[arin-ppml] Staff proposing policy.

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Thu Apr 28 11:22:11 EDT 2011

Since ARIN's inception Staff has been prevented from making any
policy proposals.  The problem with this is that Staff often sees
aspects of the policy that the community will never see.  Recent
threads about the Microsoft-Nortel deal recognize that much information
is provided under NDA.

It would be nice to fix the NDA issue, but I don't think that will
ever happen competely even if the rules are eased.  As a result
staff can't come forward and say "here's an example of how things
are broken", lay it all out, and let the community fix it.

Today what happens is staff generally holds in any advice they could
give as a result, but from time to time will produce some public
information in a "Experience Report", or may find Members of the
AC during private meetings and strongly suggest the AC look into a
policy area (wink wink, nod nod, it would really help a lot).
Neither of these are optimal.

To me the answer is simple.  ARIN Staff should be able to propose
policy.  Note that doesn't mean there couldn't still be restrictions,
I'm not advocating any staff be able to do it at any time.  I just
think that if ARIN staff has found an area for improvement and they
get internal agreement they should be able to drop a policy propsoal
in the process like any other community member advocating a change.

I think there would be very little chance of abuse, since the policy
would go through the PDP, and still need community support and be
evaluated by the AC.  However, it would allow the staff to stand
up and say things like "we find regulation abcd is vague, and so
we actually use standards 1, 2, or 3 and would like to replace abcd
in policy with 1 2 and 3 so the policy is more clear."

To me it is a way to increase transparency by allowing staff to
bring problems and direct suggestions to the table while not having
to mess with NDA's and the potential publication of customer
confidential data.

Now, as far as I know there is nothing in the PDP that prevents staff
from submitting proposals.  We don't need a policy proposal to make
this happen.  All that needs to happen if the community wants this
sort of action is for us to make it clear, so ARIN can change it's
internal rules on how employees interact with the community.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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