APNIC Policy Development Process

APNIC Document identity

Title: APNIC policy development process
Short title: policy-development
Document ref: APNIC-111 Version: 002
Date of original publication: 19 February 2004 Date of this version: 19 February 2014
Review scheduled: n/a Obsoletes: APNIC-111-v001
Status: Active Comments: Change to Comment Period length in Step 3.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Scope
3. Definitions
3.1 Policy proposal
4. Proposal process
Step 1: Discussion before the OPM
Step 2: Consensus at the OPM
Step 3: Discussion after the OPM
Step 4: Confirming consensus
Step 5: Endorsement from the EC

1. Introduction

This document describes the process through which policy proposals are to be submitted, considered and adopted by APNIC. Policies are developed by the membership and the broader Internet community through a bottom-up process of consultation and consensus.
The forums for policy development are twice-yearly APNIC Open Policy Meetings (OPMs) and discussions on Special Interest Group (SIG) mailing lists. Anyone may attend the meetings and participate in discussions and the decision making.

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2. Scope

This document describes the process through which policy-related proposals may be submitted, considered, and adopted by the APNIC community, including a step-by-step explanation of the process. This process will be followed in the creation of any new policy, as well as any substantial or significant changes to existing policy.

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3. Definitions

3.1 Policy proposal

Policy proposals are proposals which have been officially submitted for the consideration of the APNIC community, and which propose either a new policy or a change to an existing policy. Upon adoption, these policies will apply to the operation of APNIC, the APNIC Secretariat, and the APNIC membership.

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4. Proposal process

A policy proposal must go through the following chronological steps in order to be adopted by APNIC.

Step 1

Discussion before the OPM

A formal proposal paper must be submitted to the SIG mailing list and to the SIG Chair four weeks before the start of the OPM. The proposal must be in text which clearly expresses the proposal, with explicit mention of any changes being proposed to existing policies and the reasons for those changes. The APNIC Secretariat will recommend a preferred proposal format. If the four-week 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.

Step 2

Consensus at the OPM

Consensus is defined as “general agreement” as observed by the Chair of the meeting. Consensus must be reached first at the SIG session and afterwards at the Member 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 it.

Step 3

Discussion after the OPM

Proposals that have reached consensus at the OPM and the AMM will be circulated on the appropriate SIG mailing list for a period. This is known as the “comment period”. The duration of the “comment period” will be not shorter than four weeks and not longer than eight weeks.  The decision to extend more than four weeks, including the duration of the extension, will be determined at the sole discretion of the SIG Chair.

Step 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 below in Step 5. If it is observed that there have been “substantial objections” raised to the proposed policy, consensus is not confirmed and the proposal will not be implemented. The SIG will then discuss (either on the mailing list or in the SIG) whether to pursue the proposal or withdraw it.

Step 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.