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Re: New RIPE NCC Structure

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  • From: Paul Ridley < >
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 23:13:44 +0200
  • Organization: RIPE NCC
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Dear Contributors,

As I wrote in my last mail to you.

* During the revision process it became apparent that a question mark
* hung over the distribution of responsibility versus influence, of
* Executive Board members, in regards to day-to-day NCC operational
* decisions. This is of most importance when the decisions are
* regarding an individual ISP. The authors of the revised document
* therefore, before they publish the revision, want to put various
* options for that distribution for your comment. Which ever option
* gets most consensus will be adopted.

Why is the question of distribution of responsibility versus influence,
NCC Executive Board members sensitive? It is sensitive because within
this balancing act of responsibility versus influence two potentially
conflicting aspects face each other.

Firstly as an Executive Board member one is responsible for the
of the RIPE NCC and therefore can be held liable, and to a certain
degree even
legally liable, for any actions it may take. The legal liability is
applicable if the Executive Board members have governed or let the
organisation be managed in an irresponsible or uncontrolled manner.
Therefore an EB member may rightly say that he wants to have insight and
control over operational matters so that he cannot be accused of
irresponsible governance should a problem occur.

On the other hand however there is the importance of impartiality, and
confidentiality of NCC operational matters. In order to be a credible
Regional Registry the NCC cannot favour any one local IR and must hold
all confidential
information that it has regarding individual ISP's, strictly
If an EB member would have full insight and control over NCC operations
then the credibility of the NCC's impartiality and confidentiality might
be endangered. This would be the case if an individual EB member who is
the same time employed by or has an interest in an individual ISP, would
have an unfair information and influence position over the competitors
of that ISP.

There are many ways that this situation can be resolved but we will
three before you. We personally believe the second option to be the most
responsible to all parties. However, we will have to take legal advice
see in how far it is possible to implement this option.

The EB members are given full powers of insight into NCC operational
matters and have the right to influence any decision made. In this
way the EB members can prevent or overrule any wrong decision made by
NCC management and have full control over decisions that they could be
accountable for.(In the case of this option having been chosen, the
General Assembly of the new RIPE NCC association may or may not decide
to appoint as members of the Executive Board only people without a
direct interest in an
individual ISP, in order to prevent the undesirable situation explained

The EB members have no powers of insight into NCC operational matters
and do not have the right to influence any decision made. However to
ensure responsible governance they should guarantee that a full
procedure is in place. This arbitration procedure should be agreed to by
the GA and be a part of the service agreement.

For example the first level of appeal to a decision would be to the NCC
General manager and after him to a pre-chosen arbitration panel. This
panel would be picked by the GA and may include GA members, members of
IANA etc.
The EB members would not at any time be a part of the arbitration
but would ensure that the proceedings are conducted in a responsible

This option as well as allowing the EB to exercise responsible
guarantees the neutrality and confidentiality of the NCC. The
would only be broken by the aggrieved party itself when seeking
and the arbitration panel (picked by the GA members) would ensure that
the NCC
acted in a neutral manner.

The EB members have no powers of insight into NCC operational matters
do not have the right to influence any decision made. By keeping the EB
members outside of all operational aspects the risk of them having undue
insight and influence is removed.

This option may however not be conducive to responsible governance.

Please pass your comments back via this list.


Paul Ridley

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