[opendtv] Example of how the IETF handles potential conflict of interest cases

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 20:32:54 +0000

I thought this post ties in with some of our recent discussions on conflict of 

Area Directors (ADs), two or three each, head up the multiple working groups of 
a given interest area of the IETF. Their main role is to shepherd Internet 
Drafts being developed by the working group through the process of becoming 

It looks like for the next several months, two ADs heading up the routing area 
are from Juniper Networks. Notice how scrupulous they are in keeping their IETF 
and their day jobs separate.


-----Original Message-----
From: routing-discussion [mailto:routing-discussion-bounces@xxxxxxxx] On Behalf 
Of Adrian Farrel
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2014 3:31 AM
To: ietf@xxxxxxxx; routing-discussion@xxxxxxxx
Cc: 'Kathleen Moriarty'; Alia Atlas; iesg@xxxxxxxx
Subject: Handling the situation with two Juniper routing ADs


It is relatively unusual for two ADs in the same area to have the same company
affiliation. Although, of course, ADs discard their affiliations in
consideration of all elements of their AD role, we are aware that this situation
may cause some concern and unease. Therefore we have decided to err on the side
of caution, remind everyone of the normal practices that take into account
affiliations, and put in place some operating guidelines that we will endeavor
to follow while this situation exists.

We should note that this situation will not last for more than the next year:
Adrian absolutely will not be seeking reselection as an AD at the end of this
year (March 2015).

First, whenever anyone has a concern of actual or potential bias by us as ADs,
we will encourage such a concern to be reported to us and to the IETF chair. In
such circumstances, we will supply the chair with as much information as we have
and will abide by the chair's decision as to what action we should take.

We would like to remind you of the following standard practices:

- As has become the normal practice in the Routing Area, the ADs will depend
  heavily on the diverse Routing Area Directorate to provide public, non-biased
  and critical reviews of all Routing Area documents.   We will be conscious of
  the affiliation of the reviewers when requesting reviews.

- Different affiliations between the working group chairs of any single
  working group is always considered desirable. 

Here are our additional operating guidelines for the following rare cases:

- When a document has authors with only one affiliation and that is ours, even
  though there is a mitigating effect of WG chairs and document shepherds, we
  ask another AD to act as responsible AD. This may have the effect of slowing
  progress of such documents.

- Whenever there are contentious IPR issues related to a document in the Routing
  Area we will seek public guidance from another AD. Whenever the contentious 
  IPR is owned by Juniper we will ask another AD to act as responsible AD.

- Whenever there is significant disagreement within a working group in which
  is a strong view held by participants affiliated with Juniper, and where the
  is called upon to guide or instruct the chairs, we will always seek public
  from another AD.

- In the event of any complaints made against WG chairs in the Routing Area
  those chairs are affiliated to Juniper we will always seek input from other
  another AD with as much public visibility as the complaint.

Please be aware that for Adrian this represents a change in normal automatic
processing that he has developed over 5 years. For Alia the challenge is that
she will be on the steep learning curve that all new ADs go through. Please
excuse any fumbles, draw them to our attention and allow us to rectify them.

May we both take this opportunity to thanks Stewart for his excellent service as
an AD over the last four years.

Alia and Adrian

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  • » [opendtv] Example of how the IETF handles potential conflict of interest cases - Manfredi, Albert E