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Administrative Support Groups

IAB Administrative Support Groups are structured approaches managed and maintained by the IAB in order to support the IAB in more effectively executing its chartered responsibilities.

Current Administrative Support Groups
About Administrative Support Groups

Administrative Support Groups are groups with dedicated membership, most similar to directorates, that act as an arm of the IAB, assisting the IAB in discharging its responsibilities [RFC 2850]. The IAB decides to open or close Administrative Support Groups based on their needs described in a short statement of intent.

Membership and mailing list

Administrative Support Groups have a dedicated membership with at least one IAB member which will act as the lead or liaison. Membership might consist of a fixed number of total members, or may just have a fixed number for the participation of IAB members, or participation may be open to all IAB members. Usually these groups have non-IAB members as well, but may also consists only of a small subgroup of IAB, in order to clearly distribute responsibilities in maintaining a long-term task of the IAB, e.g. as could be done for the organisation of the technical plenary.

The lead of Administrative Support Activity is usually performed by an IAB member but, depending on the respective activity, may also explicitly be requested to be hold by a non-IAB member, e.g. to more clearly separate responsibilities, e.g in case of RSOC.

Membership is determined by the IAB and periodically reviewed. While the IAB will reevaluate the IAB members (and potentially the needed number of IAB members) yearly, usually at the March IETF meeting when the new IAB is seated, other members may have a longer fixed membership term, based on the needs of the respective activity. Membership is renewed by the IAB, potentially based on community feedback. If membership of a member is not renewed (as the member does not want to take another term or based on feedback) and a new member is to be selected, the IAB may run a call for volunteers, depending on the respective expertise needed, and should ask for community feedback before approval.

Only members of an Administrative Support Activity are subscribed to the mailing list, however, anybody in the community should be able send to the group’s mailing list in order to provide feedback. Announcements by an Administrative Support Activity can be sent directly to other mailings by the chair (e.g. or, or the group can request the IAB to make certain announcements if needed (e.g. on the list).


Administrative Support Groups can hold frequent meetings/calls or only meet on demand based on the nature of the respective activity the group is responsible for. The group may produce minutes and may make these minutes public after approval of the whole group.


Administrative Support Groups must periodically share results with the IAB (e.g. once per month or at minimum once a year). These results should be made public as part of IAB meeting minutes, depending upon the purpose of the group and the nature of the results.

Expectations about confidentiality

Since Administrative Support Groups act as extensions of the IAB, IAB members may share summaries of IAB discussions when these summaries are relevant and sharing will be helpful. These summaries should only contain an overview of the discussion and will not include information that the IAB considers private. IAB members should not share details of IAB discussions with non-IAB members.

The members of an Administrative Support Groups should assume that any materials or discussions may be shared with the IAB, although the IAB may request that specific materials NOT be shared (for example, the IAB chose not to see the materials that the RFC Series Oversight Committee gathered during its search for an RFC Editor).

Any information provided, from any source, should be treated as if it were confidential to the IAB itself. This information should not be shared outside the members of the Administrative Support Groups and the IAB, unless the permission to share was explicitly received. This also applies to presentations and similar written materials.

When it is helpful to do so, the group may approve sharing information informally with non-group members, in order to benefit from experience and/or expertise held by non-group members. The program must make the decision to share this information explicitly, and must set expectations about confidentiality when sharing this information.