Response to WG last call, Problem Statement: Thoughts on the IETF problem statement

Robert Snively rsnively at
Fri Nov 21 17:00:26 CET 2003

And in agreement with Dan's experience, INCITS specifies
membership by organization.  IBM gets one vote.  Consultants 
are required to drop their
consulting organization from membership while representing another
organization.  Key votes have a 2/3 rule applied for consensus.
The 2/3 rule requires 2/3 of those voting to approve and 1/2 of the
total membership to approve.  Subsequent public review
is by individual.  All technical comments must be addressed, and
if they are not resolved, they are forwarded with the standard
to the administrative review process.  Such standards may be
returned unapproved to the committee.  For this reason, we typically
have 100% consensus with the final standard, giving the technical
comment the same kind of quasi-veto power seen in IEEE.  
See, where the policies and procedures are documented as 
Reference Document 2 (RD-2).

INCITS policies and procedures are designed to meet the ANSI
standards for accreditation.  Note that the IEEE procedures described
by Dan are also designed to meet those standards, even though those of IEEE
are quite different and much more like IETF's.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Romascanu, Dan (Dan) [mailto:dromasca at]
> Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 2:43 PM
> To: Alex Rousskov; Robert Snively
> Cc: problem-statement at
> Subject: RE: Response to WG last call, Problem Statement: Thoughts on
> the IETF problem statement
> > What mechanism do IEEE and other cheap SDOs have from 
> preventing, say,
> > Cisco or Microsoft from registering thousands of voting members to
> > control a given working group? They certainly have the resources
> > required. What protects minority in a voting-based SDO? Some kind of
> > count-based (rather than portion-based) appeal process?
> > 
> > 
> Two examples from my IEEE experience:
> - At the beginning of a standards activity, a Call For 
> Interest (CFI) is being hold. This is roughly the equivalent 
> of an IETF BOF. Care is being taken that there is an 
> appropriate balance of participants from the 
> research/academy, vendors, and customers, counted on 
> organizational rather than individuals basis before a 
> decision is taken to start a standards work
> - Later, in the editing process, comments are classified as 
> critical (REQUIRED) or not. All critical comments, from any 
> individual need to be resolved, and have quasi-veto power. 
> Certainly, at the end of the day there is enough power for 
> the majority to vote down with a 75% majority repeated 
> comments coming from one single individual, but I am not sure 
> that this is worse than the IETF process of consensus 
> reaching in a Last Call. I am not sure that majority votes 
> requiring 75% majority is worse in this case than the 
> decision taken by one single WG chair (who is also sponsored 
> by some company, isn't he/she?)
> Regards,
> Dan
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