[arin-ppml] RIPE/ITU - Govt Reps

Davis, Terry L terry.l.davis at boeing.com
Wed Mar 17 12:31:03 EDT 2010


Works pretty much the same for those of us with enterprises/business as for government.

Take care

> -----Original Message-----
> From: arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net 
> [mailto:arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net] On Behalf Of Robert Cannon
> Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:12 AM
> To: arin-ppml at arin.net
> Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] RIPE/ITU - Govt Reps
> --- On Thu, 3/4/10, David Farmer <farmer at umn.edu> wrote:
> > Xiaoya Yang made another comment, "I also want to mention
> > that a fact that it's very difficult for government
> > representative to participate in the Internet policy
> > discussion. Because, as you could acknowledge if I'm
> > representing our government, I cannot speak on my individual
> > behalf."
> > 
> > This made me realize that what we in the Internet community
> > consider as an open participatory process, may not actually
> > be open to everyone.  As technical people our
> > organizations generally allow us a great deal of latitude to
> > express our individual opinions.  This is generally not
> > the case for government bureaucrats, especially in the realm
> > of international diplomacy.  I'm not sure what to do
> > about this, but we probably shouldn't just ignore it.
> If I may....
> Simple answer is yes.  A civil servant in their official 
> capacity can only speak with clearance from the decision 
> makers / bosses.  If the agency has no official formal 
> position on a specific question, the civil servant may not be 
> able to speak at all.  If the agency is considering a 
> question, but has not issued an opinion, the civil servant 
> cant speak.  If the agency has expressed an opinion, then its 
> usually 3 years later.
> But that's a general rule - with exceptions.  There are civil 
> servants that do speak, sometimes they are high in leadership 
> - sometimes they sit in unique offices.  Some times you can 
> get a civil servant to speak, but not on the record (in other 
> words, perhaps in the hallway).  A civil servant who speaks 
> generally does not represent their agency and cannot bind 
> their agency.
> Every agency, govt, and country will be different.  One 
> answer is creating an environment where the person you want 
> to speak can speak.
> Finally, sometimes civil servants who dont speak - are very 
> good listeners (and are taking information back to their agencies).
> B
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