[rfc-i] [IAB] Alternate Proposal for RFC series management

Bernard Aboba bernard.aboba at gmail.com
Sat Jan 8 05:53:25 PST 2011

Bob Hinden said:

"This would be a big change to the IASA model. It would likely require
separate budgets for IASA (minus RFC editor work) and RFC editor work, with
separate submissions to the ISOC. We end up with two groups dealing with
contracts, budgets, reporting, etc. I think it would be simpler to keep the
contracts in the IAOC and make sure there is close coordination between the
groups, and let the RSOC focus on RFC policy."

[BA] I agree that this would be a change to the IASA model and would require
revision of BCP 101.  I also would question such a change is necessary, or
whether we can work with BCP 101, RFC 2850 and RFC 4844 as they currently
exist.   Those documents lay out a consistent view with respect to IAB and
IAOC responsibility for RFC Editor oversight.

For example, the IAB Charter (RFC 2850) states in Section 2:

   The IAB must approve the appointment of an organization to

   act as RFC Editor and the general policy followed by the RFC Editor.

RFC 4844 provides some additional detail about IAB responsibilities in
Section 3.2:

   In this model, the role of the IAB is to ensure that the RFC Series

   mission is being appropriately fulfilled for the whole community for

   which it was created.  The IAB does not, organizationally, have

   comprehensive publishing or editorial expertise.  Therefore, the role

   of the IAB as put forward in this document is focused on ensuring

   that principles are met, the appropriate bodies and communities are

   duly informed and consulted, and the RFC Editor has what it needs in

   order to execute on the material that is in their mandate.

   It is the responsibility of the IAB to approve the appointment of the

   RFC Editor and to approve the general policy followed by the RFC


With respect to the IAOC, BCP 101 (RFC 4071) Section 1 states:

   The IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) provides the

   administrative structure required to support the IETF standards

   process and to support the IETF's technical activities.  As of the

   time at which this document was written, this included the work of

   IETF working groups, the IESG, the IAB, and the IRTF.  Should the

   IETF standards process at some future date come to include other

   technical activities, the IAOC is responsible for developing plans to

   provide administrative support for them.  Such support includes, as

   appropriate, undertaking or contracting for the work described in

   [RFC3716], including IETF document and data management, IETF

   meetings, and any operational agreements or contracts with the RFC

   Editor and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).  The IASA

   is also ultimately responsible for the financial activities

   associated with IETF administrative support, such as collecting IETF

   meeting fees, paying invoices, managing budgets and financial

   accounts, and so forth.

Section 3.2 states:

   The IAOC's role is to provide appropriate direction to the IAD, to

   review the IAD's regular reports, and to oversee IASA functions to

   ensure that the administrative needs of the IETF community are being

   properly met.  The IAOC's mission is not to be engaged in the day-

   to-day administrative work of the IASA, but rather to provide

   appropriate direction, oversight, and approval.

RFC 4844 Section 3.3 states:

3.3.  Operational Oversight
   The IETF Administrative Support Activity (BCP 101
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp101>, [BCP101
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4844#ref-BCP101>]) was

   created to provide administrative support for the IETF, the IAB, and
   the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).  In its role of supporting
   the IAB, the IASA is tasked with providing the funding for and
   operational oversight of the RFC Editor.

   The IAOC (IETF Administrative Oversight Committee) is the oversight
   board of the IASA, and the IAD (IETF Administrative Director) is the
   chief actor for the IASA.

   The IAOC works with the IAB to identify suitable persons or entities

   to fulfill the mandate of the RFC Editor.

   The IAOC establishes appropriate contractual agreements with the
   selected persons or entities to carry out the work that will satisfy
   the technical publication requirements defined for the various RFC

   input streams (see Section 5.2
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4844#section-5.2>).  The IAOC may
define additional
   operational requirements and policies for management purposes to meet
   the requirements defined by the various communities.

   In accordance with BCP 101 <http://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp101>, the
IAOC provides oversight of the
   operation of the RFC Editor activity based on the established

Section 4.2.2 states:

4.2.2.  Operational Implementation   The RFC Editor is responsible for
ensuring that editing, processing,
   and publication of RFCs are carried out in a way that is consistent

   with the requirements laid out in the appropriate documents.  The RFC
   Editor works with the IASA to provide regular reporting and feedback
   on these operations.

Were the RSOC/REOC to be chartered as a sub-committee of the IAB, the IAB
could delegate authority provided to it under RFC 2850 and RFC 4844.
However, this would not provide the RSOC/REOC with authority that the IAB
doesn't already have (such as involvement with contracts which  BCP 101 and
RFC 4844 provides to the IAOC).
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