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Subject: Re: [oasis-board-comment] Re: [emergency] Objections toDHS-Dictated Material in the IPAWS Profile Draft

Hi Bob,

To the best of my knowledge the TC Process is being followed. In 
addition we have sought OASIS guidance on these topics. Since I am 
not a co-chair of the Subcommittee formed to address the CAPv1.1 
IPAWS Profile, nor am I an officer of the TC, I don't believe I 
should be answering for the SC or the TC so I am copying the SC and 
TC mailing lists with this reply.

Best Regards,

At 7:53 PM -0500 2/15/09, Bob Freund wrote:
>Is the TC Process being followed?
>On Feb 15, 2009, at 7:42 PM, Rex Brooks wrote:
>>Thanks Renato,
>>Good to know.
>>At 10:14 AM +1000 2/16/09, Renato Iannella wrote:
>>>I fully support Art's comments below.
>>>I must also inform you that this is one of the reason's why I did 
>>>not recommend that NICTA continue its membership of OASIS.
>>>Cheers...  Renato Iannella
>>>On 15 Feb 2009, at 05:49, Art Botterell wrote:
>>>>Friends -
>>>>If you look at this 71-page document you'll see that almost two-thirds
>>>>of it isn't OASIS work-product at all.  The actual draft Profile,
>>>>including an appendix created by the CAP Profiles Subcommittee, makes up
>>>>only 25 pages.  The other 46 pages, Appendix B, are actually a
>>>>separate--and in many ways contradictory--document created by the U.S.
>>>>Department of Homeland Security.
>>>>I believe that including that non-OASIS content in our draft for public
>>>>review is unnecessary, confusing, risky and ultimately damaging to the
>>>>credibility of the OASIS process and this Technical Committee.  I also
>>>>believe it's against the public interest, as I'll discuss in a moment.
>>>>It's UNNECESSARY because the same DHS document is already referenced and
>>>>linked in section 1.5, "Non-Normative References," along with several
>>>>other references that weren't included in full.  There is no need under
>>>>the OASIS process for us to include this language in full either.  
>>>>simplicity, if for no other reason, we shouldn't obfuscate our document
>>>>with a large block of redundant material, particularly if we're serious
>>>>about seeking meaningful public review and comment.
>>>>It's CONFUSING because although the DHS material purports to be a
>>>>requirements document, it's actually written in the form of a fairly
>>>>detailed specification, one that contradicts the draft OASIS Profile on
>>>>a number of very significant points and goes far beyond it on others.
>>>>Putting that conflicting material in an appendix and labeling it
>>>>non-normative can't offset the overwhelming fact that it still would
>>>>comprise the largest part of the document.   And including a mass of
>>>>extraneous and inconsistent material in the draft can't help but muddy
>>>>the public comment process.
>>>>It's RISKY because we're being drawn into uncharted legal and procedural
>>>>waters. The traditional role of OASIS has been to generate voluntary
>>>>standards that folks can use or choose not to use.  But here we're being
>>>>asked by DHS/FEMA to conduct what they've told us on several occasions
>>>>they plan to treat as the public review component of a federal
>>>>regulatory process, one that will have significant financial and
>>>>political implications on a number of industries, jurisdictions and
>>>>other stakeholders.  That's a very different activity, and not one I
>>>>think most OASIS members contemplated when they joined the organization.
>>>>Although we may hear opinions on the subject, the fact is that we
>>>>simply can't know what sorts of liabilities, legal expenses or other
>>>>ramifications might arise from such an undertaking, not only for OASIS
>>>>but also for the individual members of this TC.
>>>>And it's potentially DAMAGING to OASIS and the OASIS standards process
>>>>because it creates an appearance that OASIS and particularly the
>>>>Emergency Management Technical Committee are no longer independent and
>>>>honest arbiters but now merely agents of the U.S. government.  (That
>>>>impression can only be deepened by the fact that the chair and most of
>>>>the members of the CAP Profiles Subcommittee... and many if not most of
>>>>the active members of the EM TC... are themselves DHS/FEMA contractors
>>>>or subcontractors.  And further, that OASIS itself has entered into a
>>>>side contract with DHS.)  We've historically heard complaints from
>>>>international members that this TC is excessively U.S.-oriented; we
>>>>don't need to add fuel to that fire.
>>>>So why is Appendix B in there?  Not in support of the OASIS process,
>>>>clearly.  It's there, I'd suggest, because OASIS has been recruited,
>>>>perhaps unwittingly, into a radical experiment in the privatization of
>>>>federal regulation launched under the previous Administration.  
>>>>And that
>>>>experiment is now being pressed headlong to completion before the new
>>>>Administration has a chance to consider it.
>>>>That's a strong claim, I know, and the mechanics of such things may be
>>>>unfamiliar to many OASIS members, so please bear with me while I expand
>>>>on it a bit.
>>>>The C
>>>>AP IPAWS Profile will ultimately be binding on the radio, TV,
>>>>satellite, cable and cellular telephone industries, among others, and on
>>>>state and local jurisdictions nationwide.  Historically, such federal
>>>>regulations have gone through mature and well-defined procedures for
>>>>open public comment and review managed, in this particular subject area,
>>>>by the Federal Communication Commission.
>>>>However, in June 2006 an Executive Order (EO 13407) made the Department
>>>>of Homeland Security the lead agency for public warning, with the FCC,
>>>>NOAA and other federal agencies tasked to support DHS.  Being quite a
>>>>young federal agency, as such things go, DHS... of which FEMA is now a
>>>>department... has not had time to develop fully its own processes for
>>>>developing regulations.
>>>>In the case of the cellular alerting program (and with a bit of prodding
>>>>by way of congressional legislation) DHS partnered with the FCC in 2007
>>>>and 2008 to conduct an advisory committee process followed by two cycles
>>>>of rulemaking with formal public comment and reply-comment processes.
>>>>But in the case of IPAWS, which is meant to integrate multiple public
>>>>warning systems (EAS, cellular, NOAA Weather Radio and others) into a
>>>>single coordinated national capability, DHS has taken a different and
>>>>much less collaborative approach.  They've hired contractors, most of
>>>>them with little or no experience in public warning, and developed a
>>>>detailed set of technical specs, and then pressed OASIS to cover those
>>>>specifications with a veneer of public review by slipping it into our
>>>>document as an appendix.
>>>>Meanwhile, DHS has proceeded separately through its "Practitioner
>>>>Working Group" to solicit comments on... and thus build stakeholder
>>>>investment in... their own version of the Profile.  So it seems
>>>>reasonable to question whether DHS actually is committed to the OASIS
>>>>process, or whether they may simply be using OASIS to create, if not a
>>>>rubberstamp endorsement of their own agenda, then at least an illusion
>>>>of public and expert review of a document we've actually found to have a
>>>>number of serious shortcomings.
>>>>In short, we need to consider the possibility that OASIS is being used
>>>>in an attempt to shortcut the regulatory process and reduce the
>>>>transparency of government.
>>>>The justification that we're including this appendix as "a service to
>>>>the users" is both transparent and irrelevant.  Including an appendix
>>>>that explicitly contradicts the actual OASIS recommendation is hardly
>>>>doing anyone a service.  And in any event, nothing prevents DHS from
>>>>publishing any additional information it deems beneficial or necessary
>>>>by its own means.  Ultimately the CAP Profile will only be one part of
>>>>the regulatory framework required for IPAWS.
>>>>In summary, then:  There's no compelling reason under the OASIS process
>>>>for including the confusing, contradictory and extraneous material in
>>>>Appendix B, and a number of important reasons not to.
>>>>I hope you'll join me in acting prudently on Tuesday to remove this
>>>>unnecessary appendix from the draft before it hopelessly confuses the
>>>>public review process and perhaps permanently damages our reputations as
>>>>advocates of an open standards process.
>>>>And there's no need for haste here, except perhaps on the part of some
>>>>of the DHS bureaucracy.  The IPAWS program has been ongoing for at least
>>>>four years; we've been involved for less than ten weeks.  And DHS
>>>>representatives have already advised us that they plan to come back with
>>>>amended or additional requirements in the foreseeable future.  So please
>>>>don't be swayed by any implication that we're somehow obliged to release
>>>>this document prematurely.
>>>>- Art
>>>>To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
>>>>generates this mail.  Follow this link to all your TCs in OASIS at:
>>>To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
>>>generates this mail.  Follow this link to all your TCs in OASIS at:
>>Rex Brooks
>>President, CEO
>>Starbourne Communications Design
>>GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
>>Berkeley, CA 94702
>>Tel: 510-898-0670
>>To unsubscribe, e-mail: oasis-board-comment-unsubscribe@lists.oasis-open.org
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>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:smime 1001.p7s (    /    ) (0135EDFE)

Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-898-0670

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