[rfc-i] Who decides on the contracts

Glenn Kowack Glenn at RiverOnce.com
Tue Jan 4 12:35:01 PST 2011


Paul, et al,
    you highlights a very important question: how can issues be resolved when the RSE and IAOC may have different
perspectives and interests and still must come to agreement?

Let's recall that both the RSE and IAOC have different responsibilities and professional expertise. In the case of the RSE, it is editing, publications, and management of the Editor and the series. In the case of the IAOC, it is contracts administration, legal, and finance.  Each must make sure the "big picture" of their area makes sense.  For decisions to be sound, the expertise of each much be exercised.  Having them work as peers forces (yes, forces) them to serve both sets of requirements, and neither of them neglected or arbitrarily overridden.

If the RSE and IAOC cannot agree, they can and should take the issue to the IAB, who will have final authority.  In some cases, it will be legitimate that the IAB's input and authority will be required.  In other cases, the IAB will, however, tell the RSE and the IAOC: "OK -Go do X.  However, you didn't need to bother us with this issue. Next time, you should figure it out together.  Please don't waste our time."  The REOC (oversight committee) will also in the loop and should reinforce cooperation at all times, and consultation with the IAB as necessary.

This is resoundingly analogous to the sort of structure found in a large proportion of organizations, large and small, profit and non-profit: line managers (VPs, Directors, etc) work in tandem with financial experts (CFOs (Chief Financial Officers), Departmental Finance Managers, etc) to agree on all plans.  It is time-tested, effective, and efficient.  It also *demands* cooperation.  I see no reason why this should not be optimal in the context of the I*, the RFC Editor, the RSE, and the IAOC.

thanks,
Glenn
___



On Jan 4, 2011, at 3:04 PM, Paul Hoffman wrote:

> Greetings again. The model-v2-overview-00 and v2-motivations-00 drafts specify how the Production Center and Publisher contracts are reviewed and re-issued. The overview draft says:
>   RFC Publisher and RFC Production Center contractors are recommended
>   by the Series Editor and IAOC after an open RFP process, and approved
>   by the IAB.
> The motivations draft says:
>   [I-D.v2-overview] does not call for any change in the chartered
>   responsibilities of the IAOC.  It does explicitly propose to have the
>   RSE (as the resident editorial and publications expert) join the IAOC
>   when it is reviewing contractor performance, re-issuing of contracts,
>   preparing requests for proposals, and reviewing bids.
> 
> The use of the words "and" and "join" make it sound like the two bodies (the RSE and the IAOC) will have equal weight in the decision and/or will have to come to the same conclusion. However, the two bodies have very different motivations and therefore could easily disagree. For instance, the RSE could want to renew a contract in order to make his life easier while the IAOC might want to bring in a bidder who was less expensive and lower cost; conversely, the RSE might want to get rid of the current contractor because of friction and the IAOC might want to renew that contract because they feel the other bidders cannot perform as well as they say they will.
> 
> It is inappropriate to have two bodies with very different motivations "join" to make such contract decisions. The model should choose one or the other to be the deciding body. Both choices are viable under different assumptions (the "strong manager" vs. the "series administrator" roles), but a specification that they must agree can easily lead to a deadlock that would have a very negative effect on the publication of RFCs.
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