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RFC 2027 - IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Proc


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Network Working Group                                         J. Galvin
Request for Comments: 2027                                  CommerceNet
BCP: 10                                                    October 1996
Category: Best Current Practice

       IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Process:
           Operation of the Nominating and Recall Committees

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   The process by which the members of the IAB and IESG are selected,
   confirmed, and recalled has been exercised four times since its
   formal creation.  The evolution of the process has relied principally
   on oral tradition as a means by which the lessons learned could be
   passed on to successive committees.  This document is a self-
   consistent, organized compilation of the process as it is known
   today.

Table of Contents

   1 Introduction ................................................    1
   2 General .....................................................    3
   3 Nominating Committee Selection...............................    6
   4 Nominating Committee Operation...............................    7
   5 Member Recall ...............................................   10
   6 Security Considerations .....................................   11
   7 Editor's Address ............................................   11

1.  Introduction

   By 1992, many aspects of the operation of the Internet Architecture
   Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the Internet
   Engineering Steering Group (IESG) had been reviewed and changes were
   being implemented.  Included in those changes was the process by
   which members of the IAB and IESG are selected, confirmed, and
   recalled.  Since 1992, the process of selection and confirmation has
   been exercised four times: 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995.  The recall
   process has not been exercised.

   A single paragraph in RFC1602 is the extent to which the process has
   been formally recorded to date.  Informally, following the 1992
   exercise of the process, an internet draft was distributed recording
   many of the details of the operation of that first nominating
   committee.  In addition, in both 1994 and 1995, the POISED working
   group met, which facilitated the "oral tradition" transference of the
   selection and confirmation process lessons learned, including the
   email archives of the working group mailing list.  This document is a
   self-consistent, organized compilation of the process as described by
   each of these sources.

   The process described here includes only items for which the
   consensus of those participating in the various discussions was
   easily recognized.  As a result, two assumptions are made.

   (1)  The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) and Internet
        Research Steering Group (IRSG) are not a part of the process
        described here.

   (2)  The organization (and re-organization) of the IESG is not a
        part of the process described here.

   In addition, this document specifies time frames for which the frame
   of reference is IETF meetings.  The time frames assume that the IETF
   meets at least once per year with that meeting occurring during the
   North American Spring time, i.e., the IETF meets at least on or about
   March of each year.

   The remainder of this document is divided into four major topics as
   follows.

   General
        This a set of rules and constraints that apply to the
        selection and confirmation process as a whole.

   Nominating Committee Selection
        This is the process by which volunteers from the IETF
        community are recognized to serve on the committee that
        nominates candidates to serve on the IESG and IAB.

   Nominating Committee Operation
        This is the set of principles, rules, and constraints
        that guide the activities of the nominating committee,
        including the confirmation process.

   Member Recall
        This is the process by which the behavior of a sitting
        member of the IESG or IAB may be questioned, perhaps
        resulting in the removal of the sitting member.

2.  General

   The following set of rules apply to the selection and confirmation
   process as a whole.  If necessary, a paragraph discussing the
   interpretation of each rule is included.

   (1)  The principal function of the nominating committee is to
        recruit and nominate candidates for open IESG and IAB
        positions.

        The nominating committee does not select the open positions
        to be filled; it is instructed as to which positions to fill.
        At a minimum, the nominating committee will be given the title
        of the position to be filled.  The nominating committee may be
        given a desirable set of qualifications for the candidates
        nominated to fill a position.  The nominating committee does not
        confirm its candidates; it presents its candidates to the
        appropriate confirming body as indicated below.

   (2)  The annual selection and confirmation process is expected to be
        completed within 3 months.

        The annual selection and confirmation process is expected to be
        completed one month prior to the friday of the week before the
        Spring IETF.  It is expected to begin 4 months prior to the
        friday of the week before the Spring IETF.

   (3)  One-half of each of the then current IESG and IAB positions is
        selected to be refilled each year.

        A given position is selected every other year.  The intent is to
        replace no more than 50% of the sitting IESG and IAB members in
        any one year.

        A position may be refilled with its sitting member, if the
        sitting member is nominated by the nominating committee.

   (4)  Confirmed candidates are expected to serve at least a 2 year
        term.

        All member terms end during the Spring IETF meeting
        corresponding to the end of the term for which they were
        confirmed.  The term ends no later than the second to last

        day and no sooner than the Open Plenary session of the Spring
        IETF, as determined by the mutual agreement of the confirmed
        candidate and the currently sitting member.  The term begins no
        later than the last day and no sooner than the Open Plenary
        session of the Spring IETF meeting, as determined by the mutual
        agreement of the confirmed candidate and the currently sitting
        member.

   (5)  Mid-term IESG vacancies are filled by the same rules as
        documented here with four qualifications.  First, the most
        recently constituted nominating committee is reconvened to
        nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy.  Second, the
        selection and confirmation process is expected to be completed
        within 1 month, with a prorated time period for all other time
        periods not otherwise specified.  Third, the confirming body
        has two weeks from the day it is notified of a candidate to
        reject the candidate, otherwise the candidate is assumed to
        have been confirmed.  Fourth, the term of the confirmed
        candidate will be either:

   a.   the remainder of the term of the open position if that remainder
        is not less than one year.

   b.   the remainder of the term of the open position plus the next
        2 year term if that remainder is less than one year.

   (6)  Mid-term IAB vacancies are filled by the same rules as
        documented here with four qualifications.  First, the most
        recently constituted nominating committee is reconvened to
        nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy.  Second, the selection
        and confirmation process is expected to be completed within
        1 month, with a prorated time period for all other time periods
        not otherwise specified.  Third, the confirming body has two
        weeks from the day it is notified of a candidate to reject the
        candidate, otherwise the candidate is assumed to have been
        confirmed.  Fourth, the term of the confirmed candidate will
        be either:

   a.   the remainder of the term of the open position if that remainder
        is not less than one year.

   b.   the remainder of the term of the open position plus the next
        2 year term if that remainder is less than one year.

   (7)  All deliberations and supporting information of all the
        participants in the selection and confirmation process are
        private. The nominating committee and confirming body members
        will be exposed to confidential information as a result of

        their deliberations, their interactions with those they consult,
        and from nominees who provide requested supporting information.
        All members and all other participants are expected to handle
        this information in a manner consistent with its sensitivity.

   (8)  Unless otherwise specified, the advise and consent model is used
        throughout the process.  This model is characterized as follows.

   a.   The IETF Executive Director advises the nominating committee of
        the IESG and IAB positions to be refilled.

   b.   The nominating committee selects candidates and advises the
        confirming bodies of them.

   c.   The sitting IAB members review the IESG candidates, consenting
        to some, all, or none.

        If all of the candidates are confirmed, the job of the
        nominating committee with respect to filling the open IESG
        positions is considered complete.  If some or none of the
        candidates are confirmed, the nominating committee must
        reconvene to select alternate candidates for the rejected
        candidates.  Any additional time required by the nominating
        committee should not exceed its maximum time allotment.

   d.   The Internet Society Board of Trustees reviews the IAB
        candidates, consenting to some, all, or none.

        If all of the candidates are confirmed, the job of the
        nominating committee with respect to filling the open IAB
        positions is considered complete.  If some or none of the
        candidates are confirmed, the nominating committee must
        reconvene to select alternate candidates for the rejected
        candidates.  Any additional time required by the nominating
        committee should not exceed its maximum time allotment.

   e.   The confirming bodies decide their consent according to a
        mechanism of their own choosing, which must ensure that at
        least one-half of the sitting members agree with the
        decision.

        At least one-half of the sitting members of the confirming
        bodies must agree to either confirm or reject each individual
        nominee. The agreement must be decided within a reasonable
        timeframe.  The agreement may be decided by conducting a
        formal vote, by asserting consensus based on informal
        exchanges (email), or by whatever mechanism is used to
        conduct the normal business of the confirming body.

3.  Nominating Committee Selection

   The following set of rules apply to the creation of the nominating
   committee and the selection of its members.

(1)  The committee is comprised of at least a non-voting Chair, 10
     voting volunteers, and 2 non-voting liaisons.

     A Chair is permitted to invite additional non-voting advisors to
     participate in some or all of the deliberations of the committee.

(2)  The Internet Society President appoints the non-voting Chair, who
     must meet the usual requirements for membership in the nominating
     committee.

     The nominating committee Chair must agree to invest the time
     necessary to complete the duties of the nominating committee
     and to perform in the best interests of the IETF community
     during the performance of those duties.

(3)  The Chair obtains the list of IESG and IAB positions to be
     refilled and publishes it along with a solicitation for
     names of volunteers from the IETF community willing to
     serve on the nominating committee.

     The list of open positions is published with the solicitation to
     facilitate community members choosing between volunteering for an
     open position and volunteering for the nominating committee.

     The list and solicitation must be publicized using at least the
     same mechanism used by the IETF secretariat for its announcements.

(4)  Members of the IETF community must have attended at least 2 of the
     last 3 IETF meetings in order to volunteer.

(5)  Internet Society Board of Trustees, sitting members of the IAB,
     and sitting members of the IESG may not volunteer.

(6)  The Chair randomly selects the 10 voting volunteers from the pool
     of names of volunteers.

(7)  The sitting IAB and IESG members each appoint a non-voting liaison
     to the nominating committee from their current membership who are
     not sitting in an open position.

(8)  The Chair may solicit additional non-voting liaisons from other
     organizations, who must meet the usual requirements for membership
     in the nominating committee.

4.  Nominating Committee Operation

   The following rules apply to the operation of the nominating
   committee.  If necessary, a paragraph discussing the interpretation
   of each rule is included.

   The rules are organized approximately in the order in which they
   would be invoked.

   The term nominee refers to an individual under consideration by the
   nominating committee.  The term candidate efers to a nominee that has
   been selected by the nominating committee to be considered for
   confirmation by a confirming body.  A confirmed candidate is a
   candidate that has been reviewed and approved by a confirming body.

   (1)  All rules and special circumstances not otherwise specified
        are at the discretion of the Chair.

        Exceptional circumstances will occasionally arise during the
        normal operation of the nominating committee.  This rule is
        intended to foster the continued forward progress of the
        committee.  All members of the committee should consider
        whether the exception is worthy of mention in the next
        revision of this document and followup accordingly.

   (2)  The Chair must establish and publicize milestones, which must
        include at least a call for nominations.

        There is a defined time period during which the selection and
        confirmation process must be completed.  The Chair must
        establish a set of milestones which, if met in a timely
        fashion, will result in the completion of the process on
        time.  The Chair should allow time for iterating the
        activities of the committee if one or more candidates
        is not confirmed.

        The milestones must be publicized using at least the same
        mechanism used by the IETF secretariat for its announcements.

   (3)  The Chair must establish a voting mechanism.

        The committee must be able to objectively determine when
        a decision has been made during its deliberations.  The
        criteria for determining closure must be established and
        known to all members of the nominating committee.

   (4)  At least a quorum of committee members must participate in
        a vote. A quorum is comprised of at least 7 voting members.

   (5)  The Chair may establish a process by which a member of the
        nominating committee may be recalled.

        The process, if established, must be agreed to by a 3/4
        majority of the members of the nominating committee,
        including the non-voting members since they would be
        subject to the same process.

   (6)  All members of the nominating committee may participate in all
        deliberations.

        The emphasis of this rule is that no member, whether voting or
        non-voting, can be explicitly excluded from any deliberation.
        However, a member may individually choose not to participate
        in a deliberation.

   (7)  The Chair announces the open positions to be filled and
        the call for nominees.

        The announcements must be publicized using at least the same
        mechanism used by the IETF secretariat for its announcements.

   (8)  Any member of the IETF community may nominate any member
        of the IETF community for any open position.

        A self-nomination is permitted.

   (9)  Nominating committee members must not be nominees.

        To be a nominee is to enter the process of being selected
        as a candidate and confirmed.  Nominating committee members
        are not eligible to be considered for filling any open
        position.

   (10) Members of the IETF community who were recalled from any
        IESG or IAB position during the previous two years must
        not be nominees.

   (11) The nominating committee selects candidates based on its
        understanding of the IETF community's consensus of the
        qualifications required to fill the open positions.

   (12) Nominees should be advised that they are being considered
        and must consent to their nomination prior to being
        confirmed.

        The nominating committee should help nominees provide
        justification to their employers.

        A nominee's consent must be written (email is acceptable)
        and include a commitment to provide the resources necessary
        to fill the open position and an assurance that the nominee
        will perform the duties of the position for which they are
        being considered in the best interests of the IETF community.

   (13) The nominating committee advises the confirming bodies of
        their candidates, specifying a single candidate for each
        open position and a testament as to how each candidate
        meets the qualifications of an open position.

        The testament may include a brief resume of the candidate
        and a summary of the deliberations of the nominating committee.

   (14) With respect to any action to be taken in the context of
        notifying and announcing confirmed candidates, and notifying
        rejected nominees and candidates, the action must be valid
        according to all of the rules specified below prior to its
        execution.

   a.   Up until a candidate is confirmed, the identity of the
        candidate must be kept strictly confidential.

   b.   The identity of all nominees must be kept strictly confidential
        (except that the nominee may publicize their intentions).

   c.   Rejected nominees may be notified as soon as they are rejected.

   d.   Rejected candidates may be notified as soon as they are rejected.

   e.   Rejected nominees and candidates must be notified prior to
        announcing confirmed candidates.

   f.   Confirmed candidates may be notified and announced as soon as
        they are confirmed.

        It is consistent with these rules for a nominee to never know if
        they were a candidate or not.

        It is consistent with these rules for a nominating committee to
        reject some nominees early in the process and to keep some
        nominees as alternates in case a candidate is rejected by a
        confirming body. In the matter of whether a confirmed candidate
        was a first choice or an alternate, that information need not
        ever be disclosed and, in fact, probably never should be.

        It is consistent with these rules for confirmed candidates
        to be notified and announced as quickly as possible instead
        of requiring all confirmed candidates to wait until all open
        positions have been refilled.

        The announcements must be publicized using at least the same
        mechanism used by the IETF secretariat for its announcements.

5.  Member Recall

   The following rules apply to the recall process.  If necessary, a
   paragraph discussing the interpretation of each rule is included.

   (1)  Anyone may request the recall of any sitting IAB or IESG member,
        at any time, upon written (email is acceptable) request with
        justification to the Internet Society President.

   (2)  Internet Society President shall appoint a Recall Committee
        Chair.

        The Internet Society President must not evaluate the recall
        request.  It is explicitly the responsibility of the IETF
        community to evaluate the behavior of its leaders.

   (3)  The recall committee is created according to the same rules
        as is the nominating committee with the qualifications that
        the person being investigated and the person requesting the
        recall must not be a member of the recall committee in any
        capacity.

   (4)  The recall committee operates according to the same rules as
        the nominating committee with the qualification that there
        is no confirmation process.

   (5)  The recall committee investigates the circumstances of the
        justification for the recall and votes on its findings.

        The investigation must include at least both an opportunity
        for the member being recalled to present a written statement
        and consultation with third parties.

   (6)  A 3/4 majority of the members who vote on the question is
        required for a recall.

        If a sitting member is recalled the open position is to be
        filled according to the mid-term vacancy rules.

6.  Security Considerations

   Any selection, confirmation, or recall process necessarily involves
   investigation into the qualifications and activities of prospective
   candidates.  The investigation may reveal confidential or otherwise
   private information about candidates to those participating in the
   process.  Each person who participates in any aspect of the process
   has a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of any and all
   information not explicitly identified as suitable for public
   dissemination.

7.  Editor's Address

       James M. Galvin
       CommerceNet
       P.O. Box 220
       Glenwood, MD 21738

       Email: galvin@commerce.net
       Phone: +1 410.795.6882

 

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