Posts Tagged ‘austria’

OOXML: Slow but steady

November 19, 2007

Toady I forced me to call the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology again to ask if they
got the information they promised me (about which person of them was sitting in the ON
committee 001
). The person (Kerstin Zimmermann) promised me more then 2 weeks ago to reply to my email.
But it seems that she forgot. Anyway at the telephone she assured me that there is no person from her section in this commitee.

This was confusing because the ON (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut) told me that there was a person from the ministry
in the commitee. After calling Karl Stumwöhrer again he told me that I was at the wrong ministry.

The correct one is the: Telecommunication section of the ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology.
Calling THIS section got me the information that the technical persons were in genf and would be available later this week.
So… waiting again…

OOXML: From parliament to ministry

November 2, 2007

The parliament suggested me to call the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology because they are the ones who
are concerned with IT standards and they are also in the austrian OOXML committee.

I talked with Kerstin Zimmermann which was not sure what to do with my request. She promised me to find out which person is sitting in the ON
committee 001
. So I send her the information per mail and urged her too inform me about what the opinion of the ministry is concerning the transparency problem
of the ON.

OOXML: Getting more information about the ON

November 2, 2007

For getting background information about this “crusade” of mine you can read the former post.

Today I called the legal department of the ON (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut) to get more information about the ON and how much information
I’m allowed to get from them.

I was talking with Elisabeth Stampfl who gave me detailed and concrete information.

How is the ON financed?
They finance themself 80% with selling products and providing services
They get 2-3% from membership fees
They get the rest from the austrian state and the Wirtschaftskammer

More information about their status
The ON is a private organization which exists since 1920
Since 1950 it’s responsible for national/internatioal standardization in austria (which is fixed in austria’s law)

What about transparency?
There is no right for citizens to get information about:

  • Which persons are sitting in the committee and to which organizations/firms they are affiliated
  • You can get written information about what the decision was
  • There is no written information you can get which information they used to decide (i.e. did they knew about specific criticism?)

This means there is literally NO transparency in the ON for “normal” citizens. It is possible to get more information if you have a “legitimate” interest
in this matter (this is how she explained it to me). So if you are a journalist, … you can get them.

After telling her that I was blogging about this and some of my background she kindly offered her help to get me more informations.
But this is not the point. This information should be available for everybody. Not only for them who have the luck….

I called the BKA again and they suggested me to call the parliament.

A telephone call with the “Bundeskanzleramt” Austria

October 25, 2007

Today I called the “Bundeskanzleramt (BKA)” of Austria (telephon number is 0800 222 666).
I called them because I wanted to know why an organization like the “Österreichisches Normungsinstitut (ON)” can be such instransparent (see former posting).

I explained the man on the other line my problem with the ON and why I was calling them. (The ON told me that someone from the BKA was sitting in the board deciding to vote for “yes with comments” on the ISO OOXML fast track ballot).

He seemed to understand to my problem and assured me that he was going to inform himself about the ON and who was in this board and promised me to call back.

After half an hour he called me back and told me that he has talked with the ON himself. The person he talked with him, couldn’t tell him which rights I have to get
insights into the board. But he suggested that I should call the legal department on the ON to get informed.

He was quite polite and helpful. Now I have some more numbers to call…

History of this “story” (oldest posting first):
Say “NO” to OOXML
OOXML defeated… for this time…
A call to the ISO member austria

A call to the ISO member austria

September 26, 2007

Some weeks ago I send a mail to the ISO member ON (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut) in austria to get more information on their decision on the ooxml fast track iso procedure.
Austria voted: yes with comments.

They didn’t send back a mail, so today I called the ON. After a short time I was forwarded to Karl Stumwöhrer, Dipl.-Ing.
I asked him some questions and this are the facts that I got from him

  • There is no information about the ballot on their homepage
  • There is no digital or written information available to the public
  • The comments they made may be available from the ISO (because ON send them the comments)
  • There are no obligations for the organizations inside the ON to inform the public about ballots and decisions
  • Member of the group which decided where: microsoft, some people from the government, independent expert, telekom austria, …
    But this is just an informal list which he gave me
  • The comment they made was: There should be test mechanisms to check if a OOXML compliant application REALLY is compatible with the “OOXML standard”

Now theres the questions what to do. I find it unacceptable to have such an intransparent procedure.
Not being able to get information about how they decided, which people decided and what the result is. This is not acceptable

Does anybody has an idea who to contact and inform about the flaws in this systems? Or would it be wise to make public pressure (by contact the public media?

Here you can get information about the organization per country which are concerned with the OOXML topic.
The section of the ON which is concerned with the OOXML topic.