(a) Technical Committees (TC) are formed and dissolved by the ITSC Council.
(b) An ITSC TC’s term of office shall be for a three-year term, and be in tandem with ITSC’s and the Standards Council’s terms of office.
(c) The composition of the TC, Working Group(s) and any changes to it shall be subject to the approval of the ITSC Council.
Formation of a New TC
(a) A new TC is formed in order for ITSC to:
i. Develop and facilitate the use of standards in a specific infocomm technology domain. This is usually based on the industry needs or growing industry interest or relevance of the subject matter.
ii. Develop and facilitate the use of standards to support national infocomm initiatives.
(b) Industry players may submit a proposal for standards work in a new infocomm technology domain which appears to require the establishment of a new TC. The procedures to form a new TC are:
i. The interested industry partner is to propose to ITSC Council on the need to form a pro-tem committee to study the industry needs for some Singapore Standards, which would require a new TC to be formed.
ii. ITSC Council shall assess and approve the formation of the pro-tem committee, and a 3-month period would be given for the pro-tem committee to do the study. The ITSC Secretariat shall then send the Letter of Appointment to the pro-tem committee Chair.
iii. At the end of the 3-month period, the pro-tem committee may propose to the ITSC Council on the need to establish a new TC. The proposal shall include the objective, standardisation scope and planned activities of the new TC, inclusive of the names of at least 5 organisations that would be members of this new TC.
iv. The ITSC Council shall evaluate the proposal for the formation of the new TC. Upon approval by the Council, ITSC Secretariat shall prepare the Letter of Appointment to the new TC Chair.
(a) Standardisation is a consensus process. A TC shall reach decisions by consensus. As a general principle, the composition of a TC and the representation on it shall be approved by ITSC Council. Any TC shall be capable of demonstrating, for external scrutiny, its fairness of representation.
Definition of consensus as given in ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004.
“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.
NOTE: Consensus need not imply unanimity.”
(b) A TC shall comprise members who are key stakeholders with technical experience or expertise relevant to the scope of the work of the TC. ITSC TC members are appointed based on the following guidelines:
i. As representatives of local organisations, industry associations, professional bodies, academia or research institutes.
If nominated by an industry association, professional body or organisation, the nominee should preferably be from an organisation that is likely to use the standards under consideration. Multiple representation from an organisation, professional body or association is an exception to be allowed on a case-by-case basis, e.g. in cases where the representatives have expertise in different fields, which are relevant to the work of the TC, or if one of the representatives is the TC Chairman.
ii. As individuals in their own capacity
Members may also be appointed in their individual capacity for their expertise.
iii. As representatives of locally registered companies
Companies which are registered in Singapore can participate in a TC if they have the relevant expertise of the technical matters to be undertaken by the TC.
iv. As representatives of overseas professional bodies, industry associations or research institutions which are registered locally (e.g. ASHRAE Singapore Chapter, Internet Society Singapore Chapter). These organisations should have the relevant expertise and technology that is useful to ITSC’s standardisation programme. The criteria for selection of such organisations include the following:
It should have a representation in Singapore.
It should be widely recognised for its knowledge or expertise on the subject area covered by the standard.
If it is a standards development organisation, its standards must be widely recognised and used globally and preferably contributes to or is recognised by the ISO/IEC JTC 1.
Its standards or studies are referred to in SS or widely used by the local industry.
On international standards work, these overseas organisations can provide technical inputs but cannot represent Singapore’s view in overseas forums.
(c) Overseas bodies not registered locally can only participate as co-opted member to contribute their expertise in the TC. Co-opted members shall have not voting rights.
(d) Specialist expertise may be co-opted by a TC. The period of membership shall be for the duration of a particular project. After this period, they shall cease to be part of the TC. Co-opted members shall have no voting rights.
(e) All TC members shall meet the following criteria:
i. Be willing and able to commit resources to actively participate in the TC.
ii. His/her presence will not create an imbalance of interests within the committee.
(f) For efficiency, technical discussions and consensus building, the TC should keep the size of the TC to a manageable size of up to 15-20 organisational and/or individual members.
(g) The TC is to appoint a TC Secretary from among its members to assist in the administrative management of the TC.
The Responsibilities of a TC
The responsibilities of a Technical Committee (TC) are as follows:
(a) To appoint Working Groups (WGs) of technical experts from key organisations to draft, review and promote standards [International Standards (IS), Singapore Standard (SS) and Technical Reference (TR)]. In doing so TC shall take into consideration balanced representation from key organisations. TC can also appoint experts in their individual capacity into the WG.
(b) To develop and facilitate the use of standards in a specified area that is endorsed by its Standards Committee (SC) and to ensure that the standards developed by the WG are completed through consensus of the content, application and industry/market relevance and within the pre-agreed time frame.
(c) To undertake the following actions to help further standardisation within the specified area:
i. Receive and consider requests for a standard from its parent SC which will include the SC’s evaluation and recommendations. The evaluations will be based on the information requested for in the New Work Item (NWI) form such as need, potential users and impact, stakeholder, effect on other standards and related issues such as productivity, regulation and trade.
ii. Work with requestor to define the stakeholders for the standard and plan the resources needed to develop, review and promote the standard.
iii. Consider adopting international standard without modifications, and where modification is necessary, provide justifications e.g. local regulatory requirements, tropical conditions, special social/religious considerations. Regional, overseas national and consortium standards may also be adopted with or without modification as the next alternative.
iv. Endorse and submit all draft new or reviewed standards prepared by the WG to the SC for approval, within a pre-agreed time frame and project plan. As far as possible, TCs should not be involved in the drafting, review or modified adoption of standards unless approved by the SC. If the TC is involved in the drafting, review or modified adoption of standards, the TC shall ensure the accuracy, clarity, quality control and traceability of the technical content of the draft. TC may also serve as a National Mirror Committee for ISO and IEC work which includes the identical adoption of relevant international standards.
(d) To keep abreast of developments in international standardisation in their respective area of standardisation and to initiate appropriate action to safeguard and advance the interest of the local industry. Where relevant, participate in key international standardisation activities to safeguard and advance the interest of the industry in Singapore. The approval of the Standards Committee and Enterprise Singapore shall be sought on its participation.
(e) To consider ad-hoc requests and inputs from users and stakeholders on the need to revise the content of the standards.
(f) Taking into consideration changes in technologies, regulations, base standards, complexities of standards, etc., to approve WG’s recommendation of the stability period of SS (stability period not more than 8 years) and TR (not more than 3 years), and monitor the progress of the review of standards. For TR, consider the usefulness of the document and future status of the TR with a view towards establishing a SS if appropriate.
(g) To assist Enterprise Singapore and ITSC Secretariat in answering enquiries on the standards under the TC’s purview.
(h) To safeguard the intellectual property rights and confidential information of Enterprise Singapore.
(i) To notify Enterprise Singapore of any relevant patent rights in the standards.
(j) To refer all media matters pertaining to the standards or the standardisation programme to Enterprise Singapore. TC Chairman and Members shall not represent Enterprise Singapore or the Standardisation Programme without permission from Enterprise Singapore.
(k) To avoid endorsing any specific organisations, products or services, e.g. the names and trademarks of products and services in SS/TR.
(l) To attend meetings regularly. If a Member is unable to attend a TC meeting, he may send a stand-in for the meeting, subject to the TC Chairman’s approval. The stand-in shall have no voting rights in the committee. Members appointed in their individual capacity are not allowed to appoint stand-ins for meetings. As a guideline, a Member should not be absent for three consecutive meetings without a valid reason. If a Member is unable to attend the meetings regularly the Member should propose a replacement from his organisation or step down from the TC.
(m) To vote promptly within the stipulated voting period.
(n) To work together with the requestors, key stakeholders and Enterprise Singapore / ITSC secretariat on the implementation/adoption of the standards and for promotional activities of the SC/TC work, e.g. work with the requestors of the standard, tap on network of stakeholders to incorporate standards in relevant programmes / schemes, speak at standards launches. Prior consultation with and approval of Enterprise Singapore / ITSC secretariat should be sought where and when such promotional activities are to be undertaken as representing the work under the Singapore Standardisation Programme by related organisations and channels.
(o) To carry out the roles and duties with decorum and in good faith.
Key Roles of TC Chairman
The key roles of the Chairman are as follows:
(a) To provide leadership and guidance to the TC to ensure that it discharges its work appropriately in accordance with the Terms of Reference of the TC.
(b) To drive and manage the programme towards achieving the outcomes of the TC as set out in the Workplan of the SC.
(c) To be impartial and always act in good faith, i.e. to take an objective position and be transparent and accountable. In considering the views of the Members, the Chairman should remind them of the need for the TC to reach decisions through consensus.
(d) To work closely in consultation with the TC Secretary in carrying out the TC’s activities e.g. planning of work programme.
(e) To be the key party to report on the progress of the work of the TC to the SC on a regular basis.
(f) To provide guidance and support on the promotion and implementation aspects of the standards under the TC.
(g) With the prior approval of Enterprise Singapore and the Standards Committee, to represent Singapore in technical participation international/regional standardisation activities, where necessary.
(h) To present the findings and work of the TC to the SC accurately and objectively.
Key Roles of TC Deputy Chairman
The key role of the TC Deputy Chairman is to:
(a) Assist the TC Chairman in ensuring that the TC discharges its work on a timely basis in accordance with the Terms of Reference of the TC.
(b) In the event that the TC Chairman is unable to reasonably carry out his duties within the specific timeframe, the Deputy TC Chairman shall be the acting TC Chairman until a new TC Chairman is appointed.
Key Roles of TC Members:
The key roles of the Members are as follows:
(a) To provide strategic direction and technical expertise, experience and views in relation to the standards under the TC’s scope of work including its possible outcomes for stakeholders, e.g. industry, consumers, etc.
(b) To be familiar with the relevant technical matters and have the relevant professional experience and qualifications to effectively contribute to the development and applications of the standard.
(c) To have a good understanding of the process of standards development to ensure that the standardisation principles, processes and expectations are adhered to in the preparation of standards.
(d) To provide full information and render assistance to the TC accurately and objectively, and not improperly withhold relevant information within the scope of the standard. Any omission of relevant information could contribute to the production of an inaccurate, false or misleading document.
(e) To undertake roles and activities as assigned by TC Chairman from time to time.
Key Roles of TC Secretary:
The key role of the TC Secretary is, as a project manager, to:
(a) Provide key support to the TC Chairman in ensuring that the key outcomes of the TC as set out in the TC workplan are delivered.
(b) Provide the necessary guidance to the TC on policies and procedures associated with the standardisation programme.
(c)Track and highlight the progress of all standardisation projects under the TC, including consensus development, issues, resources, timeliness of project deliverables, and voting. To put up recommendations such as the extension of voting period, if necessary.
(d) Engage stakeholders, organise meetings and be the liaison point for all TC members.
(e) Document the process and experience gained through the standards development and adoption.
(f) Be the first contact or response point for all technical matters in relation to all standards under the TC.
(g) Support the TC in the planning and organisation of the promotion and publicity of the TC’s work programme (e.g. launch of new standards, publicity of new or existing standards).
Proceedings of TC Meeting
(a) The quorum for meetings shall be one-third of the members of the TC.
(b) Discussions and decisions taken in the TC meetings must be recorded and the minutes of the TC meeting to be circulated to the TC members and the ITSC Secretariat within 4 weeks after the TC meeting.
(c) Voting is to be done through balloting, either by letter, at meetings or via email. Members absent at meetings should be given forms to exercise voting by a given date.
(d) In a meeting, questions may be decided by a majority of votes cast at the meetings by members who are present and eligible to vote expressing either approval, disapproval or declared abstention.
(e) The entitlement to vote shall be as follows:
i. TC Chairman - one vote
ii. TC Deputy Chairman (if any) - one vote
iii. 1 TC member representing 1 organisation - one vote
iv. When there is more than 1 TC member representing the same organisation, only one representative from the organisation may vote.
(f) TC members who have a conflict of interest on the subject matter under ballot are to declare their interests and to abstain from the ballot.
(g) When voting is called for by letter or email for endorsement or approval of TC work items such as new work items or draft standards for progression to the next stage, at least two-thirds of those who are eligible for voting must cast their votes. Otherwise, the motion will lapse unless the voting period is extended. Negative votes not accompanied by technical reasons and abstentions are excluded when votes are counted. Two-thirds of the valid votes that are cast have to be in favour for the proposal to be approved or endorsed.
Intellectual Property Rights and Confidential Information
(a) All materials in the SS/TR shall be the property of and belong to Enterprise Singapore, including the materials produced during the development or review of the standards except for materials from third parties where permission / licence has been sought.
(b) The source of works (including materials contributed by Members of the Drafting Committee, e.g. TC or WG) shall be highlighted to ITSC and Enterprise Singapore in the “Copyright Declaration Form” provided by Enterprise Singapore so that Enterprise Singapore can ensure that all intellectual property rights in such works are assigned to Enterprise Singapore, or that Enterprise Singapore can secure the proper permissions or licenses from the third parties to incorporate and/or utilise these works in the standard.
(c) All information identified or marked as confidential shall be treated as confidential by the TC and shall not be disclosed by the TC Chairman or Members to third parties without seeking permission from ITSC and Enterprise Singapore.
Disputes and Appeals
In case where a TC cannot reach agreement by consensus, the following dispute and appeal guidelines shall apply:
(a) If it is concluded that without agreement being reached in the TC, any resulting standard would be in practice be a matter of continuing contention, the project shall be terminated.
(b) If it seems that an acceptable standard can be prepared by the TC itself but it remains unable to reach a decision, the disagreement shall be referred promptly to ITSC Council. The decision of the ITSC Council shall be final.
(c) For international standards projects, where there is failure to reach consensus by a TC on Singapore’s position, ITSC Chairman and Director of Standards Division of Enterprise Singapore shall be informed promptly. ITSC Chair and the Director of Standards Division of Enterprise Singapore will work in consultation with the TC Chair, TC Secretary and others concerned to resolve the problem speedily. If the TC remains unable to reach consensus, a vote of abstention shall be forwarded.
TC Term Review and Dissolving a TC
(a) ITSC will do a triennial review of all TCs before the end of each term.
(b) TCs may be merged or split as directed by the ITSC Council to respond to the changes or convergence of infocomm technology domains.
(c) A TC can be dissolved due to the changes to the infocomm standardisation needs and interest of Singapore. The dissolution shall be directed by the ITSC Council for the following reasons:
i. TC’s work is no longer relevant to the industry
ii. Standards developed by the TC have been well established and received and not much effort is required to maintain them
iii. Declining activity level of the TC
iv. Declining TC membership