Process for Organization of Internet Standards

Document Charter Process for Organization of Internet Standards WG (poised)
Title Process for Organization of Internet Standards
Last updated 1994-04-01
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD Fred Baker
Charter Edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


In 1992 and 1993, the POISED effort revised the responsibilities of
the IESG and IAB and instituted a selection process for filling
positions on these bodies.  The ISOC Trustees gave interim approval
to these arrangements and asked that we revisit, revise and formalize
the arrangements after two rounds of selection had been completed.
The POISED Working Group will now review the current rules, propose
charters and rules for the IESG, IETF, IAB, IRSG, and IRTF, and submit
them to the ISOC Trustees after approval by the IETF.

There appears to be general consensus that the current assignments of
responsibility and the selection process are working moderately well,
so it is not anticipated that there will be large changes.
Nonetheless, some issues have been raised and need review.  Among
these are:

o There is a complex interplay between the IETF area structure and the
  selection process for the IESG.  The IESG has the power to create,
  split, merge and remove areas, but the nominations committee has the
  responsibility to fill positions.  The IESG needs some flexibility
  to balance work loads, use its people effectively, and meet the
  changing needs of the IETF.  The current rules are not completely
  clear as to how to handle all of the likely situations; these need to
  be spelled out and agreed to.

o The nominations committee has non-voting liaisons from the IESG and
  IAB.  Both nominations committees also had current IAB or IESG
  members, who volunteered and were selected at random, as voting
  members.  It has been suggested that current IESG and IAB members
  carry too much weight in the deliberations and should be barred from
  serving on the nominations committee.

o The selection and role of the nominations committee chair is somewhat
  unclear.  In particular, what power does the chair have to deal with
  unresponsive committee members and/or to resolve disputes?

o At what point, if any, does the nominations committee's list of
  candidates become public.  This ties in with the apparent double-
  standard of how publically incumbents vs. non-incumbents announce
  their candidacy.

o The way to handle interim appointments is not clear.  Two specific
  issues are: who appoints interim members (and is ``ratification''
  required), and how long does interim appointees serve?

o When the nominations committee has completed its work, it informs the
  IAB and the ISOC Trustees.  The procedures for doing so need to be
  spelled out.  At issue is when the nominations become public, whether
  the community at large is invited to comment, and what to do if there
  is difficulty in filling any of the positions.

o There is currently no specific mechanism for the IAB to use to
  provide architectural guidance to working groups before the RFC
  submission stage.  POISED may discuss whether such a mechanism is
  necessary, and if so, what that mechanism looks like.

o The role of the IRTF and research groups has not yet been defined.

o Should there be a regular mechanism for convening a POISED Working
  Group in the future?

o The ISOC Trustees require that the procedures adopted meet with the
  approval of counsel and the insurance carriers in order to protect
  the Society from exposure.  The procedures, rules, etc. adopted by
  the community will most likely be satisfactory to counsel, but input
  and review from counsel is essential.

In its deliberations, POISED may produce new documents (e.g., an IETF
Charter -- if the lack of such a charter delays the POISED effort),
and it may request changes to existing documents (e.g., ``The IAB
Charter'' [RFC 1601], ``The Internet Standards Process -- Version 2''
[RFC 1602], and ``IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures''
[RFC 1603]).