[ARIN-consult] Proposed Revision to the ARIN Policy Development Process
ARIN is consulting with the community with regards to the attached
Revised Policy Development Process (PDP) for policy development in the
ARIN region. This revision to the PDP includes extensive restructuring
of the material for improved readability, and as such the use of change
marking is not possible.
Significant changes in this revision of the PDP include:
- Improved definition of the scope of the PDP process
- Clarified principles for good number resource policy
- Clarified Board criteria for ratification of developed policies
- Have added a role for the ARIN Advisory Council (AC) to performing
an initial review of each new policy proposal to confirm that it is in
scope of the PDP
- Have changed the process so all in-scope policy proposals become
draft policies upon successful initial review
- Have defined a single first-in/first-out flow control for AC Chair
to allow deferral of all incoming proposals if AC docket is overloaded
- Added requirement for the AC to provide a full explanation of any
policy action taken
- Provides for the AC to select the set of draft policies which are
to be presented in detail for discussion at the Public Policy Meeting (PPM)
- Excludes ARIN Staff & Board from initiating or supporting petitions
- One petition per policy action; if successful, petitioners mutually
select the presenter of the draft policy at PPM
There are three documents: Part 1 is the goals of the PDP, Part 2 is the
PDP itself, and Part 3 is the PDP Petition Process.
Please provide comments to arin-consult at arin.net. You can subscribe to
this mailing list at:
Discussion on arin-consult at arin.net will close on 28 October 2011. ARIN
seeks clear direction through community input, so your feedback is
important. If you have any questions, please contact us at
info at arin.net.
Communications and Member Services
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)
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PART ONE – ARIN POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS GOALS
This document describes the ARIN Policy Development Process (PDP). The
ARIN PDP is the process by which policies for the management of Internet
number resources in the ARIN region are developed by the community.
These Internet number resource policies are developed in an open and
transparent manner that allows anyone to participate in the process.
The PDP is designed to bring forth clear, technically sound and useful
policies for ARIN to use in the management and administration of
Internet number resources. To accomplish this goal, the PDP charges the
community-elected ARIN Advisory Council (AC) as the primary policy
development body with appropriate checks and balances on its performance
in that role.
Part I of this document provides the underlying goals for the Policy
Development Process (including its purpose, scope, principles, and
criteria for policy changes) and Part II details the specific Policy
Development Process used for development of changes to Internet number
resource policy. Part III details the processes for petitioning
specific aspects of the Policy Development Process.
Internet Number Resources
Internet number resources consist of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4)
address space, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) address space, and
Autonomous System (AS) numbers.
An idea for a policy that is submitted to the policy development
process. ARIN staff work with idea proposers to insure clarity of the
policy proposals, and the ARIN Advisory Council confirms the policy
proposal is in scope (per Section 3) of the Policy Development Process.
A policy proposal that is under active consideration by the Advisory
Council. A draft policy results from a policy proposal being accepted
by the Advisory Council for further development. The Advisory Council
accepts additional policy proposals when the AC Chair determines that
the Advisory Council has sufficient available resources to undertake
additional development work.
Recommended Draft Policy
A draft policy that has been recommended for adoption by the Advisory
Council. Policies are recommended for adoption once the Advisory
Council determines the draft policy meets ARIN’s Principles of Internet
number resource policy as specified in Section 4.
A policy that has been adopted by the ARIN Board of Trustees. Adopted
policies are incorporated into the Network Resource Policy Manual (NRPM)
Public Policy Mailing List (PPML)
The ARIN public mailing list for discussion of Internet number resource
Public Policy Meeting (PPM)
ARIN meetings open to the public for discussion of Internet number
An action initiated by any member of the community (including a proposal
originator) if they are dissatisfied with the action taken by the
Advisory Council regarding a specific policy proposal or draft policy.
3. Scope of Internet Number Resource Policies
3.1. Policies, not Processes, Fees, or Services
Internet number resource policies developed through the PDP describe the
policies and guidelines to be followed in number resource management,
not the procedures that ARIN staff will use to implement the policies.
ARIN staff develops appropriate procedures to implement policies after
they are adopted.
Internet number resource policies are also distinctly separate from ARIN
general business practices. ARIN's general business processes, fees, and
services are not within the purview of the Policy Development Process,
and policies developed through the PDP cannot define or establish ARIN
fees or service offerings. All matters concerning fees and service
offerings are part of the fiduciary responsibility of the Board of
Trustees. Note that the ARIN Consultation and Suggestion Process (ARIN
ACSP) may be used to propose changes in non-policy areas.
3.2. Relevant and applicable within the ARIN region
Policies developed through the PDP are community self-regulatory
statements that govern ARIN’s actions in the management of Internet
number resources. Policy statements must be applicable to some portion
of the community or number resources managed within the ARIN region, and
proposals to change policy must address a clearly defined and existing
problem with number resource policy in the region.
Note that the policy development process for global policies follows a
similar process within each RIR region with the additional process of
ratification by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN). The global policy development process is separately documented
and facilitated by the Address Supporting Organization Address Council
4. Principles of Internet Number Resource Policy
Internet Number resource policy recommended for adoption must satisfy
three important principles, specifically: 1) enabling fair and
Impartial number resource administration, 2) technically sound
(providing for uniqueness and usability of number resources), and 3)
supported by the community.
4.1. Enabling Fair and Impartial Number Resource Administration
Internet number resources must be managed with appropriate stewardship
and care. Internet number resource policy must conserve resources and
provide for fair and impartial distribution of resources according to
unambiguous processes and criteria. All policy statements must be clear,
complete, and concise, and any criteria that are defined in policy must
be simple and obtainable. Policies must be unambiguous and not subject
to varying degrees of interpretation.
4.2. Technically Sound
Policies for Internet number resources management must be evaluated for
soundness against three overarching technical requirements:
conservation, aggregation and registration. More specifically, policies
for managing Internet number resources must:
• Support both conservation and efficient utilization of Internet number
resources to the extent feasible. Policy should maximize number resource
availability while respecting the significant cost to the Internet
community resulting from number resource depletion.
• Support the aggregation of Internet number resources in a hierarchical
manner to the extent feasible. Policy should permit the routing
scalability that is necessary for continued Internet growth. (Note that
neither ARIN, nor its policies, can guarantee routability of any
particular Internet number resource as that is dependent on the actions
of the individual Internet operators.)
• Support the unique registration of Internet number resources. Policy
should prevent to the extent feasible any duplicate use of Internet
number resources that would disrupt Internet communications.
The ARIN AC considers these requirements in assessing changes to policy
and only recommends those policies that achieve a technically sound
balance of these requirements. The ARIN AC documents its technical
assessment for consideration by the community.
4.3. Supported by the Community
Changes to policy must be shown to have a strong level of support in the
community in order to be adopted. The determination of support is most
commonly done after discussion of the draft policy at the Public Policy
Meeting (PPM) or via online poll after discussion on the Public Policy
Mailing List (PPML).
A strong level of community support for a policy change does not mean
unanimous; it may be supported by only a subset of the community, as
long as the policy change enjoys substantially more support than
opposition in the community active in the discussion. Furthermore, any
specific concerns expressed by a significant portion of the community
must have been explicitly considered by the ARIN AC in their assessment
of the policy change.
5. ARIN Board Criteria for Policy Changes
In order to maintain fidelity to the duty performed by ARIN on behalf of
the Internet community, changes to Internet resource numbering policy
must meet two specific criteria before being adopted by the ARIN Board
of Trustees: 1) in compliance with law and ARIN’s mission, and 2)
developed via open and transparent processes
5.1. In Compliance with Law and ARIN’s Mission
Policies developed through the PDP must advance ARIN’s mission, not
create unreasonable fiduciary or liability risk, and must be consistent
with ARIN's Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and all applicable laws
5.2. Developed by Open & Transparent Processes
Changes to policy must be developed via open and transparent processes
that provide for participation by all. Policies must be considered be
in open, publicly accessible forum as part of the adoption process.
Policy discussions in the ARIN region are conducted on the Public Policy
Mail List (PPML) and in the Public Policy Meeting (PPM). There are no
qualifications for participation other than following the specified
rules of decorum necessary for constructive discussion. Anyone
interesting in participating in the process may subscribe to the PPML
and anyone interested may attend a PPM in person or via remote
All aspects of the PDP are documented and publicly available via the
ARIN website. The PPML is archived. The proceedings of each PPM are
published. All policies are documented in the Number Resource Policy
Manual (NRPM). All draft policies are cross referenced to the original
policy proposal, the archives of the PPML, all related PPM proceedings,
and the minutes of the appropriate Advisory Council and the ARIN Board
of Trustees meetings. The procedures that are developed to implement the
policy are documented, publicly available, and followed by the ARIN staff.
PART TWO – THE POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
This section provides the details of the ARIN Policy Development
Process. All references to “days” are business days unless otherwise
1. The Policy Proposal
Policy proposals may be submitted to the ARIN Policy Development process
by anyone in the global Internet community except for members of the
ARIN Board of Trustees or the ARIN staff. Policy proposals may be
submitted any time by completing the online policy proposal form on the
ARIN web site or by sending text copy of the form to policy at arin.net.
ARIN staff will work with the originator as described below to prepare
the policy proposal and make it available for consideration by the
Upon receipt of a policy proposal form, the ARIN staff will work with
the proposal originator by providing feedback within 10 days regarding
the clarity and understanding of the proposal text. The merits of the
policy proposal itself are not evaluated at this time; the purpose of
this step is to insure that the proposal text will be clear and
understandable to the ARIN staff and community, and to receive any staff
comments regarding potential scope considerations of the policy proposal.
The proposal originator may revise (or not) the proposal text based on
the feedback received, and when the originator indicates satisfaction
with the proposal text, the ARIN staff assigns it a policy proposal
number, posts the policy proposal to the public web site, and notifies
the Advisory Council of a new policy proposal available for initial
2. Policy Proposal Initial Evaluation
The Advisory Council (AC) performs an initial evaluation of each policy
proposal in a timely manner to determine if the proposal is within scope
of the Policy Development Process. This will include consideration of
comments received from staff regarding potential scope considerations of
the policy proposal. Policy proposals which are determined by the
Advisory Council to be out of scope or clearly without merit may be
rejected at this point, and the Advisory Council announces the rejection
of a policy proposal along with an explanation of its reasoning to the PPML.
The Advisory Council maintains a docket of draft policies under active
development. Any policy proposals that are not rejected upon initial
evaluation shall become draft policies on its docket. The AC Chair may
defer initial evaluation of all new policy proposals if the Chair
determines that there are insufficient resources available for
additional policy development work.
3. Draft Policy Discussion and Development
The Advisory Council is responsible for the development of draft
policies on its docket to meet ARIN’s principles of Internet number
resource policy (as described in Part One of the PDP, Section 4). During
this effort, the Advisory Council participates in and encourages the
discussion of the draft policies on the PPML, notes the merits and
concerns raised, and then based on its understanding of the relevant
issues, the Advisory Council may take various actions including
abandoning, revising or combining the draft policy with other draft
The Advisory Council announces any actions taken on draft policies along
with an explanation of its reasoning to the PPML. The explanation
should show a full consideration of the issues leading to the action..
The Advisory Council (AC) may have specific AC members or members of the
community (including the proposal originator) collaborate in the
consideration of the discussion and preparation of actions for the
Advisory Council, but only the Advisory Council may revise, combine, or
abandon a draft policy.
The Advisory Council may submit a draft policy for a combined staff and
legal review (and should do so after significant changes to a draft
policy). This review will be completed within 10 days. Upon receipt of
the staff and legal review comments, the Advisory Council examines the
comments to ensure their understanding and resolve any issues that may
have been raised. This may cause the Advisory Council to revise, combine
or abandon the draft policy.
4. Community Discussion at Public Policy Meeting
The Advisory Council presents reports on the status of all the draft
policies on its docket at each public policy meeting (PPM). The list of
draft policies is set 20 days in advance of the PPM, and no action to
add, merge or abandon draft policies may be made after that point (In
order to provide for flexibility but insure discussion of a single draft
policy version at the PPM, minor revisions to draft policy text may be
made by the Advisory Council up until 10 days prior to the public policy
The AC Chair designates a list of Draft Policies for discussion and
these are specifically listed in the Draft PPM agenda. In each Draft
Policy presentation, members of the Advisory Council will present the
arguments for and against adoption of the Draft Policy (petitioned items
at the PPM are handled per PDP Section III: Petition Process) The
Advisory Council participates in the discussion of the draft policies at
the PPM, and notes merits and concerns raised in the discussion.
Within the 30 days following the Public Policy Meeting, the Advisory
Council reviews all draft policies and, taking into account the
discussion at the public policy meeting, decides the appropriate next
action for each one.. Draft policies that are not abandoned remain on
the Advisory Council’s docket for further development.
5. Advisory Council Consensus on Recommended Draft Policy
If the Advisory Council completes its work on a draft policy and
believes that the draft policy meets ARIN’s principles of Internet
number resource policy, it may recommend the draft policy to the
community. Upon recommendation, the recommended draft policy text and a
current staff and legal review are published on the PPML for community
6. Community Support on Recommended Draft Policy
The Advisory Council seeks community support for its recommended draft
policies, and this support may be ascertained by a show of hands at the
public policy meeting or an online poll of the community after 10 days
prior notice provided to PPML.
The Advisory Council should carefully weigh the community support shown
for each of the recommended draft policies. Clear community opposition
is a strong indication that policy abandonment should be considered. A
low level of overall support without opposition for a recommend draft
policy suggests further discussion of the merits of the draft policy or
abandonment. A clear split in the community support suggests that the
Advisory Council should revise the draft policy to accommodate the
concerns raised or further explain its consideration of the matter.
7. Last Call
The Advisory Council selects recommended draft policies that have the
support of the community and sends these policies to a last call for
review and discussion by the community on the PPML. The last call period
will be for a minimum of 10 days. The Advisory Council may decide that
certain draft policies require a longer last call period of review (such
as those that were revised based on comments received during the public
policy meeting). If the Advisory Council sends a draft policy different
than the recommended draft policy, then the Advisory Council will
provide an explanation for all changes to the text.
Within 30 days of the end of last call the Advisory Council will review
the result of last call discussion, and will determine readiness for
consideration by the Board of Trustees. The Advisory Council may
forward a draft policy directly to the Board of Trustees only if minor,
non-substantive changes were made as a result of last call discussion.
Any other changes require that the recommended policy be sent again to
last call, or held on the docket as a draft policy for further
development. The AC can also decide to abandon a draft policy at this
The results of the Advisory Council's decisions, and the reasons for
them, are announced to the PPML. The Advisory Council forwards the
recommended draft policies to the Board of Trustees for adoption.
9. Board of Trustees Review
The ARIN Board of Trustees reviews and evaluates each recommended draft
policy at their next meeting. In its review, the Board evaluates the
policy with respect to the Policy Development Goals as described in Part
One of the PDP including specifically whether the ARIN Policy
Development Process has been followed, and whether the policy is in
compliance with law and ARIN’s mission.
The Board may adopt, reject or remand recommended policies to the
Advisory Council. All rejections will include an explanation. Remands
will include an explanation and suggestions for further development. The
Board may also seek clarification from the Advisory Council without
remanding the recommended policy. The results of the Board's decision
are announced to the PPML.
The projected implementation date of the policy is announced at the time
that adoption of the policy is announced. ARIN staff updates the NRPM to
include the adopted policy and implements and publishes a new version of
11. Special Policy Actions
11.1 Emergency PDP
If urgently necessary pursuant to ARIN’s mission, the Board of Trustees
may initiate policy by declaring an emergency and posting a draft policy
to the PPML for discussion for a minimum of 10 business days. The
Advisory Council will review the draft policy within 5 days of the end
of the discussion period and make a recommendation to the Board of
Trustees. If the Board of Trustees adopts the policy, it will be
presented at the next public policy meeting for reconsideration.
11.2 Policy Suspension
If, after a policy has been adopted, the Board receives credible
information that a policy is flawed in such a way that it may cause
significant problems if it continues to be followed, the Board of
Trustees may suspend the policy and request a recommendation from the
Advisory Council on how to proceed. The recommendation of the Advisory
Council will be published for discussion on the PPML for a period of at
least 10 days. The Board of Trustees will review the Advisory Council's
recommendation and the PPML discussion. If suspended, the policy will be
presented at the next scheduled public policy meeting in accordance with
the procedures outlined in this document.
PART THREE – PDP PETITION PROCESS
This section provides the details of the petitions within the Policy
Development Process. Petitions can be made at points where decisions
are made in the policy process. Points where petitions are available
are depicted on the main PDP flow diagram in Appendix A. All days in
the process below are business days unless otherwise specified.
1. Petition Principles
1.1 Available to the community
Any member of the community may initiate a Petition if they are
dissatisfied with a specific action taken by the ARIN Advisory Council
(AC) regarding any policy proposal or draft policy. The petitioner does
not have to be located in the ARIN region or associated with an
organization that is a Member of ARIN; any party (including a policy
proposal originator) with interest in policy development matters within
the ARIN region may initiate a petition.
Notwithstanding the above, ARIN Staff and ARIN Board members may not
initiate or be counted in support of petitions as these individuals
already have a formally defined role in the Policy Development Process.
1.2 Petition Initiation and Process
A petition may be initiated by sending an email message to the ARIN
Public Policy Mailing List (PPML) clearly requesting a petition against
a specific action and includes a statement to the community on why the
petition is warranted. The ARIN Staff will confirm the validity of the
petition and then announce the start of the petition period on the PPML
Until the close of the petition period, Members of the community (as
allowed to petition per 1.1 above) may be counted in support for an
existing petition by sending an email message to the PPML clearly
stating their support for the petition. Only one petition will be
considered for given policy action; all subsequent requests to petition
for the same action within the petition period shall be considered as
support for the original petition.
The petition shall remain open for 5 days, at which time the ARIN Staff
shall determine if the petition succeeds (success requires expressions
of petition support from at least 10 different people from 10 different
organizations). A successful petition will result in a change of status
for the policy proposal or draft policy as specified below.
Staff and legal reviews will be conducted and published for draft
policies placed on the AC docket by successful petitions.
All draft policies successfully petitioned are presented for discussion
at the next PPM by an individual chosen by the petition supporters. If
consensus is not achieved in determining the presenter, then the
President may facilitate the selection process.
2. Valid Petitions
Petitions may be made regarding policy proposals or draft policies as
2.1. Petition against Abandonment or Rejection due to out of scope
The Advisory Council’s decision to abandon a policy proposal or draft
policy may be petitioned.
Petitions may be initiated until 5 days following the announcement date
of an Advisory Council abandonment of a specific policy proposal or
draft policy. For sake of clarity, the “announcement date” of an action
shall be the publication date of the action in the ARIN AC minutes.
For a draft policy, a successful petition will result in the draft
policy being placed back on the AC docket for PPML discussion and
presentation at the next PPM.
For a policy proposal rejected due to being out of scope of the PDP, a
successful petition will result in the question of policy proposal being
referred the ARIN Board for consideration.
For a policy proposal otherwise abandoned, a successful petition will
result in the policy proposal becoming a draft policy that will be
placed on the AC docket and published for discussion and review by the
community on the PPML. The resulting draft policy shall be under
control of the AC going forward as any other draft policy and
subsequently may be revised or abandoned per the normal policy
2.2. Petition for Original Version
The Advisory Council’s decision to revise a draft policy may be petitioned.
Petitions may be initiated anytime until 5 days following the
announcement date of an Advisory Council revision or publication date of
the draft agenda of the next Public Policy Meeting (PPM).
A successful petition will result in the original version of the draft
policy being added to the AC docket for PPML discussion and presentation
at the next PPM.
2.3. Last Call Petition
Any member of the community may initiate a Last Call Petition if they
are dissatisfied with the AC’s failure to act within 30 days after a PPM
to send a draft policy to last call. If successful, the petition will
move the draft policy to last call discussion and review by the
community on the PPML.
2.4. Board of Trustees Consideration Petition
Any member of the community may initiate a Board of Trustees
Consideration Petition if they are dissatisfied with the AC’s failure to
act within 30 days after a last call review. If successful, this
petition will move the draft policy for consideration by the Board of