Minutes of the sixth RIPE NCC Executive Board Meeting

Version: 1.1
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In attendance:

Keith Mitchell, Chairman (KM)
Wilfried Woeber, Secretary (WW)
Kees Neggers, Member (KN)
Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC manager (DK)
Frode Greisen, Member (FG)
Wim Vink, Treasurer (WV)

Invited guests (for those parts of the meeting indicated below):

Rob Blokzijl (RB)
Kees van Draanen (KvD)
Paul Rendek (PR)

Minutes: Caroline Mackie

1. Agenda
2. Approval of previous minutes / date of next meeting
3. New IANA / Governance
4. Public Relations
5. Hiring Policy
6. Operational & Financial Status
7. Activity Plan & Budget 1999
8. Charging Scheme & Fee Schedule 1999
9. Preparation AGM
10. AOB
11. Outstanding actions

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1. Agenda
The agenda was agreed as above. The RIPE chair, Rob Blokzijl, was
invited to attend the meeting for points 3 and 4.

FG expressed his dissatisfaction with the absence of briefing materials
well in advance of the meeting. DK apologised about this problem which
was caused by a large number of unforeseen demands on his time, both
work related and private. He promises to provide the papers as soon as
possible in advance for subsequent meetings.


2. Approval of previous minutes

The minutes of the 4th meeting on the 25th of May 1998 were approved. The minutes of the 5th meeting by telephone on the 12th of June were approved.

The next meeting will be held on October 15th after the AGM which is due to elect two board members as the terms WV and WW will expire in November 1998. A meeting schedule for 1999 will be agreed at that meeting.


3. New IANA / Governance

The board welcomed the note published by DK on "Internet Administration in the RIPE Area".

Developments regarding the new IANA were discussed. In particular it was noted that both the Berkman centre and the IFWP had cancelled their proposed meetings later in the month.

DK summarised the current (3rd) version of the new IANA bylaws proposed
by the current IANA. The board felt that these should be endorsed as
the basis for further development.

DK reminded the Board that at the 5th meeting he had brought up the
issue of the US$25k that we had made available to the University of Southern California in 1997. This was done when continued funding for the IANA by the US government for FY98 was not yet secured. While APNICand ARIN had committed to provide similar funds they had not actually made the money available. DK has received a request from the IANA to
use these funds for costs associated with the establishment of the new IANA. After discussion the board agrees to this use of the funds. DK will inform the IANA.

After discussion the board decides that a public statement shall be made
about the decisions so far. DK will draft the statement and publish it.
The board asks DK to explore whether this statement can be made together
with the other RIRs but not to delay too long. The statement should be
worded such that common statements with others such as the RIRs and
other European players can be made later when appropriate. The board
endorses the idea to join such multi-party statements if appropriate.

RB informs the board of the initiative of Dennis Jennings of UCD to draft a common statement. In this context the board discusses the issue of finding suitable persons to be new IANA 'At Large' board members. DK and RB stress that it is important to find suitable candidates.
After discussion the board agrees that the initial 'At Large' membersshould preferably not be people very closely involved with the current discussions but rather people with broader experience. All board members agree to keep looking for possible candidates and to keep discussing this. Public announcements about candidates were seen as not appropriate at this time.


4. PR Plan

DK introduces Paul Rendek (PR) who had joined the NCC a week earlier as
communications officer. DK briefly explains that the first task of Paul is to prepare a communications plan. This will detail what messages the RIPE NCC wants to communicate to the outside world. The initial plan is expected to focus on facts about the NCC, especially neutrality,self-regulation, legitimacy and professionalism. An important sub-goal is to get the distinctions between RIPE, RIPE NCC and RIPE CENTR more widely understood. DK will report to the board as this progresses and would be happy to hear suggestions from the Board. PR will circulate the first version of the plan before October 15th. If the Board has any feedback or suggestions they should feel free to contact
Paul directly.

KN mentioned that he still finds the difference between RIPE and RIPE
NCC rather confusing and is confused frequently and would like to see
this changed. KN mentioned that his organisation SURFnet still has
trouble communicating the difference between the different bodies using
the name SURF.

At this point Mr Blokzijl and Mr Rendek left the meeting and did not
return.


5. Hiring Policy

DK informs the Board about the recruitment problems RIPE-NCC has
recently been having. It has always been the aim to hire from all
countries of the RIPE area, i.e. all countries the RIPE NCC has
members. This is felt essential to maintain the neutrality and
impartiality required. At the moment there is a selection of twelve
different nationalities on the staff. However, in recent months we have
been experiencing more and more immigration difficulties when recruiting
staff from outside the EU. The authorities have increased theirscrutiny of applications for working permits for new staff from outside the EU. The whole process takes about four months which is very long.
Recently it has also been impossible to get a permit at all for one particular person. DK suggested that we now have two options:

1 - Enlist purely from the EU and therefore encounter no problems.
2 - Continue as we do at present, but begin the hiring process earlier than would otherwise have been necessary, leading to the possibility of slight overstaffing temporarily

DK advises option 2 in order to sustain the present procedure of hiring a staff of very varied nationalities. After discussion the board agrees to proceed in this manner.


6. Operational & Financial Status

The newly appointed financial controller Kees van Draanen (KvD) joined the meeting at this point and DK introduced him to the board.

DK informs the board that the NCC is operating normally. The number of
registration services opened tickets has passed the 1997 total in the month of August. Response time has remained within the acceptablelevels. Other activities are progressing normally with some engineering projects including database related ones suffering from the scarcity of IT personnel and services. DK is still in the process of obtaining Board Liability coverage. So far only one insurer willing to sell this to the RIPE NCC was found and progress with them was slow. DK will again look for others.

On financial matters DK thanks WV for a very fruitful meeting in thepreceeding week. P&L and cash flow figures were discussed. Operating expenditures are still lower than budgeted, mainly due to slower hiring than planned. The reasons for this are scarcity of IT personnel, immigration problems and the delay introduced by the re-structuring earlier in the year. The amount of outstanding invoices is reducing,
after initial operational measures. These measures will be continued.
After consultation with WV, DK proposes to take an additional provision of 456kECU covering all debts outstanding for more than 150 days. DK stresses that he will take comprehensive operational measures to recover all outstanding debts and he expects to recover most of them. As part of the operational measures DK expects to terminate service agreements with 125 members before the end of the year.

WV thanked KvD for the improvements in the presentation of the figures
and DK and the Board wholeheartedly agreed.


7. Activity Plan & Budget 1999

This was discussed in conjunction with point 8.


8. Charging Scheme & Fee Schedule 1999

DK presents the current drafts to the board. After thorough discussion of all aspects the board decides to postpone a decision about these points until DK provides a revised draft document. DK agrees to provide
this by Wednesday Sept 9th. See A-EB28. The board undertakes to come to a decision quickly after that.The target date for publication remains
Sept 14th.

WV agrees to contact RB on the issue of raising more income from the RIPE meetings in order to reduce the costs borne by the membership.

At this point KvD left the meeting.


9. Preparation AGM

KM reported about an e-mail from TERENA suggesting that an AGM in the first half of next year was legally required. DK stated that this had been clarified during the drafting of the statutes and wording was provided in article 14.2 to make this possible. DK will check this once more with the legal counsel.

DK reports that he will be preparing proper voting mechanisms. KN reminds him that the mechanisms must provide for anonymity in secret ballots.

No nominations for the Board seats up for election have been received.

DK reminded the Board that according to article 7.2 of the statutes the Board would have to seek candidates if there were less than three nominated by September 14th. The board agreed to have private e-mail
contacts about this issue.


10. AOB

DK informed the Board about proposals for his spending some time at
APNIC in Q4. Unfortunately for private reasons such a stay would have
to be shorter than originally intended. The board agreed in principle to a stay of 4-5 weeks on the understanding that DK remains in charge of the NCC and available to deal with any issues requiring his involvement.


11. Outstanding Actions

The actions were discussed and are marked 'done' where appropriate.

A-EB01: Ongoing

A-EB05: Ongoing

A-EB08: Open

A-EB09: Ongoing, KM will forward a copy when it is ready.

A-EB12/DK: to make a millennium plan. IN PR

A-EB13/DK: to prepare the agenda, including a motion to formally
postpone the 1999 AGM until after October 1999. To call the AGM on behalf of the Board. DONE

A-EB14/Board: The Board is asked to establish working relationship
and take up policy issues with the ARIN Board. The Board is asked
to explore possibilities of the RIPE NCC getting access to the proceedings of the ARIN advisory council for informational
purposes. DONE

A-EB15/DK: to organise the telephone conference on the governance
issues after receiving the White Paper on Internet governance. DONE

A-EB16/KM: to organise a meeting with Board members of other RIR's
during the INET conference in Geneva on the 22nd of July. DONE

A-EB17/DK: To define new payment authorisations and inform the board. DONE
A-EB18/DK: to define and implement accounts receivable procedures DONE

A-EB19/Board: to provide FR a short biography that can be placed
on website. DONE

A-EB20/DK: To list the advantages and disadvantages of having a
Statutorial Director. DONE

A-EB21/DK: To give a status report to the AGM at the meeting. OPEN


New actions from this meeting:

EB-6.1.1/DK: Ensure subsequent Board meetings have necessary papers
well in advance.

EB-6.3.1/DK: Inform IANA on use of '1997' funds.

EB-6.3.2/DK: Draft and publish statement on new IANA,
possibly together with other RIR's.

EB-6.3.3/Board: Find and discuss on candidates for 'At Large' new IANA
Board members.

EB-6.4.1/PR: To circulate the communications plan before Oct 15th.

EB-6.4.2/Board: The provide any feedback and communications ideas to PR.

EB-6.6.1/DK: Take out Board Liability policy.

EB-6.8.1/DK: Provide Board with revised draft budget.

EB-6.8.2/Board: Decide to agree on budget, if possible before Sept 14th.

EB-6.8.3/WV: Contact RB on issue of raising more income from RIPE
meetings in order to reduce the costs borne by the membership.

EB-6.9.1/DK: Contact legal counsel re article 14.2 of statutes (AGM
1st half of next year?)

EB-6.9.2/Board: Maintain contact with each other regarding candidates for
RIPE Board.