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[AfriNIC-rpd] Policy Development in the AfriNIC Service Region Proposal (AFPUB-2009-GEN-001)

sm+afrinic at sm+afrinic at
Tue Jan 19 10:20:44 UTC 2010

Hi Borg Knight,
At 23:13 18-01-10, Borg Knight wrote:
>My concern here is this " create a policy development process 
>..." implies there is none in existence. I think it will be more 
>effective if the new proposal makes it explicitly clear that it is 
>trying to build and modify an existing policy. Sometimes, a 
>structure is so bad the only remedy is to tear it down and rebuild 
>it, but this is not one of those situations.

I see your point now.  I'll change the first paragraph as follows:

   The objective of this proposal is to define the principles on which the
   policy development process in the AfriNIC service region are based and
   its procedures.  This proposal obsoletes the Policy Development Process
   in the AfriNIC service region specified in AFPUB-2008-GEN-001.

I left in the "define" as there isn't any mention of the principles 
in the existing policy.

>And linking them to what specific parts of the existing policy are 
>being improved.

It is better to have a comprehensive document instead of having to 
refer to two documents as there are significant changes in the 
proposal.  I'll quote parts of the two documents side by side so that 
you can make a comparison.  By the way, there are some differences in 
the document I wrote and what has been posted on the AfriNIC website 
as some of the section numbering is missing.

AFPUB-2008-GEN-001 - Section 2:

   2.1. A PDP Moderator Group (MG) will be set-up to moderate and 
coordinate the policy
   development process and discussions. It will consist of three(3) 
members of the
   community. One AfriNIC staff will also be providing support to the MG

AFPUB-2009-GEN-001 - Section 4:

   The Policy Development Working Group may have two or more Chairs 
to perform the
   administrative functions of the group.

AFPUB-2008-GEN-001 - Section 2:

   Note: The three(3) Moderator Group (MG) members will be nominated 
by the community
   during a face-to-face (f2f) open public policy meeting for a 
defined period.

   The three (3) MG members shall be nominated for a 3-year term. The first for
   1 year, the second for 2 years and the third for 3 years.  AfriNIC 
will nominate
   one of it's staff members to the MG.

AFPUB-2009-GEN-001 - Section 4:

   The Working Group Chairs will be chosen by the community during 
the Public Policy
   Meeting for a two-year term.  The term ends during the first 
Public Policy Meeting
   meeting corresponding to the end of the term for which they were 
appointed.   At the
   time this policy is adopted, one of the Working Group Chairs will 
be appointed for a
   one-year term.

According to a message posted to this mailing list on October 9, 2008 
( ), three 
persons were nominated to the AfriNIC PDP-MG.  There hasn't been any 
message posted to this mailing list about who are the members of the 
MG and the terms they have been nominated for.  One of the members of 
the MG is nominated for a one-year term.  There was a AfriNIC meeting 
in November 2008.  If the MG members were chosen then, it means that 
there are currently two instead of three MG members.

This proposal defines when the term starts and when it ends.  It is 
meant to coincide with Public Policy Meetings for practice 
purposes.  A term can be slightly more than two calendar years but it 
cannot be indefinite.  The third paragraph of Section 4 takes into 
account exceptional circumstances when the Working Group Chair is 
unable to serve his or her full term.

AFPUB-2008-GEN-001 - Section 2.5:

  2.5. After at least 30 days of discussions and comments on the 
mailing list, the policy
  is brought to the public open policy (face-to-face) meeting for a 
final round of
  discussions before the community endorses or rejects the policy 
through consensus.

AFPUB-2009-GEN-001 - Section 5.1:

   The draft policy shall be available for review for at least four 
weeks.  The author(s)
   shall make the necessary changes to the draft policy according to 
the feedback received
   from the community.  The Working Group Chair(s) may request 
AfriNIC to provide an
   analysis, technical, financial, legal or other, of the impact of 
the draft policy.

Section 5.2 elaborates on the requirements for a draft policy to be 
discussed at a Public Policy Meeting.  It gives the community a 
two-week notice about what is going to be discussed and ensures that 
there are no last minute changes.  That section also has a 
requirement for the minutes of proceedings to be published.  There is 
no such requirement in the existing policy.

AFPUB-2008-GEN-001 - Section 2.7:

   2.7. A 15-day last call for comments on the policy will be 
announced on the policy
   mailing list. During this 15-day period, comments agreed upon 
during the open public
   policy meeting will be incorporated into the policy.

AFPUB-2009-GEN-001 - Section 5.3:

   A final review of the draft policy is initiated by the Working 
Group Chair(s) by sending
   an announcement to the Policy Development Process mailing list. 
The Last Call period
   shall be at least two weeks. The Working Group Chair(s) shall 
evaluate the feedback
   received during the Public Policy Meeting and during this period 
and decide whether
   consensus has been achieved.

The difference here is that feedback received during the Last Call is 
also evaluated.  Let's assume that you made these comments during a 
Last Call.  They do not have to be incorporated into the policy as 
they were not agreed upon during a policy meeting.

AFPUB-2008-GEN-001 - Section 2.9:

   2.9 The policy should be ratified by the BoT at the subsequent 
Board Meeting and
   implemented by the AfriNIC staff thereafter.

AFPUB-2009-GEN-001 - Section 5.4:

   The Working Group Chair(s) shall recommend the draft policy to the 
AfriNIC Board of
   Directors for approval if it has the consensus of the Policy 
Development Working Group.
   The recommendation shall include a report of the discussions 
during the Public Policy
   Meeting and the Last Call.  The AfriNIC Board of Directors may not 
disapprove a draft
   policy, but if it has concerns about a draft policy, it may refer 
it back to the Policy
   Development Working Group, together with an explanation, for further work.

Section 5.5 requires that the date of implementation should be 
announced.  The last sentence of Section 5.4 might be changed in a 
future version as I don't know whether the community can tell the 
AfriNIC Board of Directors what to do.  The Board has legal responsibilities.

>Quite clair enough. You mean instead of the entire community 
>discussing policy through the rpd mailing list, it will now be up to 
>the PDWG? .... that doesn't sound bottom up and open to me. ;-)

There is no such thing as the entire community discussing policy as 
they are not subscribed to this mailing list.  What we have here is a 
subset of the community.  The Policy Development Working Group 
encompasses the people subscribed to this mailing list and the people 
who attend the Public Policy Meeting.

There is a difference between anyone may participate and anyone will 
participate.  Based on the amount of participants discussing this 
proposal, I may infer that it is either very boring or so bad that 
people don't even want to discuss it. :-)  Sometimes things are 
bottom up and open in name only.  Open doesn't necessarily result in 
transparency.  As for bottom up, we will soon see whether that works 
as advertised. :-)

>These are the specifics I like to see, and better still if you could 
>quote the relevant parts of the new proposal that addresses these weaknessis.

I mentioned a few sections from the proposal in this message.  I gave 
some examples of conflict resolution in my previous message.  That is 
addressed in Section 6.

S. Moonesamy 

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