[arin-ppml] Suggestions for PDP improvement

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Thu Nov 10 20:56:23 EST 2011

On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 7:14 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
>>>  I have no objection
>>>  to recommend to the ARIN Board changing it back but definitely
>>>  want to know that we're solving an actual problem by doing so.
>> The problem we're solving is the PDP's alienation of the people at the
>> bottom of the bottom-up process, the bottom which serves as the
>> foundation of ARIN's legitimacy.
>> Despite its faults, the IRPEP offered amazing, brilliant public access
>> to the process. A beacon in a night populated by the likes of ICANN
>> and the FCC. The PDP falls far short of it.
> I'd like to hear from other policy proposal submitters in this area,
> (as I'm not certain all have had experiences similar to your own) but
> the feedback is helpful for the current revision process as well.

Hi John,

As would I. In fairness I'm almost certainly suffering a mild case of
rose colored glasses.

The final IRPEP before the we switched to the PDP is here:

The AC's behavior as individuals and as a group differed in some
interesting ways due to the differences in the process. I'd like to
talk my way through the process I remember:

A. During the AC's initial review of a proposed policy, the AC
operating under the IRPEP almost always fell into the role described
in the IRPEP's point 2: the shepherd encouraged the author to make
revisions he felt would enhance the proposal. After some back and
forth the AC ended up at point 1: adopt as a formal policy proposal.

B. When the AC exercised review point 3: abandon a proposal
immediately, it was usually because the proposal didn't express
actionable policy or it expressed a proposal so obviously the same as
something the the community had considered and rejected that the toss
was a no-brainer.

C. I don't remember if anyone ever exercised the right to petition. If
they did, they needed only 4 statements of support to adopt the text
as a formal policy proposal. IIRC, the AC essentially didn't try to
stop anything for which there was a chance of four people saying, "I
want." This set a VERY low barrier to entry for anyone in the
community with a number policy idea and allowed some obvious
non-starters to burn time at the meeting.

D. As you pointed out, the author retained control of the text. I
recall the AC members offering any number of insightful suggestions
along with the occasional flop, but the original author chose whether
and how to integrate them. I personally remember Bill Darte's very
valuable help with my own first attempt at drafting a policy.

E. Presentation at the meetings was uneven. Some authors made
energetic presentations with lively Q&A. In other cases the text was
read in a monotone on behalf of an author who wasn't there. In some
cases the text stayed in flux up to and during the presentation. It
became difficult count the consensus because folks had spoken to so
many different versions.

F. At the meeting, consensus was polled and counted.

G. After the meeting, the AC made its official analysis and either
elected to abandon the proposal or move it to last call. I don't
recall the text seeing revision of any significance at this point,
though maybe someone can point out an example where it was. I don't
remember the AC ever failing to move a popular proposal to last call.
I recall a few contentious proposals that had at least as much
opposition as support making it to last call.

H. The last call was relatively brief and was basically a time to get
your final word in on the last revision of the text. It was really
up-or-down, not a time for suggesting change.

I. If the text survived last call without a material change in
consensus from the meeting and discussion then the AC generally
recommended it to the board for adoption.

J. A fair number of proposals didn't arrive at the board in the form
of actionable policy language ready to be dropped in to the NRPM, so
the board often did a bit of work tweaking the text.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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