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

Rex, I'm afraid this may be a bit of a red herring.  No one has suggested that the TC process isn't being followed.  The questions facing us have to do with whether including this particular outside material in a Committee Draft is appropriate or wise.  As best I can tell, the TC process is silent on that question.

Separately the Board may or may not want to take up some other OASIS-wide issues having to do with the prudence of entering into undisclosed side-contracts with members, and with whether the existing TC process is really adequate in light of this peculiar experience.  However, those aren't questions for the TC, and I trust we won't allow ourselves to be distracted from the real issue before us.

- Art

Art Botterell, Manager
Community Warning System
Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
50 Glacier Drive
Martinez, California 94553
(925) 313-9603
fax (925) 646-1120
>>> Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com> 02/15/09 7:38 PM >>>
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
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>>>To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
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>>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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