Re: Proposed Revisions to IETF Trust Administrative Procedures

John C Klensin <> Wed, 09 April 2008 00:56 UTC

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Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 20:56:32 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Fred Baker <>, Leslie Daigle <>, Harald Alvestrand <>
Subject: Re: Proposed Revisions to IETF Trust Administrative Procedures
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--On Tuesday, 08 April, 2008 14:25 -0700 Fred Baker
<> wrote:

> On Apr 8, 2008, at 1:14 PM, Leslie Daigle wrote:
>> Giving the Trust a chair is at least a step towards
>> acknowledging   it as a separate organization (beyond
>> instrument), and one could   then examine whether the IAOC
>> members are, in fact, the right   people to populate it (for
>> example).  It certainly opens the doors   to mission creep.
> Russ asked IAOC members to contribute. OK, here I am.
> It actually is a separate organization. It has separate
> meetings,   separate minutes, and a separate membership - all
> trustees are IAOC   members, and one certainly hopes that all
> IAOC members will agree to   sign the form that makes them
> trustees, but that is not a requirement   of IAOC membership.
> Specifically the chair of the trustees is *not*   identified
> as the chair of the IAOC in the current procedures or in   the
> trust - rather, meetings are convened by any trustee who
> happens   to be present.
> Is that a problem? Well, it's not a big one, but it does seem
> odd.
> There are two logical ways to fix this. One is to identify the
> set of   trustees with the IAOC - same committee, same chair,
> same meetings,   same minutes. The other is to recognize the
> difference and decide   that it's OK - the chair of the
> trustees might be the same as the   chair of the IAOC but
> doesn't have to be, but leave the meetings,   minutes, and
> committee separate as they are now. We chose the second,  
> being the least change, and are suggesting it to the IETF
> community.


I think I have to agree with where I think Leslie is headed
here.  Either the Trustees really are the IAOC members, with the
separation merely being a formality required by the way the
Trust was set up, or the Trust is a separate entity in fact as
well as in legal theory.   That "same entity, plus or minus
official roles and legalism" model is your first "logical way"
above and what I think the IETF thought it was agreeing to. If
it is the second, then we should be having a discussion about
whether the IETF wants a separate cast of characters, rather
than making IAOC members automagically Trustees.  

More specifically, I may be missing something, but I can see
only the following cases:

(i) The workload of the Trust and IAOC combined has turned out
to be larger than expected and has gotten too high.  That is
what I think Russ's note implies when he says "...faced with
more work than usual.  The IPR WG has placed a significant task
on the IETF Trust.  Yet, all of the usual IAOC activities need
to go forward on the usual schedule...".  If there aren't enough
available cycles, then taking one of the same people and
designating him or her as "Trust Chair" won't help with anything
but (maybe) better knowledge about what is falling through the
cracks.  There still won't be enough cycles because no cycles
have been added.   If this is the problem, then we ought to be
looking at a proposal to constitute the Trustees in some other
way so as to bring in different people and more cycles, not a
proposal to just pass some more titles around.

(ii) There are enough cycles, but there is an organizational /
tracking problem.   Here I think I agree with Harald.  If the
problem is simply tracking, that is a secretarial task.  Maybe
the secretariat can do it.  Maybe the Trust needs an Exec
Director similar to the long-time IAB role of the same name.
Note that either of those approaches would presumably add cycles
and that the potential for conflict of interest if the
Secretariat gets involved with managing the IAOC presumably does
not exist with the Trust.  But creating a Trust Chair who can
track and advocate for getting work done on Trust issues while
you also have a IAOC Chair who tracks and advocates for getting
work done --done by exactly the same people-- on IAOC issues...
well, I do not yet understand why that would be helpful.

(iii) While functions differ, the two organizations are really
the same.  Nonetheless, there is a desire to create a new
function and title here for reasons I, at least, still don't
understand.  For example, to the extent to which the Trust is
separate from the IAOC, perhaps there is a need for a
coordination role and that might require the two Chairs to sit
down regularly and prioritize the work.  But, if that is the
plan, then the two Chairs take on real authority, which we have
been assured that neither really has.   So this case confuses me.


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