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All: John Hawkins requested that we describe the comment resolution process in much the same way as we write a standard, that is by describing the protocol clearly and unambiguously. I took a first cut at addressing his request and circulated my draft to the SEC for their comments. As a result of feedback I received, here is the Comment Resolution Process as I understand it, and as reviewed by the SEC.
Comment Resolution Protocol
After all comments on a standard draft are submitted and compiled the Comment Resolution group gets first crack at addressing them. Every voting member that wants to be a part of the comment resolution group may do so. Non-voting participants may also be allowed to be a part of the group, based on the discretion of the chair. Understand that being a part of the group may involve traveling to an additional meeting or two, and/or participating in teleconferences, in addition to time spent studying the comments.
Comments are normally grouped for ease in reviewing them.
The comment resolution group attempts to understand each comment and seriously address both the words and any underlying concerns that they believe are behind the comments. It is still the duty of the commenter to recommend the replacement text, or specifically what must be done to resolve the stated issue.
If possible, the comment resolution committee should send their proposed comment resolutions to the original commenter (whenever they do not simply accept the proposed change). Sometimes schedule pressures preclude this possibility prior to the entire working group reviewing the proposed comments. The working group gets the opportunity to review the proposed comment resolutions and any email postings that may support or challenge some of the proposed resolutions. The entire working group gets to vote to approve the comment resolutions on a comment by comment basis (If there is no objection, then no vote is taken. If there is no request to review a comment resolution, then it is assumed that there is no objection to it.)
For those comments that are stated to be mandatory to change a vote from Disapprove to Approve, the commenter is asked to approve the working group's approved comment disposition. (In some working groups, the commenter is asked to approve all comment resolutions.)
Based on comment resolution, some votes may change from Disapprove to Approve. If after the comment resolution process is complete, at least 75% of voting members that cast an Approve or Disapprove vote, now vote Approve, the ballot is said to have passed.
Note that at any point, a commenter may withdraw a comment. In that case, it is as if that comment had never been submitted. The withdrawal of a comment may cause a voter to change his/her vote from Disapprove to Approve.
What Happens Now?
If the draft does not garner at least 75% approval after comment resolution, the ballot has failed, and a new draft is prepared for ballot.
If the draft does achieve a 75% ballot resolution, then we begin the next steps:
Assuming technical changes were made to the draft during the ballot resolution process, and/or, if there are still unresolved negative votes, a revised draft is prepared based on the approved changes to the text. That draft now goes out for “recirculation ballot”, a period that could be as short as 10 days. Along with the draft, all Technical Required Comments that have not been addressed to the commenter’s satisfaction are also circulated. The working group approves a statement that explains why the ballot comment was not addressed to the satisfaction of the commenter, and includes that statement with the comments circulated along with the draft. The commenter has the right to develop a rebuttal statement to the one approved by the working group, stating why the proposed resolution falls short of what is required. In this case, the rebuttal is included in the recirculation. The Working Group reply to the comment and any rebuttal remain with the document all the way through the RevCom approval submission or until the commenter withdraws his Disapprove vote for that issue.
During the recirculation, each person that voted on the originally balloted draft has a chance to change their vote based on changes made to the document, and based on the information obtained by reading the Required Technical Comments that were not addressed to the commenter’s satisfaction. (Note: The recirculation process does not grant voters the right to now look closely, for the first time, at portions of the document that were not changed, but were just not reviewed well during the original ballot period.) If someone that voted on the initial draft does not respond to the recirculation vote, then the voter’s Approve, Disapprove, or Abstain on the initial ballot remains unaltered.
All comments made during a recirculation vote are handled the same way that comments were treated during the initial vote on the draft. In addition, the voter list for recirculation remains unchanged during the entire recirculation process.
If, following the recirculation ballot, there are no new Negative votes, and no new comments that result in technical changes to the draft being made, then the Working Group ballot process is complete and the draft can proceed to LMSC Sponsor level ballot.
If there are new unresolved comments, or further technical changes made to the draft as a result of comment resolution, then another recirculation must take place. Recirculation ballots continue until there are no new negative votes, and no technical changes to the draft as a result of comments made. At this point the draft is ready for LMSC Sponsor level ballot. Normally ballots sent to LMSC Sponsor level have an approval rating at the working group level of at least 95%.
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Robert D. Love
Chair, Resilient Packet Ring Alliance
President, LAN Connect Consultants
7105 Leveret Circle Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: 919 848-6773 Mobile: 919 810-7816
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 208 978-1187