ISO suspends OOXML while considering Appeals

Written by Andrew Rens on June 11th, 2008

According to a press release the International Standards Organisation has suspended publication of OOXML as an ISO standard during the appeal process.

According to the press release four countries appealed the ballot resolution process which resulted in a change to the 2007 ballot which decided against OOXML. The four countries; South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela and India include three emerging economies with strong local IT sectors.

The Secretary-General’s of ISO and the IEC are to submit the appeal to their management boards within 30 days. The management boards will decide how the appeals will be dealt with. One option is to establish a conciliation panel which would try to resolve the appeals, a process which could take several months. The rules give the boards an option to refuse to process the appeals. This seems unlikely since the appeals are based on no mere technicality but grave concerns about the integrity of JTC1 processes. These concerns are not only those raised by the four appealing members of ISO but also in the aftermath of a highly contested and politicised process. The appeals represent an opportunity for ISO to restore public confidence in the impartiality and independence of its processes.


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