W3C Process Document

6 Advisory Committee Reviews and Appeals

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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.

6.1 Review by the Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee reviews proposals for new Activities, Recommendations, and changes to the W3C Process. Each review period begins with a call for review from the Director or the Chairman to the Advisory Committee. The review form in this announcement must clearly indicate:

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 is allowed one review, which must be returned by its Advisory Committee representative. If more than one review form is received from a Member, the reviews are counted as one valid review if they agree, otherwise they are ignored and the Team must notify the Member's Advisory Committee representative of the discrepancy.

In the event that an Advisory Committee representative is unable to respond to a call for review, another individual in the organization may submit the review form accompanied by a statement that the individual is acting on behalf of the Advisory Committee representative. The Advisory Committee representative must receive a copy of this review form.

The Team must provide two channels for Advisory Committee review comments: one visible to Members after the review (but not during), and one Team-confidential. AC Representatives may send information to either or both channels. For example, they may choose to make their opinion known to the Membership but to send implementation schedules or other confidential information to the Team only. After the outcome of the review is known, the Team must make available to the Members comments sent to the Member-visible channel.

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, while ensuring appropriate confidentiality. This W3C decision must be one of the following:

  1. The proposal is approved, possibly with minor changes integrated.
  2. The proposal is returned for additional work, with a request to the initiator to formally address certain issues.
  3. The proposal is rejected.

Note: 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.

6.2 Appeal by Advisory Committee Representatives

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

For a Recommendation decision, Activity creation, modification, or extension, and for changes to the W3C Process, Advisory Committee representatives may only appeal when there is dissent. In this case, the appeal must be initiated within two weeks of the decision.

For any of the following, the appeal must be initiated within four weeks of the decision:

Any Advisory Committee representative may initiate an appeal by sending a request to the Team (explained in detail in the New Member orientation [MEM4]). The Team must announce the appeal process to the Advisory Committee and provide an address where Advisory Committee representatives may send comments. 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.