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The IETF Chair May Delegate
draft-eggert-ietf-chair-may-delegate-00

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This is an older version of an Internet-Draft whose latest revision state is "Expired".
Author Lars Eggert
Last updated 2023-08-15
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draft-eggert-ietf-chair-may-delegate-00
IETF                                                           L. Eggert
Internet-Draft                                                    NetApp
Updates: 2850, 3710, 4949, 8713, 9281 (if                 15 August 2023
         approved)                                                      
Intended status: Best Current Practice                                  
Expires: 16 February 2024

                      The IETF Chair May Delegate
                draft-eggert-ietf-chair-may-delegate-00

Abstract

   This document proposes that the IETF Chair may delegate some of their
   responsibilities to other Area Directors, an updates a number of
   existing RFCs to enable that.

About This Document

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   The latest revision of this draft can be found at
   https://larseggert.github.io/ietf-chair-may-delegate/draft-eggert-
   ietf-chair-may-delegate.html.  Status information for this document
   may be found at https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-eggert-ietf-
   chair-may-delegate/.

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at
   https://github.com/larseggert/ietf-chair-may-delegate.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 16 February 2024.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2023 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
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Revised BSD License text as
   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Separating the IETF Chair and IESG Chair Roles  . . . . . . .   4
     2.1.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.2.  Proposal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   3.  Delegation of the IAB Membership  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.1.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2.  Proposal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Delegation of the General Area Director Role  . . . . . . . .   6
     4.1.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.2.  Proposal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   5.  Other Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     5.1.  Staff Supervision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   6.  Other Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     6.1.  Liaison Statements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     6.2.  Transgressions of the IETF Guidelines for Conduct . . . .   8
     6.3.  Managing the Ombuds- and Moderator Teams  . . . . . . . .   8
     6.4.  Serving on the IETF LLC Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   8.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10

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1.  Introduction

   Throughout the history of the IETF, the role of the IETF Chair has
   always been a filled by a single person.  None of the foundational
   documents of the organization precisely define the role, but most are
   written with an understanding that the role is filled by a single
   person that is then tasked with with numerous responsibilities.  Few
   documents explicitly say that the IETF Chair may delegate some of
   these responsibilities.  Over time, this has created a situation
   where even a full-time commitment by a single person may no longer be
   sufficient to fulfill all of these roles and duties.

   Also, the role of the IETF Chair is a single point of failure for the
   organization, with no defined processes for allowing others to
   quickly and/or temporarily take over aspects of the role if the IETF
   Chair becomes partially or fully unable to serve.  (The defined
   process is that for "mid-term vacancies" per Section 3.5 of
   [RFC8713], which can take up to six weeks to complete and only allows
   for the permanent replacement of the IETF Chair by another
   individual.)

   Single bottlenecks like this have obvious scaling and fault tolerance
   issues.  This document hence proposes to explicitly allow the IETF
   Chair to delegate some of their responsibilities to one or more other
   Area Directors.  It leaves it up to each IETF Chair to determine if
   they would like to delegate some of their responsibilities, and if
   so, which ones, to whom and when.

   One model that is specifically enabled by this proposal, but is not
   required or even recommended, is a separation of the roles of the
   IETF Chair from that of the IESG Chair, allowing another Area
   Director to take over the chairperson role of the IESG and its
   associated responsibilities.  It also enables delegation of the IETF
   Chair's full IAB membership, and delegation or sharing of the role of
   General Area Director.

   Specifically, with these changes, it should be possible for the IESG
   to request the selection of a General Area Director who is not at the
   same time also IETF Chair, to whom the IETF Chair may then delegate
   some of their responsibilities, such as chairing the IESG.

   It is important that their is community transparency about which
   roles the IETF Chair has delegated to which other Area Director, and
   for which time periods.  This transparency can be guaranteed in a
   number of ways, such as through the IESG web site or public email.
   Such operational details are out of scope for this document.

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2.  Separating the IETF Chair and IESG Chair Roles

   This section analyzes which RFCs imply that the IETF Chair and IESG
   Chair roles need to be filled by the same person, and makes
   suggestions for updates that would allow a separation.

2.1.  Background

   [RFC2026] is surprisingly silent on the role of the IETF Chair, only
   mentioning it in Section 14 of [RFC2026] as part of the terminology:

      Area Director - The manager of an IETF Area.  The Area Directors
      along with the IETF Chair comprise the Internet Engineering
      Steering Group (IESG).

      Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) - A group comprised of
      the IETF Area Directors and the IETF Chair. (...)

   Similarly, the role of the IESG Chair is only briefly mentioned in
   Section 6.5.2 of [RFC2026] as part of how process failures are
   handled:

      If an individual should disagree with an action taken by the IESG
      in this process, that person should first discuss the issue with
      the IESG Chair.  If the IESG Chair is unable to satisfy the
      complainant then (...)

   [RFC2026] does not require the IETF Chair to also fulfill the role of
   IESG Chair.  Section 1.2 of [RFC1602], the earlier revision of the
   standards process that [RFC2026] obsoletes, is an Informational RFC
   and does include text to that effect, however:

      The IESG is composed of the IETF Area Directors and the
      chairperson of the IETF, who also serves as the chairperson of the
      IESG.

   Section 1.2 of [RFC1602] is likely the basis for [RFC2028], a BCP
   that includes similar text:

      The IESG is composed of the IETF Area Directors and the chair of
      the IETF, who also serves as the chair of the IESG.

   Section 3.3 of [RFC9281], a BCP that obsoletes [RFC2028], retains
   that text and also states that the IETF Chair is the Area Director
   for the General Area:

      The IESG is composed of the ADs and the IETF Chair.  The IETF
      Chair also chairs the IESG and is the AD for the General Area.

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   Section 4 of [RFC4949], an Informational RFC containing an Internet
   Security Glossary, contains this text under the "Internet Engineering
   Steering Group (IESG)" glossary item:

      The part of the ISOC responsible for technical management of IETF
      activities and administration of the Internet Standards Process
      according to procedures approved by the ISOC Trustees.  Directly
      responsible for actions along the "standards track", including
      final approval of specifications as Internet Standards.  Composed
      of IETF Area Directors and the IETF chairperson, who also chairs
      the IESG.  (RFC 2026)

2.2.  Proposal

   In order to allow the IETF Chair to delegate the role of IESG Chair
   to another AD (as arguably intended to be allowed by [RFC2026]), the
   following updates to existing RFCs are proposed:

   1.  Remove the sentence "The IETF Chair also chairs the IESG and is
       the AD for the General Area." from Section 3.3 of [RFC9281].

   2.  Remove the clause "who is also the chair of the Internet
       Engineering Steering Group (IESG)", from the second sentence of
       Section 1 of [RFC2850].  (This is also part of the suggestions in
       Section 4.2.)

   3.  Remove the clause "who also chairs the IESG" from the "Internet
       Engineering Steering Group (IESG)" glossary item in Section 4 of
       [RFC4949].

3.  Delegation of the IAB Membership

   This section analyzes which RFCs contain text about the full IAB
   membership of the IETF Chair, and makes suggestions for updates that
   would allow delegation of the IAB membership.

3.1.  Background

   Section 1 of [RFC2850] requires the IETF Chair to be a full member if
   the IAB:

      The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) shall consist of thirteen
      full members, composed of the chair of the Internet Engineering
      Task Force (IETF), and of twelve sitting members.

   Appendix C of [RFC8713] contains a similar statement as part of as
   the second item in a list of "oral traditions" recorded for
   "consideration by future NomComs":

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      No person should serve both on the IAB and as an Area Director,
      except the IETF Chair whose roles as an IAB member and Area
      Director of the General Area are set out elsewhere.

   Section 3.4 of [RFC9281] says:

      The IETF Chair is also a member of the IAB, and the Chair of the
      Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is an ex officio member.

3.2.  Proposal

   In order to allow the IETF Chair to delegate their full IAB
   membership to another AD, the following updates to existing RFCs are
   suggested:

   1.  Add "or their Delegate Area Director" at the end of the clause
       "composed of the chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force
       (IETF)" in Section 1 of [RFC2850].

   2.  Add "With the publication of RFCXXXX, IETF guidance on this issue
       has changed as described there." to the second bullet item in
       Appendix C of [RFC8713].

   3.  Change the sentence "The IETF Chair is also a member of the IAB,
       and the Chair of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is an ex
       officio member." to "The Chair of the Internet Research Task
       Force (IRTF) is an ex officio member of the IAB." in Section 3.4
       of [RFC9281].

4.  Delegation of the General Area Director Role

   This section analyzes which RFCs contain text about the
   responsibility of the IETF Chair to also serve as Area Director of
   the General Area, and makes suggestions for updates that would allow
   delegation of or sharing or the role.

4.1.  Background

   Section 2 of [RFC3710] states that the IETF Chair is the General Area
   Director:

      The IETF Chair, who also functions as the General Area Director
      when this area is active

   Section 3.3 of [RFC9281] also makes a similar statement:

      The IETF Chair also chairs the IESG and is the AD for the General
      Area.

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4.2.  Proposal

   In order to allow the IETF Chair to delegate the Area Director rols
   for the General Area, the following updates to existing RFCs are
   suggested:

   1.  Replace "who also functions as the General Area Director" with
       "who may also function as a General Area Director or may share
       that role with or delegate that role to another Area Director" in
       Section 2 of [RFC3710].

   2.  Remove the clause "who is also the chair of the Internet
       Engineering Steering Group (IESG)", from the second sentence of
       Section 1 of [RFC2850].  (This is also part of the suggestions in
       Section 2.2.)

5.  Other Updates

   This section collects updates to some text in existing RFCs that has
   become stale.

5.1.  Staff Supervision

   Section 7.1 of [RFC3710] says

      The IETF Chair has primary responsibility for supervising the work
      of the IETF Secretariat, with the advice and consent of the IESG,
      the IAB Chair and the ISOC president.

   With the publication of [RFC8711], this responsibility has moved to
   the IETF Executive Director.  The proposal is to update Section 7.1
   of [RFC3710] to remove the sentence above.

6.  Other Roles

   This section briefly summarizes other roles the IETF Chair has, but
   which require no updates, usually because delegation is already
   permitted.

6.1.  Liaison Statements

   Section 3.1 of [RFC4691] says

      Liaison statements are only sent on the initiative of the IETF
      chair, the IAB chair, IETF Area Directors, or IETF working group
      chairs.

   Section 4 of [RFC4052] says

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      For a liaison statement generated on behalf of the IETF as a
      whole, the IETF Chair must have generated or must agree with the
      sending of the liaison statement.  If the liaison statement is not
      sent by the IETF Chair, then his or her agreement must be obtained
      in advance and confirmed by copying the IETF Chair on the message.

   The combination of these two statements already allows another Area
   Director to send a liaison statement on behalf of the IETF with IETF
   Chair approval.

6.2.  Transgressions of the IETF Guidelines for Conduct

   Appendix A of [RFC7154] says "An individual can report transgressions
   of the guidelines for conduct to the IETF Chair or the IESG."

   However, [RFC7154] does not define any reactions the IETF Chair or
   the IESG should or may take, so the IETF Chair only acts as a
   recipient here.

6.3.  Managing the Ombuds- and Moderator Teams

   The IETF Chair is tasked with managing the constituency of the
   ombudsteam [RFC7776] and the moderator team of the IETF discussion
   list [RFC9245].

   This document does not suggest any changes here, but the community
   may consider allowing delegation of either of these responsibilities
   if revisions of [RFC7776] or [RFC9245] are undertaken.

6.4.  Serving on the IETF LLC Board

   [RFC8711] suggests that the IETF Chair, or a delegate selected by the
   IESG, will serve on the Board of Directors of the IETF Administration
   LLC.  Because delegation of that role is already explicitly allowed,
   no changes are suggested here.

7.  Security Considerations

   The usual security considerations [RFC3552] do not apply to this
   document.

8.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

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Acknowledgments

   These individuals suggested improvements to this document:

References

Normative References

   [RFC2026]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, DOI 10.17487/RFC2026, October 1996,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2026>.

   [RFC2850]  IAB and B. Carpenter, Ed., "Charter of the Internet
              Architecture Board (IAB)", BCP 39, RFC 2850,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2850, May 2000,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2850>.

   [RFC3710]  Alvestrand, H., "An IESG charter", RFC 3710,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3710, February 2004,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3710>.

   [RFC4949]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2",
              FYI 36, RFC 4949, DOI 10.17487/RFC4949, August 2007,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4949>.

   [RFC8713]  Kucherawy, M., Ed., Hinden, R., Ed., and J. Livingood,
              Ed., "IAB, IESG, IETF Trust, and IETF LLC Selection,
              Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the IETF
              Nominating and Recall Committees", BCP 10, RFC 8713,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8713, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8713>.

   [RFC9281]  Salz, R., "Entities Involved in the IETF Standards
              Process", BCP 11, RFC 9281, DOI 10.17487/RFC9281, June
              2022, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9281>.

Informative References

   [RFC1602]  IAB and IESG, "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              2", RFC 1602, DOI 10.17487/RFC1602, March 1994,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1602>.

   [RFC2028]  Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in
              the IETF Standards Process", RFC 2028,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2028, October 1996,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2028>.

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   [RFC3552]  Rescorla, E. and B. Korver, "Guidelines for Writing RFC
              Text on Security Considerations", BCP 72, RFC 3552,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3552, July 2003,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3552>.

   [RFC4052]  Daigle, L., Ed. and IAB, "IAB Processes for Management of
              IETF Liaison Relationships", BCP 102, RFC 4052,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4052, April 2005,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4052>.

   [RFC4691]  Andersson, L., Ed., "Guidelines for Acting as an IETF
              Liaison to Another Organization", RFC 4691,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4691, October 2006,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4691>.

   [RFC7154]  Moonesamy, S., Ed., "IETF Guidelines for Conduct", BCP 54,
              RFC 7154, DOI 10.17487/RFC7154, March 2014,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7154>.

   [RFC7776]  Resnick, P. and A. Farrel, "IETF Anti-Harassment
              Procedures", BCP 25, RFC 7776, DOI 10.17487/RFC7776, March
              2016, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7776>.

   [RFC8711]  Haberman, B., Hall, J., and J. Livingood, "Structure of
              the IETF Administrative Support Activity, Version 2.0",
              BCP 101, RFC 8711, DOI 10.17487/RFC8711, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8711>.

   [RFC9245]  Eggert, L. and S. Harris, "IETF Discussion List Charter",
              BCP 45, RFC 9245, DOI 10.17487/RFC9245, June 2022,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9245>.

Author's Address

   Lars Eggert
   NetApp
   Stenbergintie 12 B
   FI-02700 Kauniainen
   Finland
   Email: lars@eggert.org
   URI:   https://eggert.org/

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