Additional Criteria for Nominating Committee Eligibility
RFC 8989

Document Type RFC - Experimental (February 2021; No errata)
Authors Brian Carpenter  , Stephen Farrell 
Last updated 2021-02-05
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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                      B. Carpenter
Request for Comments: 8989                             Univ. of Auckland
Category: Experimental                                        S. Farrell
ISSN: 2070-1721                                   Trinity College Dublin
                                                           February 2021

        Additional Criteria for Nominating Committee Eligibility


   This document defines a process experiment under RFC 3933 that
   temporarily updates the criteria for qualifying volunteers to
   participate in the IETF Nominating Committee.  It therefore also
   updates the criteria for qualifying signatories to a community recall
   petition.  The purpose is to make the criteria more flexible in view
   of increasing remote participation in the IETF and a reduction in
   face-to-face meetings.  The experiment is of fixed duration and will
   apply to one, or at most two, consecutive Nominating Committee
   cycles, starting in 2021.  This document temporarily varies the rules
   in RFC 8713.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for examination, experimental implementation, and

   This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  This document is a product of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF
   community.  It has received public review and has been approved for
   publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not
   all documents approved by the IESG are candidates for any level of
   Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2021 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
   ( 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 Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
   2.  Term and Evaluation of the Experiment
   3.  Goals
   4.  Criteria
     4.1.  Clarifying Detail
   5.  Omitted Criteria
   6.  IANA Considerations
   7.  Security Considerations
   8.  Normative References
   Appendix A.  Available Data
   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

   According to [RFC8713], the IETF Nominating Committee (NomCom) is
   populated from a pool of volunteers with a specified record of
   attendance at IETF plenary meetings, which were assumed to be face-
   to-face meetings when that document was approved.  In view of the
   cancellation of the IETF 107, 108, 109, and 110 face-to-face
   meetings; the risk of future cancellations; the probability of less-
   frequent face-to-face meetings in the future in support of
   sustainability; and a general increase in remote participation, this
   document defines a process experiment [RFC3933] of fixed duration
   (described in Section 2) to use modified and additional criteria to
   qualify volunteers.

   During this experiment, the eligibility criteria for signing recall
   petitions -- which [RFC8713] defines to be the same as those for
   NomCom eligibility -- are consequently also modified as described in
   this document.  This experiment has no other effect on the recall

2.  Term and Evaluation of the Experiment

   The cancellation of the in-person IETF 107 through 110 meetings means
   that the current criteria are in any case seriously perturbed for at
   least 2 years.  The experiment therefore needs to start as soon as
   possible.  However, the experiment did not apply to the selection of
   the 2020-2021 NomCom, which was performed according to [RFC8788].

   The experiment will initially cover the IETF NomCom cycle that begins
   in 2021.  As soon as the entire 2021-2022 NomCom is seated, the IESG
   must consult the 2021-2022 NomCom Chair and the 2020-2021 NomCom
   Chair (who will maintain NomCom confidentiality) and publish a report
   on the results of the experiment.  Points to be considered are
   whether the experiment has produced a sufficiently large and diverse
   pool of individuals, whether enough of those individuals have
   volunteered to produce a representative NomCom with good knowledge of
   the IETF, and whether all the goals in Section 3 have been met.  If
   possible, a comparison with results from the previous procedure
   (i.e., RFC 8713) should be made.

   The IESG must then also begin a community discussion of whether to:

   1.  Amend [RFC8713] in time for the 2022-2023 NomCom cycle; or

   2.  Prolong the current experiment for a second and final year with
       additional clarifications specific to the 2022-2023 cycle; or

   3.  Run a different experiment for the next nominating cycle; or

   4.  Revert to [RFC8713].

   The IESG will announce the results of the consensus determination of
   this discussion in good time for the 2022-2023 NomCom cycle to

   In the event of prolongation of this experiment for a second year,
   the IESG will repeat the consultation, report, and community
   discussion process accordingly, but this document lapses at the end
   of the 2022-2023 NomCom cycle.

3.  Goals

   The goals of the modified and additional criteria are as follows:

   *  Mitigate the issue of active remote (or, rarely, in-person)
      participants being disenfranchised in the NomCom and recall

   *  Enable the selection of a 2021-2022 NomCom, and possibly a
      2022-2023 NomCom, when it is impossible for anyone to have
      attended 3 out of the last 5 IETF meetings in person.

   *  Prepare for an era in which face-to-face plenary meetings are less
      frequent (thus extending the issue to many, perhaps a majority, of

   *  Ensure that those eligible have enough current understanding of
      IETF practices and people to make informed decisions.

   *  Provide algorithmic criteria, so that the Secretariat can check
      them mechanically against available data.

4.  Criteria

   This experiment specifies several alternative paths to qualification,
   replacing the single criterion in Section 4.14 of [RFC8713].  Any one
   of the paths is sufficient, unless the person is otherwise
   disqualified under Section 4.15 of [RFC8713]:

   Path 1:  The person has registered for and attended 3 out of the last
      5 IETF meetings.  For meetings held entirely online, online
      registration and attendance count as attendance.  For the
      2021-2022 NomCom, the meetings concerned will be IETF 106, 107,
      108, 109, and 110.  Attendance is as determined by the record
      keeping of the Secretariat for in-person meetings and is based on
      being a registered person who logged in for at least one session
      of an online IETF meeting.

   Path 2:  The person has been a Working Group Chair or Secretary
      within the 3 years prior to the day the call for NomCom volunteers
      is sent to the community.

   Path 3:  The person has been a listed author or editor (on the front
      page) of at least two IETF Stream RFCs within the last 5 years
      prior to the day the call for NomCom volunteers is sent to the
      community.  An Internet-Draft that has been approved by the IESG
      and is in the RFC Editor queue counts the same as a published RFC,
      with the relevant date being the date the draft was added to the
      RFC Editor queue.  For avoidance of doubt, the 5-year timer
      extends back to the date 5 years before the date when the call for
      NomCom volunteers is sent to the community.


   *  Path 1 corresponds approximately to [RFC8713], modified as per

   *  Path 3 includes approved drafts, since some documents spend a long
      time in the RFC Editor's queue.

   *  Path 3 extends to 5 years because it commonly takes 3 or 4 years
      for new documents to be approved in the IETF Stream, so 3 years
      would be too short a sampling period.

   *  All the required data are available to the IETF Secretariat from
      meeting attendance records or the IETF Datatracker.

4.1.  Clarifying Detail

   Path 1 does not qualify people who register and attend face-to-face
   meetings remotely.  That is, it does not qualify remote attendees at
   IETF 106, because that meeting took place prior to any question of
   cancelling meetings.

   If the IESG prolongs this experiment for a second year, as allowed by
   Section 2, the IESG must also clarify how Path 1 applies to IETF 111,
   112, and 113.

5.  Omitted Criteria

   During community discussions of this document, certain criteria were
   rejected as not truly indicating effective IETF participation or as
   being unlikely to significantly expand the volunteer pool.  These
   included authorship of individual or Working-Group-adopted Internet-
   Drafts, sending email to IETF lists, reviewing drafts, acting as a
   BOF Chair, and acting in an external role for the IETF (liaisons,

   One path -- service in the IESG or IAB within the last 5 years -- was
   found to have no benefit, since historical data show that such people
   always appear to be qualified by another path.

   Since the criteria must be measurable by the Secretariat, no
   qualitative evaluation of an individual's contributions is

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

7.  Security Considerations

   This document should not affect the security of the Internet.

8.  Normative References

   [RFC3933]  Klensin, J. and S. Dawkins, "A Model for IETF Process
              Experiments", BCP 93, RFC 3933, DOI 10.17487/RFC3933,
              November 2004, <>.

   [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,

   [RFC8788]  Leiba, B., "Eligibility for the 2020-2021 Nominating
              Committee", BCP 10, RFC 8788, DOI 10.17487/RFC8788, May
              2020, <>.

Appendix A.  Available Data

   An analysis of how some of the above criteria would affect the number
   of NomCom-qualified participants if applied in August 2020 has been
   performed.  The results are presented below in Venn diagrams as
   Figures 1 through 4.  Note that the numbers shown differ slightly
   from manual counts due to database mismatches, and the results were
   not derived at the normal time of the year for NomCom formation.  The
   lists of remote attendees for IETF 107 and 108 were used, although
   not yet available on the IETF web site.

   A specific difficulty is that the databases involved inevitably
   contain a few inconsistencies, such as duplicate entries, differing
   versions of a person's name, and impersonal authors.  (For example,
   "IAB" qualifies under Path 3, and one actual volunteer artificially
   appears not to qualify.)  This underlines that automatically
   generated lists of eligible and qualified people will always require
   manual checking.

   The first two diagrams illustrate how the new paths (2 and 3) affect
   eligibility numbers compared to the meeting participation path (1).
   Figure 1 gives the raw numbers, and Figure 2 removes those
   disqualified according to RFC 8713.  The actual 2020 volunteer pool
   is shown too.

      People eligible via Path 1,
      3 of 5 meetings: 842
      |                      |
      |   379                |
      |          +-----------+----------------+
      |          |           |                | People eligible
      |          |   332     |     1104       | via Path 2
      |          |           |                | or Path 3:
      |   +------+-----------+-------+        | 1541
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   | 29   |  102      |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      +---+------+-----------+       |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      |       3           |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      +-------------------+--------+
          |                          |
          |            1             |
          |                          |
          2020 actual volunteers: 135

                Figure 1: All Paths, before Disqualification

      Qualified via Path 1,
      3 of 5 meetings: 806
      |                      |
      |   375                |
      |          +-----------+----------------+
      |          |           |                | Qualified
      |          |   300     |     1104       | via Path 2
      |          |           |                | or Path 3:
      |   +------+-----------+-------+        | 1509
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   | 29   |  102      |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      +---+------+-----------+       |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      |       3           |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      +-------------------+--------+
          |                          |
          |            1             |
          |                          |
          2020 actual volunteers: 135

                Figure 2: All Paths, after Disqualification

   Figures 3 and 4 illustrate how the new paths (2 and 3) interact with
   each other, also before and after disqualifications.  The discarded
   path via IESG and IAB service (Section 5) is also shown, as Path "I".
   The data clearly show that Path "I" has no practical value.

      People eligible via Path 2
      Total: 253
      |                      |
      |   46                 |
      |          +-----------+----------------+
      |          |           |                | People eligible
      |          |   176     |     1266       | via Path 3
      |          |           |                | Total:
      |   +------+-----------+-------+        | 1493
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   | 2    |  29       |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      +---+------+-----------+       |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      |       22          |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      +-------------------+--------+
          |                          |
          |            2             |
          |                          |
          People eligible via Path "I": 55

                Figure 3: New Paths, before Disqualification

      Qualified via Path 2
      Total: 234
      |                      |
      |   45                 |
      |          +-----------+----------------+
      |          |           |                | Qualified
      |          |   172     |     1264       | via Path 3
      |          |           |                | Total:
      |   +------+-----------+-------+        | 1463
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   | 1    |  16       |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      |   |      |           |       |        |
      +---+------+-----------+       |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      |       11          |        |
          |      |                   |        |
          |      +-------------------+--------+
          |                          |
          |            0             |
          |                          |
          Qualified via Path "I": 28

                Figure 4: New Paths, after Disqualification


   Useful comments were received from Abdussalam Baryun, Alissa Cooper,
   Lars Eggert, Adrian Farrel, Bron Gondwana, Russ Housley, Christian
   Huitema, Ben Kaduk, John Klensin, Victor Kuarsingh, Warren Kumari,
   Barry Leiba, Eric Rescorla, Michael Richardson, Rich Salz, Ines
   Robles, Martin Thomson, and Magnus Westerlund.

   The data analysis was mainly done by Robert Sparks.  Carsten Bormann
   showed how to represent Venn diagrams in ASCII art.

Authors' Addresses

   Brian E. Carpenter
   The University of Auckland
   School of Computer Science
   PB 92019
   Auckland 1142
   New Zealand


   Stephen Farrell
   Trinity College Dublin
   College Green