Posted By sjfehr on 09 Nov 2014 05:58 AM
Just throwing this out there, but it would be nice if there was a process to ask SEB a question that didn't take 3-6 months to get an official answer.
There sort of is... If you think its a straight forward question, you can just call the national office. If its a question that has come up before or is straightforward, someone in Technical Services is likely to be able to just answer it for you.
If your question requires a rules interpretation or is a grey area in the book, however, it unfortunately has to go through the process. And that process right now consists of:
1) Someone on the national staff sees your new letter and forwards it into the appropriate AC (advisory committee, one per category) queue (usually days, can be longer if vacation / out of the office issues).
2) AC reviews your question. Some ACs meet monthly, but most meet every other month. There is a forum used for discussion by the AC, but its very rare that an AC will send up a response immediately without discussing it on a call. When the AC decides something, its forwarded on to the SEB's queue. This can take up to two months.
3) SEB reviews your question. SEB meets every month. If SEB agrees with the response, it gets fowarded to FT. This can take up to a month. If the SEB disagrees, the letter usually gets sent back to the AC for more work.
4) FT gets published. Usually this is around three weeks after the SEB meeting.
There are cases where this gets shortcut. And for something like the thread subject, a shortcut isn't far fetched at all. What happens with that is that the AC reviews the letter and decides what they think. Often the SEB will approve a direct response to the member at that point via email. If the question is one that seems like it would only apply to one situation / its deemed that the response wouldn't benefit the rest of the membership, that letter is marked done, otherwise you'll see the same answer in FT a month or two later.
I realize none of these options are "I called and got an answer", but its the nature of our rules system.