RSE Bid Process

Ted Hardie <> Wed, 03 July 2019 19:03 UTC

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From: Ted Hardie <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2019 12:02:54 -0700
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Subject: RSE Bid Process
To: IETF <>, Internet Architecture Board <>,
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As folks are aware, there is ongoing discussion on Heather’s decision not
to continue as RFC Series Editor (RSE) and about how the situation has been
handled. Firstly, we’d like to express our regret at how things have
transpired and our willingness to have an open discussion with the
community about where we can all best go from here. This mail sets out our
view of how recent events unfolded, and our understanding of the process
for finding the next RSE.

The RSE currently has a two year contract which began in 2018 and which
permitted two extensions of up to two years each.  As part of their duties
under RFC 6635, the RFC Series Oversight Committee (RSOC) reviewed the
contract in May of this year.  On June 6th, they notified Heather Flanagan,
the current RSE, that they would recommend the contract be extended for two
years.  At the same time, they noted an intent to prepare a Request for
Proposals during that two year period, in order to address some concerns
that were raised about response rates after the last bid process.
Immediately afterwards, the RSOC notified the IAB both of their
recommendation to renew the contract in 2020 and their intent to prepare an
RFP for 2022.

Initial discussions within the IAB would normally have been held at the
following IAB meeting, on June 10th.   On June 7th, however, the RSE
notified the IAB, the IETF LLC Board, and RSOC that she did not intend to
renew the contract.  The IAB is grateful that she provided early notice and
that she has agreed during the remaining months of the existing contract to
help the RSOC and IETF community to consider the requirements needed for
the next RFC Series Editor.

Discussions on the requirements are ongoing on the IETF list.  While we
expect additional community discussions of future processes or models, we
also want to take advantage of the time Heather’s courtesy provided as best
we can.  As a result, we believe we should begin the RFP process as set out
in RFC 6635 now, with an aim to getting an RSE and a contract in place with
sufficient transition time.  Since the last running of this process, the
IAOC has concluded and the IETF LLC taken shape, so we wanted to lay out to
the community our understanding of that process with the IETF LLC in
place.  As with other aspects of the IAOC to LLC transition, the RSOC and
IAB will aim for minimal change to the current process, and zero unexpected
changes. That would give the following steps:

1) The RSOC prepares a statement of work based on RFC 6635 and previous RFPs

2) The RSOC sends the SOW out for public comment.

If IAB members, the IAB, or the IETF LLC board have comments, they occur
during this period.  There is no separate review for them.

3) After the RSOC finalizes the SOW, it notifies the IAB, which requests
the IETF LLC issue an RFP.

Note: this is not an approval step, just the mechanics of who has the token
to turn this crank.

4) The RFP is issued by the IETF LLC.

5) The RSOC, or a committee formed from within the RSOC, reviews the
proposals and interviews candidates.  Depending on the number of candidates
this could involve steps for creating a short list before running

6) The RSOC recommends an appointment to the IAB.

7) The IAB approves the appointment, subject to contracting.

8) The IETF LLC negotiates a contract with the appointed RSE.

9) After timing is agreed, the new RSE is announced and a transition

Once again, we regret how things have transpired and will be engaging with
the community on the longer term handling of how the IAB, RSE and IETF
relate to one another. That may include a new version of RFC 6635.  Until
those conclude, however, we believe we need to move forward with the
current process. As part of that, we want to confirm with the community our
understanding of the process required under the existing model and

If you have comments on this point, please send them by replying to this
mail or to and  Note that both lists include the
current RSE as a member.  If you have comments on the SOW, e.g., on
appropriate length or renewal intervals, please send them to RSOC after the
SOW has been published for community review. For comments on the broader
situation, the list is, as always, available.


Ted Hardie

for the IAB