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Wednesday, August 20 2014 @ 05:47 AM CDT

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Procurement problems in the EU
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 28 2007 @ 10:51 PM CDT
"Obviously ISO standards are in a prime seat for adoption, and being left out from being an ISO standard may put you at a disadvantage, especially if procurement people fail in their due dilegence to identify and select the correct standard(s) for the particular job. But that is a long way from standards being laws or automatically mandatory or even required, yes?"
I don't see your point about the "optional" nature of ISO standards.

The EU provisions state that a technical specification should, if appropriate, refer only to international standards (EU or other). As mentioned before, appropriate does not mean if you like, but if covered. As far as I know, this means that if there are no technical reasons why a standard should not apply, it must apply.

This very simply means that if a public body writes a tender for a document processing suit that can process MS OOXML, it is in breach of the EU rules.

Why, because this specification would not "avoid conferring any advantage on a given economic operator or giving preference to national production." However, after OOXML becomes an ISO standard, suddenly, the "international standard" rule applies, and it can be required. If Intel would have succeeded to get a performance indicator for its processors recognized as an ISO standard the countries requiring them would be mostly out of problems (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/04/1210&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en). This is what I meant with the combination of ISO and WTO rules forcing lawmakers.

But this is not about government choice, but consumer choice.

In many countries, public bodies cannot legally force consumers to buy specific brands. So there are movements to force tax and other authorities to accept input form "other" platforms. However, in all these countries public bodies can force consumers to buy standard compliant gear. So, in the end, ISO standardization can force consumers towards specific brands. And if a county does this, higher levels (up to the EU) cannot interfere easily, because the rules clearly specify that technical specifications (Standards) based on international standards are legal.

Wrt your insistence that nations are not force to adopt ISO standards. That is bogus. Few nations are capable of drawing up their own document standard as little as they can come up with a new WiFi standard. They will have to relie on ISO for that. So, in practise, just a an ISO standard for WiFi forces me to use WiFi or nothing, an ISO standard for documents forces me to use software that processes that specific standard.

Within the trade rules of the EU, this means that MS has only to convince a single EU nation (Malta?) to adopt an ISO ratified OOXML, and all other nations must accept OOXML bids. And yes, a company can go to court to get a tender to accept "equivalent" standards.

As the original (Dutch) article wrote, ISO standards have become de facto law. In my opinion that is the reason ISO denied it.

Winter
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