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[rpd] Appeal Committee Terms of Reference (Version 1)

Noah noah at
Thu Aug 3 09:36:08 UTC 2017

On 3 Aug 2017 8:10 a.m., "Andrew Alston" <Andrew.Alston at>

Anyone ON continent is likely to be influenced by the policies themselves –
unless you choose people entirely outside of the industry that is – and
such people will not have knowledge of the policy process or the policy
content.  That creates conflict of interest.  I point out that this
community clearly voted to say that conflict of interest must be dealt with
in terms of the board – why should this be any different?

And anyone outside the continent could also be influenced indirectly by
policies within our region.  Also the issue here is not about people having
knowledge about the policy, seat 1 and 2 suggests previous co-chairs and
those can bring in the experience if needed. The issue here is for those on
the appeal committee to objectively exercise their power to resolve a
conflict. They would take time to understand what the conflict is and how
they can work with the conflicting parties to resolve the conflict.

As for the board itself handling the appeal – this is a direct conflict as
well, since the board has to ratify the proposal – and by asking them to
handle the appeal as well, they are handling an appeal on a policy that
they then have to ratify.  This simply cannot happen.

You fail to point out that by the time the policy proposal is undergoing an
appeal, its still yet to be ratified as such the board would not be in a
position to ratify it and thereby no direct conflict of interest as the
proposal is not even yet before the board itself.

I will give an example of the review policy which was under last call
period and the divergent community discussions around it led the co-chairs
to send it back to list for further discussions. This policy proposal never
even reached the board for ratification because the process allows for such
periods like last call where issues that could be pending or improved are
sorted. Again its this same community that enabled this.

Policy appeals must be neutral in nature – totally divorced from impact by
the policy, and indeed the proposed TOR’s state that any conflicted
individual shall be recused from considering the said proposal.  So, let us
look for example at the review policy (just as an example).  Anyone who
either works for an organisation who holds resources from AFRINIC or who
directly holds resources from AFRINIC would automatically be conflicted in
this process – and you may well find you end up having to recuse the entire
appeal committee, since anyone holding resources from AFRINIC under that
policy is subject to review.

Appeals committees that are divorced from the issue are just good corporate
governance, and this follows global standards for appeals.

And such appeals committees can be constituted from members from within our
own community. This is not rocket science.

I’d also say that considering the very obvious deep divides on this
continent, where at the microphone in 3 successive meetings, different
individuals have raised the divides in this community that seem to be based
on geopolitical, linguistic and other divides, rather than policy content,
it is even more critical that we find external individuals to arbitrate
when it comes to these appeals – because it removes the chance of people
screaming that the appeals committee is biased based on the aforementioned
factors.  I fail to see the harm in avoiding the risk of bias.

Let the board get policy makers outside the industry but from within this
continent. Even the outsiders can be biased and compromised they are not
Angels from goodness know where.

If there are divides in this community, let the board choose people who are
far away from those divides that is if the board also believe there are
such divisions that they would warranty some external parties.

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