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[rpd] Policy Proposal: PDP Working Group (WG) Guidelines and Procedures - Draft03 (PDWG Chair)

Tue Nov 16 09:48:07 UTC 2021

While I agree with you that it is difficult to reach consensus on both policies, we tried several times to get authors from both sides to get together and never happened, and if there is no “copy” of one policy into the other (as this is the case), I think competition is fine.

What it will be bad is to copy a policy from one set of authors into another one, and change a few things, because that’s a way to avoid consensus. I don’t think it has been the case here.

Now, what I think is that trying to reach consensus in this specific policy is more difficult that in the other one because it tries to approach a broader set of problems in a single policy, and in my opinion to facilitate the consensus we should break down the problem in smaller ones.

In my opinion we need to break the problem into 4 proposals:
PDP Update (as in my proposal AFPUB-2021-GEN-002-DRAFT02)
PDWG Chairs eligibility, selections and roles. How the PDWG continue the work in case of absence/resignation/recall of one or both chairs?
Conflict resolution.
AUP (Acceptable Usage Policy) for the mailing list, do we need it or the AFRINIC CoC is sufficient and it is accepted by the community and who and how enforces it?
I’ve got already other proposals/drafts for 2, 3, and 4, but I felt that the agenda of the PPM whas already congested, and because all the 4 problems can be approched in phases, it will be better to not make all them togheter in a rush.

Note that I also agree with all your points here. There are several missconceptions which in fact are aganins the definition of rought consensus in which all the PDPs are based.

Last but not least, 3.4.2 of the *actual* PDP indicates “No change can be made to a draft policy within one week of the meeting”, and this version was submitted, according to the authors email outside of that time frame, so it shall not be considered for this PPM. I’ve no problem on accepting that, however, then, how we can say next time other authors, of another proposal that they missed the deadline? Is that acceptable?







El 16/11/21 8:47, "Paul Hjul" <hjul.paul at> escribió:


Hello PDWG Members, 

Please note that this new version of the policy Proposal - PDP Working Group and Guidelines from authors Noah Maina and Alain Aina has been given the ID AFPUB-2020-GEN-002-DRAFT04 

The proposal contents are published at: <> 

Kind Regards, 

PDWG Co-Chairs.


This policy proposal is in conflict with the proposal  AFPUB-2021-GEN-002-DRAFT02 and really represents a competing proposal on several substantive issues. I do not see how rough consensus (yet alone consensus) can be reached on both policies. As the latter proposal is considerably closer to an alignment with the values which should underpin Afrinic; it has my reservation carrying support.

The proposition that the CEO serves as the arbiter of acceptable speech is untenable, moreover the entire approach of the section is badly framed and crafted:
It speaks of an "appeal" to the CEO and then speaks of "complainers". This is badly ambiguous and unworkable. If a person is alleged to violate the code of conduct somebody complains (who logically can be referred to as the complainer, but should be called a complainant) to the co-chairs. The co-chairs then consider the complaint and make a decision (which decision is taken without affording audi to the person who against whom the complaint is made) which if adverse against a person results in posting rights suspension. That person (who could be called an appellant) can appeal to the CEO but is he now complaining (a complainer) about the co-chairs. What of the situation where the co-chairs decline to act? Do the original complainers have a right to go to the CEO?
This problem is all the more severe if the CEO is engaged in discussions on the group and is the complainant alleging conduct violations. It is worth noting that this exact scenario is alive at present.

The proposition that "Actions taken by the board of directors regarding the appointment process is final and binding" is wholly untenable and represents an outright demise of both the consensus approach and the notion that the Community (rather than the organization implementing the policies) is responsible for policy development. (This is one major point of incompatibility with AFPUB-2021-GEN-002-DRAFT02). Moreover I don't see how it can possibly survive legal and various states competition authority scrutiny. I anticipate that the courts will interpret that as internally final and therefore the point at which litigation against the organization is required but I suspect that the intent is to exclude external appeal. The former will be a risk to the organization and the latter is wholly unacceptable and is a continuation of the bullshit ( of Afrinic pretending that it is a statutorily empowered regulator or governing organization.

The proposition that the co-chairs ensure of discussions "that they converge to consensus agreement" is fatally misconceived. The attainment of rough consensus entails fairness of process and being heard such that a workable policy is arrived at which is acceptable if not preferable. Good faith discussion entails understanding the different views and approaches. Often it is only through discussion with a view to understanding that any hope of convergence or consensus can be reached. The introduction of some manner of predetermined consensus reaching is a massive opening to abuse and discord.
Paradoxically (and perhaps reflecting the logical disconnects in the proposal) I am at a loss as to the possible benefit of "For each policy proposal, one co-chair must be assigned as the primary contact" and fear that the intended effect is that two factions can operate within the WG with two competing policies each assigned to one co-chair with each "guiding" the different policies.  Perhaps what the policy intends is that each faction will conceive of a proposal which is piloted through to a point at which they must converge at which point the faction which has the support of the board is able to have "workshopped" consensus. If this is the intention the policy will only make such an approach possible with there being much ugliness in the group.

I therefore am of the view that the sooner this proposal is withdrawn the sooner it will be practicable to earnestly rebuild the PDWG properly. There are other issues with this proposal as well which I may raise at the meeting but I thought it apposite to put forward written comments before the deadline today.


Paul Hjul

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