Re: Proposed Revisions to IETF Trust Administrative Procedures

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Wed, 09 April 2008 12:21 UTC

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Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2008 08:21:17 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Proposed Revisions to IETF Trust Administrative Procedures
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--On Wednesday, 09 April, 2008 14:00 +1200 Brian E Carpenter
<brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> wrote:

> Let's expand the quotation from the current, unamended Trust
> procedures slightly:
> 
> "If at any time the IAOC ceases to
> exist, the Trustees then in office shall remain in office
> and determine the future of
> the Trust in accordance with the Trust Agreement."
> 
> I agree there's a drafting error - it should say
> 
> ""If at any time the IAOC ceases to
> exist, the Trustees then in office shall remain in office
> SOLELY IN ORDER TO determine the future of
> the Trust in accordance with the Trust Agreement.""
> 
> That was certainly the intent.

But that is still inconsistent with the way I (and others) have
read the Trust Agreement itself.   If that reading is correct
then, if the IAOC ceases to exist, the then-current batch of
Trustees, or at least those who are Trustees as the result of
IETF appointments or positions, all go "poof" in that role.  The
IESG then appoints three Trustees and _they_, not the prior
incumbents, get to determine the future of the Trust.

This distinction is important because it means that the people
doing the "determining of the future" are potentially different
people and definitely in different roles.  Precisely the one
thing those lame-duck Trustees should not be doing is
"determining the future of the Trust".   The language that would
be consistent with that reading of the Trust Agreement would be
something more like...

	"If at any time the IAOC ceases to exist, the Trustees
	then in office shall remain in office only until the
	IESG can appoint new Trustees in accordance with the
	Trust Agreement.  During that period, their sole role
	and authority will be to conduct day to day business;
	they are prohibited from making any decisions with
	long-term or broad implications that cannot be reversed
	by their IESG-appointed successors."

If one is going to plan for an unlikely, and potentially
catastrophic, contingency at all, it is worth getting it right.
Even independent of what the Trust Agreement says, if the IETF
decides to get rid of the IAOC, the decisions about what happens
next to IETF Administration should be firmly and exclusively in
IETF hands.   

Then one needs to worry about what happens if the IETF goes away
:-(

      john

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