[Search] [txt|pdf|bibtex] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 rfc4691                                        
Network Working Group                                       L. Andersson
Internet-Draft                                                  Acreo AB
Expires: April 16, 2006                                 October 13, 2005

    Guidelines for Acting as an IETF Liaison to Another Organization

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   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."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 16, 2006.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).


   Whenever IETF decides to enter into a liaison relationhsip with
   another organization, e.g. a Standards Development Organization, a
   consortium, or an industrial forum, a liaison manger is appointed.
   The procedures used by the IAB to establish and maintain liaison
   relationships between the IETF and other organizations are described
   in RFC 4052 [RFC4052].  This document give guidelines on
   expectations, tasks, responsibilities and mandate of the liaisons

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 1]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

   Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  IETF liaisons  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1.  Related documents  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.2.  Written information  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.3.  A person acting as liaison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.4.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Liaison Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.1.  Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.2.  Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.3.  Tasks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.4.  Mandate  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       3.4.1.  Speaking for the IETF  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   4.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   5.  IANA considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   6.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     7.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     7.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 15

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 2]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

1.  Introduction

   IETF has extensive communication with other organizations on issues
   telating to the development of standards for the Internet.  Part of
   this is in written form, known as "liaison statements" sent between
   the organizations.  Part is done by appointing a person to be
   responsible for the relationship with the other organization, a
   liaison manager.  We normally speak of such a person as "the liaison"
   from the IETF to this other organization.

   The organizations IETF establish liaison relationships with comes
   from various categories, such as Standards Developing Organization
   (SDO), e.g. the ITU-T or IEEE 802, consortium, and industrial forum.
   Global Grid Forum is an example of the latter.  Usually the IETF
   liaisons are concerned with groups that develop standards and
   technical specifications, and many types of groups do so.

   Whenever IETF decides to enter into a liaison relationship a liaison
   manager is appointed.  The procedures used by the IAB to establish
   and maintain liaison relationships between the IETF and other
   organizations are described in RFC 4052 [RFC4052].

   The role of the liaison manager has become more and important to the
   IETF.  This document therefore, in addition to what is specified in
   RFC 4052, gives some guidelines for liaison managers and liaison
   representatives to another organization.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 3]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

2.  IETF liaisons

   A goal for IETF is to develop standards for the Internet.  These
   standards are intended to make interoperable implementations for the
   Internet possible.  Developing Internet standards is an actvity that
   makes communication with and agreements between IETF and other
   organizations necessary.  Other organizations may develop standards
   for other types of networks, applications running over the Internet
   and/or technologies that the Internet uses.

   Sometimes the IETF and other organizations consider it mutually
   beneficial to have certain rules governing such a relationship.  The
   organizations then enter into a "liaison relationship".  On a high
   level it can be said that both sides agree to undertake certain
   responsibilities towards each other.  The most basic liaison
   responsibility is to communicate information as necessary and to
   respond to requests for information from organizations participating
   in the liasion relationship.

2.1.  Related documents

   The IETF liaison process is specified in an number of documents, RFC
   4052 specifies how the IAB mamage the IETF liaison relationship, RFC
   4053 [rfc4053] specifies how liaison statements should be treated.
   RFC 3356 [rfc3356] describes the collaboration between the IETF and

2.2.  Written information

   A large amount of information may be exchanged between the IETF and
   the organizations it has a liaison relationships with.  This
   information is sent in a liaison statement and typically contains
   plans, new developments and time schedules that one of the parties
   believe that the other should be aware of.  A typical example is that
   one of the organizations that the IETF has a liasion relationship
   with needs to reference IETF documents as part of its document
   publication activity.  The liaison statement the IETF receive would
   then ask us to have an RFC number ready in time.  The response IETF
   sent could either include that RFC number or explain why it is not
   possible to have it available within the time requested.

   The requests for quick action on RFCs by other organizations than ITU
   have not typically come as liaison statements - e.g. from 3GPP/PP2
   and OMA, they've come as a monthly-updated list of the document
   dependencies and dates-required.  The liaison manager is expected to
   follow this and interact and convey the requests via the AD's
   requests for expedited publication citing the table (or email when

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 4]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

2.3.  A person acting as liaison

   Whenever the IETF enteres in to a liaison relationship with another
   organization a liaison manager is appointed.  In day to day talk we
   refer to this person "the IETF liaison" to this other organization.
   This document gives guidelines on expecations, tasks and
   responsibilities for such a person.

   All decisions on IETF liaison relationships, e.g. whether we should
   have a liaison realtionship with a certain organization or not, is
   the responsibility of the IAB.  This is also true for appointing
   liaison managers or liaison representatives.

   In some cases, it may be necessary to have more than one person
   working with the liaison realtionship with a given organization.  For
   example, it may be the case that the technical scope of the liaison
   relationship is to varied, or that the time committement is more than
   would be reasonable for a single person.

   In such cases we might appoint a liaison representative, a person
   appointed to manage one certain aspect of the liaison relationship
   between IETF and the other organization.

2.4.  Terminology

   A terminology for managing the IETF relationship procedures are found
   in RFC 4052, definitons given here is intended to be the delta valid
   for this document only.

   Liaison manager -

   a person appointed to manage an IETF liaison relationship with
   another organization.

   Liaison representative -

   a person appointed to manage a certain (sub-)aspect of an IETF
   liaison relationship with another organization.  Since it is only the
   scale of the responsibilities, mandate and tesks that is different
   the rest of this document only explicitly mentioning the liaison

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 5]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

3.  Liaison Guidelines

   Since the liaison relationship is by definition intended to be mutual
   beneficial, the IETF liaison to another organization must act as a
   bi-directional communication link between the IETF and the other
   organization.  While this is self evident it, is also evident that
   since the liasion manager has been appointed by the IETF that there
   are certain expectations from the IETF.

   RFC 4052 lists some tasks and expectations on liaison managers, the
   intention in this document is discuss this in some more detail and at
   the same time focus more on how to execute the role as liaison

3.1.  Expectations

   There are certain expectations placed on liaison managers appointed
   by the IETF.  Examples of these expectations are listed below.


   A person appointed to act as a liaison manager on behalf of the IETF
   is expected to have a thorough technical knowledge and understanding
   of the key issues in the subject area.  That is, the liaison manager
   is expected to have a thorough understanding of the stakeholder
   issues from both organizations.

   An IETF liaison manager needs to have knowledge of the IETF's
   consensus process in general and on the consesus work on the key
   issues for the specific liaison relationship in particular.

   The technical comptence of the liaision manager is important, but it
   should be understood the essence of the liaison manager role is
   giving attention to managing the rules agreed upon.  While the
   liaison manager is managing the liaison relationship, the liasion
   mananger is not an independent IETF technologist with respect to the
   topics that are the focus of the liaision relationship.  Rather, the
   liaison manager must represent documented IETF consensus in his or
   her dealings with the liasied organization.


   Liaison relationships are designed for the mutual benefit of the
   organisations participating in the liasion.  As such, swift
   information flow in both directions is a firm requirement.  It is
   nevertheless expected that an IETF liaison manager in everthing that
   relates to the subject matter of the liaison relationship promotes
   the interests of the IETF.  A liaison managers needs to approach the

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 6]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

   tasks of the liaison relationship wearing an IETF hat.  It is NOT the
   tasks of a liaison manager to promote the interests of the liaised
   organization within the IETF.


   When appointing an appropriate person to manage a liasion
   relationship the IAB needs to take into account any conflicts of
   interest that the individual being considered might have.  IAB will
   not appoint a person to liaison manger if there is strong conflict of
   interests.  Examples of such conflict of interest includes industry
   or organization leadership positions in the liaised organizations.

   Before a person is appointed to manage a liaison relationship he or
   she will be asked to explicitly state any conflicts of interest.

   Commitment and opportunity

   A liaison needs to be committed to and have the opportunity to solve
   the issues for which the liaison relationship has been created.  This
   also includes having time allocated to spend on the task.


   One key factor when acting as a liaison is to make the IETF aware of
   the new development in the subject area in a timely fashion.

3.2.  Responsibilities

   The key responsibility of the liaison manager is to make sure that
   the information flow between the IETF and the liaised organization is
   as effective as possible.

   Information brought to the IETF will be used so that the IETF may
   take decisions and actions based on the best possible information.
   Information from the IETF is based on IETF consensus.  The liaison
   manager does not develop independent positions different from the
   IETF consensus, though the liaison manager works with the other
   organization on ways to ensure that the communication is clear; that
   the other organization gets it requirements to the IETF, that the
   IETF consensus is clear.  If differences are strong between the IETF
   and the other organization, the relevant IETF and other organization
   leadership need to be in touch; the liaison manager needs to
   facilitate this communication quickly.

   From a more formal point of view the liaison managers are responsible
   for a clear and correct communication of the IETF consensus position
   to the liaised organization.  This includes, when specifically

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 7]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

   instructed, to carry any messages from the IETF to the peer
   organization.  Generally, these communications "represent the IETF",
   and therefore due care and consensus must be applied in their

   The liaison managers are responsible that any relevant information
   originating from the liaised organization, or other information and
   comes to the attention of the liaison manager, reaches the correct
   destination, in a timely and correct fashion, within the IETF.

3.3.  Tasks

   The list below are examples of tasks that a liaison manager could be
   required to perform.  Depending on the nature of liaised organization
   the task may vary in frequence and relative importance,

   1.  Attend relevant meetings, mailing lists and conference calls of
       the liaised organization as needed and report back to the
       appropriate part of the IETF on any developments that is of
       interest for the IETF.

   2.  A liaison manager is encouraged to work through delegation,
       sometimes this involves holding frequent update meetings with a
       team of IETFers involved in the liaised organization and other
       interested parties within the IETF, e.g. working group chairs and
       ADs.  A significant result of of holding such meetings is an
       increased understanding, and eventually IETF support, for the
       other organizations goals.

   3.  Prepare updates as this is requested by the IETF side.  The
       target of these updates (e.g., the IAB, an AD, a WG) will
       generally be identified upon establishment of the liaison
       relationship and/or the appointment of the liaison manager.

   4.  Oversee delivery of liaison statements addressed to the IETF,
       ensuring that they reach the appropriate destination within the
       IETF, and ensure that relevant responses from the IETF are
       created and sent in a timely fashion.

   5.  Work with the liaised organization to ensure that the IETF's
       liaison statements are appropriately directed and responded to in
       a timely fashion.  This could e.g. be accomplished by building an
       informal contact network for exchanging relevant information.

   6.  Communicate and coordinate with other IETF liaison managers where
       concerned technical activities of two or more organizations that
       the IETF has a liaison relationship with overlap.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 8]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

   7.  Based on the IETF consensus position be part of preparation of
       IETF liaison statements.

   8.  Once the IETF has decided that a liaison statement should be sent
       the liasion manager should be part of the preparation of the
       liaison statement.  The liaison manager should do this based on
       the IETF consensus position and the information he or she has
       about the liaised organisation.

   9.  Liaison mangers and liaison representaives shall report to the
       IETF on status of the liaison relationship and keep track of
       outstanding issues on behalf of the IETF.  The frequency of the
       reports and the recipients of the reports within the IETF will be
       decide when the liaison relationship is set up and may be changed
       at any time by an IAB decision.  Status report and issue tracking
       shall be done by means of the IETF liaison managment system."

3.4.  Mandate

   The mandate for IETF liaison managers is strictly limited, it
   comprises only conveying IETF consensus to the liased organization.
   In Section 3.3 and in Section 3.2 a number of tasks and
   responsibilites is listed.  There are at least two important aspects
   of the tasks and responsibilities.  Carried out carefully they will
   supply the IETF with the information need to correctly interact with
   other organizations.  The other, equally important, aspect is that
   the tasks and responsibilites will help the liaison manager
   understand the IETF consensus and build a basis on which is possible
   to execute the mandate.

   The liaison manager MUST NOT on his or her own initiative send
   liaison statements to a liaised organization on behalf of IETF, its
   areas and working groups.  Liaison statements are only sent following
   the process specified in RFC 4052.  Liaison statements are only sent
   on the initiative of the IETF chair, the IAB chair, IETF Area
   Directors or IETF working group chairs.

3.4.1.  Speaking for the IETF

   IETF does work on the rough consensus basis, which means that the
   right to speak for the IETF is not in any way delegated.  However,
   the liaison manager has the task to speak for the IETF on the subject
   matter of the liaison, but only after making sure that the IETF
   consensus is understood.  Some guidelines in understanding the IETF
   consensus are given above, but the most important aspect is a close
   and detailed coordination and consultation with the IETF side in the
   liaison relationship.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                 [Page 9]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

4.  Security Considerations

   Because the interaction on protocols with other standards-making
   organizations often concerns security aspects, though this document
   does not specify any protocol or "bits on the wire", getting the
   liaison manager role right does improve the development of secure
   protocols for the Internet.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                [Page 10]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

5.  IANA considerations

   There are no requests to the IANA herein.  Note that the liaison
   manager very often has to understand and bridge questions regarding
   IETF namespace.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                [Page 11]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

6.  Acknowledgements

   This document was developed as part of a conversation regarding the
   requirements on IETF liaison managers and representatives.  Several
   IAB memebers have significantly contributed to the document.  Also,
   the document has been improved thanks to suggestions and review from
   Allison Mankin, Dave Meyer and Leslie Daigle.

   Members of the IAB at the time of approval of this document were:

   Bernard Aboba
   Loa Andersson
   Brian Carpenter
   Leslie Daigle
   Patrik Falstrom
   Bob Hinden
   Kurtis Lindqvist
   David Meyer
   Pekka Nikander
   Eric Rescorla
   Pete Resnick
   Jonathan Rosenberg
   Lixia Zhang

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                [Page 12]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC4052]  Daigle, L. and Internet Architecture Board, "IAB Processes
              for Management of IETF Liaison Relationships", BCP 102,
              RFC 4052, April 2005.

7.2.  Informative References

   [RFC3356]  Fishman, G. and S. Bradner, "Internet Engineering Task
              Force and International Telecommunication Union -
              Telecommunications Standardization Sector Collaboration
              Guidelines", RFC 3356, August 2002.

   [RFC4053]  Trowbridge, S., Bradner, S., and F. Baker, "Procedures for
              Handling Liaison Statements to and from the IETF",
              BCP 103, RFC 4053, April 2005.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                [Page 13]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

Author's Address

   Loa Andersson
   Acreo AB

   Email: loa@pi.se

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                [Page 14]

Internet-Draft                   Liaison                    October 2005

Intellectual Property Statement

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at

Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).  This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

Andersson                Expires April 16, 2006                [Page 15]