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Versions: 00 01 02 03 rfc4052                                           
Network Working Group                                          L. Daigle
Internet-Draft                                                    Editor
Expires: August 15, 2004                     Internet Architecture Board
                                                       February 15, 2004

         IAB Processes for management of liaison relationships

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
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   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 15, 2004.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document discusses the procedures the IAB uses to select
   organizations to form and maintain liaison relationships with.  It
   further discusses the expectations that the IAB has of such
   organizations and of the people assigned to manage those

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Table of Contents

   1.  Liaison Relationships and Personnel  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Aspects of Liaisons and Liaison Management . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.1 Liaison Relationships  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.2 Liaison Manager  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.3 Liaison Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Summary of IETF Liaison Manager Responsibilities . . . . . . .  6
   4.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

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1. Liaison Relationships and Personnel

   The IETF, as an organization, has the need to engage in direct
   communication or joint endeavors with various other formal
   organizations.  For example, the IETF is one of several Standards
   Development Organizations, or SDOs, and all SDOs including the IETF
   find it increasingly necessary to communicate and coordinate their
   activities involving Internet-related technologies.  This is useful
   in order to avoid overlap in work efforts and to manage interactions
   between their groups.  In cases where there is formalization of a
   mutual effort to communicate and coordinate activities, these
   relationships are generically referred to as "liaison relationships".

   In such cases, a person from the IETF is designated to manage a given
   liaison relationship; that person is generally called the "IETF
   liaison" to the other organization.  Often, the other organization
   will similarly designate their own liaison to the IETF.

   This document is chiefly concerned with:

   o  the establishment and maintenance of liaison relationships, and

   o  the appointment and responsibilities of IETF liaison managers.

   The management of other organizations' liaisons to the IETF, whether
   or not in the context of a liaison relationship, is outside the scope
   of this document.

   The IETF has chartered the Internet Architecture Board to manage
   liaison relationships.  In its charter [2], the IAB states that

      The IAB acts as representative of the interests of the IETF and
      the Internet Society in technical liaison relationships with other
      organizations concerned with standards and other technical and
      organizational issues relevant to the world-wide Internet.
      Liaisons are kept as informal as possible and must be of
      demonstrable value in improving the quality of IETF
      specifications.  Individual members of the IETF are appointed as
      liaisons to other organizations by the IAB or IESG as appropriate.

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2. Aspects of Liaisons and Liaison Management

2.1 Liaison Relationships

   A liaison relationship is set up when it is mutually agreeable and
   needed for some specific purpose, in the view of the other
   organization, the IAB, and the IETF participants conducting the work.
   There is no set process or form for this; the IETF participants and
   the peer organization approach the IAB, and after discussion come to
   an agreement to form the relationship.  In some cases, the intended
   scope and guidelines for the collaboration are documented
   specifically (e.g., see [3], [4], and [5]).

   The IAB's expectation in setting up the relationship is that there
   will be a mutual exchange of views and discussion of the best
   approach to undertaking new standardization work items.  Any work
   items resulting for the IETF will be undertaken in the usual IETF
   procedures, defined in [1].  The peer organization often has
   different organizational structure and different procedures than the
   IETF, which will require some flexibility on the part of both
   organizations to accommodate.  The IAB expects that the peer
   organization will use the relationship carefully, allowing time for
   the processes it requests to occur and not making unreasonable

2.2 Liaison Manager

   As described above, most work on mutually interesting topics will be
   carried out in the usual way within the IETF and the peer
   organization.  Therefore, most communications will be informal in
   nature (e.g., working group, mailing list discussions, etc).

   An important function of the liaison manager is to ensure that
   communication is maintained, is productive, and is timely.  He or she
   may use any businesslike approach to that necessary, from private
   communications to public communications, and bringing in other
   parties as needed.  If a communication from a peer organization is
   addressed to an inappropriate party, such as being sent to the
   working group but not copying the AD or being sent to the wrong
   working group, the liaison manager will help redirect or otherwise
   augment the communication.

   Since the IAB is ultimately responsible for liaison relationships,
   anyone who has a problem with a relationship (whether an IETF
   participant or a person from the peer organization) should first
   consult the IAB's designated liaison manager, and if that does not
   result in a satisfactory outcome, the IAB itself.

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2.3 Liaison Communications

   Communications between organizations use a variety of formal and
   informal channels.  The stated preference of the IETF, which is
   largely an informal organization, is to use informal channels, as
   these have historically worked well to expedite matters.  In some
   cases, however, more formal communications are appropriate.  In such
   cases, the established procedures of many organizations use a form
   known as a "liaison statement".  Procedures for sending, managing,
   and responding to liaison statements are discussed in draft-baker-

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3. Summary of IETF Liaison Manager Responsibilities

   While the requirements will certainly vary depending on the nature of
   the peer organization and the type of joint work being undertaken,
   the general expectations of a liaison appointed by the IAB are as

      Attend relevant meetings of the peer organization as needed and
      report back to the appropriate IETF organization any material

      Carry any messages from the IETF to the peer organization, when
      specifically instructed.  Generally, these communications
      "represent the IETF", and due care (and consensus) must be applied
      in their construction.

      Prepare occasional updates -- e.g., to the IAB, an AD, a WG.  The
      target of these updates will generally be identified upon

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

      Work with the other organization to ensure that the IETF's
      liaisons are appropriately directed and responded to in a timely

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4. Security Considerations

   The security of the Internet is not threatened by these procedures.

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5. Acknowledgements

   This document was developed as part of a conversation regarding the
   management of draft-baker-liaison-statements, and the authors of that
   document contributed significantly to it.  Also, this version of the
   document has been improved over its predecessor by several
   suggestions from Michael Patton, Bert Wijnen, and Scott Bradner.

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Normative References

   [1]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP
        9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

   [2]  Internet Architecture Board and B. Carpenter, "Charter of the
        Internet Architecture Board (IAB)", BCP 39, RFC 2850, May 2000.

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Informative References

   [3]  Rosenbrock, K., Sanmugam, R., Bradner, S. and J. Klensin, "3GPP-
        IETF Standardization Collaboration", RFC 3113, June 2001.

   [4]  Bradner, S., Calhoun, P., Cuschieri, H., Dennett, S., Flynn, G.,
        Lipford, M. and M. McPheters, "3GPP2-IETF Standardization
        Collaboration", RFC 3131, June 2001.

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

Authors' Addresses

   Leslie Daigle

   Internet Architecture Board

   EMail: iab@iab.org

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