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Subject: Procedural housecleaning 1: subcommittee rules

Hello UBL TC,

For the last two years we've been running our subcommittees based
on a set of rules we adopted at our first meeting under the OASIS
umbrella in November 2001 and amended a couple of times since to
try to cope with changes in the OASIS TC process and in the
implementation of the Kavi collaborative management system.  We've
now gotten to the point where neither I nor the subcommittee
chairs can remember from one occasion to the next exactly what our
subcommittee rules are.  I propose to clean up and revise our
subcommittee procedures and put them all in one place on the TC
web site where we can find them when we need them.  The purpose of
this message is to put you on notice that I will be asking for
action on this at the opening TC plenary in San Francisco Monday 3
November and to provide an initial draft for your consideration.

Note that it is not my intention to begin a discussion of this on
the mail list, just to provide materials we can work with at the
meeting.  I do invite your thoughts and comments by private mail,
but I'm not going to have a lot of patience with people who
comment without going back and reviewing the original resolutions
(see links below).  There is some new stuff here, but most of it
just collates decisions we came to a long time ago and don't need
to revisit.  If I can't get general agreement on what follows in
fairly short order at the opening plenary, I will break out the
discussion into a separate midweek administrative meeting where
people who care about such things can put on their hip boots and
wade right in.




1. Procedural context

   OASIS TCs operate under the OASIS TC process.  According to
   that process, anything not explicitly specified in the process
   or in the OASIS By-laws is governed by Robert's Rules of Order
   Newly Revised.  So with regard to subcommittees, we are not
   operating in a vacuum but rather in the voluminous context of
   what Robert's has to say about committees.  Note that we
   decided early on that UBL subcommittees would operate under
   Robert's Rules of Order Revised (RROR) rather than Robert's
   Rules of Order Newly Revised (RRONR).  This is because RROR,
   published in 1915, is in the public domain and available in an
   electronic version.  It is also because RROR is less than half
   the size of RRONR.  But the TC itself runs according to RRONR.
   As far as I can recall, this distinction has never made a
   difference to us in practice, and if we're lucky, it never
   will, but there it is.

2. History

   The initial "Standing Rules for the Conduct of UBL
   Subcommittees" were adopted at the UBL TC meeting 1 November
   2001 and were posted to the ubl mailing list on 6 November
   2001.  Modifications to those rules were posted to the ubl list
   16 September 2002 and became effective 21 September 2002.  A
   further revision was posted to the ubl list 31 March 2003 and
   became effective 6 April 2003.

      Minutes of the OASIS UBL TC Meeting, 2001.10.29-11.01
      6 November 2001

      TC membership, attendance, and quorums
      16 September 2002

      Adding prospective UBL TC members to UBL subcommittees
      31 March 2003

3. Subcommittees under the TC process

   When we started the UBL TC, the OASIS TC process said nothing
   about subcommittees, because the people who designed that
   process knew that in its more than 700 pages RRONR says just
   about everything it's possible to say about committee formation
   without limiting the ability of individual TCs to create
   subcommittees structured optimally for their specific programs
   of work.  But continued embroidery on the TC process has
   produced the following otiose addition:

      (n). TC Subcommittees

         The TC may by resolution create a subcommittee (SC).  The
         resolution must be minuted, and must include the name,
         statement of purpose, list of deliverables, and name of
         the chair of the SC. All of these items must fall within
         the charter of the TC and conform to OASIS policy. The
         deliverables of the SC are made only to the TC. Members
         of the SC must first be members of the TC. An SC member
         may resign from the SC and remain a member of the TC.

   The only really important thing to watch out for here (in fact,
   the only substantive thing that's not already implicitly or
   explicitly given by RRONR) is that subcommittee members have to
   be TC members.  This means that subcommittees can't have
   invited experts from other OASIS TCs and that we have to engage
   in some contortions to deal with the very common case of
   technical experts who are willing to contribute their time to
   specific subcommittees but don't have the resources to
   attend TC meetings on top of that.

What follows has been assembled from the past resolutions relating
to the conduct of UBL subcommittees and then revised to remove
obsolete language and accommodate intervening changes to the TC
process and the OASIS web infrastructure.



1. Definitions

   a. "TC" when used without further qualification refers
      throughout to the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL)

   b. "OASIS member" means any person eligible to participate in
      an OASIS TC under the provisions of the OASIS TC process.

   c. "TC member" and "prospective TC member" are used in the
      senses defined by the OASIS TC process.

   d. "Technical subcommittee" means a UBL subcommittee created to
      perform the normal technical work of the UBL TC.  The term
      "technical subcommittee" specifically excludes the UBL
      administrative, marketing, and liaison subcommittees.

2. Chairs and co-chairs

   a. The chair or co-chairs of each UBL technical subcommittee
      shall be appointed by the TC and can be removed by the TC.

   b. If multiple co-chairs are appointed to lead a technical
      subcommittee, each co-chair shall have equal control over
      the subcommittee portal and roster, and each co-chair shall
      be empowered to independently exercise the responsibilities
      of the subcommittee chair as specified in these standing

   c. In every meeting of technical subcommittees led by
      co-chairs, one of the co-chairs shall, with the consent of
      the subcommittee, act as chair for the duration of the
      meeting, and that person shall be considered the chair in
      all procedural matters relating to that meeting.

3. Membership

   a. The initial voting membership of a technical subcommittee
      shall be determined either through direct appointment by
      resolution of the TC or, by resolution of the TC, through
      appointment by the chair of the subcommittee or the chair of
      the TC.

   b. Members of the UBL TC may become voting members of a UBL
      technical subcommittee by applying to the subcommittee
      chair.  Appointment to a technical subcommittee becomes
      effective when entered in the subcommittee roster.
      Subcommittee members may also be appointed by resolution of
      the TC.

   c. Members of the UBL TC may become observers in a UBL
      technical subcommittee by applying to the subcommittee

   d. Prospective members of the UBL TC may become prospective
      members of a UBL technical subcommittee by applying to the
      subcommittee chair.  Prospective membership in a technical
      subcommittee becomes effective when entered in the
      subcommittee roster.  Prospective members of the UBL TC who
      are enrolled as prospective members of one or more UBL
      technical subcommittees become voting members of those
      subcommittees when their waiting period for TC membership is

   e. A voting member of a UBL technical subcommittee who
      participates actively in the subcommittee but cannot also
      participate regularly in TC meetings may request a change of
      status to nonvoting member in the TC while retaining voting
      membership in the technical subcommittee.  Such a change
      removes the member from the number used to calculate a
      quorum in TC meetings.  Nonvoting TC members who later wish
      to resume voting status shall be treated as if they were new
      prospective members of the TC, except that their status in
      any technical subcommittees of which they are already voting
      members shall remain unchanged.

   f. Voting members of a technical subcommittee may be removed
      from that subcommittee only by resignation or by resolution
      of the TC.  Failure to respond to email queries from the
      subcommittee chair or TC chair shall be considered
      equivalent to resignation.

4. Meetings

   a. Phone meetings of a technical subcommittee shall be open
      only to voting members of the subcommittee and persons
      specially invited by the chair to provide expert input.
      Technical subcommittees may also meet in person at times and
      places to be determined by resolution of the subcommittee or
      the TC.  The attendance of observers at face-to-face
      meetings of technical subcommittees shall be at the
      discretion of the subcommittee.

   b. The meetings of technical subcommittees shall otherwise be
      governed by Robert's Rules of Order Revised and such other
      standing rules as the TC may determine.

5. Inquorate meetings

   The voting members of a technical subcommittee assembled at a
   regularly scheduled and noticed but inquorate subcommittee
   meeting shall be authorized to operate as an ad hoc working
   group chaired by the subcommittee chair or by a chair pro tem.
   elected by the members present.  Actions taken at such a
   meeting shall not be binding upon the subcommittee, but
   agreements arrived at in such a meeting may be submitted to an
   email vote of the subcommittee at the discretion of the chair.

6. Email votes

   Chairs of technical subcommittees shall be authorized to
   conduct business by email in the manner specified in the OASIS
   process for TCs, with the exception that the default five-day
   voting period for email ballots may be shortened to as little
   as 48 hours for technical subcommittee email votes at the
   option of the technical subcommittee chair.  This change must
   be clearly stated in the call for a vote and properly noticed
   by email at least three days prior to the call for a vote.  In
   email voting, a majority shall be more than half of all the
   votes cast, excluding abstentions.  Votes and abstentions shall
   be recorded through posting to the technical subcommittee mail
   list.  There shall be no quorum requirement for email votes.

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