Network Working Group E. Rescorla
Internet-Draft Mozilla
Intended status: Informational M. StJohns
Expires: November 17, 2019 Consultant
May 16, 2019

Updated Recall Procedures for IETF Leadership


This document proposes a new set of recall procedures for members of the IESG and IAB. Instead of a revised nomcom process, these procedures are based on the body expelling their own members.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Section 7 of [RFC7437] describes a recall procedure for IAB and IESG members. This procedure involves a petition from 20 nomcom-eligible community members followed by the formation of a recall committee using procedures similar to those of the nomcom. This procedure has never been executed, although in at least one case the petition phase got fairly far before the relevant member resigned.

One might draw a number of conclusions here, including:

This document takes the position that while recalls should be relatively rare, some mechanism is needed, but that the current mechanism is not well-constructed, both because it is hard to initiate and because it is slow (partly by design), with the result that it often seems easier to just wait for the next nomcom cycle. In addition, because of the stochastic nature of the nomcom, it is a potential source of abuse by those wishing to relitigate the past nomcom.

This document proposes an alternate structure which is designed to deal with just egregious cases (e.g., total member checkout, major misconduct) but is also faster because it doesn’t involve spinning up the nomcom machinery (twice, once to recall and once to replace). In this structure, the IAB/IESG would vote to expel the offending member with consent from the other body. The rationale here is that the body themselves is in the best position to know when a member really needs to be removed.

The intent is that this be an alternative to the existing recall procedure, thus preserving a community mechanism for removing members.

2. Conventions and Definitions

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “NOT RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

3. Expulsion Procedure

In this model, any formal member of either the IAB or the IESG, with the exception of the IETF chair, may be expelled by that body. Specifically, for the IESG, this means all area directors other than the IETF chair and for the IAB this means all IAB members other than the IETF chair, liaisons, and ex officio members.

The body MAY use any procedures of its choice to debate the issue, but the final vote MUST be by a 2/3 majority of the formal members other than the affected member. Prior to that vote, the member MUST be notified and have an opportunity to provide a statement to be considered by the voting members.

Members MAY appeal their expulsion to the body which would ordinarily confirm nomcom appointments (the IAB for IESG members and the ISOC Board of Trustees for IAB members). This appeal MUST be filed within 7 days or the expulsion becomes effective.

In case of an appeal, the body proposing the expulsion shall send a note to the confirming body explaining its reasons for the expulsion. The member being proposed for expulsion shall have access to that statement and shall be allowed to submit a statement explaining why the expulsion should not be sustained. The member shall have 3 business days after receipt of the explusion statement to submit their statement.

The confirming body shall complete their deliberations within one calendar week of receiving the expulsion statement and response. If the confirming body does not vote to confirm the expulsion by a 2/3 majority by the end of this deadline, the expulsion shall not be sustained.

The contents of the statement on the reasons for expulsion shall be held confidential by both bodies. However, the member being proposed for expulsion in their sole discretion, MAY make their statement public.

Deliberations and votes by both bodies – including the fact that expulsion is being considered – shall be private (and among only the members voting) and only the fact of a successful vote yea shall be reported publicly. The number of votes for or against shall not be reported. If at any time the member resigns from the position prior to the completion of an appeal, the fact of the expulsion process shall not be reported.

Upon either the expiration of the appeal period or an affirmative vote by the confirming body, the expulsion takes effect immediately. At this point, their seat is treated as a mid-term vacancy and handled according to Section 3.5 of [RFC7437].

If an expulsion vote is taken and fails and/or an expulsion is not sustained by the confirming body, no expulsion of that member may be proposed for 6 months after the initiation of the proceedings.

The Chair of the IETF may not be removed by expulsion.

4. Effectiveness Date

This process applies to members selected by Nomcoms after the publication date of this document.

5. Security Considerations

This document introduces a new mechanism for removing IAB and IESG members, so is a potential way to suppress existing views. Supermajority requirements and the possibility of appeal limits the impact of this.

6. IANA Considerations

This document has no IANA actions.

7. Normative References

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997.
[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.
[RFC8174] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017.

Authors' Addresses

Eric Rescorla Mozilla EMail:
Michael StJohns Consultant EMail: