to OASIS of this relationship? What are the goals of OASIS in the relationship?
Which particular activities (technical committees, member sections, etc.) at OASIS would be affected by the relationship? What effect will it have on them, and what level of involvement should be expected from them?
What are the benefits to the other organization of this relationship? What are the goals of the other organization in the relationship?
What is the risk of negative impact on OASIS?
What liaison representation would OASIS be expected to send?
What are the costs, obligations, and responsibilities to OASIS and/or its TCs?
The OASIS President will, based on the above items, decide whether to establish the liaison relationship, and what the nature of the relationship should be. The OASIS President will submit this decision and the justification of the decision (including a summary document with the answers to the above questions) to the Board of Directors for their review and comment. If, after consultation with the Board, the President approves establishment of the Liaison, the OASIS staff will then establish the relationship. Once the relationship is established, a liaison representative to the other organization will be selected as required, and tasked as outlined in section below.
The OASIS President will provide a quarterly status report to the OASIS Board including an update on all the information mentioned above for each liaison. The report will include a detailed plan of actions for at least the top five inter-organization liaisons that involve OASIS resource commitments (OASIS staff, members, etc.).
In most cases where OASIS has established a liaison relationship with another organization OASIS will have the opportunity to send technical or liaison representatives to that other organization. As the person is representing OASIS, he or she should be selected by OASIS and should be given specific instructions so that OASIS will gain the most benefit from the representation. (For the case of a person representing a single TC, see the section below on TC liaisons.)
Selection of the representative and definition of scope/mission
The OASIS representative will be selected and given a scope/mission as follows:
The OASIS President establishes the liaison relationship as described above, and determines that a representative is required to maintain the relationship.
The OASIS President asks OASIS staff, Board, or TAB to make recommendations regarding the qualifications of the representative and to suggest possible candidates. The person could be OASIS staff, a Board Member, a TAB member, a TC chair, any other OASIS member, or other designated person.
The TAB or OASIS management drafts the scope/mission of the liaison representative. The assignment scope should include such things as
Length of assignment
Frequency of assignment activities (conference calls, meetings, etc.)
Who is responsible for any travel expenses (OASIS or the representative's company)
What technical agenda the representative should pursue (are they expected to influence the other organization's work, provide info on OASIS work, or just report on the activities of the other organization)
What, if any, decisions the person is allowed to make
What information they report and to whom
Who at OASIS do they report to and who provides them with direction and feedback
The TAB or OASIS management recommends the person to the OASIS Board.
The Board approves the recommendation.
OASIS management then extends an invitation to the approved liaison representative.
Managing the Representative
In order for OASIS to get the most benefit from having a representative to another organization, the representative should be expected to report back to OASIS so that having a liaison representative results in two-way communication.
OASIS management will manage the representative to ensure that he or she is properly representing OASIS, and that OASIS is receiving regular reports from the other organization. OASIS management should speak at least monthly with the representative.
The representative will also be expected to communicate regularly with OASIS TCs and/or member sections that are effected by the liaison relationship.
Policy for submitting OASIS work to other organizations
OASIS may on occasion have the opportunity to submit its completed and approved specifications to other organizations for approval under their processes.
The request for permission to submit a specification to another organization may originate with a TC, the TAB, or OASIS staff, but must include the following:
The name of the organization and the organization's committee/group to which the submission will be made.
The purpose of the submission (e.g. for approval under the other organizations' process; for inclusion in the other organization's work plan, etc.), as well as a short description of the other organization's approval process, including estimated time required, stages or approval and who votes at each step, and the desired outcome (i.e. what will the spec be called once it is approved).
How the submission will benefit OASIS (e.g. enhance the status of the spec by having the other organization's name on it).
The copyright terms used by the other organization in regard to the submission.
Generally only completed and approved work (i.e. an approved OASIS Standard) should be submitted to another organization. If the work is not yet approved as an OASIS Standard the proposal should include the reason why the work is not being completed and/or approved under the OASIS TC Process.
As OASIS owns the copyright on specifications produced by OASIS technical committees, submitting specifications to other organizations according to the guidelines of this policy will require the approval of the OASIS President. Approval to submit OASIS specifications with any other terms than those specified in this Policy will require approval by the OASIS Board.
The OASIS copyright should remain on the specification when it is published by the other organization, i.e. both OASIS' and the other organization's copyright will appear on the specification. However, OASIS is willing for the other organization's copyright to be the only one on the specification as long as:
The other organization agrees that OASIS will continue to maintain the specification until such time as OASIS gives up that right;
The other organization agrees that it will not further modify the specification until such time as OASIS gives up the right to further maintenance; and
OASIS can continue to publish the OASIS-copyrighted version of the specification under our copyright and distribution policy.
A memorandum of understanding should be signed between the two organizations to ensure that the above items are mutually understood.
Liaisons to the TC
An OASIS TC may desire to have a relationship with the working group or technical committee of another organization by having one or more persons act as liaison representative(s) between the two groups. The selection of the liaison and any invitation to other organizations to provide a liaison should be by vote of the TC. The selection of the liaison must be communicated to OASIS Management, and the liaison must be listed on the TC's web page. The TC may form a liaison subcommittee as required to help the TC coordinate its various liaison relationships.
Ideally a liaison relationship is accomplished by selecting a person who is a member of both the OASIS TC as well as the working group of the other organization to communicate between the two. If such a dual-membership person is not available or is not the right person for this role then the TC may ask a TC member to join the other organization, or recruit a member of the other organization to join OASIS and the TC. If the latter, either the person's employer or the other organization should join OASIS in order to give the person eligibility to join the TC, in accordance with OASIS membership policies. If the company or organization cannot join then the person should join OASIS either as an Individual or an Associate member.
While the person has been asked by the TC to represent its interests in the work of the other organization, the person does not officially represent OASIS and cannot speak for or obligate OASIS in any way. To represent OASIS the person must be appointed an organizational liaison representative as described above.
The person's participation in the other organization is governed by that other organization's membership agreement, rules, and procedures. The person is acting only as a member of that organization. The person must, for example, follow the other organization's rules concerning confidentiality when sharing that organizations' information with the OASIS TC.
OASIS has no class of membership for an "invited expert." To become a member or observer of the TC the person should become eligible as described in the OASIS membership policies and the OASIS TC Process.
If the desired organization or person is unable to pay the membership fee to join OASIS, the TC may petition the member section Steering Committee or the OASIS President to grant a fee-waived, one-year, Individual or Associate membership to the person, as described below.
Fee-waived membership grants
On some occasions it is in the best interests of OASIS to grant fee-waived membership to people or other organizations for the purpose of furthering the work of OASIS. OASIS will grant membership based on the criteria of OASIS gaining benefit from having the other organization or person as a member of or participant in the activities of OASIS. The OASIS President may grant any level of OASIS membership to a person or organization. The grant will be for a fee-waived, one-year membership at a particular membership level. The member will have all of the rights associated with that level of membership. The level granted will be selected based upon the intended level of participation of the person or organization, including
whether the person or organization needs participation at only the TC level, or also voting at the OASIS-wide level;
whether the person or organization needs to be included in OASIS press releases;
the number of participants from the organization in OASIS technical activities; and
whether the other organization has or will in exchange grant OASIS membership in their organization, what rights that membership gives OASIS, and what use OASIS will make of this membership.
All membership levels may be granted on a fee-waived, one-year basis by the OASIS President. The fee-waived memberships will be re-evaluated annually based on the same criteria.