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Re: Thoughts on the nomcom process

2008-03-18 18:40:25
At 05:06 PM 3/17/2008, Lakshminath Dondeti wrote:

Thanks for your note.

Are you saying that there is text within 3777 that says that confirming bodies 
should not ask for verbatim feedback but could ask for verbatim questionnaire 

No.  There is no text in 3777 which prohibits the CBs from asking for anything 
they want.  There's also nothing in 3777 that requires the Nomcom to give it to 
the CB.  And there's nothing in 3777 that requires the CB to approve a 
candidate in the absence of information they consider essential.

Consider this: what if the next nomcom were to be asked to provide verbatim 
feedback by one of the confirming bodies, what should they do?  The supporting 
information that was cited from 3777 is very generic (with specific 
information provided later, if I may point out again) and so I don't see a 
reason why it cannot be cited in the context of that request.

Consider this:  What if the next Nomcom were to provide to the CB's ONLY the 
"brief statement for qualifications for the position" and testimony "as to how 
[the] candidate meets the qualifications" consisting of the single statement 
"The candidate has confirmed to the Nomcom that he meets all the qualifications 
and we believe him."?  [This is all required by 3777 section 5 para 14]

Both of these are outcomes are completely possible AND permitted within the 
meaning of 3777 but neither are within the spirit of 3777 or this process.  
Both are absurd and extreme readings of 3777.  

By verbatim feedback, I am assuming you mean comments by anyone on specific 
candidates?  (E.g. if I sent you a comment on say Russ Housley?)

The IAB at least clarified 5 years ago in the form of a written document its 
expectations for the information that would be provided to it by the Nomcom. 
I've see no evidence that this IAB asked for, or will ask for the "verbatim" 
information.  I can't predict what future IABs will do. I also can't predict 
what future Nomcom chairs will do.

For the nomcom process to work, a number of people in the community ought to 
believe in it sufficiently to volunteer their time and a larger number of 
people need to believe in it to provide feedback.

What am I hearing from my vantage point (having been a nomcom member for 3 out 
of the past 4 years) is what guides me to work on this; my goal is to maintain 
and if possible increase the level of confidence in the process.  When I ask 
for information, I provide assurances that the information is for nomcom's 
eyes only 

And that is not required to 3777 and may actually be harmful to the nominations 

(for instance, this was specifically the case when we interviewed people).  
3777 also says any dissemination of private information by the nomcom must be 
minimal.  So, I for one cannot just hand out private information without 
clearer text in 3777.

I finally figured out why there's so much disagreement over this.

3777 got an expanded Security Considerations section over 2727.  That's where 
you're getting the "minimal" language from.    This appeared in the first draft 
by Jim Galvin of 2727bis and I don't know what discussion if any there was over 
this section.  (The archives from that group appear to be off line right now). 

A couple of things:  Security Consideration sections tend to be Informative, 
not Normative.  This section I believe was basically a "use caution in handling 
confidential information" and "if you need to seek outside help, please share 
the minimum" cautionary tale.  If it had been meant to be Normative it would 
have been included in Section 3 subsection 6.

I believe (and I hope the archives will reflect this) that the addition of this 
section was never meant to reflect on intra-process communications.  I think it 
was written as it was (e.g. didn't mention the CBs) because the Nomcom (and 
ONLY the Nomcom) had hooks for external consultation - the "ask someone about a 
list" consultation and the "dispute" consultation and because Jim was getting 
heat over a too short security considerations section. 

Yet another thing to clean up in the next version....

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