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[rpd] new policy proposal: AFPUB-2019-GEN-003-DRAFT01: "Chairs Elections Process"

Caleb Olumuyiwa Ogundele muyiwacaleb at
Sun Nov 10 22:22:39 UTC 2019

Owen see reply in line below

On Sun, Nov 10, 2019, 9:03 PM Owen DeLong <owen at> wrote:



> On Nov 10, 2019, at 02:15 , JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via RPD <rpd at>

> wrote:


> Hi Andrew,



> El 9/11/19 6:19, "Andrew Alston" <Andrew.Alston at>

> escribió:


> Coupla comments on this one:


> *In 3.3: **If both Working Group Chairs are unable to attend the PPM, the

> Board will on-the-spot designate a nonconflictive Chair for the session,

> that will be assisted by the staff*


> I don’t believe the board should designate, it should preferably be an on

> the spot nomination and floor election by show of hands or other mechanism

> at the meeting. There has been and should remain separation between the

> board and the PDP process – since it is the boards duty to ratify the

> process followed to declare consensus on any policy passed, and hence,

> should a designate declare consensus on any policy, you create a conflict

> of interest situation.


> è I’m trying to avoid wasting time in the meeting. The idea is that

> this is done up-front the meeting, not during the policy session. I’m happy

> to change that to the nomination committee if you think that will resolve

> the issue. As I mention in my previous email, I didn’t want to use the

> committees references because those are called by the board, so it should

> be the board, if those committees exist, the one that delegate the

> functions. An alternative is to explicitly have some text in the policy

> that indicates that the board is that “top responsible, but it must

> delegate that functions thru a nomination committee”, without entering in

> this policy on the details of that committee. What do you think ?.



> I think that the situation where no co-chair attends the meeting is rare

> and exceptional enough that using some time at the meeting to nominate and

> elect a chair pro tem is a perfectly valid solution and that any other

> solution presented so far is problematic.


> Also, assuming that we know before the meeting that the co-chairs will be

> unable to attend is a perilous assumption to build into the process, IMHO.


Caleb : A clear example of what happened in Kampala where we had only a
Co-chair supported by staff to chair a meeting. How will a single co-chair
measure rough concensus?

What you can't predict is visa rejections or if there is a travel ban on
the country that one of the co-chair is from.
Imagine a scenario where the two co-chairs are from the same country as
canvassed by some members on this list, what happens at that PDP meeting
when any or both of them suffers visa rejection or there is a civil unrest
in that country leading to travel ban?

We should in most case see the call to even ensure that no two Co-chair
emanate from the same country to reduce the risk exposure of the PDPWG and
uneventful scenarios like that.



> *In 3.3.1 Bullet point 6: PDWG Chairs will each serve staggered two-year

> terms. PDWG Chairs may only be re-elected for one consecutive term but are

> illegible to run again after a minimum one-year pause. *


> Should that not say they are eligible after a minimum one-year pause? I

> presume that’s a typo?


> Yes, definitively, word autocorrection made a trouble here!



> Personally, I am opposed to term limits. We have elections. Co-Chairs are

> up for re-election no less than every two years. If people want a new

> co-chair, they can easily vote for that. Why deprive voters of choice? Do

> you not trust the electorate to make good choices?


Caleb: I do see a valid point of of argument here and I'm sure the
co-authors have taking note of your point.


> *In 3.3.2 Bullet point 7: AFRINIC will communicate the names of acceptable

> candidates to the RPD List, announcing where candidate information will be

> published.*


> This is ambiguous in my view point – you state in bullet point 3 of the

> same section that anyone who has been part of the RPD list for a minimum of

> 6 months may participate, in section 3.3.1 you specify a one year minimum

> pause – but beyond that – what does acceptable mean? This needs some kind

> of definition – and I’d be quite happy to say explicitly that if those 2

> criteria are met, they are eligible and then let the community decide, but

> if it does mean more than that, it needs less ambiguity.


> In 3.3.1, we have:

> “In addition to the candidate’s biographical information, nominations must

> include specific information that allows assessing their contribution,

> participation and experience in the PDWG. The candidates must also provide

> information about what they will like to achieve during their term,

> possible improvements to the PDWG, etc.”


> Because AFRINIC (board -> nomination committee) will check all the

> information, they will verify that the candidate has been there for 6

> months, can be re-elected (if is the case), provide their biographical

> information and some statement about what they want to achieve. Only if all

> that has been provided, is an acceptable candidate. However, keep reading …



> I am very hesitant to open the can of worms wherein the board is allowed

> to deem RPD co-chair candidates acceptable or not. Am I the only one that

> sees this as a serious avenue for abuse of the process to stack the deck on

> available candidates?


> My statement here in no way accuses or reflects on the current AfriNIC

> board. It is a question of procedural abuse that I would raise in any such

> construct regardless of the trust or esteem I held for the board in

> question. These rules should be intended to last well beyond the current

> board and must, therefore, consider any possible board makeup.



> *In 3.3.2 Bullet Point 8: A period of 10 calendar days will then begin

> during which the community will be able to contribute relevant information

> on the candidates. This information, if confirmed, may be published

> simultaneously for all candidates on the first working day following the

> end of the 10-day period. As a result of that information, the Board could

> disqualify any candidate.*


> This represents a big problem to me. It states as a result of the

> information the board may disqualify any candidate. This is wide open and

> allows the arbitrary disqualification of candidates. If someone is to be

> disqualified, it should be on the grounds of not meeting a defined set of

> acceptable criteria – that are published and known and codified in policy.

> Anything else could result in similar conflict of interest to that

> mentioned in the first point in this email.


> If the board->nomination committee, receives any information that is

> relevant and confirmed (so not a “rumour”), it could be publish and any

> candidate be disqualified. Let me have an example. A candidate has been

> divorced 10 times. Is that relevant to the community? Clearly not. However,

> a candidate has been elected as the chair of an ISPs association and then

> has not followed his duties and this can be publicly confirmed (example, a

> press release from the association indicating that they fired its chair).

> Do you think the candidate is acceptable? The board can decide if

> publishing a link to the (already) public information, so the community

> knows when voting, or directly disqualify the candidate.



> This is a _REALLY_ bad idea, IMHO. The board should not be preemptively

> disqualifying candidates on judgment calls in lieu of the judgment of the

> community.


Caleb:The last i checked, there are election and nomination committees with
just a board representative.

The process I think allows for an open call for Expression of Interest for
anyone who wants to participate in that committee which is independent of
the board but has a board representation in that committee that provides
guidance and also give feedback to the board.


> *In 3.3.2 Bullet point 9: If any objections are raised by a member of the

> community, such objections must be communicated to the Board within 7

> calendar days of the announcement of the results. The Board will then

> assess whether such objections are significant and have been proven. If no

> objections are raised, or if those aren’t considered, will proceed to

> ratify the winning candidate.*


> I would prefer this be done in a more open manner. That is to say that if

> an objection is raised, the objection and the consideration thereof should

> be made public. The community should be able to see the objections and why

> they were adjudicated in a particular manner.


> The statement doesn’t say that the board “can’t” publish the information.

> But I think those objections should only be publish if the candidate is

> disqualified because the objections have been proven.



Caleb : I think the lexicon use of board as against the Nomination &
Elections Committee can serve as an alternative.


> No… The objections and the adjudication of those objections must be public

> regardless of the outcome. To do otherwise creates a significant potential

> for abuse of process. The objections should not be anonymous and any

> anonymous objections should not be mentioned. Whoever raises an objection

> should be identified right along with said objection.



> *In 3.3.2 final point: The Board is the highest instance of appeal in

> matters relating to the election process. The board may delegate some or

> all of the required functions into the Election and Nomination Committees.*



> Caleb : A suggestion here for governance Committee will be appropriate.

> I would prefer this be handled by an appeal committee appointed outside of

> the electoral process, and whose members are ineligible for participation

> in the main election. Again, I do not believe that the board should be

> involved in the functioning of the PDP since it is they that have to ratify

> policy that comes through the process. Hence, as per a few of my other

> points – I would prefer clear segregation. While I acknowledge and fully

> agree that a board member, in his personal capacity, has every right to

> participate in discussions around a policy – since board members are

> naturally members of the community, I do not believe that they should hold

> a position to influence anything in the election of a candidate.



> I agree here.



> I’ve not read recently how the nomination committee is elected, and I

> think unless somebody raised problems on that, we should trust that is

> working. Otherwise, that requires a different policy or procedure, or the

> board addressing it. You don’t think so?



> The nomination committee is not what is being discussed in 3.3.2, so I am

> not sure how this comment applies to the discussion above.



> I’m with you that participants on the committees aren’t valid candidates,

> but is not that part already of those procedures, or should we mention it

> here?



> You are proposing a new procedures document that will supersede the

> existing one. As such, it should be mentioned here.



> Similarly, I’m with you about the segregation of functions, but I already

> responded to this in a previous email, so not repeating it here. I also

> think that it is “easier” for the community if the board members do not

> participate in the discussions, **however** they have the full right to

> do so, as community members (as well as chairs), and the only requisite (as

> we do in IETF and all the other RIRs) is that if they express a personal

> opinion, they clearly say “hat off this is my personal view on this”, and

> this personal opinion is not used in a decision for ratifying or not a

> policy (ratification should be based on “has the process been followed? Has

> this policy a crazy impact on the membership and endangers this

> organization?”).



> Agreed, but the above 3.3.2 language puts the board as the final and

> ultimate arbiter of the appeals process and that is not a good idea.


> Owen


Caleb Ogundele


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