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[AfriNIC-rpd] Handover to new PDWG co-chairs

sm+afrinic at sm+afrinic at
Thu Jun 16 21:38:59 UTC 2011

Hi Trevor,
At 08:08 AM 6/16/2011, Trevor Mwangi wrote:
>That's really odd especially since the first few policies were 
>authored by AfriNIC staff, so they would, out of necessity, need to 
>have posted on this list. I guess this is an

AfriNIC staff have posted to this mailing list previously.  Some of 
them have also authored policies when AfriNIC Ltd was still starting up.

AfriNIC directors are not AfriNIC staff.

>  indirect way of saying that AfriNIC staff may not propose future 
> policies. That's quite sad really, because, as the Trusted 
> Custodians (tm) of our number resources, I would think that they 
> (ought to) have a better understanding of the environment than most 
> of us do, and can add dimensions to an argument that would be 
> otherwise easy for us to miss. And because they SHOULD be aware of 
> issues before we are, and by driving policies can sensitise us to 
> upcoming issues. Not all of this is possible during a once-off 
> policy analysis. If you're implying that staff may lead the public 
> astray, personally, I think that's demeaning; you're implying that 
> we (the public) are not able to distinguish the truth from BS, or 
> that we'd be easily swayed just because an argument is made by 
> someone with a staff badge. Quite bluntly, that's not your decision 
> to make. In the interests of TRUE transparency, you SHOULD let 
> staff (and others) comment because that would be a proper 
> indication of total community collaboration to reach a consensus driven policy.

The PDP mentions that anyone to participate in the discussions 
(Section 3.1).  It also mentions that anyone to submit a proposal (Section 5).

There is an unwritten rule; RIR staff do not participate in such 
discussions.  There are advantages and disadvantages to that.  As you 
pointed out, they should have a better understanding of the problems 
and can provide useful input for the development of a policy.  The 
discussion on mailing lists such as this one can generate 
controversies.  A RIR staff might end up embarrassing the RIR if the 
person is involved in a controversy or says something dumb.  I doubt 
that some participants on this mailing list would be easily swayed by 
someone flashing a staff badge.

It would be trivial for AfriNIC staff to participate in the 
discussions anonymously.  I am aware that there has been such 
participation last year.

>Someday, I may want to work at AfriNIC; what you're saying is that 
>by working there, I'll give up my inalienable right to have and 
>voice, my opinion to what is supposed to be an open community. 
>That's not a trade off that I see as either viable (yes, I know; 
>don't apply for the job then!), nor equitable. Especially since you 
>current allow AfriNIC board members to post. Don't take this the 
>wrong way Mark, John, Adiel and any other board

I see that you already know what argument will be put forward.  There 
is apathy when nobody objects.  I don't know whether the unwritten 
rule will hold if it gets challenged.  One of the challenges faced by 
some RIRs is that the opinion of the community bears more weight than 
a "legal" ruling.

>  member that posts-your posts are welcomed, and encouraged. Get 
> more onboard, in fact!!!
>This discussion was precipitated by SM mentioning that the co-chairs 
>were expressing their individual contributions. Another bottom-up, 
>"rough consensus" based body that I

This was a departure from past practices.

>  heard of, is the IETF, where the respective working group chairs 
> are allowed to express their opinions; most likely since it is 
> those opinions, and/or other tokens of respect that earned them the 
> seats that they have.

I heard that too.

>Thank you for affirming my earlier comment. Out of respect for your 
>position, I will not comment further in this thread.


At 08:57 AM 6/16/2011, Mark Elkins wrote:
>Yes - you would no longer have a vote. Your inalienable right to vote
>and have a voice is based on your membership.

People who fulfill the following criteria can participate in the 
selection of PDWG co-chairs:

   - They have registered for the meeting (Meeting Badge as proof).
   - They reside in a country within AfriNIC service region.
   - They are not staff of AfriNIC.

There isn't any requirement specifying that the person should be a 
member of AfriNIC Ltd.

For a temporary PDWG co-chair, the PDP states that:

   "Anyone present at the meeting, whether in person or by remote
    participation, may participate in the selection process for
    a temporary Chair."

S. Moonesamy 

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