[sig-policy] Version 3 of proposal to revise SIG guidelines

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    • Subject: [sig-policy] Version 3 of proposal to revise SIG guidelines
    • From: Adam Gosling <adam at apnic dot net>
    • Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 06:29:01 +0000
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    • Thread-topic: Version 3 of proposal to revise SIG guidelines
        A new version of the proposal to modify the APNIC SIG Guidelines has been 
        submitted for consideration at APNIC 43 in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
        Discussions and calls for consensus will take place in each SIG session.
        You are invited to comment on the SIG Mailing Lists before the conference. 
        Remote participation facilities will also be available during each SIG session.
        More background to this proposal is available at:
            Revising eligible voters of Chair election and Chair's term
            Proposer:      Izumi Okutani
                           izumi at nic dot ad dot jp
            1. Problem statement
            It has been over ten years since the SIG Guidelines document was
            developed. The environment has changed since then, and it is now time
            for the document to be reviewed and updated, to adapt to the changing
            environment in the APNIC community, as the up-to-date document.
              - Regardless of the changes in the environment, what is to remain
                consistent is that, the SIG accommodates its members discussions
                and consensus, based on bottom-up inclusive spirit.
              - With increasing new participants in the community, which is a
                welcoming change, unwritten agreed principles among long time
                participants must be clearly described to help new participants
                who join the community.
              - More official support from APNIC for Chair/Co-Chair(s)
                position, such as described in the guidelines for
                Travel Support since May 2016[*], provides more opportunities for
                community members to serve as the Chair/Co-Chair.
                At the same time, it is important to set clear expectations for
                the new Chairs and Co-Chairs on what roles and responsibilities
                they have for the position to meet the community's expectations,
                and to maintain accountability of the APNIC community as a whole,
                visible both within and from the outside.
                [*] https://www.apnic.net/community/participate/sigs/sig-guidelines/sig-chair-travel-policy
            Below are the key issues the proposal seeks to address.
              - Adjusting parts of the document which are no consistent with the
              - The current SIG Guidelines mostly describe administrative
                procedures for the SIG, without description about how the
                Chair/Co-Chair serve the SIG members, and accommodate discussions 
                by its participants
            On eligible voters in SIG Chair/Co-Chair election, whether to allow
            remote participants to vote, which was one of the proposed points in
            version 1.0, there was no clear consensus at APNIC42. 
            Therefore, this element of the proposal is not included in ver. 2.0. 
            The author suggests to have a separate discussions, not in a form of 
            the proposal, to first see what direction can be supported by the
            Base on these discussions, a follow up proposal about voting by
            remote participants on SIG Chair/Co-Chair election may be considered, 
            if the need for the proposal is supported by the community.
            2. Objective of policy change
            To maintaining SIG Guidelines to be up to date, adjusting to the
            current environment of the APNIC, to be more useful for
            the community members.
            Although there were constructive discussions at APNIC42, there was no
            consensus on the proposal as a whole, and it was agreed to have
            continued discussions. The updated proposal seeks to continue this
            work of revising the SIG Guidelines, to clearly describes essential
            elements about the SIG.
            3. Situation in other regions
            Please refer following page made by Adam Gosling
            Comparison of RIR SIG/WG Chair Election Processes
            4. Proposed policy solution
            1. SIG Chair/Co-Chair's term of service
                Add the following point to SIG Chair/Co-Chair's term of service:
                 - If a current Chair/Co-Chair resigned or was removed before the 
                   end of the term, the successor takes over the remaining term 
                   of the position, and not the regular term (Currently two 
                 - To maintain the election of the Chair and the Co-Chair to be
                   staggered as currently described, for smooth transition and
                   continuity of the SIG, even if the Chair/Co-Chair resigns or 
                   is removed before the end of the regular term.
                The following points about SIG Chair/Co-Chair's term of service,
                in the current guidelines remain unchanged:
                   - Elections occur yearly. Chair elections and Co-Chair elections
                     occur in alternate years
                   - If Chair election and Co-Chair election takes place in the
                     same year, Co-Chair's term of service is one year
            2. Clarify Chair/Co-Chair's role/responsibilities
                 Add  the following description as Chair/Co-Chair's
                 - Chair/Co-Chair is responsible in facilitating discussions at
                   the SIG, with respect to bottom up and inclusive spirit, so 
                   that SIG participants are comfortable to express their 
                   The Chair/Co-Chair is to accommodate all newly expressed
                   opinions, relevant to the discussions topic at the SIG to be 
                 - Before making consensus decision at the SIG, SIG Chairs and/or
                   Co-Chairs must explain to the participants, what the question 
                   is or decision is to be made, then open up the floor for the
                   participants to express their opinions.
                 - SIG Chairs and Co-Chairs have to consider all opinions 
                   expressed in a balanced manner, before making the consensus 
                 - The consensus decision by the Chairs and Co-Chairs must be
                   shared with the SIG participants. When reporting the AGM about
                   consensus decision at the SIG, it must be consistent with what
                   was shared with the SIG participants.
                - In the description "If SIG members do not think that the
                  Chair or Co-Chair is sufficiently performing their duties"
                  in "Section 2.6.1. Removing a Chair or Co-Chair", refer to 
                  specific examples of what is meant by their duties, such as the 
                  following sections in the document.
                      2.3. SIG Chair and Co-Chair roles
                  2.4. Chair responsibilities
                  2.5. Co-Chair responsibilities
                To clearly describe expected role/responsibilities of
                Chair/Co-Chair and examples of the conditions of removal.
                Regarding role/responsibilities of Chair/Co-Chair, the current
                description in the document focuses only on administrative
                procedures to be followed by Chair/Co-Chair. They do not cover
                how Chair/Co-Chair is to respect to bottom up and inclusive
                spirit, accommodate discussions in the community, and take 
                adequate steps towards consensus decision and reporting.
                The current condition of removal remains very much open to the
                subject to interpretation on what is meant by "If SIG members do 
                not think that the Chair or Co-Chair is sufficiently performing 
                their duties" in "Section 2.6.1. Removing a Chair or Co-Chair". 
                These ambiguities are not helpful to new participants to the SIG 
                and new Chair/Co-Chair.
            3. Allow the SIG members to be able to open up the second Co-Chair
                position, based on consensus
                In addition to the Chair's discretion as currently described in
                Section 2.6 of the SIG guidelines document, add an option for the
                SIG participants to to make a decision whether to open up a
                second Co-Chair's position, based on consensus at the SIG.
                When a second Co-Chair position is added, the second Co-Chair is
                to be chosen by the election process as described in 2.6.
                Electing a Chair or Co-Chair; regardless of whether addition of 
                the position is decided by Chair's discretion (as current 
                condition described in the document) or by consensus decision of 
                the SIG participants to add the second Co-Chair position.
                Under the current SIG Guidelines, it is only by the discretion of
                the Chair, to decide whether to open up a position of a
                second Co-Chair, and whether to hold its election.
                There may be a situation where a substantial number of SIG
                participants see the need for a second Co-Chair position to be
                added, to facilitate the SIG discussions more effectively. This
                is to be added as an "or" condition, and the Chair remains to be
                able to make a decision whether to add a second Co-Chair
                position, as described in the current document.
            5. Advantages / Disadvantages
            Clarify ambiguous part about the SIG guidelines, especially for the
            new participants/new Chair/Co-Chair.
            None observed.
            6. Impact on resource holders
            No direct impact
            7. References
            Chair Election Procedure Review by Adam Gosling
            Comparison of RIR SIG/WG Chair Election Processes
            APNIC SIG Guidelines
        Adam Gosling
        Senior Internet Policy Analyst, APNIC
        e: adam at apnic dot net
        p: +61 7 3858 3142
        m: +61 421 456 243
        Join the conversation:   https://blog.apnic.net/