SIS (ISO in Sweden) has a broken process


I have earlier written about the OOXML discussions in Sweden. Now also IDG writes about what happened.

The IDG article say I am accusing Microsoft for buying the standard. And yes, I am. But, what is important to understand is that at the same time one can think Microsoft did something that is not fair, they (and their friends) still followed the rules. The people that where against OOXML also gathered some people, although not as many.

This show that although SIS claim in their latest campaign that Det är inte pengar som får världen att fungera - det är standarder (It is not money that makes the world go around - standarders are), it is clearly possible to buy the Swedish vote in ISO.

Is that a stable standardization committee? Should not a standard be approved (or rejected) based on its qualities? Is money the correct resolution mechanism in a standards organisation?

And, remember that SIS is appointed by the Swedish Government being the Swedish representative in CEN and ISO. It will be interesting to see the reaction from the Swedish Government (that I hope will come) on how SIS is fulfilling their task. Hey, Swedish Government paid a fair amount of money to SIS, and nothing to IETF or W3C that are the organisations that create the majority of Internet related standards. SIS has around 170 employees. Similar amount as IETF has unpaid officers - worldwide.

The investigation about The invisible infrastructure say interesting things in their report (in Swedish with summary in English starting on page 29). For the first time the Government acknowledge IETF and other organisations outside ISO, CEN and UN – and point out sometimes agreements industry associations do in some cases are as important (if not more in some cases) than what is done in ISO.

SIS should look over their process. It can not continue like this. Not the first time this happens by the way…