Indeed, I'd be one of those "high muckety-muck" you were mentioning (the PAUSE admins in this case).
If various members of Team Sybase would like to systematically go through all the Sybase:: modules and take over maintenance of the ones that authors have gone AWOL for, we'd be more than happy for you to do so.
As astaines mentioned, it is something of a case by case basis, but if you've gone to a reasonable effort (and not just random emails) over a period of time to contact the authors, then email email@example.com with the details and generally quite happy to hand over co-maintainer permissions (which can be trumped by the author if they return) to allow you to fix bugs and move the module along further.
In this particular case, if you represent a semi-official group of Sybase professionals, then I'd expect there to be little if any questions asked as long as you've done a reasonable job trying to contact the authors.
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