I know that when 3777 was being written, the question of what the
confirming bodies should do was discussed. No clear answer was available.
However, my perception of what happened included rulting out two
1) The confirming bodies are not supposed to be a rubber stamp. They
are supposed to apply judgment, and actually review the nominations
(including, but not limited to, the process.)
2) Equally, the confirming bodies are not supposed to repeat the
nominating committees activities. Whatever the confirmation is, it is
NOT asking "is this the answer the confirming body would come up with."
There is a line to be walked balancing the various interests.
I am aware that by the nature of this process, those of us outside do
not have enough information to really judge what has happened.
Unfortunately, it is those of us outside who have to decide if the
current rules work, or if different rules should be applied.
Mike, whatever your personal opinion, based on the public information
many people have concluded in good faith that something went wrong.
Asserting that the problems are FUD does not help anyone resolve this.
At the same time, for all the concerns (some of which I share) it is
quite clear to me that the IAB was acting in good faith. They were
trying their best to do what we had asked, namely to perform meaningful
review of the slate they were handed.
I have my doubts about the utility of actually re-opening 3777. For one
thing, I don't actually think we are in a better position to actually
write a definition of the confirmation process. And while I would like
to make candidate names public at a suitable point in the process, I
lost that argument last time and do not see that much has changed to
justify re-opening it. (We usually insist that folks can not revisit a
WG decision without an indication of change.)
On the other hand, making clear what parts of the questionnaire may be
shared with the confirming bodies seems like a very good idea. I know
that I would have been very surprised if someone said that the IAB was
going to see the questionnaires in full. While I have heard the
argument that the nomcom can extend the confidentiality umbrella as far
as they want, it seems to me that extending it that far would be a mistake.
Joel M. Halpern
Michael StJohns wrote:
At 07:18 PM 3/16/2008, Dave Crocker wrote:
unsure how the confirming body confirms the candidate without also being
apprised of this information.
This seems to go to the heart of a long-standing dilemma in the IETF:
Is it the job of a reviewing body to pre-empt lengthy and diligent work
is it the job of a reviewing body to the work was done diligently and
I think you're missing a "decide if" before "the work" in the second line?
I think this is kind of a slanted (sorry) statement of the problem. I'd put
it more like:
"Is it the job of the reviewing body to make an independent decision on the
candidates suitability, or is it the only job of the reviewing body to
protect the process irrespective of the actual nominations?"
These are very different jobs.
Whether Nomcom or a working group, a decision process over a long period of
represents extensive research, deliberation, and balancing among trade-offs.
This is something that simply cannot be replicated by another person or body
spending a few days or even weeks on "review".
The Nomcom has to winnow through a pile of candidates, discussion, gathering
information, discarding and ultimately selecting the one person (or for IAB
group of persons) that it is recommending for selection. That takes lots of
time and effort.
Taking the information which applies only to those candidates, reviewing it,
and making a decision, hopefully takes less time given the appropriate
Put another way, the Nomcom is a search committee, but the hiring authority
resides in the confirming bodies.
If they are not replicating the decision process, they are doing something
The rest of this message is sort of ignoring the whole "winnowing" process
done by the Nomcom. The CBs don't repeat that, they can only act on the
candidates provided to them. The CBs provide a check and balance, not the
Since I mostly don't agree with the premise the reviewing bodies are
"repeating" the Nomcom's job if they consider candidates qualifications, I
don't really have comments on the rest of the message.
As long as we have no consensus about the nature of the job to be done by a
reviewing body, we are going to suffer with its thinking can can reasonably
second-guess primary bodies.
And on this we agree.
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