Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Request for Comments: 7691
BCP: 101
Updates: 4071
Category: Best Current Practice
ISSN: 2070-1721
S. Bradner, Ed.
Harvard University
November 2015

Updating the Term Dates of

IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) Members


BCP 101 defines the start and end dates for the terms of IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) members; these terms have proven to be impractical. This memo updates BCP 101 to direct the IAOC to establish more practical start and end dates for terms of IAOC members.

Status of This Memo

This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice.

This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has received public review and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on BCPs is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

Copyright © 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved.

This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents ( in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1. Background ..................................................... 2
   2. Updates to BCP 101 ............................................. 3
   3. Security Considerations ........................................ 3
   4. Normative References ........................................... 3
   Editor's Address .................................................. 4

1. Background

   Section 4 of RFC 4071 [BCP101] says "IAOC terms normally end at the
   end of the first IETF meeting of a year."  Having the terms of the
   IAOC members expire at the end of the first IETF meeting of the year
   has proved impractical for the IAOC to carry out its business and to
   elect its Chair during the meeting week.  For a number of years, the
   IAOC has improvised by defaulting to an informal process of having
   the transition occur during the administrative plenary (as the IESG
   does).  This informal arrangement violates the letter of BCP 101.
   But even this arrangement is problematic if the transfer happens
   after the IAOC's face-to-face meeting takes place that week.  Under
   the informal arrangement, the IAOC typically meets on the morning of
   the administrative plenary, which means that the incoming IAOC
   members, while present, are not seated.

Having the new IAOC members take office after the face-to-face meeting has caused difficulties in the chair selection and voting processes during the IAOC's face-to-face meeting held during the same week. There has been confusion over who should vote in the chair election and on any business actions that require a vote of the Trustees. If the incoming members are not seated, then they should not vote; however, to select a chair for the next year, for example, they, more than the outgoing members, should have a say in the chair selection. There is also confusion over who is eligible to be elected as chair -- if the term of an IAOC member has not yet started, could that IAOC member be elected chair (as the chair is selected from among the members). Having the terms expire at the end of the week also risks the IAOC not being able to raise a quorum if outgoing members decide to not come to the meeting. Because the IAOC members are the Trustees of the IETF Trust, the same issues arise with the IETF Trust and its ability to carry out its business and elect a Chair during the meeting week.

An additional issue with BCP 101 is the current definition of the term length of the IAOC Chair. RFC 4071 [BCP101] says "The term of the IAOC chair shall be one year from the time of selection or the remaining time of his or her tenure on the IAOC, whichever is less." Because the dates for the first IETF meeting of the year vary from year to year, the current BCP 101 text could result in there being no

IAOC chair for weeks before the a meeting or in overlapping terms for IAOC Chairs.

2. Updates to BCP 101

This memo updates Section 4 of RFC 4071 [BCP101] to remove the following sentence:

IAOC terms normally end at the end of the first IETF meeting of a year.

Furthermore, the following requirements are added:

  1. The IAOC and the IETF Trust each hold a regular meeting close to the time of, or during, the first IETF meeting of the year.
  1. The IAOC and the Trust select their chairs as the first order of business in their individual meetings in a manner of their choosing.
  1. The IAOC determines the beginning and end of the normal terms of its members relative to the above mentioned IAOC meeting; such terms must start and end close to the time of this meeting, unless those determinations are made by the appointing bodies.

A regular meeting has proper notice, minutes that are posted, and may be held face-to-face, via teleconference, or as a combination of the two.

3. Security Considerations

This memo relates to IETF process and not to any particular technology, so it does not impact the security of the Internet.

4. Normative References

   [BCP101] Austein, R., Ed., and B. Wijnen, Ed., "Structure of the IETF
            Administrative Support Activity (IASA)", BCP 101, RFC 4071,
            April 2005.
            Carpenter, B., Ed., and L. Lynch, Ed., "BCP 101 Update for
            IPR Trust", BCP 101, RFC 4371, January 2006.

Editor's Address

Scott Bradner
Harvard University
8 Story St.
Cambridge MA, 02138
United States

   Phone: +1 617 495 3864