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ISO 639/JAC N2
ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee
Rules of procedure for conducting business
Draft for discussion
(13 Jan. 2000)
The following documents rules of procedure for the conduct of meetings and
email business by the ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee. It repeats some
information that is in ISO 639-2:1998 in the normative Annex A and elaborates
where necessary for clarification of procedures. In particular it details
how business is run in the absence of regular meetings. Note that this
is currently a draft for discussion by the ISO 639/JAC.
1. Composition of the Joint Advisory Committee
ISO 639/JAC is composed of:
- one representative of the International Information Centre for Terminology
(Infoterm; representing ISO 639-1/RA)
- one representative of the Library of Congress (LC; representing ISO
- three representatives of ISO/TC 37 (nominated by ISO/TC 37)
- three representatives of ISO/TC 46 (nominated by ISO/TC46)
Both ISO/TCs may nominate substitute representatives for a meeting.
2. Membership of ISO 639/JAC
- Representatives of Infoterm and Library of Congress will hold the
chair on a 2-year rotating basis. The first term begins at the first
meeting in February 2000.
- Up to five technical experts may be asked to participate as non-voting
observers at a meeting. These experts are appointed by the ISO 639 TCs
responsible (TC37 and TC46) based on the issues and topics to be discussed.
If each TC wishes to appoint three observers, then a total of six may
be appointed. This needs to be approved by the JAC to amend Annex
3. Procedures for conducting business at meetings
- An agenda will be distributed at least two months prior to the meeting.
It will be amended as needed when meeting is convened if there is agreement.
- Each member of ISO 639/JAC has one vote.
- Voting is obligatory.
- A vote must be unanimous for approval of an item. If there are abstentions,
it shall not be considered unanimous approval.
- If a unanimous vote cannot be reached on an item, a second vote will
be conducted following discussion.
- At least five positive votes are required to pass on the second ballot.
3.3. Role of observers
- The designated observers (5) may attend a JAC meeting. No TC may appoint
more than 3 observers (thus, a maximum of 6 is possible).
- Observers shall function as experts concerning specific language issues,
not for procedural issues.
- Observers will be asked to contribute as necessary.
- Observers may not vote.
4. Procedures for conducting business by electronic mail
4.1. Electronic communications
4.2. Electronic voting procedures
- An electronic distribution list will include all ISO 639/JAC members
- The distribution list is limited to the voting members of the committee.
- Documentation is distributed by the chair. It may be distributed to
JAC members only or to JAC members and observers depending upon the
- The more general list ([email protected]) may be used for discussion
about general or specific language issues.
- Voting may take place on the list initially and confirmed in writing
(letter or telefax). To be discussed: should we allow electronic
- Votes must be submitted within two weeks of the electronic distribution
of the voting request.
- Failure to vote is considered an abstention (and thus a unanimous
ballot cannot be reached with an abstention).
- If a JAC member does not vote after two consecutive times, he/she
may be replaced by the appropriate TC.
4.3. Role of observers
- Observers will be included in electronic mail distributions when specific
language issues are discussed and their expertise is needed.
- Observers may be requested to perform research on specific language
issues when needed.
4.4. Deadlines for response
- When a request for a new, deleted, or changed code is submitted to
the appropriate Registration Authority (Infoterm for 639-1 and Library
of Congress for 639-2), ISO 639/JAC is consulted.
- ISO 639/JAC is obliged to respond within one month after adequate
documentation, as determined by the chair, has been reached.
See also Working principles for ISO 639 maintenance (ISO
Comments on this document: [email protected]