Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom

Eric Burger <eburger@cs.georgetown.edu> Thu, 08 January 2015 16:08 UTC

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Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom
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From: Eric Burger <eburger@cs.georgetown.edu>
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Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:08:22 -0500
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> On Jan 8, 2015, at 10:59 AM, John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>; wrote:
> --On Wednesday, January 07, 2015 09:03 -0800 "Murray S.
> Kucherawy" <superuser@gmail.com>; wrote:
> 
>> The first change I'd like to propose is that the IAOC Liaison
>> to the NomCom be codified.  It's currently only an unwritten
>> common practice.
> 
> I think that is fine.  However, while I continue to be generally
> opposed to firm rules, I think the whole role of the liaisons
> needs work.  Because of the potential for damaging existing
> working relationships, the presence of the liaisons (or
> particular people in liaison roles) may have chilling effects on
> whether the Nomcom gets input and how candid that input actually
> is. In addition, liaisons might well be assumed to be biased in
> favor of retaining a status quo that works for them.  Some
> assurances to the community that, e.g., liaisons were expected
> to answer questions and provide general advice about roles but
> that they would be at least as isolated from input about, and
> internal Nomcom discussion of, specific candidates as ordinary
> participants in the IETF might, in that regard, be both helpful
> to a Nomcom trying to solicit input and to general impressions
> about the integrity of the process.
> 
>    john

I would offer that one person’s “biased in favor of retaining a status quo that works for them” is another person’s "Liaisons are expected to represent the views of their respective organizations during the deliberations of the committee.  They should provide information as requested or when they believe it would be helpful to the committee.” [RFC 7437 Section 4.7]

If the problem is a person, we know how to deal with that. Likewise, no matter how legalistic we become, a person with an agenda will have an agenda.