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2010-02-01 - Letter on upcoming vote on ISO 26000 DIS

2010-02-01 - Letter on upcoming vote on ISO 26000 DIS

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Published by ISO26000debate
Letter sent by NORMAPME to national ISO member bodies regarding the vote on the Draft International Standard (DIS) for social responsibility - ISO 26000.
Letter sent by NORMAPME to national ISO member bodies regarding the vote on the Draft International Standard (DIS) for social responsibility - ISO 26000.

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Published by: ISO26000debate on Feb 06, 2010
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European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for StandardisationBureau Européen de l'Artisanat et des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises pour la NormalisationEuropäisches Büro des Handwerks und der Klein- und Mittelbetriebe für die Normung
With the financial support of theEuropean Commission
4, Rue Jacques de Lalaing –B-1040 BrusselsTel: +32 2 282 05 30 - Fax: +32 2 282 05 35 - Email:info@normapme.com - internet: http://www.normapme.com
To: National ISO member bodies – mirror committees of ISO TMB/WG SR
Brussels, February 1
st
2010Prot. 026/10/SB
Re: Upcoming vote on ISO 26000 (DIS)
Dear Sirs,By means of introduction, NORMAPME is the European association of SMEs for Standardisation. It issupported financially by the European Commission to represent the interests of 12 Million SMEs in thearea of standardisation, and it is worth noting that SMEs represent 99% of enterprises in Europe and arethe largest group of potential users of standards. NORMAPME is actively involved in this ISO project as a D-Liaison organisation which does not hold the right to voice its position. NORMAPME promotes the use of all kinds of standards by SMEs, however NORMAPME underlinesthat such standards must be SME friendly and of foreseeable
benefit
and 
relevance
to SMEs.Despite the good intentions and progress evident in the ISO 26000 draft standard, NORMAPME remainscritical of this ISO project and does not support the approval of the text in its current form on the groundsthat greater recognition is required of the specific reality of SMEs as final users of the standard. Obstaclesto the implementation of ISO 26000 by SMEs arise especially in issues such as the volume of the text, itslanguage and tone, guidance on handling issues regarding “sphere of influence”, and the lack of relevanceto small enterprises of all core subjects.The main issues of concern to SMEs arise firstly with the
misleading assumption that large enterprisesand SMEs can be treated as a single stakeholder having the same needs and concerns
. Smallenterprises do not have the extent of resources at their disposal as large businesses nor do they operateunder the same articulated management structure. Social responsibility requires a different approach for SMEs which engage directly and on a personal level with their stakeholders toward the resolution of SMEspecific issues which arise, as opposed to that of larger multinational enterprises whose stakeholder interaction is largely anonymous due to the global dimension of its operations.Secondly, it is worth pointing out that NORMAPME is the only SME representative body which has beeninvolved in the ISO standard drafting process. We are sure that the interests of SMEs on other continentsare not really different to those in Europe, but as they are not involved, the participation of SMEs isdoubted to be sufficiently balanced so as to be a reflection of reality.Thirdly, it is evident that stakeholder representation via the national delegations to the ISO SR WorkingGroup is significantly unbalanced; the process is thus rendered undemocratic.In short, only 28 of 81 countries have a representative of the six stakeholder groups allocated to their six person delegation to the ISO working group. This means that 65% of delegations are incomplete and thusnot a true representation of their country.

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