Internet Architecture Board


Liaison Oversight Program

Note: The Liaison Oversight Program concluded in February 2021.


The IETF is best served if developments in other SDOs that may overlap, or conflict with, work in the IETF are noticed early and the leadership can make informed decisions about appropriate actions to further the IETF work in the context of developments within other SDOs. Equally, if work is being proposed in the IETF that may overlap with work in other SDOs, recognition and consideration of this by the IESG and IAB is necessary.

The Liaison Oversight Program focuses on the liaison relationships between the IETF and other SDOs, as well as IETF documents and processes relating to those liaison relationships. As with other Programs, the Liaison Oversight Program develops recommendations for consideration by the IAB, and the IAB retains its oversight responsibilities under RFC 2850.

Program Description

the Liaison Oversight Program:

  • Organizes reviews of the liaison relationships with specific SDOs;
  • Develops the framework for IAB management of liaison relationships;
  • Assists in the recruitment of liaison managers;
  • Reviews the requirements for IT systems relating to the handling of liaison statements;
  • Reviews the operational experience with documents relating to liaison management and recommends changes, where appropriate. Relevant documents include (but are not limited to) RFC 4052, 4053 and 4691.
  • Reviews the state of internal and external communication as well as conformance to transparency requirements;
  • Prepares specific recommendations at the request of the IAB.

The framework for IAB management of liaison relationships includes:

  • Development of processes, procedures and guidelines for liaison management;
  • Coordination of the handling of liaisons within the IETF/IAB;
  • Development of mechanisms to prevent inadvertent duplication of effort between the IETF and other SDOs without obstructing organizations from pursuing their own mandates;
  • Development of authoritative summaries of one organization’s dependencies on the other’s work.


IAB members:

  • Mark Nottingham (IAB Co-Lead)
  • Zhenbin Li (IAB Co-Lead)

Other members

  • Marc Blanchet
  • Scott Bradner
  • Ross Callon
  • Gonzalo Camarillo
  • Spencer Dawkins
  • Ralph Droms
  • Adrian Farrel
  • Joe Hildebrand
  • Russ Housley
  • Eliot Lear
  • Scott Mansfield
  • Thomas Narten
  • Dan Romascanu
  • Suzanne Woolf

Interaction with other Programs

The Liaison Oversight Program does not handle the liaison tasks itself; this function is performed by the liaison manager. However, the Liaison Oversight Program may develop recommendations relating to the relationship with specific SDOs, in cooperation with the IAB liaison shepherd and the liaison manager. The Liaison Oversight Program also may provide consistent information to the IAB regarding the relationship with other SDOs (e.g. periodic reports), and may make recommendations to the IAB.

In cases where the level of interaction or its intensity are high a separate effort will be created to handle this. At the time of writing, there is a program dedicated to ITU-T topics, – ITU-T Coordination Program. In addition, the relationships with Unicode and ISO/IEC JTC1 SC2 are covered by the Internationalization Program, and the relationship with the W3C is covered by the HTTP/Web Evolution Initiative.


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