[sig-policy]Revised APNIC Policy Process - Proposal
The text below is a revised proposal for developing policy
in the APNIC region. It is based upon input received from
the last APNIC meeting.
This proposal should be read together with a companion
proposal which will be postly to this shortly, which describes
an amended APNIC document editorial policy.
Comments and feedback are now sought on both proposals and
should be made on this list.
A revised proposal for an amended APNIC open policy process
Proposed by: Anne Lord, Randy Bush
Version: draft 2.0
Date: 10 June 2003
This document proposes a modified process for developing policies for
managing Internet resources in the Asia Pacific region.
This proposal is based upon input and discussion at the APNIC Open Policy
meeting at APNIC15 in Taipei, February 27, 2003 and on the
sig-policy at apnic dot net mailing list. It is to be used as a basis for
continued discussion on the mailing list.
Note that a revised editorial process is being proposed to implement
consensus policy decisions and will be circulated on the
sig-policy at apnic dot net mailing list. This was presented in draft at APNIC15
and is archived at:
2. Background and problem
APNIC operates in a self-regulatory environment where the policies for
managing Internet resources in the Asia Pacific region are created through
open, consensus based processes.
The processes for creating policy are evolving. APNIC has held open and
public meetings since 1995(1). The early meetings were much simpler in
structure and content than the meetings held today(²), where multiple
sessions run in parallel over several days, and attendees convene in
groups according to topics of special interest(³).
The current processes for creating policy are documented at:
and were presented at APNIC15 for review and discussion(4).
While APNIC policy processes are open to all interested parties, there has
been feedback to suggest that there is still insufficient opportunity for
review and input from all constituencies in the policy development
process. Specific suggestions for improvement were made at the Address
Policy SIG at APNIC15 in a presentation 'APNIC policy process - provoking
3. Other Regions
In the other RIR regions, reviews of the policy development processes have
recently taken place with discussions still ongoing. Please refer to the
individual RIR websites for details:
The processes for developing policy within the RIPE region are relatively
Proposals are normally sent to the relevant working group mailing list,
however this is not a formal requirement in order for consideration within
a RIPE meeting. A presentation and discussion may then take place at the
working group session during the RIPE meeting. A measure of consensus to
proceed with the proposal is taken at that meeting. The working group is
empowered to make decisions and it reports its outcomes to the plenary
session of the RIPE meeting.
A summary of the outcome of discussions at the working group meeting is
sent to the working group mailing list, usually with a deadline for
comment. If the comment period expires and there are no major objections,
the proposal will be implemented.
Full details of the ARIN policy process are described at:
Key elements of the process include:
* Formal period of 4 weeks for proposals to be circulated on a mailing
list, prior to presentation at an ARIN meeting;
* Formal period of 10 days after a meeting for gathering input on
decisions from the meeting;
* Advisory Council of 15 volunteer individuals whose responsibility it is
to judge whether consensus has been reached on a particular proposal;
* Board of Trustees who ratify any proposed policies before they can be
accepted and implemented.
The process for developing policies for managing address space in the
LACNIC region is initiated by the identification of a need for a new or
revised policy, followed by the formation of a small working group (of no
more than 7 volunteers) who work on particular policy proposals.
Proposals are circulated on mailing lists and are presented at the open
Proposals on which consensus has been reached are then forwarded to the
LACNIC board who assist in defining an implementation schedule. The
working group is generally disbanded at this point.
For any policy proposal requiring consensus decisions of the APNIC
Membership, the following procedure is proposed:
4.1. Discussion before the OPM
A formal proposal paper must be submitted to the SIG mailing list and to
the SIG Chair 4 weeks before the start of the OPM.
The proposal must be in writing and in text which clearly expresses the
proposal, with explicit mention of any changes being proposed to existing
policies and the reasons for those changes.
It is suggested to use a format for the proposal that includes an
introduction, a summary of the current problem, the proposal, and
advantages and disadvantages of adopting the proposed policy. It is useful
to also review the comparable policy situation in the other RIR regions
(if applicable) and include a section entitled 'how it will affect APNIC
If the above deadline is not met, proposals may still be submitted and
presented for discussion at the meeting; however, no decision may be made
by the meeting regarding the proposal. The proposal will need to be
resubmitted in time for the following meeting if the author wishes to
pursue the proposal.
4.2. Consensus at the OPM
Consensus is defined as 'general agreement' as observed by the chair of
Consensus must be reached first at the SIG session and afterwards at the
Members Meeting for the process to continue. If there is no consensus on a
proposal at either of these forums, the SIG (either on the mailing list or
at a future OPM) will discuss whether to amend the proposal or to withdraw
4.3. Discussion after the OPM
Proposals that have reached consensus at the OPM will be circulated on the
appropriate SIG mailing list for a defined 'comment period'.
Two options have been put forward for the length of the comment period:
* Option 1 - 8 weeks or
* Option 2 - until 4 weeks before the next OPM (which is approximately 26
4.4. Confirming consensus
Consensus is assumed to continue unless there are substantial objections
raised during the 'comment period'. When the 'comment period' has expired,
the appropriate SIG chair (and co-chairs) will decide whether the
discussions on the mailing list represent continued consensus.
If the chair (and co-chairs) observe that there are no 'substantial
objections' to the proposed policy, consensus is confirmed and the process
continues as outlined in section 4.5 below.
If it is observed that there have been 'substantial objections' raised to
the proposed policy, consensus is not confirmed and the proposal will not
The SIG will then discuss (either on the mailing list or in the SIG)
whether to pursue the proposal or withdraw it.
4.5. Endorsement from the EC
The EC, in their capacity as representatives of the membership, will be
asked to endorse the consensus proposals arising from the OPM and the SIG
mailing lists for implementation at the next EC meeting. In reviewing the
proposals for implementation, the EC may refer proposals back to the SIG
for further discussion with clearly stated reasons.
As per the APNIC By-laws, the EC may, at its discretion, refer the
endorsement to a formal vote of adoption by the APNIC members.
In both options above, a 12 weeks period is allowed for implementation.
This gives the Secretariat and the NIRs sufficient time to make internal
changes to forms and procedures, as well as gives the community sufficient
advance notification of the new policy.
4.7. Duration of the process
Under option 1 the minimum amount of time that a policy could take from
the initial proposal to implementation would be 26 weeks. Under option 2
it would be 43 weeks.
4.8. Flow diagram of policy process
The revised flow diagram for developing policy is available at:
This proposal will be implemented upon formal endorsement by APNIC.
(1) 1st APNIC Meeting: http://ftp.apnic.net/apnic/meetings/Jan95/agenda
(²) 15th APNIC Open Policy Meeting:
(³) Special Interest Groups:
(4) APNIC policy process
(5) APNIC policy process - provoking discussion: