[ppml] Metric for rejecting policy proposals: AC candidate question
I've been rereading the responses to my question: "[is it] appropriate
[for the AC] to reject a policy proposal merely because there's a
'better' path for resolving the matter"?
First, I appreciate so many of the AC candidates (eight out of ten)
responding to my query during this election season. I also appreciate
the reminders of the existence of the petition process, which can
quickly make the AC's initial rejection of a policy proposal
irrelevent. On the other hand, I'm a bit disappointed that it was
hard to find a clear and direct answer to the exact question asked in
some of the responses.
As background, it's been my experience that many items that are (at
least arguably) in-scope for the public policy process could also be
appropriate to deal with informally (or through the new ACSP).
I agree with most of the candidates that, in most cases, the public
policy process is clearly a slower, kludgier, and less desirable way
of dealing with these issues than the informal processes. On the
other hand, the informal routes may not provide the result the
community desires. Accordingly, I'd like the see the option of using
the public policy process remain available for anything that could
possibly be in-scope for that process, even when an informal
In the interest of facilitating further discussion, I've included the
text of the AC candidates' responses below.
It depends in part on how much better said path is, and, on the nature
of the path. If there is a more appropriate open public process for a
proposal, then, I would have no problem rejecting the proposal with a
recommendation that it be submitted, instead, to that process. If the
"better" process is not similarly open, I would be unlikely to reject
the proposal on that basis alone.
There are proposals that have come in recently that can be argued
that are not policy but more focused on new services or process
for ARIN operational matters. I've argued that there has been no
other way to go forward except through the policy process for things
that are member matters (hence my objection that is recorded
in section 6 of the Arin AC meeting of May 4):
I'm very encouraged that there is now an emerging set of processes for
non policy matters that the members can bring to ARIN that is a more
logical path forward than using the policy process. As far as the the
existing process has been defined, I personally like to see the
process to be setup more like the policy process with reasonable
overrides if there is resistance by leadership within ARIN but wanted
by its members.*
I like your use of the term 'metric' in the subject. Assuming that
the metric for all the options is in the range [0,1]: If we're talking
about 0.92 versus 0.94, I see no reason for the AC to circumvent the
public policy process. However, if the options are 0.3 vs 0.8 it's a
different matter. BUT, in the latter case, I would hope it is
reasonably apparent to the entire community that the full public
policy process is not appropriate. It's the middle ground where the
AC needs to make thoughtful recommendations.
I think a large component of the AC's job is community education. It's
helping those who are not familiar with the process navigate through
it when necessary. If the AC can help the proposer find a better path
to resolution I think that makes everyone happy.
I'll also point out that we have a petition process, documented in
http://www.arin.net/policy/irpep.html. I hope the AC would always be
able to provide a path forward that satisfies the author, but if not
there is a mechanism to allow the author to move a proposal forward.
The AC is chartered to make the decisions based upon the input from
all stakeholder sources. A good example of something that is best
addressed outside the public policy process would be issues that are
clearly operational in nature. In the past, some issues have been
referred to ARIN staff so they can address the issue. In many cases,
I believe these issues have been adaquately addressed by ARIN staff.
I see no need to overburden the public policy or the Number Resource
Policy Manual (NRPM) with operational issues that can best be
addressed by the ARIN staff. If ARIN staff has been unresponsive to
an issue and a community member feels that the issue still needs to be
addressed, the issue could be addressed through the open policy
process; in that case the rationale should clearly state the reason
why the issue is being submitted to the public policy process.
The public policy process does allow a "fallback" option through the
petition process. Any AC action can be overridden by the petition
If the AC deems an issue better handled by another path or process, it
is its responsibility to forward it on.
I agree with both Stacy and Andrew. Micromanagement of operational
issues via the public policy process is not a desirable outcome;
unnecessarily constrains ARIN staff and if done too often will result
in the NRPM becoming huge and unwieldy. The AC finding that something
"can best be addressed by the ARIN Board of Trustees" is completely
neutral on the proposal's merits, it's just a suggestion that it is
more operational than policy oriented.
The ACSP is a new thing, which should eliminate much of the need to
use the public policy process to get the attention of ARIN's ops side.
I think this represents a step towards goodness and applaud the
efforts of ARIN staffers to bring it to fruition.
As much as I'd like to put in a suggestion that at least one future
ARIN meeting per year ought to take place in an ARIN region country
other than the US and Canada, I suppose I'll restrain myself...
It depends on what it proposal is and whether there is a precidence to
follow. Issues on operational policies should be discussed during the
membership meeting. If the policy falls into the public domain then I
think that the AC should make a recommedation instead of rejecting it.