Re: [Mtgvenue] I-D Action: draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.txt

Andrew Sullivan <> Thu, 10 May 2018 02:15 UTC

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From: Andrew Sullivan <>
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] I-D Action: draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.txt
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Dear colleagues,

Mary's, Ted's, and Ole's discussion of particulars of environmental
contaminents (in this case, smoking and mo[u]ld) makes me again wish
to suggest the position I held before the specific change was made to
draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.  My position at
the time was that the Important criterion

   o  Economic, safety, and health risks associated with this Venue are

was what we needed.  It was pretty unlikely to be traded off with any
kind of regularity, since "risk" and "acceptable" were sufficiently
flexible that we'd need to call out things that were in stark contrast
to what we normally dealt with.  In any case, I thought, further
specification would be a problem.  Therefore, I claimed, the above
criterion was as good as anyone could reasonably expect and it seemed
that the details needed to be left to meeting planners.  (I didn't
support it becoming Mandatory because the "are acceptable" language
means that there's no test, so no way to know whether the Venue
necessarily fails.)

We are now in the situation where we have a Mandatory criterion about
smoking in various parts of the Venue, and at least one person who
claims that such a Mandatory criterion requires site-visiting staff to
do some kinds of spot checks.  It's totally unclear to me what that
would mean or what we would do if, 2 or more years later when we
actually show up, the spot checks turn out to have been wrong.

We are now also faced with the suggestion that the same staff are
supposed to do mo[u]ld tests without having the requisite training or
hazardous materials equipment.  If in fact we are demanding staff do
such things, it seems to me at least plausible that staff would have a
future complaint if we did not provide them with appropriate equipment
to undertake the tests.  This is, I think, an important reason why we
cannot realistically mandate such tests.

Moreover, once we begin requiring such tests by staff, there are other
pollutants that (1) could be required to be tested and (2) are not yet
mentioned in the document, either because we haven't yet thought of
(or discovered) them or because someone who is affected wasn't
involved in all this.

Therefore, I would like again to propose that we go back to the
previous text -- which had the nice advantage too of having had
consensus in the WG -- and drop the new Mandatory criterion in section
3.1, relying on staff to do their level best (as they ever have done)
to address health issues that are likely to affect IETF participants
at meetings.

None of this, please note, is in any way intended to minimise or
denigrate the health issues (or even discomforts, for all that) people
have talked about.  But we need a document that establishes
principles, not rules.  If one's particular concern cannot be covered
under the principles laid out, then I think it would be most important
to raise that.  But this particular change seems to me to be the
addition of a specific rule where an exising principle in the document
was already adequate to the purpose.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan