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

Owen DeLong owen at
Tue Nov 16 15:28:42 UTC 2021

> On Nov 16, 2021, at 01:48 , JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via RPD <rpd at> wrote:
> 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.

What will also be bad is if we get rough consensus on two policies that modify the same sections of the CPM in conflicting ways.

In general, I favor competing policy proposals, but in such a case where they are being considered by the community contemporaneously, one or both should have detailed descriptions of the expected precedence in the case that both proposals are adopted. Absent such a specification coming from consensus among the authors, I believe that the co-chairs should solicit input from the community and develop an implementation statement before a call for consensus.
> 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.
Either approach is acceptable, but I agree that in general, it is easier to get consensus around smaller pieces of policy.

OTOH, it can really turn out badly if a comprehensive change is intended in parts, but only some of the parts get adopted leading to unintended consequences not foreseen by authors who expected all of their pieces to be adopted.

If you’re going to write piecemeal proposals, make sure that they are truly standalone and work as intended even if the other pieces of your package are not adopted.
> 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?
This is one perfectly valid way to break this down. There are others. We also need (out of scope for the PDP, but need to get done):
	1.	Bylaws consistency check and resolution
	2.	Bylaw modifications to properly constrain the power of the board
	3.	Bylaw modifications to properly limit board’s ability to meddle in the PDP and its appellant processes.
	4.	RSA consistency check and resolution

> 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.
Not all PDPs are based on rough consensus any more. (see above)

> 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?

If this version missed the deadline, then it missed the deadline. We really need to stop arbitrarily making process exceptions without considering the unintended consequences which may well extend beyond just the bad precedent you describe above. It may effectively disenfranchise participants in the process because they did not expect the late arriving policy to be considered, so they don’t attend the relevant session or they are otherwise unprepared to fully engage on it due to the short timeline.


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