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[AfriNIC-rpd] About AFPUB-2010-GEN-001

Adiel A. Akplogan adiel at
Mon Mar 29 18:26:51 UTC 2010

Dear all,

Let me clarify few points and try to re-focus the discussion
about this policy proposal:

1) Clearly there is always room for improvement in any policy
    development process and at AfriNIC "secretariat" we appreciate
    input from the community in order to improve existing Internet
    Number Resource Management Policies (INRMP) or create new one
    when and where needed.

2) From the discussions and the past 5 years history of Policy
    development process in AfriNIC region, I think it is fair to say
    that this proposal should not be "to create a PDP in AfriNIC
    Region" but rather "to review/update the current PDP" or if
    going to the far end extrem "to Propose a NEW PDP for AfriNIC
    region". I think this is clearly covered in the new version
    posted on March 23rd 2010. So I think we need to move with that
    latest statement of the incentives.

3) The role of the PDP-MG as a group and suggested by the current
    PDP is not to discuss nor to alter or make any jugement on
    policy proposals. Their role is to MODERATE the discussions on
    the public mailing list, during public face to face meetings
    and to present policy discussion report to the community and the
    Bord for ratification (after consensus is reached). So the PDP-MG
    is not a closed group that discusses policies. They do have a
    mailing where they discuss matter related to their work (draft
    report, action to take etc .... The AfriNIC-RPD (Resource Policy
    Discussion) list is the only electronic and open channel for
    policy discussions which in its current setup allows anyone to join
    and contribute to a discussions. The public policy meetings are
    the twice a year face to face meetings where literally _anyone_
    can discuss a policy (have they been on the mailing list before
    or not - a reason why providing a summary of the online discussion
    is important).

    Based on experience learnt from the implementation of the curent
    PDP it seems to me that a precise and clear definition of the
    role and expectation of the community from the PDP-MG is needed.
    That clearly is one area of improvement where we should focus
    the debate.

    As a brief history, the current discussion forum was called Policy
    Working Group in the first PDP (2004). This has changed because of
    misconception of people about the term "Working Group" as a closed
    group to "work" on policies. We may want to take that into
    consideration while discussing this new PDP proposal.

4) On January 22nd there was some questions addressed to the Board
    related to this proposal. Here are the responses inline along
    with some legal opinions as requested:

> Given that the proposal has some requirements in Section 4, Section  
> 5.4,
> Section 6 and Section 7 which refer to the AfriNIC Board of Directors,
> I would like to request your approval for these specific sections.


> Section 4:
> ---
> "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."
> ----

Legal Opinion:
     However I do find that involving the Board of Directors in the
     selection of a replacement for a chairperson who has not been
     able to serve his/her full term to be a usurpation of the powers
     of the Community (or Working Group) that has selected the Chair
     in the first place.

     Another mode of appointment has to be found e.g the designation
     of a chairperson by the Public Policy Meeting for the specific
     purpose of replacing the chairperson when the latter is unavailable
     for whatever reason. The Co-chair may be requested to take over the
     role of the Chair as Interim measure.

> Section 5.4
> ---
> "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 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."
> --

The board should not have a say on a policy (or reject a policy) that  
consensus from the community. The role of the Board is and should  
to be to ensure that the PD process is followed. Board members can  
the substance of a policy in their personal capacity during the open
discussion period but not at the board level after the consensus is  
on the mailing list, during face to face meeting and the last call  
If collectively the board has a structural concern about a policy, or  
see a
policy as a risk for the organisation it raise it as a formal position  
or as part the policy impact Analysis provide by the staff. This should
however is recommended to be raised during the debate and not after.

So it is recommended that this Section 5.4 of the policy proposal be  
by the author.

> Section 6
> --
> Conflict Resolution
> A person who disagrees with the actions taken by 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.
> ----

The board has no issue with this but suggests that the author be more  
about what the complain could reasonably be. We need to avoid people  
to find
any reason to complain for when their proposal or proposal they are  
is rejected! We have to limit this exclusively to complain about the  

The recall committee seems a good thing for fairness but the Board  
feel that
with the limited active participants to the afrinic-rpd list there is a
potential risk to end up with the same people for every recall  

It also suggested to look into the possibility for AfriNIC to have a  
Appeal Committee appointed by the board to deal with this as well all  
provision for appeal that is being made for in the new AfriNIC RSA.

> Section 7
> ---
> Varying the Process
> The process outlined in this document may vary in the case of an  
> emergency.
> Variance may be requested by the AfriNIC Board of Directors 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 Public
> Policy Meeting for reconsideration.
> ---

The board see no issue with this section.

> I would be grateful if you could also help me with the following:
> (i) Ask for legal advice as to whether this proposal is compliant
>     with the laws and regulations which AfriNIC Ltd is subject to.

According to the legal Opinion, this is inline with the regulations
and Acts under which AfriNIc operates in Mauritius.

> (ii) Provide an analysis of the financial impact if this proposal
>     is adopted as a policy by AfriNIC.

a) The Chair and co-Chair role being voluntary roles, we see no direct
    financial impact assuming that electronic means will their main
    working tool.

b) The Board however feel that with the implementation of this policy
    there may be a need for further resources and attention to be
    dedicated to the policy development process by the AfriNIC staff.

> (iii) Assess whether it is administratively and technically
>     feasible for AfriNIC to implement this proposal.

Appart from point b) above, there is no further comment from the board.

Kind Regards.

- a.

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