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04.01.08

British Standards Institute (BSI) Under Fire After Possible ‘Inside Job’

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Standard at 10:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It is not BSI’s policy to make public the details of how it votes on International Standards

It has been just over a month since we started to spot irregularities in the BSI's handling of the process and even claimed that it had been corrupted. This was a long time before anyone even knew about an unexplained flip of vote, which was by no means justified.

The BSI did not escape this unhurt. Other than its already-stagnant reputation among relevant circles, here comes a formal complaint, riding is on top of an ongoing investigation by the European Commission.

The delay on making any official announcement suggests the ISO is taking a cautious approach before telling Microsoft it can pop open the bubbly.

Meanwhile, the Open Source Consortium (OSC) has bemoaned the British Standards Institute’s (BSI) own apparent change of heart on OOXML.

Last week the BSI adjusted its stance on Microsoft’s somewhat controversial file format.

OSC president Mark Taylor said: “Once the BSI finally own up to what they’ve done, we will be lodging a formal complaint in the UK, as will many others…”

Quite a few people are involved by now. The BSI mustn’t just get away what it has done. You will find in the links at the bottom some more information about what happened. Upon initial inquiry, here is what the BSI had to say:

Update 3: To help you understand what Taylor means that once BSI owns up to what it has done, then there will be a complaint filed, here’s an email that a reader just sent me, a response to his request to understand why the UK changed its vote at the last minute, which we have permission to publish:

    ---- Original Message ------------
    Subject: RE: no information re: dis 29500
    From: "Lucy Fulton" [redacted email]
    Date: Tue, April 1, 2008 12:34 pm
    To: [redacted email]

    -----------------------------------

    Dear Mr Wright,

    Many thanks for your email.

    It is not BSI's policy to make public the details of how it votes on
    International Standards. BSI sent a delegation to the ballot resolution
    meeting which took place in Geneva in February 2008 and subsequently
    requested that its technical committee carry out a review of its position
    on ISO/IEC DIS 29500.

    The technical committee did so, made a consensus decision and
    advised BSI on its vote.

    This is the procedure with any international ballot.

    Best wishes,

    Lucy Fulton 

Is this transparency? What are they trying to hide if they are deciding on supposedly ‘open’ standards?

Related posts:

Related articles (external):

Microsoft a  bad ride
Dark day for the BSI

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