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Interim Working Group Chair Meeting Summary

22 January 2021


Angela Dall’Ara, Ignas Bagdonas, Erik Bais, Sandoche Balakrichenan, Nina Bargisen, Fergal Cunningham, João Damas, Gert Döring, Ondřej Filip, Antony Gollan, Will van Gulik, Raymond Jetten, Shane Kerr, Florence Lavroff (for the first half hour), Remco van Mook, Brian Nisbet, Niall O’Reilly, Brian Trammell, Denis Walker, Martin Winter, Alireza Vaziri.

Chair (and Scribe): Mirjam Kühne

1. Agenda Bashing

There were no additions or changes to the agenda.

2. PDP Appeal Review Document

There were no concerns with any of the recommendations in the document and it was agreed this would be shared with the community as a draft RIPE Document.

3. PDP History Document

The chairs thanked Niall O’Reilly for his work in documenting this background information. It was agreed that this would be shared with the community as a draft RIPE Document.

The chairs discussed the fact that there was no documented process for changing the PDP. There was no support for creating a complex process for this. Using the PDP to change the PDP also seemed complicated. In the past, changes had also been agreed on the mailing list and/or by the RIPE Meeting plenary. The chairs thought this should be documented along the lines of: “The PDP document is owned by the community. Changes to the PDP are discussed on RIPE List. After consensus is reached, changes are made to the PDP and a new RIPE Document is published. The RIPE Chair is the final arbiter of this process.” This will be included in the list of recommendations in the document discussed above.

4. Policy Development and Discussion

There was general agreement that clear problem statements would be helpful before a formal policy proposal was submitted. This was initially the purpose of the Discussion Phase, but this had changed over time and is now part of the formal PDP. It was suggested that an informal step be introduced before the formal process began. There was some concern that this could create more work for WG chairs. However, the RIPE NCC Policy Officer can support both the proposer and the WG chairs.

The chairs also discussed whether anonymous policy submissions should be allowed. While there was generally little support for anonymous submissions, it was recognised that a proposer might decide to channel a problem statement through the chairs of a WG before a formal proposal was submitted. A proposer could also team up with other community members to test the waters. In this context, it was noted that at the end of the Discussion Phase, the proposer and the WG chairs decided together whether a proposal should advance to the next phase.

Regarding the relatively low number of community members who regularly participated in policy discussions, this was not seen as a big problem. It was noted that the process was transparent and open to participation if people felt the need. The bar to send an email to a mailing list (or a WG chair) was very low. Having all policy discussions on one mailing list probably wouldn’t increase participation. As long as people didn’t try to push policies through multiple WGs, the current approach was fine (announce new proposals on the Policy Announce mailing list, with discussions taking place on the relevant WG list). While the process might not be perfect, it worked well overall.

However, the chairs agreed that the PDP and policy discussions could be promoted better within the wider community.

5. AOB

5.1. RIPE 82 Meeting Plan

The current plan showed very long meeting days and another day had been added. It was asked whether they should consider spreading the meeting over multiple weeks or if they really needed 90-minute slots. If slots were not filled, the breaks would be longer. It was noted that it was hard to know in advance how many slots would be needed.

WG chairs were encouraged to start thinking about their agenda and to plan ahead in terms of how much time they would need.

5.2. Adding Trainee Chairs to Mailing List

Erik asked if the two "trainee" Address Policy WG chairs could be added to the WG chairs mailing list (as observers only). There were no objections.

5.3. Next Meeting

The group agreed to schedule another call in a few weeks to review the status regarding changes to the PDP.