[ppml] Policy process

Howard, W. Lee Lee.Howard at stanleyassociates.com
Wed Jan 18 08:32:18 EST 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ppml-bounces at arin.net [mailto:ppml-bounces at arin.net] On 
> Behalf Of Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
> Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 7:43 AM
> To: ppml at arin.net
> Subject: [ppml] Policy process
> >    What I find most disturbing in your comments is the way you 
> > characterize the policy process as proposals being accepted by "the 
> > small group of people
> > who happened to be present at one of ARIN's member meetings".
> > 
> >    First, I think you know better than this, as you have 
> > been an active participant
> > in the ARIN policy process for several years.
> Whether I, a single person, happen to be present or not,
> does not change the fact that the policies are made by a 
> relatively small group of people.

"Relatively" small, to a value of "everyone who cares about it."  
I would like more participation, but I don't really know how to
solicit it.

> >    ARIN policies are not even generally discussed at ARIN member 
> meetings.
> >    They are discussed at ARIN Public Policy meetings which 
> are open to 
> > ARIN
> > members and non-members alike.
> You are splitting hairs. There are meetings twice a year.
> Part of the time, these meetings are open to all, and part
> of the time they are not. 

Policy meetings are open to all.  Member meetings are for members;
policy is not discussed.  Recently (the last two meetings) 
attendees of public policy meetings have been invited to stay and
observe the members' meetings.  Checking the agenda, they're not
exactly exciting meetings.

> Nevertheless, the meetings are
> attended by a small number of people.

Couple hundred.  Who represent a fairly broad, though not necessarily
proportionate, variety of interests.

> > Barring any extraordinary objections, the AC will then 
> > recommend
> > the policy be adopted by the ARIN board.  The ARIN board 
> > reviews the policy,
> > and, unless there is some extraordinary problem (legal liability 
> > issue, etc.)
> > with the policy in the board's perspective, the policy is adopted.
> As you have pointed out in detail, the ARIN AC does not do much more
> than gauge the consensus of the small group of people who discuss
> the policy proposals on the list and at the meetings. It is my 
> impression that more discussion takes place at meetings than on
> the list and since there is a straw poll taken at meetings, they
> appear to have more weight than the list.

I agree with you that there tends to be more discussion at meetings
than on the list, and that it tends to be more focussed, though that
doesn't necessarily mean it's more thoughtful.  I don't know how (or 
whether) to change that.  Another fairly recent change is that when 
a proposal is presented for discussion at a meeting, staff summarizes 
the discussion that took place here.  I can't say whether the AC 
formally counts mailing list posts and participation at meetings (and 
subtracts out people who did both), but in talking to them, I have 
the impression that they do carefully keep in mind the mailing list 
threads when voting on policy proposals.  


> --Michael Dillon
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