Minutes

 

Scribes: Rob Allen, Sabine Mader

1. Welcome, Preliminaries
2. Report from the RIPE NCC
3. Financial and Administration Update
a. Financial Status Q2 / 2004 and Outlook
b. Contract Resigning
4. Report from the Executive Board
5. Overview of RIPE NCC Activity Planning Support Document
6. Draft Budget
7. Charging Scheme 2005
8. Close

1. Welcome, Preliminaries

Kees Neggers, RIPE NCC Executive Board Chair, opened the meeting at 14:02.
He welcomed the attendees

2. Report from the RIPE NCC

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE NCC, presented the operational report from the RIPE NCC.

The Chair asked for questions.
There were none.

3. Financial and Administration Update

Jochem de Ruig, Chief Financial Officer of the RIPE NCC, presented the Financial and Administration Update.

The Chair asked for questions.
There were none.

4. Report from the Executive Board

Kees Neggers, RIPE NCC Executive Board Chair, presented the report from the Executive Board.

The report included current and future focus of Executive Board act

Kees handed over to Frode Greisen, ICANN Liaison on the RIPE NCC Executive Board, to give a report on what has been happening with ICANN and the RIRs.

Frode commented that ICANN has been more involved in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) than the RIPE NCC. He noted that the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and ICANN have signed a letter of intent to show they agree on a new framework for the Address Supporting Organization (ASO). He noted that this framework is yet to be signed but that the Executive Boards of the Regional Internet Registries are keen to finalise this and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICANN. He added that the RIRs have agreed with ICANN that this MoU is signed at the ARIN meeting in October 2004. He noted that were still some minor comments for change to the MoU that need to be considered.

Frode then discussed the qualitative framework for the delegation of addresses from IANA to the RIRs. He noted that the RIRs have tried to make this process as mechanistic as possible. He added that the allocation of addresses from IANA to the RIRs should happen automatically when certain definite and objective criteria are met. He noted that there is agreement on these criteria but that the discussion on a service contract for this has stalled since it began four years ago.

Frode asked for questions.
There were none.

5. Overview of RIPE NCC Activity Planning Support Document

Kees Neggers noted that under the new RIPE NCC statutes, the RIPE NCC Executive Board is responsible for approving the RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget. He stated that under the previous RIPE NCC statutes it was impossible to incorporate the feedback received from a General Meeting into the RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget, but that the new statues made this possible.

He called for member input on the RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget. He added that he expected the RIPE NCC Executive Board to finalise the RIPE NCC Activity Plan and Budget at a Board Meeting in the middle of November 2004.

The Activity Planning Support Document was presented by Axel Pawlik.

The Chair asked for questions.

Q: Lajos Balint asked about the reference to capital expenses of telecom equipment in relation to the RIPE NCC Member Service Desk activities.

A: Axel replied that the RIPE NCC wanted to use more Internet-based communication (such as Voice Over Internet Protocol) for the RIPE NCC Member Service Desk. He added that the RIPE NCC was investigating how to plug this into the rest of its infrastructure. He noted that the RIPE NCC was planning to purchase a telephone switch to enable this. He added that this would benefit the RIPE NCC as a whole.

Q: Lajos Balint asked about the reference to hiring an international consultancy to help with external relations and why this was necessary.

A: Axel replied that the RIPE NCC has hired an international consultancy to update the RIPE NCC Management on a fortnightly basis on the latest developments relevant to the RIPE NCC's external relations efforts. He added that the reports sent by the international consultancy highlight documents and conferences that the RIPE NCC should investigate.

Comment: Lajos Balint noted that the hostcount statistics used to provide a very important indicator of what was happening. He stated that currently the hostcount statistics are not as useful as they used to be. He added that he welcomed the suggested review of the hostcount statistics.

Comment: Lajos Balint stated that in the RIPE NCC Activity Planning Support Document, there are phrases about improving the quality of data and documents. He added that there also references to making the RIPE NCC an increasingly trusted partner. He commented that this type of text implies that the RIPE NCC does not currently have reliable data, has not got good documentation and is not a trusted partner. He noted that, if this is true, the RIPE NCC should explain why this is the case. He stated that if this is not true, then the RIPE NCC should change the way it formulates this type of text.

Comment: Lajos Balint noted that people get frustrated when they have to answer too many questions on a questionnaire. He suggested that the RIPE NCC keep their
Membership Survey 2005 as simple as possible.

6. Draft Budget

Jochem de Ruig, Chief Financial Officer of the RIPE NCC, presented the draft RIPE NCC budget for 2005.

The Chair asked for questions.

Comment: Mike Hughes noted that it would be useful to see the cost for RIPE NCC Regional Meetings broken out as a separate line in the budget.

Q: Lajos Balint noted that a positive balance is very important for the RIPE NCC reserves. He added that in the last two years the surplus was higher than budgeted.
He asked whether it would be possible to rethink the budget figures in view of this year's foreseeable surplus and the results of the last two years, and whether this could lead to adjustments and reductions in the Charging Scheme. He asked whether the RIPE NCC still needs a EUR 2.5 million positive balance as far as the reserves are concerned, or whether EUR 0.5 million would be enough.

A: Kees Neggers replied that this is a question that the Executive Board should answer, as the Board instruct the RIPE NCC to plan the budget based on certain assumptions the Board provide.

Kees noted that it is very difficult to make predictions due to fluctuations in RIPE NCC membership. He used the unexpected decrease of members in 2002 as an example of the difficulty in predicting increases and decreases in RIPE NCC membership. He noted that earlier in 2004 the RIPE NCC tried to get a better view of the situation by asking for members' input on predicted membership figures. He added that it was already possible to see some variations between the predictions and the actual membership figures.

He stated that this unpredictability creates a need to build a buffer into the RIPE NCC budget. He added that the RIPE NCC Executive Board consider a sufficient buffer to be equivalent to about one year of RIPE NCC operating expenses. He stated that this was why they aimed for reserves that were equal to one year of RIPE NCC operating expenses. He noted that this would not be done in the course of only one year, and that the plan was to reach this level over a number of years. He added that if the reserves reached this level in the next few years, it is possible that the Executive Board would consider presenting a budget that aimed for a deficit.

Kees stated that the Executive Board put pressure on Axel to be as efficient and conservative with RIPE NCC expenditures as possible. He noted that since the operational loss in 2002 (which was due to membership decline), Axel has remained within the same expenditure levels. With the membership increasing, the Executive Board thought it appropriate to allow Axel some breathing room with RIPE NCC operating expenses.

Comment: Lajos Balint stated that it would be good if the RIPE NCC Management and Executive Board could prepare an analysis of the financial situation. He added that this should include the status of the reserves, the impact of the positive surplus in the last three years and how this fits in with the planning for charging over the next few years.

Kees noted that at RIPE 49 there had been discussions about finding a more appropriate slot for the RIPE NCC General Meeting in the RIPE Meeting week. He added that the purpose was to make it as easy as possible for people to attend the General Meeting.

Kees noted that if the slot for the RIPE NCC General Meeting was combined with the slot for the RIPE NCC Services Working Group, the RIPE NCC presentations would only need to be shown once. He added that under the current scheme most of these presentations are shown first in the RIPE NCC Services Working Group and then repeated at the RIPE NCC General Meeting.

Kees added that if the RIPE NCC General Meeting was moved in this way, it would be possible to allow anyone to attend. He stated that only RIPE NCC members would be entitled to vote by using voting cards.

Kees asked Rob Blokzijl, RIPE Chair, to comment on this.

Comment: Rob Blokzijl stated that the RIPE 49 Meeting Plan gave an example of how this idea could be implemented. He noted that the opening of the plenary followed by the RIPE NCC Services Working Group took place on Tuesday afternoon. He added that there were no sessions running in parallel with this. He stated that a session such as this one could be used to give presentations from the RIPE NCC, after which the discussions for the RIPE NCC General Meeting could take place. He added that this would minimise the doubling of presentations.

The Chair asked who was in favour of moving the RIPE NCC General Meeting as discussed.

A show of hands indicated all were in favour, with the exception of Frode Greisen. Frode had a minor comment, but did not object to moving the RIPE NCC General Meeting.

The Chair asked Axel to work out the details of this with the RIPE Chair.

7. Charging Scheme 2005

Jochem de Ruig, Chief Financial Officer of the RIPE NCC, presented the proposal for the RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2005.

The Chair asked for questions.

Q: James Blessing asked if the RIPE NCC already had the boundary scores.

A: Jochem replied that first the General Meeting had to approve the Charging Scheme, and then the RIPE NCC would run the billing score algorithm to determine each member's billing score.

Comment: Daniel Karrenberg noted that the RIPE NCC was unable to tell members the boundary scores at this General Meeting because these boundary scores are determined when the algorithm is run, and that this had not yet happened.

Q: Dave Wilson asked if a LIR was given a /35 for IPv6 in 2001, and this was upgraded to a /32 in 2004, how would this be counted in the billing score.

A: Jochem replied that the RIPE NCC uses the information taken from the RIPE NCC registration files. When the RIPE NCC has determined the members' billing scores, each member is sent their billing score by e-mail.

Q: James Blessing asked whether the Charging Scheme states that the older an assignment the greater its value in the billing score.

A: Jochem clarified this, and stated that the Charging Scheme states that the older the assignment, the less its value in the billing score.

Kees noted that the size of the billing score and the cumulative percentage of all the members' scores is what decides which billing category a member is given.

Kees suggested that the members vote on the Charging Scheme by acclamation.

The formal resolution:
"The General Meeting adopts the Charging Scheme 2005 proposal.”

The resolution was unanimously accepted with no abstentions.

8. Close

The Chair asked if there were any further comments.

Comment: Marco Hogewoning noted that he did not think it was ever desirable to target for a loss in a budget. He added that he thought it was better to aim, at the least, to break even.

Kees responded that this comment had been noted.

The Chair thanked the members and closed the meeting at 15:30.