CLSI loses its way and then finds itself again

Continuing the saga of EP27, the previous post mentioned that the Board of Directors of CLSI had a slew of comments – 201 at first and then an extra 46 thrown in for good measure. There was one comment that I found rather irritating – not the one in the previous post – and got me to thinking …

When I was chairholder of the Area Committee on Evaluation Protocols (1999-2004), my recollection of the document development process was … and I choose to use the old names

The subcommittee wrote documents – (from the CLSI website … has “having primary responsibility for drafting individual consensus documents and for evaluating and addressing comments received during each phase of the consensus process.”)

The area committee ensured the quality of documents – (from the CLSI website … is “responsible for the final technical review before publication at the proposed level and/or submission to the Board of Directors for approval to publish at the approved consensus level.”

The Board of Directors ensured that the process was followed. I have no memory of the Board of Directors commenting on documents. Examining the 247 Board of Director comments, many correct grammar – this is job of the CLSI editors. To be fair, some of the comments improved the standard and this is a good thing. The comments that were technical are the job of the area committee. But most importantly, the Board voted on the document, basically as another area committee but with more clout as a single reject or postpone vote would delay the document (this is the first I heard of a postpone vote).

It turns out that other subcommittees have complained and the Board of Directors recently issued a statement that the area committee (now called consensus committee) is responsible for the final approval of documents.

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