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[AfriNIC-rpd] Policy Development Process in the AfriNIC service region (draft version 2)

sm+afrinic at sm+afrinic at
Tue Mar 23 17:53:55 UTC 2010


This is version 2 of the policy proposal for the Policy Development 
Process.  The major change in this version is Incentive Section.  I 
included a few notes below to clarify some questions about the first version.

Note: Policy Development Working Group is used in this document to 
refer to the the mailing list subscribers and the people attending 
the open policy meeting.  PDPML and OPM have been added for ease of 
reference.  The existing policy uses the term "public open policy 
meeting".  The word public implies open to everyone.

Note:  The email address of the mailing list is not explicitly 
defined so that we do not have to modify the policy document if the 
mailing list address is changed.  This proposal does not require the 
mailing list address to be changed.

S. Moonesamy

Your Name: S. Moonesamy
Your Organisation:
Policy Affected: AFPUB-2008-GEN-001
Date: 23 March, 2010

Proposal: Policy Development Process in the AfriNIC service region


The initial policy development process (AFPUB-2004-GEN-001) used by 
AfriNIC was meant to be a transitional process.   A revised policy 
was specified once AfriNIC was well established.  The existing policy 
(AFPUB-2008-GEN-001) does not specify what should be done in the 
event that the co-chairs cannot attend an open policy meeting or if a 
person disagrees with an action taken by the co-chair(s).

The lack of information affects the transparency of the policy 
development process.  It has a negative impact on the decision-making 
process as issues that have been discussed and resolved on the 
mailing list are reopened during the open policy meeting because the 
community is not aware of the mailing list discussions.  There is 
also a lack of documentation about the procedures used, and the 
approval and implementation of a policy.

The steps used to determine consensus leads to a situation where 
comments provided during online discussions do not bear the same 
weight as those made during the open policy meeting.

There is also a lack of awareness and a lack of understanding of the 
principles upon which the policy development process are 
based.  Although the existing policy does not explicitly mention the 
principles, it follows the same principles mentioned in this document.

It is proposed to revise the existing policy so that the principles 
and procedures are documented.  This document adds procedures to the 
policy development process to deal with disputes and the recall of 
the Chair.  It also adds some flexibility to vary the process in the 
case of an emergency.

1. Introduction

This document describes the AfriNIC Policy Development Process (PDP).

The policies are documented community decisions that directly 
determine the rules by which AfriNIC manages and administers Internet 
number resources.

The procedures described in this document are designed to be fair, 
open and objective and are intended to:

   (i) provide ample opportunity for participation and comment by all
       interested parties;

   (ii) establish widespread community consensus.

These procedures adopt generally accepted practices and provide the 
flexibility to adapt to a variety of circumstances that can occur in 
a proces.  This document obsoletes AFPUB-2008-GEN-001.

2. Scope

Internet number resource policies are distinctly separate from 
AfriNIC general business practices and procedures. General business 
practices and procedures are not within the purview of the Policy 
Development Process.

3. Policy Development Principles

All policies are developed by the Internet community following three 
principles: openness, transparency and fairness.The community 
initiates and discusses the proposals.  Once the draft policy has the 
consensus of the community, it is recommended to the AfriNIC Board of 
Directors for adoption as a policy.

3.1 Openness

All policies are developed in an open forum in which anyone may 
participate. There are no qualifications for participation.

3.2 Transparency

All aspects of the Policy Development Process are documented and 
publicly available via the AfriNIC website. The discussions are 
publicly archived.  All procedures that are developed to implement 
the policy are documented by AfriNIC and are publicly available.

3.3 Fairness

The policies are to ensure fair distribution of resources and 
facilitating the operation of the Internet.

Actions are taken within a reasonable period of time.

4. Policy Development Working Group

The Policy Development Working Group (PDWG) discusses about the 
proposals.   Anyone may participate via the Internet or in 
person.   The work is carried out through the Policy Development 
Process mailing list (PDPML) and the Open Policy Meeting (OPM).

The Policy Development Working Group may have two or more Chairs to 
perform the administrative functions of the group.  The Working Group 
Chairs will be chosen by the community during the Open 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.

If the Working Group Chair is unable to serve his or her full term, 
the AfriNIC Board of Directors may, at its discretion, immediately 
select a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.  If the 
Working Group Chairs are unable to attend the Public Policy Meeting, 
the Working Group shall nominate a Chair for the session.

5. Policy Development Process

Policy proposals can be submitted to the Policy Development Process 
mailing list.  AfriNIC will provide administrative support and assist 
the author(s) in drafting the proposal, if requested.  AfriNIC shall 
also provide relevant facts and statistics.

5.1 Draft Policy

During the development of a policy, draft versions of the document 
are made available for review and comment by publishing them on the 
AfriNIC website.  The document shall include the information 
mentioned in Appendix A.  Each draft policy is assigned a unique 
identifier by AfriNIC.  The website shall also contain the version 
history and the status of all proposals.

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.

A draft policy expires after one calendar year unless it is approved 
by the AfriNIC Board of Directors as a policy.  The timeout period is 
restarted when the draft policy is replaced by a more recent version 
of the proposal.  A draft policy can be withdrawn by the author(s) by 
sending a notification to the Policy Development Process mailing list.

5.2 Public Policy Meeting

The draft policy is placed on the agenda of the next Public Policy 
Meeting.  The agenda of the meeting shall be announced on the Policy 
Development Process mailing list at least two weeks prior to the 
meeting.  No change can be made to a draft policy within one week of 
the meeting.  This is so that a stable version of the draft policy 
can be considered at the meeting.  The Chair(s) determines whether 
rough consensus has been achieved.

The Chair(s) shall publish the minutes of proceedings of the Public 
Policy Meeting not later than three weeks after the meeting.

5.3 Last Call

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.

5.4 Approval

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 Open 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.

5.5 Implementation

The adoption and implementation date of the policy is announced on 
the Policy Development Process mailing list.

6. Conflict Resolution

A person who disagrees with the actions taken by the Chair(s) shall 
discuss the matter with the Working Group Chair(s) or with the 
Working Group.  If the disagreement cannot be resolved in this way, 
the person may file an appeal with the AfriNIC Board of 
Directors.  The appeal must be submitted within two weeks of the 
public knowledge of the decision.  The AfriNIC Board of Directors 
shall issue a report on its review of the complaint to the Working 
Group.  The AfriNIC Board of Directors may direct that the Chair(s) 
decision be annulled if the Policy Development Process has not been followed.

Anyone who has attended at least two of the last ten AfriNIC meetings 
may request the recall of a Working Group Chair at any time, upon 
written request with justification to the AfriNIC Board of 
Directors.  The Board shall appoint a Recall Committee comprising 
five persons from the Working Group, excluding the person requesting 
the recall and the Working Group Chairs, using a random selection 
process.  The Recall Committee shall investigate the circumstances of 
the justification for the recall and determine the outcome.

7. Varying the Process

The process outlined in this document may vary in the case of an 
emergency.  Variance may be requested by the Working Group Chair and 
is for use when a one-time waving of some provision of this document 
is required.  There must be an explanation about why the variance is 
needed.  The review period, including the Last Call, shall not be 
less than four weeks.  If the AfriNIC Board of Directors adopts the 
policy, it must be presented at the next Open Policy Meeting for 

Appendix A: Draft Policy Template

The Draft Policy shall include:

  1. Unique identifier (assigned by AfriNIC)

  2. Draft Policy Name

  3. Author(s)
     (a) Name
     (b) Email address
     (c) Affiliation, if applicable

  4. Draft Policy Version
  5. Submission Date
  6. Changes to existing policies (updates, obsoletes), if applicable
  7. Summary of proposal
  8. Proposal

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