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Regarding the ARIN Advisory Council and ARIN PDP (was: Re: Open Petition for ARIN-prop-266: BGP Hijacking is an ARIN Policy Violation)

On 26 Apr 2019, at 5:49 PM, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org> wrote:
> ...
> Not only that. I really think they have not invested enough time to read the proposal, check with the authors and then take a decision. We have got some email exchange, but clearly not sufficient. I also must state that the staff has been very helpful and diligent to clarify and support the petition process. Just the point is, should have never been needed, it exposes how bad (in my opinion) is the ARIN AC model.

Jordi - 

I have no views on the particular policy proposal or the petition action, but want to be clear regarding some of your characterizations of the ARIN Policy Development Process (ARIN PDP).  It is correct that the ARIN Advisory Council (a body elected by the ARIN membership) is in charge of administering the policy development process, including working with submitters to get their proposals accepted as draft policies and revising draft policies based on the community discussion. 

In general, policy proposals are discussed at length between the submitter and the assigned ARIN Advisory Council (ARIN AC) members, with the goal of making a clear and understandable statement of the problem in number resource policy that is to be addressed â?? as that is the required criteria for a Draft Policy.  Once a policy proposal has a clear problem statement, the ARIN AC accepts it as a Draft Policy and it is discussed (often at length) on the ARIN Public Policy Mailing List.   The ARIN AC works diligently with submitters to make sure that their proposals are clear and adopted as Draft Policies, and this occurs even when the assigned AC members donâ??t necessarily support the merits of the particular proposal.   The strength of the ARIN PDP process is that nearly anyone can submit an idea for changes to our number resource policy (even with no knowledge of ARIN's policy development process) and the ARIN AC becomes their advocate in getting a clear draft policy put before the community for discussion.   We have had policy proposals made by several segments of the Internet community that are not deeply involved in the RIR system or the network operator community, but have insight into specific problems in number resource policy that they were able to get addressed. 

There is an exception to this process, i.e. a case where the ARIN AC doesnâ??t work on a policy proposal, and it occurs with proposals which lie outside the scope of number resource policy.  The ARIN AC does make an initial determination of whether the policy proposal is within scope â?? the reason for such an evaluation is to make sure that the community doesnâ??t spend its time working on proposals which arenâ??t germane to how ARIN administers number resources, and I will note the overwhelming majority of policy proposals meet this criteria with ease.  Additionally, ARINâ??s Policy Development Process contains many â??checks and balancesâ?? to provide for the development of fair and impartial policy, and as you are aware, in the case of a policy proposal out of scope, there is a petition with a very low threshold (10 supporters) to provide for referral to ARINâ??s Board of Trustees for review and final determination.  Having the Board of Trustees handle such determinations makes perfect sense, as they are ultimately responsible for determining the scope of ARINâ??s mission. 

I understand that your policy proposal has been deemed out of scope, but Iâ??d like to point of that such events are a very rare occurrence, and do not reflect the circumstances that the vast majority of submitters face when working with the ARIN AC and the ARIN Policy Development Process.   You might not see the merits of the ARIN Advisory Council administration of ARINâ??s policy development process, but their efforts are almost universally in support of those submitting policy proposals, and the effectiveness of their advocacy demonstrated by the long line of clear, technically sound and useful policy changes in the ARIN region. 


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers