[arin-ppml] Staff proposing policy.

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Thu Apr 28 14:10:08 EDT 2011

In a message written on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 11:46:09AM -0400, William Herrin wrote:
> You've identified a real problem, but bear in mind that staff is
> prevented from proposing policy for good reason: such participation
> would inevitably drive the policymaking process further from the hands
> of the public they serve. The eventual destination is an FCC-like

I realize not everyone may have attened other RIR's meetings...

I believe all four other RIR's have staff dedicated to participating
in the policy development process.  I find it hard to accept arguments
that such participation drives the policy process further from the
hands of the public given the track record of those four RIR's.

For instance, if you have a policy idea in those other RIR's rather
than trying to get the language 100% correct yourself you can go
to a staff member and say "I'd like to implement this idea."  They
will then assist you in turning that idea into policy text.

You see, many community members are not experts in writing policy,
they may have never done it before or have any idea how various
different policies interact.  Staff has plenty of experience in

In the ARIN community this job ends up falling to the AC.  My
experience is that the AC's output on this front is highly variable.
They are volunteers, so depending on the workload and interest of
AC members they may do a great job, or a not so good one.

Staff also sees an entire part of the process that's hidden from
the community.  They know where people try to repeatedly game policy.
They know where the policy is written in a way that confuses everyone
who applies.  In the ARIN region we make this valuable information
percolate to the top of the organization and then get presented to
the membership in a very stiff, ridgid way.

Let me offer a middle ground.  If we don't want staff making a
policy proposal directly, could we at least get staff directly
involved in having conversations about policy on PPML?  Do we really
have to wait for a twice a year report to learn from their experiences?

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