05.16.08

OOXML Scandals: Danish Parliament Steps Up, Ireland Under Scrutiny Also

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 8:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Denmark

Yesterday we mentioned only a quick translation of an article written in Danish. Andy Updegrove and Groklaw have picked it up by now and there is now a minor update on this. It comes from Denmark in the form of another snippet that’s published in English.

Members of the parliament are angry that they didn’t know about the total split in the Technical Committee under Danish Standards.

Several Danish IT policy rapporteurs are surprised that the OOXML Committee with Danish Standard has been totally divided. It will have consequences, “said Morten Helveg Pedersen (R).

Whatever the consequences will be, who knows? But a formal complaint has already been filed, so it will need to be addressed.

Ireland

Here is how Ireland voted on OOXML back in September: it was a “No with comments.”

After months of intensive review, analysis and discussion, NSAI has voted Disapproval – with Technical Comments, in respect of the OOXML submission. This effectively is a qualified yes, whereby Ireland has some technical issues with the submission. If the Technical Comments are satisfactorily resolved and incorporated into a new draft, the vote is subsequently amended to Approval.

We mentioned this here.

Then, Microsoft itself was elected to represent Ireland at the BRM in Geneva (not confirmed). Surely it’s a joke, right? It doesn’t seem so. Interestingly enough, Microsoft’s relationship with Ireland has also some strings with its tax evasion habits. But in any event, here is a letter [PDF] calling for information to be revealed about the process that mysteriously turned a “No” vote into a “Yes”.

Vincent Henry
Freedom of Information Liaison Officer
National Standards Authority of Ireland

[...]

Dear Mr Henry,
I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
I would like to request the following information from the NSAI, relating to the NSAI’s work
on ISO’s as-was draft standard DIS29500 (Information Technology — Office Open XML file
formats).
• Minutes of all meetings of committees, sub-committees, working groups or similar where
ISO’s as-was DIS29500 was discussed.
• Dates of all such meetings.

[...]

This may seem similar to some of the complaints about BSI’s secrecy. The BSI issued a face-saving page and later on was taken to court — and rightly so. There must be transparency. Without it, self-serving abuse is only to be expected, as political vote-rigging taught the world many times in the past.

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