Alex Brown, a long time member of SC34 and the convener of the upcoming BRM for DIS 29500 provided some additional insight into the ISO/IEC rules behind keeping the national body comments confidential. National Bodies submit their comments as part of the fast track process with the understanding that they will be kept confidential, and because of that Ecma TC45 has to be careful about how public it can make the replies: http://adjb.net/index.php?entry=entry071209-141310
There seems to have been something of a kerfuffle about the secrecy in which Ecma has supposedly shrouded the standards process. However, the instruction to keep the current to-and-fro between Ecma and NBs confidential came directly from ISO/IEC itself at the October JTC 1 meeting in Brisbane, and is not Ecma’s initiative. It is not Ecma’s responses themselves which are sensitive, but the National Body comments to which they are attached. These are, by ISO/IEC rules, confidential and should not be republished in public. Now, as a matter of fact these comments were published in public for several weeks anyway, but this was an aberration (the current SC 34 web site is not password protected; before the current controversies privacy through obscurity was enough to keep documents confidential). Ecma simply have to follow the rules. And they should have applied to ballot comments on ODF too.
Accenture – Portugal
“The adoption of Open XML as the standard will greatly facilitate the integration of information sources (internal and/or external), thus streamlining processes, increasing productivity, and creating new business opportunities.”
– Manuel Mira Godinho – Partner