[rfc-i] Who decides on the contracts

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Tue Jan 4 12:26:58 PST 2011

On 2011-01-05 09:04, 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. 

I believe you are correct that there is a logical gap. Under BCP 101,
only the IASA can sign contracts, so it looks like they win. However,
don't overlook that in any case the IAB is chartered to approve the
"organization to act as RFC Editor", so there are really three parties
involved. Presumably the IAB would have to act as tiebreaker.

Perhaps this should be said explicitly; hopefully it will never need
to be invoked.


> 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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