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RFC 5633 - Nominating Committee Process: Earlier Announcement of


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Network Working Group                                    S. Dawkins, Ed.
Request for Comments: 5633                                  Huawei (USA)
BCP: 10                                                      August 2009
Updates: 3777
Category: Best Current Practice

                     Nominating Committee Process:
 Earlier Announcement of Open Positions and Solicitation of Volunteers

Abstract
   This document updates RFC 3777, Section 4, Bullet 13 to allow
   announcement of open positions and solicitation of volunteers to be
   issued before a Nominating and Recall Committee Chair has been named
   by the Internet Society President.

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.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents in effect on the date of
   publication of this document (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info).
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Background ......................................................2
   3. Discussion ......................................................3
   4. Updated Text from RFC 3777 ......................................4
   5. Possible Topics for Later Discussion ............................4
   6. Security Considerations .........................................5
   7. Acknowledgements ................................................5
   8. References ......................................................5
      8.1. Normative References .......................................5
      8.2. Informative References .....................................5

1.  Introduction

   The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the Internet
   Architecture Board (IAB), and the at-large IETF representatives to
   the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) are selected by a
   "Nominating and Recall Committee" (universally abbreviated as
   "NomCom").  [RFC3777] defines how the NomCom is selected and the
   processes it follows as it selects candidates for these positions.

   This document describes an issue with [RFC3777] that causes an
   avoidable delay in the NomCom process and specifies a normative
   update to resolve the issue.

2.  Background

   [RFC3777] is the latest in a series of revisions to the NomCom
   process.  [RFC3777] has been updated once since 2004, but the update
   ([RFC5078]) did not change normative text (it replaced a sample
   timeline).

   [RFC5078] identifies a serial delay in the process described in
   [RFC3777], in Section 4 ("Nominating Committee Selection"), Bullet
   13, which states:

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

      The solicitation must permit the community at least 30 days during
      which they may choose to volunteer to be selected for 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 result is that the Incoming NomCom Chair is the only person who
   can announce the list of open positions and solicitation for names of
   volunteers, a process that requires 30 days for public solicitation.

   Since this is the first step in organizing the NomCom, delays in
   selecting the Incoming NomCom Chair translate directly into delays in
   issuing the solicitation and organizing the NomCom.

   This proved problematic in practice in 2008-2009, when Joel Halpern
   was named NomCom Chair less than 30 days prior to the second IETF
   meeting of the year.  If the 30-day solicitation had already taken

   place, the NomCom could have conducted face-to-face interviews at the
   second IETF meeting, but since the required 30-day solicitation
   didn't start until Joel was named, Joel was unable to assemble his
   NomCom before the second IETF meeting, and the NomCom had to carry
   out these interviews using email and conference calls.

   It is desirable to allow the solicitation and announcement to take
   place in a timely manner so that when an Incoming NomCom Chair is
   named, the NomCom Chair can immediately begin executing the NomCom
   process.

3.  Discussion

   This document proposes that four weeks after the first IETF meeting
   each year, the Internet Society President will either announce an
   Incoming NomCom Chair, or will direct the IETF Executive Director to
   issue the announcement of open positions and the solicitation for
   names of volunteers on behalf of the Incoming NomCom Chair.  This
   allows the search for the Incoming NomCom Chair and volunteers to
   proceed in parallel.

   This process change covers only the announcement of open positions
   and solicitation for names of volunteers.  This process change does
   not allow the NomCom process to move to completion without an
   Incoming NomCom Chair; it is only to ensure that the Incoming NomCom
   Chair can begin executing the NomCom process without an avoidable
   delay and can use face-to-face time at the second IETF meeting
   effectively for this purpose.

   During discussions in the IETF 74 timeframe, it was suggested that we
   also allow the Secretariat to perform other clerical tasks that
   aren't called out specifically in the NomCom process but that clearly
   do not require NomCom Chair judgment.  This document does not provide
   guidance about specific clerical tasks that would be appropriate for
   the Secretariat to carry out.  Instead, either the Incoming NomCom
   Chair (if one has been selected) or the Outgoing NomCom Chair (if the
   search for an Incoming NomCom Chair is still underway) may request
   the Secretariat to perform these tasks, with appropriate notification
   to the community.

4.  Updated Text from RFC 3777

   [RFC3777], Section 4 ("Nominating Committee Selection"), Bullet 13,
   states:

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

   This text is replaced with the following text:

      The Chair (or the IETF Executive Director, if no Chair has been
      named four weeks after the first IETF meeting of the year) obtains
      the list of positions to be reviewed and announces it along with a
      solicitation for names of volunteers from the IETF community
      willing to serve on the nominating committee.

      If the IETF Executive Director issues the solicitation for
      volunteers, the IETF Executive Director must also collect
      responses to the solicitation and provide the names of volunteers
      to the Incoming NomCom Chair when the Incoming NomCom Chair is
      named.

      At the Chair's request, the IETF Secretariat may perform other
      clerical support tasks, as long as the task being performed does
      not require NomCom Chair judgment, in the NomCom Chair's opinion,
      and as long as the community is appropriately notified that this
      request is being made.  This request may come from the Incoming
      NomCom Chair (if one has been selected for this NomCom cycle) or
      the Outgoing NomCom Chair (if the search for an Incoming NomCom
      Chair is still underway).

   Note: This text no longer specifies the list of bodies that NomCom
   reviews, rather than adding IAOC to the list of bodies in the text,
   so that this text need not change further when NomCom
   responsibilities change.

5.  Possible Topics for Later Discussion

   This section contains topics that came up during discussion of this
   document but were ruled out of scope, because the goal for this
   document was incremental improvement, and these topics were more than
   incremental changes.  They may be discussed further, or not, but
   we're less likely to forget them completely if we write them down.

   [RFC3777] tightly couples the announcement of open positions and call
   for volunteers, and this document didn't try to unravel these two
   separate actions.  We had a request during discussion to separate
   them, so that a NomCom could consider the management structure of the
   IETF and the position descriptions that the leadership bodies
   provide, before announcing the positions being reviewed.

6.  Security Considerations

   This specification describes issues with the current IETF Nominating
   Committee process [RFC3777] and proposes an update to avoid a serial
   delay.  No security considerations apply.

7.  Acknowledgements

   The editor thanks the following folks who have provided useful
   observations and guidance on previous versions of this document:
   Scott Bradner (who suggested that the IETF Secretariat have this
   responsibility), Brian Carpenter, Ralph Droms, Jim Galvin, Joel
   Halpern, Danny McPherson, and Pekka Savola.

   The editor also thanks the Wednesday evening plenary session
   participants during IETF 74 who provided useful feedback on previous
   versions of this document [w74plen].

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC3777]  Galvin, J., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
              Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall
              Committees", BCP 10, RFC 3777, June 2004.

8.2.  Informative References

   [RFC5078]  Dawkins, S., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
              Recall Process: Revision of the Nominating and Recall
              Committees Timeline", RFC 5078, October 2007.

   [w74plen]  "IETF 74 Wednesday Evening Plenary Minutes", March 2009.

Author's Address

   Spencer Dawkins (editor)
   Huawei Technologies (USA)

   Phone: +1 214 755 3870
   EMail: spencer@wonderhamster.org

 

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