TC Process (July 2000)
OASIS TECHNICAL COMMITTEE POLICY
Section 1. Technical Committees
(i). "Person Eligible for OASIS Technical Committee Participation" ("PEOTCP") means one of a class of individuals that includes persons holding individual memberships in the corporation, employees of organizational members of the corporation, members of organizations to which OASIS has extended the benefits of joint membership, and such other persons as may be designated by the board of directors.
(ii). "Technical Committee" ("TC") means a group of PEOTCPs formed and conducted according to the provisions of this Policy.
(iii). "Joint Committee" ("JC") means a TC formed by joint resolution of a group of cooperating TCs, all of whose members are also members of at least one liaison subcommittee appointed for the purpose of participating in that JC.
(iv). "Liaison Subcommittee" means a subcommittee of a TC formed to provide one or more members of a JC.
(v). A "Calendar Year" begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 of each year.
(vi). A "Calendar Quarter" means any one of the spans of time extending from January 1 through March 31, April 1 through June 30, July 1 through September 30, and October 1 through December 31.
(vii). "OASIS TC Administration" means the persons appointed by the Board of Directors to represent OASIS in administrative matters relating to TCs.
(b). TC Discussion Lists.
Any group of at least three PEOTCPs shall be authorized to begin a discussion list for the purpose of forming a TC by submitting to OASIS TC administration the following items: (i) the name of the discussion list, which shall not be the same as the name of the list in which the TC itself will operate once formed; (ii) a preliminary statement of scope for the TC that the list is intended to form; (iii) the names, electronic mail addresses, and membership affiliations of the PEOTCPs proposing to create the discussion list; (iv) the name of the discussion list leader.
No later than 15 days following the submission, OASIS shall provide these materials to the membership with a call for participation in a discussion list whose purpose is to form the TC described in the application. Discussion of TC formation shall begin on the list no sooner than seven days after the announcement. More than one TC can be formed from a discussion list. A list established to discuss the formation of a TC under provisions of this section shall automatically go out of existence 90 days after the call for participation, together with its archive.
(c). TC Formation.
Any group of at least three PEOTCPs shall be authorized to begin a TC by submitting to OASIS TC administration the following items, written in English and provided in electronic form as plain text: (i) the name of the TC, such name not to have been previously used for an OASIS TC; (ii) statement of purpose, which must be germane to the mission of OASIS; (iii) list of deliverables, with projected dates; (iv) language in which the TC will conduct business; (v) date and time of the first meeting, and whether it will be held in person or by phone; (vi) the meeting schedule for the year following the formation of the TC, or until the projected date of the final deliverable, whichever comes first; (vii) names, electronic mail addresses, and membership affiliations of at least three PEOTCPs committed to the stated meeting schedule; (viii) name of the TC chair; (ix) names of phone meeting sponsors, if any; and (x) names of face-to-face meeting sponsors, if any.
No later than 15 days following the submission, OASIS TC administration shall either provide these materials to the membership, with a call for participation and an announcement of a first meeting, or return the submission to its originators with an explanation of its failure to meet the requirements set forth in this section. If the submission is accepted, OASIS TC administration shall form two electronic mail lists for the TC, namely a general list and a comment list, as described further in the section titled "TC visibility," and the person named as chair of the TC shall be given administrative control of these lists.
(d). First Meeting of a TC.
The first meeting of a TC shall occur no less than 30 days after the announcement of its formation in the case of a telephone meeting and no less than 45 days after the announcement of its formation in the case of a face-to-face meeting. Persons intending to participate in the first meeting must register to attend no later than 15 days prior to the event by notifying the person named as chair of the new TC of their intention to attend the meeting. Every PEOTCP present at the first meeting of a TC shall be initially a voting member of the TC.
The first meeting of a TC must occur at the place and time and in the manner described in the announcement. Any initial meeting whose time or location is changed and any initial phone meeting that fails to grant access to every PEOTCP previously registering a desire to participate shall be subject to appeal as provided in the section of this article titled "Appeals."
(e). TC Membership.
A PEOTCP shall become a prospective member of an existing TC by sending by mail notice of intention to participate to the chair of the TC. Prospective membership shall begin seven days after this notice is received. A prospective member may attend face-to-face meetings as an observer. A prospective member may attend phone meetings as an observer at the discretion of the chair.
A prospective member of a TC shall become a voting member of the TC immediately following the close of the third TC meeting held during the period of prospective membership or after 60 days have elapsed following formal application to join the TC, whichever comes first.
The transference of an individual OASIS membership shall not automatically confer TC membership upon the transferee.
(f). Termination of TC Membership.
Except as provided in the section of this article titled "Leaves of Absence," membership in an OASIS TC shall be terminated under the following conditions:
(i). A member shall be warned by mail from the chair of the TC upon failure to attend two out of every three successive meetings of the TC. Membership shall be terminated if the member fails to attend the next meeting following transmittal of the warning.
(ii). A member shall be warned by mail from the chair of the TC upon failure to return 80 percent of all mail ballots closing during any 90-day period. Membership shall be terminated if the member fails to return 80 percent of all mail ballots closing during the 90 days following transmittal of the warning.
(iii). A member shall be considered to have resigned from a TC upon receipt of notification of resignation by mail from the member by the chair of the TC.
Termination of membership in an OASIS TC shall automatically end voting membership in any subcommittee directly or indirectly created by that TC.
(g). Leaves of Absence.
Every member of an OASIS TC shall be entitled to at least one leave of absence per calendar year. During a leave of absence, a member shall be exempt from the participation criteria specified in the section of this Policy titled "Termination of TC Membership." A first leave of absence in any calendar year shall be obtained automatically upon application to the chair of the TC.
A TC member who has already been granted a leave of absence during a calendar year may apply for a maximum of one additional leave of absence during the same year, but a second leave of absence in a calendar year shall be granted only upon formal resolution of the TC.
A member of a TC who has been granted a leave of absence shall cease to be a member of the TC and all of its subcommittees for the duration of the leave. However, membership in the TC and membership in any still-existing subcommittee of the TC of which the same person was a member at the beginning of the leave shall resume when the leave ends.
The length of a leave of absence shall be specified in advance by the member requesting it and shall not exceed 45 days. A leave of absence shall begin no earlier than seven days after the date upon which the request was submitted to the chair of the TC and shall end on the date specified, or at the beginning of the first TC meeting or subcommittee meeting attended after the leave begins, or upon transmittal of the first mail ballot returned after the leave begins, whichever comes first. Time allocated for a leave of absence but not used due to early resumption of membership cannot be carried over into another leave.
(h). TC Chairs.
A TC chair may be removed by action of the board of directors following an appeal as specified in the section of this Policy titled "Appeals" or by a vote of 2/3 of all the members of the TC.
A vacancy in chairing a TC shall be deemed to exist when (i) the chair has been removed, (ii) the chair has resigned the position, or (iii) the chair ceases to be a member of the TC. Vacancies in chairing a TC shall be filled by election from the membership of the TC.
The same provisions regarding leaves of absence shall apply to the chair of a TC as to the other members of a TC, except the chair must notify both OASIS TC administration and the TC at least 30 days prior to any non-emergency leave of absence.
(i). TC Visibility.
All TC electronic mail lists shall be archived for the duration of the corporation, and all TC mail archives shall be publicly visible. Each TC shall be provided upon formation with a general list and a comment list. Every PEOTCP shall be able to subscribe to the general mailing list of any TC, but only members of that TC shall be able to post to it. The minutes of each TC meeting shall be published to that TC's general list.
The comment list of a TC shall be open to contributions from every PEOTCP, and may also be enabled to accept comments from other groups or from the public at large by resolution of the TC. TCs shall not be required to respond to comments.
OASIS shall create a publicly archived list for announcements from OASIS TC administration regarding TCs. Any PEOTCP shall be able to subscribe to this list. Every important change in TC status shall be posted to the announcement list, such changes to include but not be limited to the following: TC formation; changes in purpose, deliverables, or meeting schedule; publication of working drafts; publication of committee specifications; calls for implementation; submission of a specification as a proposed OASIS standard; approval or rejection of a proposed standard; start or end of participation in a joint committee; and closure of a TC.
(j). TC Procedure.
The operation of TCs shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, as such rules may be revised from time to time, insofar as such rules are not inconsistent with or in conflict with this Policy, with the Articles of Incorporation of this corporation, or with provisions of law.
The duration of a TC shall be considered a single session. Formal actions of TCs shall be governed by the same rules regardless of the language in which the work is taking place.
(k). TC Meetings.
"TC meeting" shall be construed to include telephone conferences and video conferences as well as face-to-face meetings. Any TC that fails to conduct at least one meeting during a calendar year shall cease to exist at the beginning of the calendar year immediately following.
(l). TC Revision.
A TC can clarify its statement of purpose; revise its deliverables; and change its meeting schedule. Such changes shall be reported on the TC announcement list, and any revisable publicly visible description (e.g., Web page) promulgated by the TC shall be updated to reflect such changes.
(m). TC Voting.
Every member of a TC has a single vote. Organizations do not vote in TCs. Proxies shall not be allowed in TC voting. The final approval of a committee specification shall require at least 2/3 of the total membership of a TC voting to approve and no more than 1/4 voting to disapprove.
(n). Conduct of TC Business by Mail.
A TC may adopt a standing rule authorizing its chair to draft resolutions pertaining to routine business directly related to the stated purpose of the TC and to conduct votes on such resolutions by mail. "Mail" as the term is applied to the conduct of TCs shall be construed to mean electronic mail.
A TC may, by the approval of 2/3 of the members voting in a meeting, allow the chair between that meeting and the next to draft resolutions pertaining to specified subjects, to propose such draft resolutions to the members of the TC for discussion by mail, to entertain friendly amendments to such draft resolutions and make such changes as shall seem most likely to gain general assent of the members of the TC, to put such resolutions as seem to have gained majority assent to the members of the TC for a vote by mail, and to conduct votes on such resolutions by mail.
The period allowed for voting by mail shall be five days, unless the TC specifies a different voting period in the resolution authorizing the vote or in standing rules governing mail ballots.
(o). TC Coordination.
Coordination among TCs shall take place through the action of voluntary joint committees (JCs). The formation of a JC shall begin with the preparation of a JC proposal. A JC proposal must meet all of the criteria for a TC proposal, and it must in addition contain: (i) the date and time of the first meeting of the JC, such date to be no less than 45 days and no more than one year from the date of submission; (ii) a list of all the TCs that will cooperate in the work of the JC; and (iii) the name of at least one member from each of those TCs who is committed to the purpose and meeting schedule of the JC; provided that no individual named in the proposal shall be allowed to represent more than one TC in meeting this requirement.
Within 15 days of its submission, OASIS TC administration shall convey the proposal to the chairs of all the TCs named in the proposal and shall in addition copy the proposal to the TC announcement list. Each of the TCs shall then have until 30 days before the date set in the proposal for the first JC meeting to appoint a liaison subcommittee, the members of which are thereby empowered to participate in the JC described in the proposal. The appointment of liaison subcommittees shall be governed by the same rules that apply to the appointment of ordinary TC subcommittees.
Upon the appointment of liaison subcommittees by all of the TCs named in the proposal, OASIS shall create a mailing list for the new JC and shall announce its formation to the membership, but for informational purposes only and not as a call for participation.
The voting members of a newly created JC shall be those OASIS members who (x) have been appointed to a liaison subcommittee created for this purpose by one of the TCs cooperating in the JC, (y) individually register their intention to attend the first meeting of the JC by sending mail no later than 15 days preceding the meeting to the chair of the JC, and (z) attend the first meeting of the JC.
The first meeting of a JC shall not be called to order until at least one member from each liaison subcommittee appointed to participate in the JC is present at the meeting. If this requirement is not met by the end of the time scheduled for the first meeting, then the JC shall cease to exist, and OASIS TC administration shall close its mailing list. No person shall be counted as representing more than one TC for purposes of this requirement.
Membership in a JC after its first meeting shall be governed by the same rules governing membership in a TC, with the added requirement that any prospective member of a JC must first be a member of a liaison subcommittee appointed for this purpose by one of the cooperating TCs.
Except as provided in this section, all of the provisions for meetings, membership, termination of membership, and leaves of absence that apply to members of TCs shall apply equally to JCs, with the added requirement that warnings of termination of membership shall be copied to the chairs of TCs contributing a member to the JC as well as to the affected member.
The membership of a person in a JC shall terminate if that person resigns from the JC, fails to meet the generic participation requirements of JCs and TCs, or ceases to be a member of any of the liaison subcommittees participating in the JC.
If termination of membership in a JC causes a still existing TC's contribution of voting members to that JC to fall to zero, the chair of the JC shall, within 15 days following the termination of membership, notify OASIS and the chair of the formerly participating TC that the TC is in breach of its obligation to contribute to the work of the JC. The TC shall have 90 days following this notice to appoint a new liaison subcommittee, whose members shall become prospective members of the JC. If none of those prospective members fulfills the requirements for participation in the JC, the attempt to create a liaison subcommittee shall be declared a failure.
If a still-existing TC in breach of its obligation to contribute to a JC fails to appoint a liaison subcommittee within the time stated, then all activities and mailing lists of that JC shall cease until its successor, if any, can be organized according to the provisions for starting a JC.
If one or more TCs participating in a JC cease to exist but more than one TC remains, the chair of the JC shall so inform OASIS TC administration, and the remaining TCs after notice from OASIS TC administration shall have 30 days thereafter to adopt a joint resolution agreeing to carry on the work of the JC without requalifying its members. If they fail to adopt such a resolution, the JC shall cease to exist.
A TC shall have no obligation to abide by any decision arrived at in a JC to which it contributes membership. The business of a JC to which a TC contributes membership shall be imparted to the TC through reports from the chair of its liaison subcommittee. Such reports shall have the same force and shall be made, received, and acted upon in the same manner as reports from any other subcommittee of the TC.
A TC shall be added to or removed from the set of TCs contributing to a JC only upon joint resolution of all of the participating TCs.
Any group of three or more PEOTCPs who believe that an action taken or not taken by or with respect to TCs is in violation of the procedures set forth in this Policy or specified by the board of directors of the corporation may appeal such action or inaction to OASIS TC administration. Appellants shall file a complaint within 30 days of the action being appealed or at any time with respect to an inaction. The complaint shall state the nature of the objection(s), including any direct and material adverse effects upon the appellants; the section(s) of this Policy or of the board resolution(s) at issue; the actions or inactions at issue; and the specific remedial action(s) that would satisfy the appellants' concerns. Previous efforts to resolve the objection(s) and the outcome of each shall be noted.
Within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, OASIS TC administration shall respond to the appellants, addressing each allegation of fact in the complaint to the extent of the TC administration's knowledge. If the appellants and the TC administration are unable to resolve the complaint within 15 days following the response, the TC administration shall schedule a hearing before the OASIS board of directors at the next regular board meeting. In such a hearing, appellants shall have the burden of demonstrating adverse effects, improper action or inaction, and the efficacy of the requested remedial action. The board shall render its decision within 30 days. The decision of the board shall be final.
The OASIS board of directors has the authority to effect such remedial action as may be necessary to remedy a complaint brought under this procedure.
(q). Application to Existing TCs.
This Policy applies to previously established TCs upon its adoption.
Section 2. Standards Process
A technical committee (TC) as defined in Section 1 of this Policy that has approved and published a committee specification may simultaneously or at some later time recommend that the specification be made an OASIS standard. Upon resolution of the TC to move the specification forward, its chair shall submit the following items to OASIS: (a) a formal specification that is a valid member of its type; (b) appropriate documentation for the specification; (c) a clear English-language summary of the specification; (d) certification by at least three OASIS member organizations that they are successfully using the specification; (e) an account of or pointer to votes and comments received in any earlier attempts to standardize substantially the same specification, together with the originating TC's response to each comment; and (f) a pointer to the publicly visible comments archive for the originating TC.
Thirty days shall be allowed for administrative processing of a proposed standard. The proposal shall be submitted to the OASIS membership for review at the beginning of the first calendar quarter following the 30 days allocated for administrative review. At the beginning of the next calendar quarter, the proposal shall be submitted to the voting members of OASIS, who shall have thirty days to return a ballot approving or disapproving the proposal. The TC that originated the specification may, by formal resolution, withdraw the proposed specification at any point after it is submitted to OASIS for administrative processing and before the end of the voting period.
In votes upon proposed OASIS standards, each voting OASIS member shall be entitled to cast one vote. Votes shall be cast by sending electronic mail to a publicly archived list created for this purpose. Votes may be changed up until the end of the voting period. The results of a vote on a proposed standard shall be provided to the membership and to the TC no later than seven days following the close of the voting period.
If at the end of the voting period at least 10 percent of the voting membership has voted to approve the proposed standard, then if no votes have been cast to disapprove the proposed standard, it shall become an OASIS standard immediately following the end of the voting period. However, if negative votes amounting to less than 10 percent of the voting membership have been cast, the negative votes and accompanying comments, if any, shall be forwarded to the originating TC for consideration. After notification of the results, the TC shall have 30 days to take one of the following actions by resolution: (x) request OASIS to approve the specification as submitted despite the negative votes, or (y) withdraw the submission entirely, or (z) submit an amended specification, in which case the amended submission shall be considered as if it were a new submission, except that information regarding previous votes and any disposition of comments received in previous votes shall accompany the amended submission.
If at the end of the voting period less than 10 percent of the voting membership has voted to approve the proposed standard, or if at the end of the voting period 10 percent or more of the voting membership has voted to disapprove the proposed standard, or if the originating TC upon notification of negative votes takes no formal action within the 30 days allocated for consideration of the results, then the specification shall not become an OASIS standard. This shall not prevent the same or similar specification from being submitted again.
Section 3. Board of Directors Involvement in Standards Process
The Board shall appoint a member of "OASIS TC administration," as defined in Section 1 of this Policy, to act as the Technical Committee ("TC") Liaison to the Board for the purpose of keeping the Board apprised of activities related to the Standards Process. The specific duties of the TC Liaison shall be specified by the Board in conjunction with OASIS TC Administration but shall, at a minimum, provide for the submission to the Board, no less than once per calendar quarter, of a report identifying and summarizing all TC Committee Specifications that have been recommended by resolution of the appropriate TC for adoption as an OASIS Standard in accordance with Section 2 of this Policy. Such report shall be submitted to the Board at a regular or special meeting of the Board in advance of the scheduled submission of the proposed standard to OASIS membership for review and voting. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Section 2 of this Policy, upon majority vote of the members of the Board at a meeting thereof duly called and constituted, the proposed Standard may be withheld from submission to OASIS membership and returned to the sponsoring TC for additional consideration, with an explanation of the reasons for such action.
The Board of Directors may amend this Policy at any time and from time to time in its sole discretion.