Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom

Michael StJohns <> Fri, 09 January 2015 22:07 UTC

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Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:07:22 -0500
To: John C Klensin <>, Brian E Carpenter <>, Eric Burger <>
From: Michael StJohns <>
Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom
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At 04:45 PM 1/9/2015, John C Klensin wrote:
>All of the about are related, in one way or another, to
>information flow _to_ the Nomcom, _from_ the liaison.
>I'm concerned about information flow in the other direction.  It
>has to do with, e.g., liaison participation in actual
>discussions of individual candidates, particularly in ways that
>would expose them to community comments about those candidates
>and information about (or that might permit the identification
>of) those who made them.  My instinct -- driven by several
>recent discussions and observations-- is that it is in the
>interest of the community and high-quality Nomcom
>decision-making to isolate the liaisons from community comments
>on candidates on the same basis and to the same degree that
>random members of the community are isolated.  

Silly me... I assumed that the confidentiality rules covered this issue.  :-)

Unfortunately, the problem is not limited to the Liaisons and I have no remedy for leaks from the members that would still allow the Nomcom to operate.

The old saw is that "two can keep a secret if one is dead".  With the Nomcom statutorily 10 voting members plus the chair and past chair that participate in all discussions, I'm not sure we're ever going to get a guarantee of secrecy with respect to those discussions.  Adding in the 4 liaisons doesn't - IMO - materially add to the problem.  Yes, they're colleagues with people being discussed, but in the broader sense, all of the Nomcom members are colleagues with all of the candidates.

Ultimately, we're trying to program the behavior of humans.  And that's somewhat more difficult than programming the behavior of cats.    Maybe we just eliminate the cats and eliminate the de jure liaison functions but provide a mechanism for the Nomcom to reach out if necessary to the origanizations on a more ad hoc basis.

Later, Mike