Ballot Resolution

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General Principles

FHIR is balloted as a single document. There is therefore a single set of ballot comments to be dealt with. The FHIR Management Group (FMG) has responsibility for ensuring that all ballot comments are resolved but this does not mean that FMG has to do the actual resolution of all comments but instead means that FMG must ensure that all comments are resolved by an appropriate group.

This leaves a question of what to do with any that remain. FMG is not a WG and cannot resolve ballot comments itself - if a FHIR WG were formed this would be the obvious group. In the interim FMG will have to find a committee willing to take on the extra items.

Connectathon Comments

The connectathons provide a further complexity since the work done during a connectathon has an objective of identifying issues with the specification which will lead to changes being made. The FHIR Governance Board have considered this issue and decided that for a DSTU ballot, substative changes may be made to the specification after the of the ballot provided that all voters are notified of the changes and are given an opportunity to comment on those changes. If a ballot is for a Normative Standard no substantive changes can be made to that specification as a consequence of connectathon comments. It is unlikely that significant changes would be required at this stage, but if an issue is uncovered that warrants a change in the specification it must be re-balloted.

This policy requires a change in the principles and procedures laid down in the GOM and FGB will pursue such changes.


The process for ballot resolution should run as follows:

  1. Ballot Closes
  2. Ballot comments are reviewed by one or more people designated by FMG. They will allocate issues to the appropriate work group.
  3. Each work group will process its allocated ballot comments in the same way as any set of ballot comments except it may only refer issues back to FMG, not to any other work group, (though this referral may include a recommendation of a work group they believe to be more appropriate). This restriction is to ensure FMG can keep track of all ballot comments.
  4. A connectathon happens
  5. Comments raised during the connectathon are entered onto a ballot spreadsheet together with the disposition made or proposed.
  6. FMG will take ownership of this list of comments and process them in the same way as for a normal set of ballot comments. Only things actually learned during the connectathon may be processed in this way - it is not a back door for those who didn't get their ballot comments in on time.

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