[ARIN-consult] PDP Consultation Reminder

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Wed Jun 27 01:24:01 EDT 2012

On Jun 26, 2012, at 8:04 PM, William Herrin wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com> wrote:
>> 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 [NRPM]
>>> 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
>> policy.
> Typo. I meant to write NRPM not PDP.
>> That minor logical fallacy aside, that would require a pretty serious
>> abuse of the power simultaneously by both the board and the AC.
> Is there some compelling interest served by making the process
> abusable, however unlikely actual abuse may seem?

Yes... Fixing a simple typo in the NRPM should take a policy cycle
to get done.

>> 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.
> Making it unaninmous consent would probably solve the problem. If 22
> people agree something is purely editorial there's a decently good
> chance they're right. And for everything else there's the normal
> policy development process.

I could go for a supermajority, but unanimity in the AC is far more difficult
than it should be and allowing a single member to hold up resolving a
minor correction that doesn't change the policy intent doesn't make sense
to me.

>>>> 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.
> Heaven forfend! No, there's no hidden meaning in my words. I just
> think it's a weaker statement than what's in the current PDP. We
> *should* make a strong statement that policy is developed for the
> community BY the community. This text forgot the "by the community"
> part.

I can live with it, but I think it's the same either way.

>>>> 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.
> Clarify this in the document.

It seems clear to me.

>>> 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.
> Clarify this in the document.

Again, seems clear to me.

Propose wording if you like.

>>> 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.
> How? I didn't find that in the text describing the petition process.

I'd have to review it again, but, there certainly should be a petition
potential at each step.

>>>> 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.
>> Agreed.
>>>> 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.
> <chuckle> Yeah, I can see that. Still, we have exactly one example
> where post meeting, pre last call edits caused a major row. The
> proposed text doesn't look like it would have prevented or even
> seriously impeded that error. Needs more work.

I disagree. Just because it's possible to make a mistake doesn't mean
the process needs improvement. A lot of this process involves judgment
and when you involve judgment, you sometimes get errors and lapses
of judgment.

Taking away judgment still doesn't necessarily improve things.


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