Internet Architecture Board

RFC2850

RSOC Procedures

Abstract

This note documents a set of procedures for the RSOC. In its present form, it is a living document.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Membership of the RSOC
2.1. Standing members

2.2. Liaisons
2.3. RFC Series Editor (RSE)

2.4. Chair
2.4.1. Chair Selection

2.4.2. Duties of the Chair
3. Process and decision-making

4. Meetings
5. The RSOC, the RSE, and other RFC Editor functional bodies
5.1. RSE selection and hiring
5.2. Direct oversight of the RSE on an ongoing basis
5.3. Removing the RSE

5.4. Statements of Work and Budget for the RFC Editor function
5.5. RSE performance evaluation and measurement

6. Other specific RSOC responsibilities (from RFC 6635)

6.1. The RSE and Community Input
7. References
7.1. Normative References
7.2. Informative References
Appendix A. Change Log

1. Introduction

The RFC Editor Model [RFC6635] [RFC5620] and correlated Independent
Submission Editor Model [RFC6548] discuss the management of the
process of editing and publishing RFCs. In part, they specify an
oversight committee as a program of the Internet Architecture Board
(IAB), working with the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee
(IAOC) as the contractual and financial authority. They go on to
specify that the RFC Series Oversight Committee (RSOC) should
document its procedures in a place available for community review and
comment. This is that set of documented procedures.

The document falls into 6 sections:

  1. Membership, Section 2
  2. Process and decision-making, Section 3
  3. Meetings, Section 4
  4. The RSOC, the RSE, and other RFC Editor functional bodies, Section 5
  5. Other specific RSOC responsibilities (from [RFC6635]), Section 6

2. Membership of the RSOC

2.1. Standing members

The standing members of the RSOC are appointed by the IAB and serve
at its pleasure, using mechanisms as they may determine them from
time to time. The IAB currently includes one or more of its voting
members as appointed members of the RSOC. Standing members
participate in RSOC decisions.

There are no restrictions on sitting members of the IESG, IAOC, or
other relevant bodies being appointed as standing members of the
RSOC.

The IAB defines procedures as needed for setting the size of the RSOC
membership, removing members, identifying and filling vacancies, and
approving new liaison categories.

2.2. Liaisons

The RSOC also includes liaisons as needed, including the liaison
appointed by the IAOC (as provided for in [RFC6635]).

Liaisons participate in discussion but not decisions. They may, if
deemed necessary by the standing members, be excluded individually or
as a group from sensitive discussions such as those involving
personnel matters.

2.3. RFC Series Editor (RSE)

The RSE is expected to participate in normal RSOC meetings,
discussions, and on the mailing list.

The RSE participates in discussion but not decisions, and may, if
deemed necessary by the standing members, be excluded from sensitive
discussions such as those involving personnel matters.

2.4. Chair

The RSOC selects a chair from among its standing members to preside
over meetings and to take other actions as required by the RSOC.
Appointment as chair does not reduce or change any of the other
responsibilities and privileges of RSOC membership.

2.4.1. Chair Selection

The chair is selected by consensus among the RSOC’s standing members
and serves at the pleasure of that membership. The chair may resign
from being chair at any time, with or without announcing a reason, by
reasonable notice to the RSOC membership.

The term of office of the chair is one year. There is no limit on
the number of terms, consecutive or otherwise, a chair may serve.

2.4.2. Duties of the Chair

The duties of the chair include, but are not limited to:

  1. The standard duties of the chair of any body, in the context of
    the RSOC:

    1. Manage the agenda for RSOC calls and retreats in conjunction
      with the RSE,
    2. b. Facilitate discussion of topics the RSOC is working on
    3. When appropriate and supported by RSOC consensus, create sub-
      teams for specific deliverables
    4. When absent from a meeting, designate a meeting chair.
  2. Provide direct input and assistance to the RSE as needed
  3. Lead the effort to write the RSE’s annual performance review and
    having the RSOC approve it
  4. Manage RSOC communications with the IAB:
    1. Periodic reporting to the IAB as requested
    2. Prepare and deliver RSOC recommendations to IAB
  5. Manage RSOC communications with the IAOC:
    1. Prepare and deliver RSOC recommendations to the IAOC, such as
      to change the SOW.

This does not include RSE discussions with the IAOC, although the
RSOC should be aware of them and their contents, at least after
the fact.

3. Process and decision-making

Decisions are made by discussion and consensus whenever possible.
“Consensus”, here and throughout this document, refers to the IETF
concept of “Rough Consensus”. Ideally, we seek general agreement,
and when we cannot achieve that, seek a state in which all voice have
been heard, and the minority that disagrees with a decision or
viewpoint regard the majority view as acceptable.

When consensus cannot be achieved on a particular matter, and a
decision is needed, then a vote may be taken. It requires a majority
of the standing RSOC membership voting affirmatively to make a
decision in such a case.

4. Meetings

The RSOC meets on a schedule that is sufficient for oversight and
adequate handing of whatever issues are on its agenda. That schedule
is likely to include (but is not restricted to):

  • conference calls at approximately monthly intervals.
  • other conference calls as needed.
  • face to face meetings when consensus of the RSOC calls for them;
    these may include meetings at IETF venues, retreats, or other
    meetings.

In addition to its meetings, the RSOC maintains a mailing list for
internal discussions and accomplishes business using that list
whenever possible.

Decisions and other items and discussions of note are recorded and
announced as appropriate or as directed by the IAB. Meeting minutes
shall be posted online within 45 days of the meeting.

5. The RSOC, the RSE, and other RFC Editor functional bodies

The RSOC oversees the RFC Series and the RSE. It also approves
consensus policy and vision documents as developed by the RSE in
collaboration with the Community, and advises the IAB on RSE hiring,
firing and performance.

5.1. RSE selection and hiring

When it is necessary to recruit, select, and hire an RSE, the RSOC
designs and oversees the process with the advice and consent of the
IAB. That said, the IAB formally selects the RSE; the RSOC, having
conducted a search and arrived at its own conclusions, makes a
recommendation to them. As the RSOC and IAB consider appropriate and
consistent with the provisions of [RFC6635], it includes:

  • When it is necessary to recruit, select, and hire an RSE, the RSOC
    designs and oversees the process with the advice and consent of
    the IAB.
  • preliminary job description (developed with IAOC advice) for use
    in the search process and, once a tentative appointment is made, a
    final one negotiated with the prospective RSE with the
    participation by IAOC or its designates as appropriate.
  • The actual contract is negotiated by the IAOC.

5.2. Direct oversight of the RSE on an ongoing basis

As noted in Section 4, the RSOC meets regularly with the RSE to
discuss matters of importance either to itself or to the RSE. This
may include conversations regarding documents and policies in
preparation, such as the style guide or the evolution of the series.
It is expected that the RSE will carry these discussions on with the
community; RSOC meetings do not replace community commentary by RSOC
members. However, the RSOC can help the RSE make sense out of those
discussions, and choose wise courses of action.

The RSE is also likely to have regular conversations with the editors
of the various streams, and with the RFC Series Advisory Group
(RSAG). These are very likely to be informative and helpful. But
they are better described as “collaboration” than “oversight”; the
RSOC expects to collaborate with the RSE, but also to act as the
RSE’s “manager”.

5.3. Removing the RSE

If the RSOC, in response to either ongoing oversight or input from
the IAB, IAOC, or one or more streams, identifies serious
deficiencies in RSE performance and, after giving the RSE the
opportunity to remedy the situation, concludes that they cannot be
remedied by other means, it may initiate an action to remove the RSE.
That action would take the form of a well-documented recommendation
to the IAB. If the IAB concludes that the action is justified, it
forwards the RSOC’s recommendation to the IAOC and IETF
Administrative Director (IAD) for action consistent with the relevant
contracts.

5.4. Statements of Work and Budget for the RFC Editor function

The RSE is expected to work with the Production Center, Publisher,
and any other bodies that may be created and relevant, to define
expected expenditures and develop preliminary statements of work and
resource levels. Those are then shared with the RSOC for advice and
approval, with iteration as needed.

Once the RSE and RSOC reach agreement, the RSE provides these
requirements to the IAD, who will negotiate appropriate contracts and
budgets. This must be done at the appropriate time in the IASA
budget cycle.

5.5. RSE performance evaluation and measurement

The RSOC measures and evaluates the performance of the RSE at least
annually. [RFC6635], the RSE job description, and goals set in
previous reviews are the primary basis for that evaluation process.

Such evaluations are personnel procedures and therefore confidential
and performed in executive consultation and discussed with RSE.
Members of the community who have issues that bear on RSE performance
may raise those issues private with RSOC members at any time.

6. Other specific RSOC responsibilities (from RFC 6635)

6.1. The RSE and Community Input

The RSE receives, and should solicit, input from the community about
the series and its direction. The RSOC:

  1. Provides assistance to the RSE in responding to such input
  2. Ensures that the RSE correctly evaluates and responds to that
    input.
  3. Reviews specific policy recommendations of the RSE after they
    have been discussed with the community.
  4. Reviews the statement of vision for the RFC Series when the RSE
    produces one.

In addition, the RSOC

  1. Reviews documentation produced by the RSE and the structures
    needed to support the continuity in the RFC Series.
  2. Provides periodic reports to the IAB to aid the latter in its
    supervisory functions, with frequency and in a form as mutually
    agreed.

7.References

7.1. Normative References

[RFC6635] Kolkman, O., Halpern, J., and IAB, “RFC Editor Model (Version 2)”, RFC 6635, June 2012.

7.2. Informative References

[RFC5620] Kolkman, O. and IAB, “RFC Editor Model (Version 1)”, RFC 5620, August 2009.

[RFC6548] Brownlee, N. and IAB, “Independent Submission Editor Model”, RFC 6548, June 2012.

Appendix A. Change Log

  • Initial Version: July 2013