[ARIN-consult] PDP Consultation Reminder

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue Jun 26 21:55:55 EDT 2012

On Jun 26, 2012, at 6:03 PM, William Herrin wrote:

> A quick caveat: these comments are intended to be constructive,
> suggesting improvement. If any seems otherwise, then I did not explain
> myself well and you misunderstood me.
>> One. 3.1. Policies, not Processes, Fees, or Services
>> [...]
>> Changes to policy that are purely editorial in nature
>> are beyond the scope of the Policy Development
>> Process and may only be made with the concurrence
>> both the ARIN Advisory Council and ARIN Board of
>> Trustees regarding their non-substantial nature.
> This is a dangerous sentence. I foresee bitter arguments over whether
> or not a change was substantive. Even if "concurrence" is intended to
> mean "unanimous consent" of the board and council (in which case it
> should probably say so), this statement facilitates edits to the PDP
> without any process for prior public review, directly contradicting
> the objective of One 5.2 (Open & Transparent Processes). And for
> certain if you can't get unanimous consent of the board and council
> that a change is "purely editorial" then it isn't.


Not really. This facilitates edits to ARIN policy. The PDP is not within
the scope of ARIN policy. It's the process by which we develop ARIN

That minor logical fallacy aside, that would require a pretty serious
abuse of the power simultaneously by both the board and the AC.
Further, anything the community didn't like, they could propose
policy to change it fairly quickly, so it would be of limited duration.

It doesn't require unanimous consent, it's majority of quorum, I believe.
Might be majority of the full body. I'm fine with it either way.

I suggest you read the minutes of the most recent AC meeting when it
comes out to disprove your own statement about lack of unanimous
consent above.

Sometimes people are obstructive for reasons which seem to have little
to do with whether or not the change was actually editorial in nature.

IIRC, there were two other changes suggested as administrative in the
original staff recommendation to the AC. Both were removed from the
motion before the motion was even made at the AC meeting. One was
arguably borderline, but since there was some doubt, it was removed.
The other one was not so close to the border, IMHO.

In general, I believe that the AC is and will remain pretty cautious in
its use of this particular capability.

Further, if the board alone goes rogue on you (as would be part of what
is required to abuse this section), the emergency policy process allows
for far more significant changes without even getting consent from the AC.

I'm not saying the board is likely to go rogue. I think that's very unlikely and
I suspect they are going to be rather conservative about testing the
emergency PDP again unless there truly is dire need to do so.

>> One. 4.3. Supported by the Community
> 4.3 is a weaker statement than 3.3 in the current PDP which demands
> that policy be initiated from the bottom up: by the community at
> large, not by its elected and appointed stewards. And after gaining
> consensus.

Since the elected stewards are also part of the community at large,
I'm not sure what distinction you are trying to draw here. If you are
suggesting that my position on the AC should prevent me from actively
participating in policy debates, voting at meetings, and/or proposing
policy, say so. I firmly believe that such a requirement would be in
opposition to the good of the organization or the community.

Something worth noting is that I will, with some regularity vote differently
when I am in the show of hands at a meeting vs. when I am voting on that
same item on the AC docket. The reason is quite simple. When I vote in the
meeting in the show of hands, I am voting my own conscience, or, at least
the position of my employer or one or more of the other organizations that
I represent in the ARIN process(es).  When I vote in the AC meeting, OTOH,
I am voting what I believe to be the informed will of the community or at least
what I perceive to be the best interests of the community.

>> 5.2. Developed by Open & Transparent Processes
> This could be better. Open, Transparent and Inclusive.
>> Two. All ARIN Advisory Council decisions on policy matters
>> require an affirmative roll call vote of the majority of the
>> members of the full Advisory Council, unless otherwise specified.
> Does this mean that a majority of a quorum is not acceptable, it must
> in fact be 8 of the 15 members of the AC?

Yes. Currently, that is already required for final actions on draft policies.
This would further extend that requirement.

>> Two. 2. Policy Proposal Evaluation
>> During Policy Proposal evaluation, the Advisory
>> Council does not evaluate the merits of Policy
>> Proposal other than to confirm that the Policy
>> Proposal is within scope of the Policy Development
>> Process and contains a clear statement of the
>> problem and suggested changes to number
>> resource policy text.
> I *really* like this.
>> A submitted Policy Proposal
>> that is not rejected upon evaluation as being
>> out of scope remains on the docket as a Policy
>> Proposal until it is withdrawn by originator or
>> accepted by the Advisory Council as a Draft
>> Policy.
> This text doesn't flow well into the next section. There's too big a
> conceptual gap from "_the proposal_ is on the docket and under
> consideration by the AC" to the next part where the "Advisory Council
> participates in and encourages the discussion of the _Draft
> Policies_."

If we can't abandon it, then all that is left is to leave it on the docket until
the author and/or the AC make sufficient edits to select it as a draft policy.
Once it is selected as a draft policy, then it moves forward.

> When should the AC accept a proposal as a draft? Should a proposal
> really remain on the docket forever because the AC dislikes it and the
> author is too stubborn to withdraw it? Does the AC "not evaluate the
> merits of Policy Proposal" like it says in the section's first
> paragraph or can they consider whether they think it's a good policy
> before accepting it as a draft?

We don't reject it on merit in the first step. In the second step, our job
is to work with the author to refine it into draft policy. Given the ability
to petition the proposal to draft policy status, there is a safety valve
to prevent the AC from letting it languish.

> Is it possible to petition a policy proposal to draft status or is it
> stuck in limbo if the AC agrees its properly constructed but dislikes
> it?

It can be petitioned as I understand things.

>> 6. Confirming Community Support for Recommended Draft Policies
>> The Advisory Council confirms community
>> support for Recommended Draft Policies, and
>> this support may be ascertained by a show of
>> hands during a Public Policy Consultation.
> And... anything else? Or is a show of hands at an in-person PPC the
> only approved way of ascertaining community support? Needs
> improvement.


>> 7. Last Call
>> If the Advisory Council sends a Recommended Draft
>> Policy different than the Recommended Draft Policy
>> presented during the Public Policy Consultation, then
>> the Advisory Council will provide a detailed explanation
>> for all changes to the text and these specific changes
>> must have been discussed during the community
>> consultation at the Public Policy Meeting.
> A laudable attempt at saving the AC's ability to revise the proposal
> post-meeting but completely impractical. How does one discuss
> "specific changes" to a written document at a 200-person meeting?
> Throw it up on a screen and type new sentences? Or toss around vague
> ideas and write specific text later? Even if you solve that, the
> concept itself is defective: the better way to improve a policy will
> come after everybody has slept on it. After the meeting.

Usually these are changes that have been well considered, but, after
text freeze as for some reason, text freeze tends to be when the community
actually starts reading the draft policies.

>> 2.2.  Petition for Recommended Status
>> 2.3.  Petition for Last Call
> There appears to be a hole here. A petitioner can advance a draft to
> recommended status. If the AC then radically changes its text and
> advances the changed version to last call, the petitioner does not
> appear to have any recourse through which he can advance the original
> to last call. The petitioner can only act if the AC fails to advance
> any form of his proposal to last call.

I would say that was probably an oversight and agree that it should be
added back in.


> Or have I misread it?
> Regards,
> Bill Herrin
> -- 
> William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
> 3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
> Falls Church, VA 22042-3004
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