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[rpd] PDP-BIS Follow-up

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at
Thu Mar 15 12:39:22 UTC 2018

I have a number of questions and some major objections (sorry, these aren’t minor ones!)

The consensus process begins when somebody proposes a new policy while the discussion phase begins on the mailing list and continues during the Public policy meetings.

This doesn’t make much sense to me – how can the consensus process begin before any discussions have been held?  This also implies very clearly that discussions on the mailing list form part of evaluation of consensus – which I agree with – what it does not say and where I have a problem – is that objections should carry between meetings.

If fundamental objections are raised at a meeting, and the policy does not pass, and those objections are not addressed at all, when the next meeting comes around – those objections must still be considered valid unless either addressed or withdrawn – irrespective of if the objector is physically present at the next meeting or not.  Objections cannot simply disappear because of a meeting happening (as seems to be the case at the moment)

One or all initiators of a policy proposal have the option to remain anonymous. Hence, the PDWG Chair has the responsibility to act as the document editor or set a call for a volunteer from the WG to act as a document editor on the policy proposal.  A Document Editor is responsible for ensuring that the contents of the document accurately reflect the decisions that have been made by the working group.

I have a _MAJOR_ objection to this point – if someone wishes to propose a policy that could have fundamental impact on individuals and corporates alike across the continent – then who proposed it MUST be recorded.  It is often very difficult to gauge intent of a policy proposal without a discussion with the author – and if the author is remaining anonymous – the intent of the proposal may never be truly understood.  This also creates a situation where the presentation of the policy – which can often determine pass or fail of the policy is being done by someone who may not understand what was originally intended.

Furthermore – if a document is to be edited and still retain original intent – it is critical that the author be involved to guide that – else what was originally proposed and what may end up could be two entirely different things (in which case the original policy is null and void and it requires a separate submission).  This clause also allows the chairs of the PDP to become policy editors – which is a fundamental conflict of interest.  It is entirely untenable that those that must gauge consensus are also involved in the editing (and hence authoring) of the policy – and flies in the face of proper governance.

  1.  If the suggested comments or modifications are not significant enough to require a new Discussion Phase, the PDWG Chair can decide to move the proposal to the next phase (Review Phase) with a new version of the proposal incorporating the necessary changes.
This is problematic because it does not define what “significant enough” means – it is entirely ambiguous and lets the chair decide entirely what objections are significant or not – which is problematic considering that what may be very significant to one members interests may be insignificant in the eyes of a chair that does not come from the same industry.  The only way this works is if the process of determining significance is clearly defined

  1.  The appeal committee shall be comprised as follows:
- One (1) board member selected by the AFRINIC board of Directors for 1 year renewable
- One (1) Council of Elders (CoE) member selected by the COE for 1 year renewable
- The immediate Policy Development Working Group past co-chair for 1 year renewable
Again -I have fundamental problems with this.  The board is responsible for ratification of policy – this creates a direct conflict of interest and is untenable.
The CoE is an advisory committee with a specific mandate and role as per section 16 of the bylaws – and what is proposed here is outside of that mandate entirely.
The appeal committee here also lacks any form of actual community input and hence is again, untenable

  1.  The appeal Committee shall be chaired by the CoE nominee and make decisions byIf unable to reach consensus, decisions shall be made by majority of the members.
This sentence does not make sense- I suspect its just typos though.  I have to say though that in a party of 3 – if you have consensus you have majority – so it’s a duplication in what it says.

I also pretty much second everything that Lee has said – though as I said – in the face of the glaring conflicts of interest found in this policy and the fact that an adhoc council with limited mandate is being drafted into something way outside of the mandate – leaves me with no option but to strongly object.


From: Komi Elitcha [mailto:kmw.elitcha at]
Sent: 08 March 2018 22:01
To: AfriNIC RPD MList. <rpd at>
Subject: [rpd] PDP-BIS Follow-up

Dear working group,
Following Afrinic-27 in Lagos and the policy discussions[1], the authors of the policy proposal AFPUB-2017-GEN-002-DRAFT-02[2] would like to encourage community to submit further comments  or suggestions  they may have, while awaiting the next version of the policy proposal.


"AFRINIC Policy Development Process Bis" authors,


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