[arin-discuss] [arin-ppml] Advisory Council Position Petitions?

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Wed Sep 23 17:47:03 EDT 2009

On Sep 23, 2009, at 4:36 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> ...
> I don't have a problem with the NomCom disqualifying candidates for
> whatever reason.
> I do have a huge problem when those "whatever reason" is shrouded in
> secrecy.

Ted -

Disqualification based on the hard criteria isn't the problem (and  
isn't necessarily the job of the NomCom).  For example, if someone is  
works for another RIR, they may not serve as an ARIN AC or Board  
member. Unless they're planning to change jobs upon election, there  
will be a hard conflict.  The bylaws lay out a handful of structural  
conflict-of-interest items, but these are factual in nature and do not  
require the NomCom in order for them to be adequately addressed.

The issue is with the "evaluation of Nominees' experiences and  
qualifications" (per NomCom charter).  I will outline some purely  
hypothetical situations and how they might be handled under the  
current process:

1) A nominee for the AC indicates that they'd like to serve, but they  
also note that they operate a business which depends on availability  
of WHOIS data to function.  They tell the NomCom that they intend to  
recuse themselves from WHOIS policy discussions, to prevent potential  
material conflict of interest.   The NomCom sees that quite a bit of  
the upcoming discussions in the next three years will relate to WHOIS  
policy, and feel that the nominee will be impaired, but not fatally  
so.  In a situation with insufficient nominations, they decide to put  
the nominee on the AC slate. In a situation with more nominees, they'd  
certainly omit the nominee from the slate.

2) A nominee for the Board indicates that they've got enough time to  
serve, based on the written description of trustee demands.  The  
nominee's worried that it might be tight in terms of time commitment  
but otherwise manageable as long as "The Big Contract" that they bid  
on doesn't get awarded to them.  The nominee says confidentially that  
it's really a remote chance, since the following well-known firms are  
competing for it:  XYZ, ABC, QED, but if the award does happen they  
will have to resign.  The NomCom considers this, and given the dearth  
of other candidates either decides it is a reasonable or an  
unreasonable risk to add to the Board slate given their potential to  
resign mid-term.

I agree that the current NomCom doesn't provide insight into its  
prioritization of the candidates, but I'm not certain how it could in  
some circumstances (circumstances which are more common than one would  
expect).  Making the NomCom a body which simply approves all Nominees  
(unless completely defective) means we lose the "evaluation" portion  
of its charter.  Hence, the suggestion that all nominees get carried  
forward, but the Nomcom provides (or not) its endorsement of the  
nominee based on their ability to serve productively.  Other  
suggestions are welcome, including the possibility of having the  
community vote on candidates without having consideration of any  
information from the candidate which would need to be treated in  


John Curran
President and CEO

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