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Appeal against IESG Inaction by W.A. Simpson

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23 October 1999

This is the final text of the response given verbally during the open plenary session of the 46th IETF.

The IAB has reviewed this appeal. We note that an appeal was made by Mr. Simpson covering the same general area and topics some months ago, that a public hearing was held on them at the previous (45th) IETF and that this appeal addresses some of the same issues. Plenary time is a scarce resource, and IAB and IESG time only slightly less so. The IAB is sensitive to the risk of denial of service attacks on the community by repeated appeals, and believes that second and subsequent members of a sequence of appeals should be held to a significantly higher standard of clarity and precision than an initial one might reasonably be.

Additionally we are not aware that this new appeal has been duly considered and rejected by the IESG prior to being brought to the IAB.

Consequently, the IAB has concluded that:

  1. Many of the issues raised were, as noted in the appeal text, addressed
    in the appeal on which a hearing was held at the 45th IETF and a decision
    announced by the IAB on 1 October 1999. The IAB will not review that decision
    under the guise of a new appeal.
  2. Some of the issues raised apparently involve a claim that IESG failed
    to move immediately (or quickly enough to suit Mr. Simpson) to make a
    decision, or to adequately explain the decision, about documents covered
    by the previous appeal. The times involved were actually very short (October
    1 to 23, 1999). The IAB recognizes the many demands on the IESG’s schedule
    in the last few weeks before an IETF meeting and the IESG’s need to respond
    to overall community priorities, and will not second-guess the IESG’s
    decisions about those priorities during that period. In addition, the
    IESG has never been obligated to provide specific rewrites to documents
    or otherwise to provide an essentially line-by-line explanation of its
    objections to a document or reasons for its decisions. We do not believe
    that it would be in the best interests of the community to try to force
    the IESG to do so; in any event, a proposal for such a requirement should
    be raised through procedural mechanisms, not via an appeal.
  3. The fraction of the appeal letter that appears to fall into the above
    categories is sufficiently large that the IAB has been unable to identify
    new issues of substance. Items 1 through 8 appear to be a rehash of items
    dealt with in the previous appeal. Items 9 and 10 are ones that we expect
    the IESG to deal with in a routine way and with routine priority.
  4. If there are in fact new issues of substance, it should be Mr. Simpson’s
    responsibility to identify them. If the IAB attempted to determine what
    new issues were actually being appealed, it would open itself and the
    community up to yet another appeal on its conclusions. Consequently, we
    are dismissing this latest appeal summarily. If there actually are issues
    of substance that have not been previously addressed, we are willing to
    examine them if we receive an appeal of well-defined, separate new matters
    that have gone properly through the appeal sequence (i.e., have already
    been addressed and rejected by area directors, the IETF chair, and the
    IESG) and if that appeal addresses only those new and substantive issues.
    Brian Carpenter

    IAB Chair

    January 11, 2000