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CD Voting results

This site is intended to describe the voting results on the CD, i.e. the Committee Draft, which was out for comment and vote to those national ISO member bodies that participate in the WG SR drafting work (so-called “P-members”).

Pre-Analysis, early March 2009
The deadline for comments and votes was 12 March 2009. A first analysis was made before this deadline, based on available information and on personal estimation. Details are given in the downloadable Excel file.

The result of this pre-analysis is:

  • There are 79 P-members active in the WG SR; so there are 79 possible votes
  • Out of these 79 P-members, 50 count as developing countries; this seems important to note because they tend to a favourable vote, due to a greater national demand for a guidance standard on social responsibility than in industrialized countries
  • Out of these 79 P-members, so the analysis, 67 may vote in favour, 7 may vote against and 3 may abstain
  • The general estimation is that the figure of 67 in favour may turn out to be even higher.

In consequence, the CD (Committee Draft) will be accepted by an overwhelming majority of P-members. This acceptance includes going forward directly to the DIS stage, i.e. to the Draft International Standard. So to decide will be on the agenda of the WG SR Quebec meeting in May 2009.

Evaluation of the pre-analysis:
The pre-analysis was correct in forecasting the acceptance of the CD (Committee Draft), but it failed in

  • Assuming that all P-members would participate in the vote (out of 81 only 69 did)
  • Believing that developing countries would vote in favor (densely populated countries like India, China, Indonesia or  Malaysia voted against the CD), and
  • Counting 79 countries with voting rights was wrong because in between Qatar and Fiji had joined the group and gained full voting rights

A detailed comparison of the pre-analysis with the real vote is contained in the downloadable Excel file on
CD 26000 vote analysis, by countries”.

 

Analysis of the voting results, end of March 2009
CD 26000, analysis of voting results (using the data of the N160 document, which is accessible at
http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink/fetch/2000/2122/830949/3934883/3935837/3974907/N160__Results_ISOCD_26000.pdf?nodeid=8000253&vernum=0 )

A. Analysis of the countries’ votes

  • the votes cast show exactly a two thirds majority in favor, 46 out of 69, there hasn’t been a single YES vote too much
     
  • Negative votes had been received from the countries Austria, Belarus, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, The Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Syria, Turkey, United States of America, and Viet Nam.
    Remark: a negative vote does not mean that the ISO 26000 is not wanted or opposed; it rather means that the current CD needs the specified improvements to be good enough for later use.
     
  • Six countries did not vote, not even indicate an abstention, in spite of being registered as P-member (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Russia, and Saint Lucia); they just kept silent
     
  • Out of 69 votes cast, 42 count for developing countries, that’s 62,3%
     
  • Counting  the votes cast by the countries’ population, the support is only 29%, counting the votes cast by the countries’ national GDP, the support is 58%; in either case it is less than two thirds.

For more details please see the downloadable Excel file, analysis by countries.

 

B.    Analysis of “votes” by D-Liaison organizations
D-Liaison organizations don’t have a formal “vote” comparable with the ISO member bodies, but in this project they are assured that they can express their opinion like a vote and that their voices will be taken into account.

Summary, in formal figures:

  • 18 out of a total of 42 D-Liaisons organizations kept silent, that’s 42,8%
  • 24 orgs responded, that’s only  57,1%
  • 18 out of 24 respondents gave support to the current CD draft, that’s 75%
  • 6 out of 24 respondents denied support, that’s 25%: 1 NGO and 5 from industry

Summary, taking stakeholder group responses and related figures of potential users:

The figures of potential users, in %, should be recalled:
Government    1,5; Labor  1,0; Consumers  0,5; NGO  1,0; Services  36,0;
Industry  60,0;
(see http://www.iso26000estimation.com/html/user_estimation.html#user-estimation )

  • 80% of D-Liaisons speaking for the main user group (industry) is not yet content with the CD drafted guidance
  • 71% of the SSRO Group (5 out of 7) gave support to the current draft; this high degree of support is to a major part explainable by the fact that several of these organizations  offer reporting, verification, certification and other assessment services
  • 88% of the NGO group (7 of 8) gave support to the current draft (not too much a surprise because Consumers and NGOs had been the originators of the project).

For more details please see the downloadable Excel file, analysis by D-Liaisons.

With this in mind, a look onto the ISO/IEC Directives (Edition 6, 2008, Part 1) is worthwhile; they say in 2.5.6 on the Committee Draft handling:
“Within ISO, in case of doubt concerning consensus, approval by a two-thirds majority of the P-members of the technical committee or subcommittee voting may be deemed to be sufficient for the committee draft to be accepted for registration as an enquiry draft; however every attempt shall be made to resolve negative votes.”

This exact two thirds majority can be correctly (by the letter of the Directives) taken as “consensus” on the Committee Draft. But as it is the smallest support possible, the WG SR Secretariat wisely mailed to all WG SR members: 
“…..thank you all for the valuable comments submitted, and also to re-emphasize our expectation that all comments received will be given fair and equitable treatment in Quebec in order to further enhance consensus. By this we mean all comments, whether they were submitted by NSBs voting affirmative or negative, or whether they were submitted by NSBs or liaison organizations.”

Conclusion:
Taking both the analysis of ISO member bodies’ votes and the D-Liaisons’ “quasi votes” together, it will be most important how the “every attempt to resolve negative votes” will be practically performed in the Quebec meeting in May 2009, in order to pave the way for the enquiry draft (i.e. the DIS, Draft International Standard) in regard of agreed substance, not only formal acceptance.

 

 

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