IESG S. Dawkins
Internet-Draft Wonder Hamster
Updates: 7437 (if approved) September 2, 2017
Intended status: Best Current Practice
Expires: March 6, 2018

IAB, IESG, and IAOC Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Process: IAOC Advisor for the Nominating Committee


This specification formalizes an ad hoc practice used to provide advice to the IETF Nominating Committee about the operations of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee.

This document updates RFC 7437.

Status of This Memo

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This specification formalizes an ad hoc practice used to provide advice to the IETF Nominating Committee about the operations of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) (described in [RFC4071]).

This document updates [RFC7437].

2. Discussion Venue

Please direct questions and comments to the IETF-Nomcom mailing list, at The subscribers to the IETF Discussion mailing list will likely be grateful for that.

Please note that background on discussion points that have come up previously during review is provided in Appendix A.

3. Background on 'IAOC Liaisons' to Nominating Committees

When RFC 7437 [RFC7437] was approved, it explicitly charged the Nominating Committee with selecting and reviewing certain members of the IAOC. However, [RFC7437] did not provide for the IAOC to send a liaison to the Nominating Committee.

This was not thought to be an obstacle, because [RFC7437] allowed any committee member to propose a liaison from the IAOC:

Beginning in 2010, the IAOC provided a liaison to each Nominating Committee. In 2016, the IAOC did not provide a liaison because the Nominating Committee was not appointing an IAOC member. The previous Nominating Committee had filled a mid-term vacancy, using the process described in Section 3.5. of [RFC7437], appointing an IAOC member for a term longer than two years. In 2017, the NomCom was selecting an IAOC member, but the opportunity to request a liaison from the IAOC was overlooked, because because this practice wasn't part of the documented process in [RFC7437].

This specification adds the previously ad hoc role to [RFC7437], so future Nominating Committees will be less likely to overlook it.

Although past ad hoc practice has characterized this role as a "liaison", this specification labels the role as an "advisor". The rationale for this change in nomenclature is provided in Appendix A.1.

4. BCP Text Changes

This section provides the updated BCP text for [RFC7437].

For each OLD text selection, NEW text is provided that replaces the OLD text in [RFC7437].

4.1. Change to Section 4.3, 'Structure'



5. Security Considerations

This document updates an IETF process BCP and has no direct Internet security implications.

6. IANA Considerations

This document makes no requests of IANA, and the RFC Editor can safely remove this section during publication.

7. Acknowledgements

Thanks to Adrian Farrel, Alissa Cooper, Andy Malis, Alvaro Retana, Joel Halpern, John Klensin, Leslie Daigle, Michael Richardson, Robert Sparks, Russ Housley, S. Moonesamy, Scott Bradner, Stephen Farrell, and Ted Hardie for providing feedback on early versions of this document.

Joel Halpern (2009/2010 past Chair/advisor) and Michael Richardson (2014-2015 Chair) are especially appreciated, because only a few people can provide a Nominating Committee Chair's perspective on how useful representation from the IAOC has been in practice.

8. Normative References

[RFC4071] Austein, R. and B. Wijnen, "Structure of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA)", BCP 101, RFC 4071, DOI 10.17487/RFC4071, April 2005.
[RFC7437] Kucherawy, M., "IAB, IESG, and IAOC Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall Committees", BCP 10, RFC 7437, DOI 10.17487/RFC7437, January 2015.

Appendix A. Discussion Points

This section preserves discussions and explanations that came up during document discussions. Ordinarily, this section might be deleted during the evaluation process, but some questions came up repeatedly and consistently, so the editor plans to leave them for anyone who also shares those questions.

A.1. Why is this Role an Advisor?

The editor of this document briefly considered proposing a new and IAOC-specific role to [RFC7437], but considered such a proposal to be complex. Anticipating every corner case in IETF process BCPs is challenging and error-prone, and as this specification was being written, the IETF Chair was sponsoring a design team reviewing all aspects of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA), so the structure and membership of the IAOC itself could change in the near future. Instead, the specification describes how the Nominating Committee requests advisors, building on mature text that has survived many Nominating Committee cycles.

After choosing to reuse existing roles defined in [RFC7437], the definition of Advisor in Section 4.9 seemed appropriate.

The position described in this specification could be filled by an advisor who would be a non-voting member of the Nominating Committee, who is knowledgeable about the operations of the IAOC, with duties that could evolve over time as the IAOC itself evolves.

The only difference between this advisor that requires an update to [RFC7437] and and any other advisor is that committee members are explicitly encouraged to suggest that this advisor be appointed, as described in this specification. The text updating [RFC7437] is found in Section 4.

A.2. Why is this Role not a Liaison?

Discussions on the IETF-Nomcom mailing list led to the recognition that "liaison" was not the best description of this role.

The role of liaison defined in [RFC7437], Section 4.7 places some significant obligations on liaisons that aren't necessary for Nominating Committee to ask questions and get answers about the IAOC that come up in deliberations. These obligations include

Finally, in [RFC7437],Section 4.6, all of the liaisons are included in the pool of people who are eligible to be selected as a replacement for a Chair.

During discussion of this specification, we noted that any liaison would be part of the pool of potential substitute Nominating Committee chairs. It wasn't clear to the people in the discussion that making liaisons who are voted onto the Nominating committee eligible to be substitute Chairs is intentional. That potential change is out of scope for this specification, but may be a conversation worth having separately.

All of these obligations are important, but there are always at least two full liaisons from the confirming bodies already responsible for those responsibilities. It is simply not necessary to make the job of helping Nominating Committee understand the IAOC more demanding than it must be.

So, requiring the IAOC to name a formal liaison to the Nominating Committee isn't justified.

A.3. Why is this Role not required to be a Sitting IAOC Member?

In addition to the reasons given in Section Appendix A.2, the requirement that the IAB and IESG liaisons to the Nominating Committee be sitting members of the organizations they represent, whose positions are not being reviewed by this Nominating Committee, is especially challenging for the IAOC.

Because so many IAOC positions are filled by members who are already members of IETF leadership who are subject to review by the Nominating Committee, limiting an IAOC liaison to one of the sitting members would mean that in some years, only the person who was appointed by the previous Nominating Committee and not being reviewed by this Nominating Committee, and the person who was appointed by the IAB or IESG and not being reviewed by the IAB/IESG, would be eligible sitting members of the IAOC who could serve as a liaison for the Nominating Committee. "Eligible" does not also mean "willing and able to serve", so it is not impossible that in some years, an IAOC might find itself with no sitting member to send as advisor.

Although all IAOC liaisons to the Nominating Committee have served as sitting members of the IAOC, given 10 years of IAOC operation, this specification assumes that other members of the community have sufficent experience to provide guidance if the IAOC chooses to suggest such a person. If any given IAOC thought that was important, they could certainly continue to suggest sitting members, but if no sitting member was willing and able to serve, the IAOC would be free to do the next best thing, and would likely be the best qualiified group to decide who to send.

A.4. Why Does the Nominating Committee Request an IAOC Advisor?

This specification could have described the mechanism in one of two ways.

Either choice could work. The reason that this specification chose to have the Nominating Committee make the first move is that this is more similar to the way other advisors to the Nominating Committee are selected, except that the Nominating Committee is asking the IAOC for a suggestion before inviting the advisor to join the Nominating Committee.

The suggestion is, in fact a suggestion, and the Nominating Committee still votes to invite this advisor, as they would vote to invite any advisor, as described in [RFC7437], Section 4.3.

Author's Address

Spencer Dawkins Wonder Hamster Internetworking LLC EMail: