Policy Development Process (version 3.0 - 16/07/2015)
The Policy Development Process is an essential part of Regional Internet Registry services. It is through this process that the creation and modification of the policies that the RIR will apply within its region is validated.
This document describes policy development process at LACNIC with its two different paths: Normal Policy Development Process and Expedited Policy Approval Process. The Expedited Policy Approval Process will be used in exceptional cases, when the proposal could not wait until the next Public Policy Forum.
As a definition for the rest of this document, a policy proposal would have reached consensus, when a significant majority supports it after a wide discussion and, there are no unanswered technical objections.
Normal Policy Development Process Diagram
Expedited Policy Approval Process Diagram
2. LACNIC Normal Policy Development Process
The Policy Development Process may go through the following instances:
- Public Policy List
- Public Policy Forum Chairs
- Working Groups
- Public Policy Forum
- LACNIC Board of Directors
- Members Assembly
2.1. Public Policy List
- Only a subscriber of the open policy mailing list may submit a proposal.
- Open mailing list.
- Formal starting point and ending point for policy discussions.
- Policy proposals may be received at any time.
- Proposals must be sent through the web form found at https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/. Once it has been reviewed, an identification code will be assigned and the proposal will be sent to the discussion list. The maximum time allowed for reviewing and publishing the proposal on the Public Policy List shall not exceed 2 weeks. (This review will only address the text itself, not the proposal's merits).
- Working Groups must only be summoned through this list.
- Every summons for the creation of a working group must be supported by at least 5 members of the Public Policy list.
- The call for nominations of candidates of Public Policy Forum Chairs must be summoned through this list alternately every two years.
- Only those issues and subjects discussed in this list 4 weeks prior to the Public Policy Forum can be presented in that Forum for their discussion and call for consensus.
2.2. Public Policy Forum Chairs
LACNIC's Public Policy Forum will have two chairs, both of which shall have the same functions.
2.2.1. Functions of the Public Policy Forum Chairs
- To conduct and prepare Public Policy Forum discussions. Discussions shall be conducted by one of the two chairs, who may alternate in this function during the course of the event.
- To conduct the Public Policy List and the Policy Development Process in general.
- To evaluate and suggest minor changes to the texts proposed during the Public Policy Forum before the corresponding call for consensus.
- To evaluate and suggest consensus in policy discussions.
- To suggest the finalization of the discussions on a specific issue on the Public Policy List.
- To decide to abandon a policy.
- To summon the creation of Working Groups on the Public Policy List.
- To receive comments from LACNIC's Staff in relation to different aspects of a policy proposal. These comments may include, among others, comments on the wording, cost of implementing a proposal, legal aspects, and the location of a proposal within LACNIC's policy document.
2.2.2. About Public Policy Forum Chairs
- Public Policy Forum Chairs can not be members of of LACNIC's staff.
- These positions shall be honorary.
- They must be members of LACNIC or be supported by a member of LACNIC.
- These positions shall be held alternately for 2 years, with the possibility of unlimited reelection.
2.2.3. About the election of the Chairs:
- Call for nominations will be made through the Public Policy mailing list.
- All those subscribed to the Public Policy mailing list will be able to participate.
- The election shall be conducted immediately before the Public Policy Forum.
- It will be done using electronic mechanisms to limit one vote per person subscribed in the list.
- The winning candidate of the electronic voting process must be ratified at the Public Policy Forum. The acting chairs will ask those in attendance whether they have any objections to the electronic voting process. If any objections are presented, the chairs shall evaluate whether the objections are sufficiently significant. If no objections are raised, or if the chairs consider that the objections are not significant, they shall proceed to ratify the winning candidate. Any chair who participated in the election as a candidate shall abstain from participating as chair during the ratification process.
- The elected chair will begin her term immediately after the closing of the Public Policy Forum during which she was ratified.
- If there was no ratified winner, LACNIC's Board of Directors will appoint a chair to fill the vacant position until the following Public Policy Forum. The next time an election and ratification process can be conducted, the person elected shall fill the position only for the remaining part of the original term.
2.2.4 Chairs' Responsibilities and Obligations
- To publish the Public Policy Forum's agenda on the mailing at least two weeks before the start of the Forum, specifying, among other information, which policy proposals will be presented and discussed.
- To prepare a Public Policy Forum report and submit it to the Policy List no more than 1 week after the end of the Forum.
- To call members of the Policy List to debate the proposals presented during the Public Policy Forum but which failed to reach consensus and must be sent back for discussion no more than 1 week after the end of the Forum.
- To issue a last call for comments for those proposals that reached consensus at the Public Policy Forum no more than 2 weeks after the end of the Forum.
- To post the results of the last call for comments for those proposals that have reached consensus on the Policy List no more than 1 week after the last call for comments period closes.
- To communicate the results of ratification by the LACNIC Board of those policies that reached consensus and received no observations during the last call for comments period, no more than 1 week after the publication of the minutes of the board´s meeting with the ratification.
2.3. Working Groups
- Working Groups shall be optional. Their goal will be to facilitate the discussion of specific issues.
- Unlimited number of participants.
- Created at the summons of the Public Policy Forum Chairs, LACNIC's Board of Directors, or the Members Assembly.
- Working Group results must be published at the Public Policy List 4 weeks before the Public Policy Forum is held. These results shall be considered as recommendations for the Public Policy List.
2.4. Public Policy Forum
- Open to any person interested in the subject matter.
- Analysis of the discussions considered at the Public Policy List.
- May introduce minor modifications to proposed texts (modifications that do not alter the meaning of a proposal) before the corresponding call for consensus.
- Decisions made based on consensus. Moderated by the Public Policy Forum Chairs.
- Following the Public Policy Forum, the Public Policy Forum Chairs may take three different actions in relation to each policy proposal presented at the Forum:
- If consensus is attained, the policy shall be published on the Public Policy List for the reception of public comments during a period of 45 days.
- If consensus is not attained, the policy may be returned to the Public Policy List for further discussion.
- If consensus is not attained, the policy may be abandoned and removed from the list of policies under discussion by the LACNIC community.
- A policy that is returned to the Public Policy List for further discussion and that is not reviewed nor presented at the following Public Policy Forum will be automatically abandoned after the Public Policy Forum.
- Opportunities will be offered for presenting issues of interest to the Public Policy Forum.
2.5. LACNIC Board of Directors
During its first meeting after the 45-day period established for the reception of public comments, LACNIC's Board of Directors may:
- Accept the proposal. Analyze its implementation jointly with the staff and make the corresponding announcement.
- Reject the proposal and, through the Public Policy Forum Chairs, request that the Public Policy List continue their analysis and present a new proposal at the following Public Policy Forum.
- Declare the removal of one or both Policy Chairs if non-fulfillment of their responsibilities affects the policy development process, 6 months after the last Policy Forum. The Board shall appoint interim chair(s) within a period of 2 weeks, and these interim chairs will serve until the next election.
- The Board of Directors may summon the creation of Working Groups on the Public Policy List.
- The Board of Directors will be responsible for the election process for appointing the Public Policy Forum Chairs.
2.6. Members Assembly
- The Assembly may suspend the application of a policy. In this case, through its Board of Directors, the Assembly shall notify LACNIC's Public Policy List.
- It may also summon the creation of Working Groups on the Public Policy List.
3. Expedited Policy Approval Process
In exceptional cases, a policy proposal may follow an Expedited Process according to which it is not necessary to present the policy proposal before LACNIC's Public Policy Forum.
In order for a policy proposal to qualify for this Expedited Process it must be analyzed by both Public Policy Forum Chairs, who must agree that said proposal justifies the Expedited Process.
After completing this instance, the policy will be presented in the Public Policy List.
At least 60 days after being presented on the list, the Public Policy Forum Chairs will evaluate whether the discussion that was generated merits a call for consensus or to abandon the Expedited Process.
If both Chairs agree that the policy proposal warrants a call for consensus on the Public Policy List, the call will give at least 14 days in order to receive comments.
Once the period to receive comments is closed, the Public Policy Forum Chairs shall communicate whether or not consensus was attained. If it was, they shall submit the proposal to LACNIC's Board of Directors. If it was not, they may choose between abandoning the Expedited Process and continuing the discussion on the Public Policy List or abandoning the proposal completely.
After attaining consensus on the Public Policy List, LACNIC's Board of Directors may:
- Accept the proposal. Analyze its implementation jointly with the staff and make the corresponding announcement.
- Reject the consensus and, through the Public Policy Forum Chairs, request that the Public Policy List continue their analysis and present a new proposal at the following Public Policy Forum.
All policy proposals approved through the Expedited Process must be presented at the following Public Policy Forum in order to inform the community of its implementation.
4. LACNIC Responsibilities and Obligations
- To act as secretary for the policy development process and support the Public Policy List and the Public Policy Forum: maintaining the mailing list and its archives; ensuring a space for conducting the Public Policy Forum during its events; assisting Forum chairs during the Public Forum; maintaining a website with updated information on the policy development process, proposals that are under discussion, and those previously submitted, along with their current status; maintaining and updating the Policy Manual and changelog; assisting in conducting the election of Forum chairs.
- To notify the implementation of proposals ratified by the Board on the Policy List as soon as this occurs.