On Mar 7, 2008, at 3:21 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
Fully agree. In fact, given that the IAB expectations have been on
the web for >4 years, it's surprising this debate hasn't happened
One might argue that it has, and it's specifically what prompted
clarify - yet still ambiguous text regarding precisely what constitutes
'testimony' in RFC 3777.
My opinion: There's nothing in 3777 that limits the supporting
information that NomCom may provide to the confirming body,
although this would be clearer if section 5 point 14 included the
words "at least".
The confirming body is explicitly allowed to "communicate with
the nominating committee both to explain the reason why all the
candidates were not confirmed and to understand the nominating
committee's rationale for its candidates." What isn't quite clear
in this is whether this communication can be interim (i.e. "we need
to know more about X and Y before we can confirm them").
Rationally, that should be allowed.
And practically speaking, one would hope that communication
However, my feeling is that the IAB requirements listed since
2003 look more like second-guessing the NomCom than I believe
was intended by the consensus behind 3777. I don't want to
criticise the IAB for performing due diligence, or to suggest
that they can't be trusted with the confidential information,
but should they really be checking NomCom's every move? That
was not the practice up through 2002.
This all depends on ones definition of 'confirmation', which is
still clearly ambiguous according to RFC 3777 and interpretation
varies from NomCom to NomCom, confirming body to confirming
body, and year to year. What I can say as an individual having
participated on 4 recent NomComs (one as voting member, one as
chair, one as advisor, one as IAB liaison), is this..
1) Being a NomCom member is an incredible amount of work
2) Nothing is more frustrating than the integrity of the NomCom
being questioned, or for the NomCom to feel as though it's being
3) The role of the confirming body is, IMO, ambiguous, but it's
something I can assure you the IAB takes _very seriously, and
with good reason.
I consider the current process sufficiently flexible, although items
2 & 3 above tend to create tension, and less ambiguity in this area
would clearly be of benefit, in particular to the parties involved
on the NomCom or a confirming body.
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