[discuss] structural separation example (was Re: Host country)

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Tue Mar 18 16:44:25 UTC 2014

On Mar 18, 2014, at 5:04 PM, David Conrad <drc at virtualized.org> wrote:
> I'm curious: given ARIN performs a registration function along with a policy definition function, do you believe there should be structural separation of those functions in ARIN/the RIRs?

I'll answer generically with respect to my views on the RIR system as a whole;
(I do not believe that the specific question you ask has come before the ARIN
Board or members so as to form an official position)

> (for the record: I don't have a strong opinion as I think both integrated and separated can be made to work with sufficient safeguards: I figure it boils down to what's most efficient)

Like you, I believe that either can work but the key phrase is "with sufficient 
safeguards"...   Having an clear membership structure with provides for 
accountability of the organization is a safeguard, having policy development be 
clearly performed by the community is another, etc.

I'd note that there really are set of functions that need to be performed:

  Registry Policy Development - developing the polices for registry administration

  Registry Policy Implementation - Defining processes and building systems for the
                                   administration of particular registry policy 

  Registry Administration - Execution of registry processes (including requests)

  Registry Operations - Technical/system operations necessary for publication.

When we talk about the RIRs, Registry Policy Development is generally done by a 
community working group or body, and implementation/admin/operations handled by 
RIR staff.  Combine this with an accountable membership structure to help insure
faithful implementation and administration, and it's not a bad system.  

I will note, however, that even accountability to membership doesn't help provide 
any protection against implementation that is favorable to "industry" (those who 
are direct member of the registry); i.e. in a case where civil society were to 
successfully relate their (industry-adverse) needs during policy development such 
that they were indeed adequately incorporated into policy, there is still no clear 
recourse available against a less-than-diligent implementation, if the member-
elected leadership fails to intervene.


Disclaimer: My views alone.

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