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Network Working Group                                    S. Dawkins, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                              Huawei (USA)
Updates: 3777 (if approved)                            February 26, 2009
Intended status: BCP
Expires: August 30, 2009


  Nominating Committee Process: Open Disclosure of Willing Candidates
                    draft-dawkins-nomcom-openlist-01

Status of this Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 30, 2009.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
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Abstract

   This document updates RFC 3777, Section 3, Bullet 6 to allow a
   Nominating and Recall Commitee to disclose the list of volunteers who



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   are willing to serve in positions the NomCom is responsible for
   filling.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Current Rules on Candidate Confidentiality  . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  Problems with Existing Rules  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  Asking the Entire Community for Feedback  . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   5.  Publishing an Accurate Candidate List . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   6.  Concerns About Open Candidate Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   7.  Updated text from RFC 3777  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   9.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   10. Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   11. Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

































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1.  Introduction

   The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the Internet
   Architecture Board (IAB), and at-large IETF representatives to the
   IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) are selected by a
   "Nominating and Recall Committee" (universally abbreviated as
   "NomCom").  [RFC3777] defines how the NomCom is selected, and the
   processes it follows as it selects candidates for these positions.

   The NomCom is responsible for filling positions across the breadth of
   the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).  The NomCom needs
   relevant information about candidates being considered for these
   positions, but current [RFC3777] requirements for confidentiality
   limit the ability of the NomCom to solicit that information.  The
   process change described in this document allows the NomCom to openly
   solicit information about willing candidates.


2.  Current Rules on Candidate Confidentiality

   [RFC3777] is the latest in a series of revisions to the NomCom
   process.

   [RFC3777] describes the confidental nature of NomCom deliberations in
   section 3, "General", bullet 6, which states:

      All deliberations and supporting information that relates to
      specific nominees, candidates, and confirmed candidates are
      confidential.

      The nominating committee and confirming body members will be
      exposed to confidential information as a result of their
      deliberations, their interactions with those they consult, and
      from those who provide requested supporting information.  All
      members and all other participants are expected to handle this
      information in a manner consistent with its sensitivity.

      It is consistent with this rule for current nominating committee
      members who have served on prior nominating committees to advise
      the current committee on deliberations and results of the prior
      committee, as necessary and appropriate.


3.  Problems with Existing Rules

   There are two problems with existing practice - candidate lists
   aren't as confidential as [RFC3777] would lead the reader to believe,
   but they aren't visible to the entire IETF community, either.



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   Since at least 1996, most NomComs have sent out a "short list" of
   candidates under consideration to a variety of audiences.  The target
   audiences differ from year to year, but have included members of
   specific leadership bodies, working group chairs in a specific area
   (for IESG positions), and all working group chairs (for IAB and IAOC
   positions).  "All working group chairs" includes multiple hundreds of
   recipients.

   This practice is unavoidable, because most NomCom members will not
   have personal experience with most candidates for most positions, but
   it is periodically challenged because it's not explicitly allowed as
   an exception to the blanket requirement for confidentiality.

   In an attempt to maintain the required level of confidentiality, past
   NomComs have also included "ringers" on the short list - candidates
   who have notified NomCom that they are NOT willing to serve.  Since
   anyone who sees the short list does not know who the ringers are,
   consciencious IETF participants also provide feedback on candidates
   who have already declined.  This is a waste of precious IETF-
   participant cycles, and Joel Halpern (2008-2009 NomCom Chair) reports
   that "the ringer pool leaks like a sieve" - it's also ineffective.

   We also note that the practice of publishing a "short list" penalizes
   IETF participants who aren't members of one of the audiences being
   surveyed - they have no way of knowing who is being considered,
   except for incumbent(s), and have little incentive to provide
   feedback to NomCom on individuals who might not even be candidates.


4.  Asking the Entire Community for Feedback

   We take it as given that for today's NomComs, members will not likely
   have personal experience with all candidates for all positions under
   review.

   We assume that asking the larger community for feedback about these
   candidates is preferable to NomCom members without personal
   experience simply deferring to the members of the NomCom who DO have
   personal experience with specific candidates.

   We assume that asking for feedback from the entire community is
   preferable to asking for feedback from specific segments of the
   community.


5.  Publishing an Accurate Candidate List

   In proposing that an accurate candidate list be published as part of



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   NomCom's request for feedback from the community, we considered three
   possibilities:

   1.  Asking for feedback on all candidates, whether they are willing
       to serve or not.
   2.  Asking for feedback on all candidates who are willing to serve.
   3.  Asking for feedback on the candidates that NomCom is seriously
       considering (the "short list").

   Asking for feedback on candidates who are not willing to serve is a
   waste of precious IETF-participant cycles, and may make it less
   likely that NomCom would receive feedback on some candidates who ARE
   willing to serve.

   Asking for feedback on all candidates who are willing to serve allows
   the community to point out specific strengths and weaknesses of all
   candidates, and this feedback should be useful to NomCom in deciding
   which candidates to seriously consider.  It also allows NomCom to
   receive feedback on candidates who might not appear on a "short list"
   initially, in the event that a strong candidate is suddenly unwilling
   or unable to serve.

   We also note that the list of willing candidates would include
   incumbents who are willing to serve an additional term.


6.  Concerns About Open Candidate Lists

   This section acknowledges possible concerns about publishing open
   candidate lists in previous discussions.

   It is possible that candidates who are willing to be considered if
   the candidate list is not published, would not be willing to be
   considered if the candidate list is published.  This reluctance might
   be the result of personal pride, or the result of the fear of
   retribution, for a candidate being considered as a replacement for
   the candidate's managing Area Director (this concern is usually
   raised in an IESG context).

   Spencer's personal opinion is that if retribution for willingness to
   be considered for IETF leadership positions is a serious concern, we
   have bigger problems than candidate list confidentiality, and Spencer
   notes that it's called the "Nominating AND RECALL Committee" for a
   reason.

   We note that (for example) the Internet Architecture Board publishes
   the candidate list for their representative to the Internet Society
   Board of Trustees, without apparent ill effects.



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   It is possible that publishing the candidate list publicly would lead
   to "lobbying", public statements supporting candidates on the IETF
   mailing list, etc.

   Rather than trying to prohibit specific "undesirable" behaviors, we
   trust that NomCom would focus on factual feedback, rather than on
   statements of support, in its deliberations.

   We note that candidates know they are under consideration and can
   "lobby" today, by telling people they are candidates and asking them
   to provide feedback to NomCom.  Several candidates (both incumbents
   and non-incumbents) have posted statements of candidacy to the IETF
   Discussion mailing list, for example.


7.  Updated text from RFC 3777

   At the end of the three paragraphs in [RFC3777], section 3,
   "General", bullet 6, which are currently:

      All deliberations and supporting information that relates to
      specific nominees, candidates, and confirmed candidates are
      confidential.

      The nominating committee and confirming body members will be
      exposed to confidential information as a result of their
      deliberations, their interactions with those they consult, and
      from those who provide requested supporting information.  All
      members and all other participants are expected to handle this
      information in a manner consistent with its sensitivity.

      It is consistent with this rule for current nominating committee
      members who have served on prior nominating committees to advise
      the current committee on deliberations and results of the prior
      committee, as necessary and appropriate.

   add the following paragraphs:

      The list of candidates willing to serve in positions under review
      in the current NomCom cycle is not confidential.  The NomCom will
      publish the list of names of all willing candidates to the
      community, in order to obtain feedback from the community on these
      candidates.  The list of candidates published should not contain
      candidates who have not indicated a willingness to serve in the
      position(s) under review.






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      The published list is intended to be published as a complete list,
      but the NomCom may publish an updated list if the NomCom
      identifies errors/omissions in a previously-published version of
      the public list, or if the NomCom finds it necessary to call for
      additional candidates, and these candidates indicate a willingness
      to serve in time to be considered by the NomCom.


8.  Security Considerations

   This specification describes issues with the current IETF Nominating
   Committee process ([RFC3777]) and proposes an update to allow the
   NomCom to solicit feedback on willing candidates from the entire
   community.  No security considerations apply.


9.  IANA Considerations

   No IANA actions are requested in this specification.


10.  Acknowledgements

   The editor thanks the following folks who have provided useful
   observations and guidance on previous versions of this draft: Brian
   Carpenter, Leslie Daigle, Joel Halpern, Danny McPherson.


11.  Normative References

   [RFC3777]  Galvin, J., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
              Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall
              Committees", BCP 10, RFC 3777, June 2004.


Author's Address

   Spencer Dawkins (editor)
   Huawei Technologies (USA)

   Phone: +1 214 755 3870
   Email: spencer@wonderhamster.org









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