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Announcement: February 19, 2009 - Clarification of feedback requests

From: NomCom Chair <nomcom-chair@ietf.org>
To: IETF Announcement list <ietf-announce@ietf.org>
Date: February 19, 2009
Subject: Clarification of feedback requests


There have been several requests to the nominating committee to clarify
the outstanding feedback requests.  There is apparently confusion about
the names that some members of the community are presented when trying to
provide the feedback we have asked them to provide.

My apologies for the confusion.  Unfortunately, this is engendered by the
rules we are required to operate under.  The IETF rules for the nominating
committee require very strict confidentiality.  We are not permitted to
disclose the list of people who have volunteered for any position, nor the
list of people we are considering for any position.

However, the nominating committee clearly needs feedback from the
community on people we are considering.   Therefore, the following
compromise has been worked out, and was reviewed by the working group that
developed RFC 3777.
The nominating committee may solicit feedback from individuals in the
community.  In doing so, the nominating committee must use lists of people
that include at least some people who have not volunteered and are not
being considered, so as to preserve confidentiality.

Recently, a second call for feedback was sent out to some people in the
community.  This was done after the community provided significant and
helpful nominations to the committee.  Thank you for that.
The list of people provided for that request was neither complete nor
accurate.  That is, there are people being seriously considered for whom
we did not ask for feedback, and people on the list who did not volunteer
and are not being considered.   The reason for the omissions was two-fold.
   Firstly, we did not want to indicate what earlier people were still
under consideration.  Secondly, the committee's primary concern was to get
feedback on individuals about whom we did not have enough information from
the community.  Remember that the purpose of the feedback request is not
to judge popularity, but to get concrete feedback about the nominees
abilities and performance in various roles.

To complete the confusion, it should be noted that the tool used for
feedback will never ask a person for feedback about themselves (there are
other ways to provide that.)  So if you are asked for feedback and do not
see your name where you expect it, that does not tell you anything.  You
will not see your own name.

Thank you,
Joel M. Halpern
IETF 2008 / 2009 Nominating Committee Chair

PS: In my final report, I will include the observation that the current
confidentiality rules are both confusing for the community and difficult
for the committee.  These rules create confusion and extra work for those
providing feedback.  They create extra work for the committee, and inhibit
our ability to get the feedback we need.