FYI: Letter to Richard Gibson concerning IPF

Bob Snively Bob.Snively at Eng.Sun.COM
Fri Feb 9 20:57:23 PST 1996


* From the SCSI Reflector, posted by:
* Bob.Snively at Eng.Sun.COM (Bob Snively)
*


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>From Bob.Snively at Eng Sat Jan 27 20:52:51 1996
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 20:52:45 -0800
To: rbgibson at attmail.com
Subject: Concerns about IPF
Cc: Roger_Cummings at stortek.com, JLOHMEYE at cosmpdaero.ftcollinsco.ncr.com,
        snively at Sun.COM, Gary.Robinson at Sun.COM, 2501752 at mcimail.com,
        jpemard at itic.nw.dc.us
X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
Content-Length: 3389
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To:		Mr. Richard B. Gibson

From:		Robert Snively
		Principal Member X3T10, X3T11
		Sun Microsystems

Date:		January 27, 1996

Subject:	Concerns about International Program Fee


Dear Mr. Gibson,

I continue to be disappointed by the response of your organization to
our committee's legitimate concerns about the International Program Fee
(IPF).  While it is clear that international standards benefit 
many organizations, it is not at all clear which expenses should be
taxed to participants, how those fees should be distributed, which
participants actually benefit, nor what fair mechanism could be
generated to collect those fees.

To be perfectly blunt, I have not seen any changes in our
committee's international participation nor in the services provided
as the budget has declined from $1.3 million dollars to $700 thousand
dollars, a factor of roughly two.  I would expect the same to be
true if it were reduced by another factor of two.  Admittedly,
I am sure that I am unaware of many of the important activities that
the organization is providing for us.

For this reason, I believe that it is imperative that you clearly
describe:

a)	Our organization's relationship to the activities funded by
	IPF and the importance of those activities to our organization.
	This is simply good public relations.  You can 
	hardly expect us to cheerfully pay our fee if we have no
	idea why we should care.

b)	An explicit budget, by project and by department/employee, 
	showing us how our fees are spent to carry forward those
	important activities.  This is merely the same kind of
	accountability each of our employers demands of us as
	we request the payment of the IPF.  It should not be
	difficult to assemble a one page explanation of this
	budget, since such a public budget must be part of your
	normal operation.  Items such as subscriptions,
	document distributions, and meeting fees clearly should not 
	be part of this budget, since they are only of interest to 
	those who request or make direct use of these services.

c)	A mechanism for collecting the program fees that is demonstrably
	fair.  Your letter continues to focus on payment by
	participant.  In our organizations, we have some participants
	that pay the fee four times (as they are members in four
	organizations) and others that pay it once.  IEEE collects
	those fees in a statistical manner, but only taxes participation
	in those few formal meetings that have meeting fees.  I know
	of many IEEE committees that have not charged meeting fees, and
	I expect that is still true.  The IEEE meeting fees typically are
	charged a single time for a large group of standards committees
	that colocate their meetings, meaning that individuals are
	charged only one time for their participation in multiple
	meetings.  In addition, many companies pay membership fees
	at multiple levels of the standards hierarchy, double taxing
	them for their participation.

Unless we can get some meaningful response to these questions, I am
sure you will continue to see our productivity affected by the
discussion of this issue.  You will also see more and more activities
which should nominally be standards activities being instead performed by
international industrial consortia, which have the advantage of being 
more responsive, more focused, and more clearly accountable to their members.


Sincerely,


Robert Snively


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