Terminal Attachment Program Advisory Committee
Mandate and Procedures
I. Terms of Reference
a) Advisory Committee Mandate
- To recommend to the Department technical requirements and procedures for the attachment of terminal equipment to the facilities of telecommunications service providers. The technical requirements, if needed, shall be developed by the committee or based upon standards or specifications. These technical requirements and procedures are subject to approval by, and may be mandated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Government of Canada.
- To identify needs for standards and refer them to Standard Writing Organizations as appropriate.
- To advise the Department on other relevant matters as may be appropriate.
b) Functions of the Committee
- To develop objectives, priorities, and methods of achieving them in response to the CRTC and Government of Canada policies, concerning the preparation of technical requirements and procedures.
- To establish task forces which will undertake the detailed work for the Committee, define the tasks and scope, set the size and composition of the task forces, obtain the necessary commitment of personnel, and set time-frames and feedback mechanisms to ensure adequate monitoring and completion of tasks.
- To obtain and evaluate progress reports from the task forces.
- To accept completed tasks and disband task forces when appropriate.
- To hold meetings, as necessary, to perform the Committee's functions, to keep a summary record of all its meetings and issue it to the represented organizations.
Membership in TAPAC or its task forces is open to all organizations directly involved in or materially affected by any form of terminal equipment attachment issues in Canada. This would include, but not be limited to, telephone companies, competitive access providers, value added service providers, equipment suppliers, conformity assessment bodies, users, etc. Organizations interested in becoming members shall submit a written request to the chairperson. Preference to associations will be given.
TAPAC maintains a matrix whose goal is to have a balanced representation of membership. TAPAC shall have a maximum of 15 voting members with one vote per member organization. The membership matrix of TAPACis as follows:
Category, Maximum Number
- Facilities based carriers, 5
- Manufacturers & Suppliers, 5
- User Groups (including conformity assessment bodies, Resellers & Radio communication carriers), 5
The procedures relating to the membership will be as follows:
- Members who miss two consecutive meetings will receive a letter warning them that one more missed meeting will result in having their name removed from the voting member list. Participation by teleconference will be deemed to satisfy the attendance requirement. Members removed from the voting member list will be contacted to determine their ongoing interest and involvement.
- Membership review should take place at each TAPAC meeting. The chairperson at his/her discretion may request from members and new membership applicants information as to their qualifications for membership. This information is to be kept confidential.
- The matrix should be maintained based on interest and contributions.
- Since this is an Advisory Committee to the Department, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada abstains from voting to maintain neutrality and is not included in the matrix.
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will provide the chairperson and secretariat for TAPAC.
d) Task Forces
- To perform under the guidance and control of the chairperson, the necessary investigations and other work required to complete the tasks assigned within the scope determined by the Advisory Committee as thoroughly and quickly as required.
- To keep the Advisory Committee informed of progress.
- To identify problems to the Advisory Committee for appropriate action.
- To establish working groups to carry out detailed work.
- To appoint the chairperson of the working groups and report the name of the appointee to the Advisory Committee.
All interested parties are welcome to participate in the work of the task forces. Experts on a particular issue may be called upon by the TAPAC members to assist in resolving a specific problem and need.
e) Ad Hoc Committees
Ad Hoc committees are limited lifespan working groups put together normally to address specific issues where special interest groups may need to be involved in the discussions. They may be used as deemed necessary by TAPAC and follow the same rules as the task forces.
II. TAPAC Procedures and Practices
a) Meeting Documents
Documents referred to during a meeting will be numbered (but not attached to the minutes). These documents will be made available on request by the Secretariat in the language in which they were submitted.
b) Request and Authorization
A request for a new technical requirement document or an amendment to an existing one may be submitted to the chairperson of TAPAC or the chairperson of a Task Force or Ad Hoc Committee. Authorization for the preparation of a new technical requirement document is obtained from TAPAC. Requests for revisions to existing technical requirement documents are referred to the appropriate Task Force.
All technical requirement documents contain the following note "This document will be reviewed from time to time on the basis of experience gained. The Department encourages comments or suggestions that will enhance the effectiveness of the technical requirements contained herein. These may be forwarded to the Director General Spectrum Engineering Branch.".
Note: Grandfathering of requirements will be addressed on a case by case basis.
c) Obtaining Consensus
TAPAC's recommendations are based on consensus which may be confirmed by a letter ballot or a recorded vote at a meeting.
Letter Ballots are means of obtaining members views without necessitating travel to a meeting and has provided a successful mean of confirming consensus.
Letter ballots shall provide the opportunity to vote "Yes" or "No" or to "Abstain". Letter ballot packages shall also contain a list of the people who can vote. Observers and interested parties will receive the ballot for information purposes or comments. The results of the ballot will be published in the minutes of the following meeting.
"No" votes require the provision of a rationale since consideration is given to negative votes. Comments will also be considered. Negative votes shall be addressed at a TAPAC meeting or by written communications between the Chairperson of TAPAC and the one who cast the negative ballot. An alternate member may also vote on behalf of the main member.
Recorded Vote at a Meeting
Recorded Votes may be used at TAPAC meetings to confirm consensus. Consideration is given to discussions,comments and negative votes.
d) Publications Procedure
A recommendation may take the form of a draft document which may become a new document, a new edition of an existing document, a provisional document, or an amendment or revision to an existing document. A draft is prepared by the Task Force or Ad Hoc Committees.
The draft, when satisfactory to the Task Force, is forwarded with a recommendation to TAPAC for approval. (Any comments from TAPAC members are considered further by the Committee as a whole or by the appropriate Task Force).
Following TAPAC's recommendation, the Department issues a public notice in the Canada Gazette Part I indicating that the document on the recommended technical requirements or procedures has been completed (provisional or final) and requests comments from all interested parties. This gazetting process is used when publishing a new document or amending an existing one. The comment period is normally 75 days unless circumstances dictate otherwise. Comments resulting from the public notice are reviewed by the chairperson and participants of TAPAC or the Task Force that participated in the drafting as appropriate. Final authority for publication, including the arbitration of disputes, rests with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
e) Provisional Requirements Document
A Provisional Requirements document is a stand alone certification specification which is put into effect and for which some requirements have not been finalized. The purpose of the document is to allow the timely certification of terminal equipment. Provisional requirements shall not supersede existing Terminal Attachment Program certification specifications.
Following TAPAC's recommendation, the Department issues a public notice in the Canada Gazette Part I indicating that a provisional requirements document has been completed and requests comments from all interested parties. The effective date of the document will correspond to the date of publication of the notice in the Canada Gazette.
An effective date and expiry date defining the validity period shall be clearly indicated in the document. The validity period for provisional requirements will be determined based on a TAPAC recommendation and shall not exceed two years. Before the expiry date, following TAPAC's recommendation, a provisional requirements document should:
- be finalized and incorporated into a certification specification, or
- have its expiry date extended by a maximum period of two years, or
- be simply withdrawn if the requirements are no longer needed.
f) Withdrawal of a Publication
TAPAC's recommendation is required.
Interpretations are provided by the Department. Consultation may be held with TAPAC or its task forces.
TAPAC does not have a formal appeal procedure, however, appeals may be made directly to the chairperson of TAPAC, the Director General Spectrum Engineering Branch (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) or other senior officials of the Department who are directly concerned with the Administration of the Program. Appeals may also be made to the Minister or any regulatory body having jurisdiction.