Re: Proposed IETF Trust Conflict of Interest Policy for Community Review

Brian E Carpenter <> Wed, 30 March 2016 01:44 UTC

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Subject: Re: Proposed IETF Trust Conflict of Interest Policy for Community Review
To: Stephen Farrell <>,,
References: <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 14:44:39 +1300
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> - Why isn't this aiming to end up being a document subject to IETF
>   consensus? I can imagine there may be good or bad reasons for
>   either doing this via the IETF process or not doing it via the
>   IETF process, but I wondered - it seems like this is not just
>   some minor operational thing, and considering these issues and
>   aiming to get IETF consensus on how/when to declare conflicts
>   of interest could be useful more generally. Is there something
>   substantially different about the trust in this respect vs.
>   other IETF roles such as chair, author, AD etc?

IANAL, but I think the answer is yes: a Trust does have a very
specific legal status, in a way that the IETF or IAB don't have.
So I think it's normal that the Trust enacts its own CoI policy,
and of course correct that the Trust asks for community input

> - Some trustees are selected by nomcom or other bodies. Wouldn't
>   those proposing themselves for selection need to say something
>   about known conflicts to selecting bodies like nomcom, so that
>   we don't select folks who are conflicted out of being useful?
>   And doesn't that mean that the list of conflicts needs to be
>   public? And why shouldn't it be public? (Or did you intend it
>   to be public? I wasn't sure.)

I think it would be good practice to make it public (even if certain
details were kept private). But it isn't just at selection time;
a new CoI could arise anytime, e.g. due to a change of job.