W3C Process Document

8 Advisory Committee Reviews, Appeals, and Votes

This section describes how the Advisory Committee reviews proposals from the Director and how Advisory Committee representatives appeal W3C decisions and decisions by the Director. A W3C decision is one where the Director (or the Director's delegate) has exercised the role of assessing consensus after an Advisory Committee Review of an Activity Proposal, after a Call for Review of a Proposed Recommendation, after a Proposal to Rescind a W3C Recommendation, and after a Proposed Process Document review.

8.1 Advisory Committee Reviews

The Advisory Committee reviews:

8.1.1 Start of a Review Period

Each Advisory Committee Review period begins with a call for review from the Team to the Advisory Committee. The review form in this announcement indicates:

The announcement SHOULD also estimate the schedule of the entire review process, up to and including the decision (e.g., the deadline for review comments is on this date, and a decision is not likely sooner than two weeks thereafter).

Each Member organization MAY send one review, which MUST be returned by its Advisory Committee representative.

The Team MUST provide two channels for Advisory Committee Review comments:

  1. an archived Team-only channel; this is the default channel for reviews.
  2. an archived Member-only channel.

Reviewers MAY send information to either or both channels. They MAY also share their reviews with other Members on the Advisory Committee discussion list.

A Member organization MAY modify its review during a review period (e.g., in light of comments from other Members).

8.1.2 After the Review Period

After the review period, the Director MUST announce to the Advisory Committee the level of support for the proposal (unanimity, consensus, or dissent). The Director MUST also indicate whether there were any documented objections, with attention to changing confidentiality level. This W3C decision is generally one of the following:

  1. The proposal is approved, possibly with minor changes integrated.
  2. The proposal is approved, possibly with substantive changes integrated. In this case the Director's announcement MUST include rationale for the decision to advance the document despite the proposal for a substantive change.
  3. The proposal is returned for additional work, with a request to the initiator to formally address certain issues.
  4. The proposal is rejected.

This document does not specify time intervals between the end of an Advisory Committee Review period and the W3C decision. This is to ensure that the Members and Team have sufficient time to consider comments gathered during the review. The Advisory Committee SHOULD NOT expect an announcement sooner than two weeks after the end of a Proposed Recommendation review period. If, after three weeks, the Director has not announced the outcome, the Director SHOULD provide the Advisory Committee with an update.

8.2 Appeal by Advisory Committee Representatives

Advisory Committee representatives MAY appeal certain decisions, though appeals are only expected to occur in extraordinary circumstances.

When Advisory Committee review immediately precedes a decision, Advisory Committee representatives MAY only appeal when there is dissent. These decisions are:

Advisory Committee representatives MAY always appeal the following decisions:

In all cases, an appeal MUST be initiated within three weeks of the decision.

An Advisory Committee representative initiates an appeal by sending a request to the Team (explained in detail in the New Member Orientation). The Team MUST announce the appeal process to the Advisory Committee and provide an address for comments from Advisory Committee representatives. The archive of these comments MUST be Member-visible. If, within one week of the Team's announcement, 5% or more of the Advisory Committee support the appeal request, the Team MUST organize an appeal vote asking the Advisory Committee to approve or reject the decision.

8.3 Advisory Committee Votes

The Advisory Committee votes in elections for seats on the TAG or Advisory Board, and in the event of a formal appeal of a W3C decision. Whenever the Advisory Committee votes, each Member or group of related Members has one vote. In the case of Advisory Board and TAG elections, "one vote" means "one vote per available seat".