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Re: [802SEC] SA rejected 802's Application for IEEE-SA Corporate Membership


I was heavily involved with governance (RevCom et al) when the move was made to drop "Coordination".
It was dropped because it didn't work.
    - Coordination comments weren't votes so coordination input tended to get blown off
        (I would object at RevCom but get overridden because "requirements had been met")
    - Getting responses (which were needed to close the ballot) was a pain
I objected in my usual charming manner that changing from a bad solution to to solution at all was a really poor way to solve a problem that actually mattered.  It fell on deaf ears.

This problem was created by staff and governance volunteers.  They are in charge of the rules.  It is, in turn, their job to fix it.  It is our job as non-governance volunteers to hold their feet to the fire until they do.


On 298//12 11:44 AM, Pat Thaler wrote:

Dear Colleagues,


I agree that this arose from a failure of the process of liaison/coordination and resolving that issue would fix it.


As I understand the way things stand now, an incorporated specification developing body or  non-IEEE SDO  could be an entity member and join entity projects.


On the other hand there are no rules requirements on responding to liaisons (from inside or outside IEEE) and coordination with other IEEE WGs. (Coordination is only mentioned as the mandatory coordination from SCC14, IEEE standards editorial staff and the RAC).


The result is that the rules put IEEE sponsors in an inferior position on having input to IEEE standards projects in other IEEE sponsors. They have to depend on the good will of the other sponsor in establishing a working liaison relationship without any force of policy requiring such cooperation.


Back in the mists of time (before email, PDF and MyBallot when we used postal services to send a paper copy of a draft), PARs had a field to indicate other sponsors/WGs that required coordination. They were sent drafts as part of Sponsor Balloting and their comments needed response. (They didn’t have a vote.) That was dropped, I think, because often groups were non-responsive and it was a pain tracking them down to get the liaison response.


There should be some requirements on a project requiring coordination with another WG or sponsor that wants liaison. A WG shouldn’t be able to withhold sponsor ballot drafts and should respond to comments submitted on those drafts. It doesn’t have to require the onerous tracking down of a non-responsive group. For instance, a group wanting liaison could be added to the MyBallot for coordination so that they are notified when a ballot starts, can download the draft and upload comments.


MyBallot already provides for that for the mandatory coordination. I don’t know if it would require modification to add additional non-voting coordination members of the pool.


This could be less burdensome than the old rule. It could be up to the liaison group to conduct the review and comment. If they are unresponsive, the project could progress. One doesn’t have to have a rule requiring the owner of the PAR to extract responses from them.





From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** [] On Behalf Of Geoff Thompson
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] SA rejected 802's Application for IEEE-SA Corporate Membership


A couple of things come to mind.
1.    This looks like it was a staff decision.  That strikes me as inappropriate.
        I believe this decision should be bumped up to the board level.  The questions then becomes what board.

2.    This should be a decision that can be appealed.
       However, all of the appeals procedures that I have read only apply to volunteer decisions,
       not to staff decisions.  This would appear to be a deficiency in SA procedures.
       This needs to be remedied.

3.    The whole reason for this question to come up was lack of coordination
       and the resistance of an entity group to coordination/openness.
       If the SASB and the BoG would fix this the entire issue would go away.

4.    The Computer Society seems to hold itself at some distance from the rest of the Institute (Los Alamitos vs. Piscataway).
       Perhaps there is a level of independence there that could be used to help fix this.

5.    I would assert that the 802 EC is "the governing body (e.g., the Board of Directors) of the entity", i.e. 802 and the rest of the chain upward is a voluntary association.  802 has the right to vote to disassociate itself from the IEEE and is therefore "the governing body".

6.    If the staff and the SASB decide to play hardball and we decide to pursue the issue, then things could get very ugly and that would be a VERY BAD thing.  The following are undesirable outcomes: a) the issue of exclusion of interested parties gets put before ANSI for adjudication, b) this gets to the level of adversarial proceedings between lawyers, c) this will be seen as a MASSIVE failure by staff to be able to manage their herd of cats and the result is that staff will become even weaker that it is now and the whole sand castle will just slowly crumble. d) the whole thing becomes so bitter that 802 has no choice other than to leave the SA. e) I am sure there are other ugly potential results.  Enter your favorites here.

I always thought that the concept of both individual and entity membership within an SDO was a bad idea.  It was trying to fix a situation that has some problems by just trading it for a new set of problems (and thus a new learning curve).  This shows that the situation is worse than that.  Not only is there a whole new environment in which to solve the same old problems, brand new problems have been created.  This is not good.

I dearly hope that upper management both volunteer and professional (802, SA, Institute) simply declare that this situation will not be a problem and declare a fix.  This is the sort of situation for which quality upper management exists.  My personal opinion is that it would be easier to solve it by coming down hard on the original problem which was an unwillingness to admit all materially interested parties to the process.

The fact that the situation has gotten to this point makes me sad.

Best regards,
Geoff Thompson
Member Emeritus, 802 EC
Recipient IEEE-SA Standards Board Distinguished Service Award

On 288//12 7:43 AM, Paul Nikolich wrote:

Dear EC Members,


Below is the rejection response to 802's application for entity membership.  I will be in Piscataway at SASB meetings today and tomorrow to further discuss this with our 802 colleagues, along with staff and SA volunteers. 


We need to figure out what our next steps should be. 







----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:04 AM

Subject: Your Application for IEEE-SA Corporate Membership


Hello Mr. Nikolich,

Thank you for your response to my question.

My understanding of the IEEE 802 EC is that it is a committee of the 802 LMSC, which reports into a series of board structures.
The IEEE 802 EC is not an independent board and 802 is not an independent entity.

Here is my understanding, again, of 802 LMSC's reporting structure:

  • IEEE 802 LMSC to;
  • IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board to;
  • IEEE Computer Society to;
  • IEEE-SA Standards Board (for standards) to;
  • IEEE-SA Board of Governors to;
  • IEEE Board of Directors.

Because IEEE 802 EC is not an independent board and 802 is not an independent entity, the IEEE-SA is rejecting your application for IEEE-SA Corporate Membership.

Please see Section Control of our bylaws ( - -

For the purpose of IEEE entity standards development, the term "control" (and its linguistic derivatives, e.g., "controlling," "controlled") means:

  • With respect to for-profit entities: the legal, beneficial, or equitable ownership, directly or indirectly, of more than fifty percent of the capital stock (or other ownership interest, if the entity does not own capital stock) of the entity; or the power to elect or appoint more than fifty percent of the governing body (e.g., the Board of Directors) of the entity.
  • With respect to not-for-profit entities: the power to elect or appoint more than fifty percent of the governing body (e.g., the Board of Directors) of the entity.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best Regards,

Patricia Sulzer
Program Manager - IEEE-SA Membership
IEEE Standards Association
445 Hoes Lane
Piscataway NJ 08854 USA
PH: +1 732 562-6381

IEEE. Fostering technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.

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