ISO/DIS 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility Voting options and deliberations

(October 2009)
Guido Gürtler, ICC Observer to ISO/TMB WG SR, Member of the WG SR Industry Stakeholder Group

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Three levels of acceptance Voting is hard work Votes are based on “consensus” Voting options A vote may be in favour, if… An abstention is appropriate, if.. A vote may be against, if… Deadline


Three levels of acceptance (1/5) 3 2 ISO
WG SR acceptance 400+ members of WG SR

member bodies’ acceptanc e
106 ISO member bodies

Global market acceptanc e
Millions of organizatio ns

These levels are independent of each other: The acceptance at one level does not necessarily lead to acceptance at the next level.

Three levels of acceptance (2/5) ISO
WG SR acceptanc e

Working drafts and CD
felt good enough?


member bodies’ acceptanc e

Global market acceptanc e



CD Committee Draft DIS Draft International Standard

After several working drafts and a CD, WG SR members felt the one of August/September 2009 good enough to be launched as a DIS for comment and vote.

Three levels of acceptance (3/5) ISO Global
WG SR acceptance

member bodies’ acceptanc e?

WG SR actions on DIS improvements

DIS vote(s) *
felt good enough?


market acceptanc e There is no point of return on this route!
*According to ISO Rules there may be several DIS versions till one is felt good enough.





Three levels of acceptance ISO (4/5) Global
WG SR acceptance

member bodies’ acceptanc e

market acceptanc e? Majority of users’ view NO
felt good enough?

The bad end would be a disaster for ISO.

YES good end

bad end

Three levels of acceptance (5/5) Just imagine the disaster for ISO and the global
promotion of social responsibility if arguments remained valid like:  too pedagogic  not encouraging  too few practical examples  industry biased  possibly good for larger organizations  not applicable to small and medium organizations  definitely not applicable to micro organizations  rather creating business for consultants  allowing misuse by auditors and certifiers, to the detriment of particularly smaller organizations  etc.

Voting is hard work (1/2)
Voting is not emotional: feelings for
hard work in the working group, for intensive negotiations to find compromises etc. are not relevant for voting

Voting is independent: ISO member bodies take their decisions in full sovereignty Voting is rational: ISO member bodies judge the result, i.e. the DIS, its applicability and usefulness, regardless of how it has been developed

Voting is hard work (2/2)
Responsible voting is hard work : including - Making the DIS broadly available, in national language if needed - Studying the DIS - Evaluating the fulfillment of the NWIP requirements, the applicability and usefulness - Asking representative national users for their view - As a pilot project applying the DIS to the ISO member body itself as one of the potential users - Drafting national comments

Votes are based on “consensus” (1/2) The ISO/IEC Directives Part 1, edition
6, page 27, define consensus:

consensus: General agreement, characterized by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments.

Votes are based on “consensus” (2/2)
If only one of the important parties sustains opposition to a substantial issue, there is no consensus.
Therefore: consensus is a high achievement!

Voting Options
In favor: supports the document as it is; comments may be made Abstention: member feels too small, didn’t find consensus etc.; abstentions don’t Against: does not support count the document as it is; comments must be made, Not voting: otherwise the vote does not is not a good count option!!

A vote may be in favour, if…
…an ISO member body believes that  it (the member body) fairly represents its constituency;  the work in preparing the vote has been properly performed (see one of the preceding slides);  it comprises true representatives of national society/societies;  each party’s voice has been correctly taken into account;  the DIS meets the requirements of its Design Specification (N049) and the New Work Item Proposal contained therein, particularly that  the DIS is easy to understand and easy to use, and that  it is applicable to all types and sizes of organizations, globally;  there are no other valid and substantial objections and  at the end a fair consensus on a YES vote has been

An Abstention is appropriate if...
 the country is very small and does not represent a significant portion of global society*;  not all parties concerned (“stakeholders”) are members of the national committee;  no consensus was achievable because one important party sustained opposition to a substantial issue, so that neither a YES vote nor a NO vote was agreeable;
* as e.g. Lebanon respectfully abstained from voting on the CD

…an ISO member body believes that

A vote may be Against, if…
…an ISO member body believes that  the DIS does not meet the requirements of the Design Specification (N049) and of the New Work Item Proposal contained therein, particularly that  it is not easy to understand and easy to use (so that it may create an enormous business for consultants), and that  it is not applicable to all types and sizes of organizations (particularly not for micro organizations);  Important definitions are not understandable and not usable  the claim of ALL core subjects being relevant to ALL organizations is not realistic;  the composition of the Working Group did not adequately include representatives of “society”; and  a fair consensus for a NO vote has been found.

A negative vote …
… is not emotional but as rational as any other vote … does not necessarily mean that an International Standard on social responsibility is not wanted … will, as described in accompanying comments, aim at further improvements of this draft DIS

… in seeking further improvements is as constructive as any other vote

Whatever the vote of an ISO member body will be, it should be sent to ISO before 14 February 2010 by using the ISO electronic balloting facilities.

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