APNIC Policy Development Process

APNIC Document identity

Title:APNIC policy development process
Short title:policy-development
Document ref:APNIC-111Version:003
Date of original publication:19 February 2004Date of this version:21 January 2021
Review scheduled:n/aObsoletes:APNIC-111-v002
Status:ActiveComments:Added documnet review recommendations reported at APNIC 50

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
5. Appendices/templates
5.1 Basic steps in the consensus decision making process
5.2 Policy SIG Chair Scripts
5.3 Guidelines for presenting a policy proposal
5.4 Presentation outline
5.5 Guidelines for informational presentations
6. Code of conduct

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 Internet community through a bottom-up process of consultation and consensus.

This document should be read in conjunction with the APNIC SIG Guidelines which provides important operational guidance for Policy SIG Chairs, proposal authors, and other Policy SIG participants.

The APNIC Policy SIG is the forum for APNIC Policy Development Process (PDP). Opinions expressed at the twice-yearly APNIC Open Policy Meetings (OPMs), on the Policy SIG mailing list, and other remote participation mechanisms are all considered by the Policy SIG Chairs.

Anyone with an interest in the management and use of Internet number resources in the Asia Pacific may join the mailing list and participate in the OPM, physically or remotely, to discuss and take part in the bottom-up decision-making process.

RIR, ICANN, and PTI Secretariat staff do not participate in the consensus.

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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 and appendices.

This process will be followed in the creation of any new policy, as well as any changes to the existing policy.

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3. Definitions

3.1 Policy proposal

A policy proposal is a formal, written submission that outlines a Problem Statement or an idea for either a new policy or a change to an existing policy. If a policy proposal is successful it will become a policy.

Policy proposals are officially submitted to the Policy SIG Chairs for the consideration of the APNIC community.

The Chair may decide that a proposal is not suitable for discussion at the forthcoming OPM if:

  • The proposal is out of scope for the Policy SIG.
  • The proposal is insufficiently developed to be the basis for a useful discussion.
  • The agenda has already been filled by topics of greater priority.

Upon adoption, these policies will apply to the operation of APNIC, the APNIC Secretariat, NIRs, and APNIC account holders.

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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 must be submitted to the Policy SIG Chairs before the proposal deadline they set.

Accepted proposals must be sent to the Policy SIG mailing list for discussion at least four (4) 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 as mentioned in Section 5.4 of this document.

If the four-week deadline is not met, proposals may still be submitted and presented for discussion at the OPM; however, no decision may be made by the OPM regarding the proposal. The proposal will need to be resubmitted in time for the following OPM, 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 OPM/AGM/AMM. For further information refer to Section 5.1 of this document.

Consensus must be reached first at the OPM and afterwards at the AGM/AMM for the process to continue.

If there is no consensus on a proposal at either of these forums, the Policy SIG Chair(s) will decide whether to ask the author to amend the proposal or if it should be withdrawn.

Step 3

Discussion after the OPM

Proposals that have reached consensus at the OPM and the AGM/AMM will be circulated on the Policy 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 (4) weeks and not longer than eight (8) weeks.

The decision to extend more than four (4) weeks, including the duration of the extension, will be determined at the sole discretion of the Policy SIG Chair.

Step 4

Confirming consensus

Consensus is assumed to continue unless there are major objections raised during the “comment period”. When the “comment period” has expired, the Policy SIG Chairs will decide whether the discussions on the mailing list represent continued consensus.

If the Policy SIG Chairs observe that there are no “major 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 “major objections” raised to the proposed policy, consensus is not confirmed, and the proposal will not be implemented.

The Policy SIG Chairs will then decide whether to pursue the proposal or abandon it.

Step 5

Endorsement from the EC

The APNIC Executive Council (EC), in their capacity as representatives of the membership, will be asked to endorse the consensus proposals arising from the OPM/AGM/AMM and the Policy SIG mailing lists for implementation at the next EC meeting.

In reviewing the proposals for implementation, the EC may refer proposals back to the Policy 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.

5. Appendices/templates

5.1 Basic steps in the consensus decision making process

  1. A proposal is made.
  2. The Policy SIG Chair invites participants to comment on the proposal. The Chair encourages discussion about both the pros and cons of the proposal. This should happen both on the mailing list and at the OPM.

If there is little or no comment for or against the proposal, the Chair needs to assess the level of interest in the proposal. Perhaps the community does not believe a problem exists, or, alternatively, the participants are hesitant to begin discussion.

The Chair may ask for a ‘show of hands’ indicating if they:

  • Strongly Support
  • Support
  • Are Neutral
  • Oppose
  • Strongly Oppose

The Chair may ask this for individual elements of the proposal.

The show of hands is not a vote. It is a way of broadly gauging opinion. Chair(s) may use electronic equivalents to gauge the views of remote participants.

If the majority of the participants indicate that they have no opinion, the Chair and the author should work to stimulate discussion about the proposal.

The Chair may ask the author to restate the problem the proposal attempts to solve.

If the participants do not believe that the problem is real, or significant, the Chair should ask the author to reconsider the need for the proposal.

  1. If comments are all in favour of the proposal and there are no objections, the Chair can assume consensus.
  2. If there are objections, the Chair can ask the dissenters to decide if their objections are:
Minor objections:
If the proposal goes forward, the dissenters believe that some problems may occur for some members in the group. The participants should work together to see if the proposal can be modified to overcome these minor objections. However, it is not always possible to overcome these objections. If this is the case, the Chair should ask the dissenters if they are prepared to acknowledge that the overall advantages of the proposal outweigh their objections and if the dissenters are willing to stand aside.
Major objections:
If the proposal goes forward, the dissenters believe that major problems will occur for parts of the community and that the proposal cannot be adopted in its current format.

The Chair should devote sufficient time for participants to discuss ways to overcome major objections. As in the case of minor objections, participants, including the proponent, should work together to develop solutions that overcome the objections.

The process of working together to create a proposal acceptable to all participants may take more than one OPM phase. It is possible that the community may consider an issue to be important, but not be able to reach consensus on the proposed solution during one OPM. When this happens, the Chair should encourage the proponent and the community to continue discussion and develop a more widely accepted proposal to be presented at the following OPM.

5.2 Policy SIG Chair Scripts

Instructions for Chairs declaring the result of a consensus process have been provided by APNIC counsel. In formally announcing the outcome of any OPM proposal discussion, the Chair of the meeting should say the following:

Consensus

This policy proposal has been discussed on the APNIC Policy SIG mailing list and at today’s Open Policy Meeting. The APNIC PDP requires the community to reach consensus or a general agreement on the proposal before it can proceed. I have conferred with my fellow Chairs and we have noted the community’s comments for and against the adoption of this proposal. In consideration, we believe that the community has reached consensus on this proposal. The next step in the PDP is to take this proposal to the AGM/AMM and seek continued consensus there. The proposal will then be posted back to the mailing list for a comment period. I would like to thank the author for this proposal and thank all participants for considering this and coming to a decision. Thank you!

No Consensus

This policy proposal has been discussed on the APNIC Policy SIG mailing list and at today’s Open Policy Meeting. The APNIC PDP requires the community to reach consensus or a general agreement on the proposal before it can proceed. I have conferred with my fellow Chairs and we have noted the community’s comments for and against the adoption of this proposal and in consideration, we believe that the community has not reached a consensus on this proposal. We thank the author for their proposal and ask that they .

5.3 Guidelines for presenting a policy proposal

After a minimum of four (4) weeks of discussion on the Policy SIG mailing list, the proposal is presented in the OPM during an APNIC Conference. The aim of the presentation is to assist OPM participants understand the proposal text.

If the proposal author wishes to incorporate changes to the proposal (perhaps based on the mailing list discussion), these changes must be incorporated in both the proposal text and the presentation slides. Updated versions of policy proposals can be submitted to the Policy SIG Chair at any time.

In the weeks before the OPM, proposal authors should subscribe to the Policy SIG mailing list to follow the discussion about the proposal. This allows authors the chance to incorporate feedback in a new version of the proposal to be presented at the OPM.

Note: Remember that the discussion at the APNIC Conference is not the end of the proposal process. Proposals that reach consensus at the OPM and the AGM/AMM are sent to the Policy SIG mailing list for a final Comment Period. During this final comment period, the community may continue to raise objections. If, the author(s) is not subscribed to and actively following the appropriate SIG mailing list, they will not be able to respond to community objections. In cases where the author does not respond to objections in the comment period, the Chair may have no choice but declare that consensus has not been reached.

5.4 Presentation outline

Presentations for policy proposals should contain approximately 9 slides, including title and summary slides. The suggested structure of the slides is as follows:

Slide 1: Title

  • The name of the proposal and the tracking number given to the proposal by the APNIC Secretariat
  • The author’s name
  • The date and location of the OPM

Slide 2: Problem Statement

  • This should be a simple explanation of the problem the proposal seeks to resolve.

Slides 3: Objective of policy change

  • In simple terms, what will the policy look like when the stated problem is resolved?

Slide 4: Situation in other regions

  • Do other Regional Internet Registries have similar policies, or policy proposals?
  • Have you, or do you plan to submit this proposal in other regions?

Slides 5: Proposed policy solution

  • What specific changes are required to the current policies to resolve the problem?

Slide 6: Advantages/Disadvantages

  • Summarise and list any advantages or disadvantages of the proposal.

Slide 7: Impact on resource holders

  • Briefly explain how this may affect resource holders in the APNIC region. For example, would they need to update their internal IT systems to meet the requirements of the policy.

Slide 8: Summary

  • Summarise previous slides. Try to describe the main gain to be made from changing the policy. Include reference to relevant translated materials on the web site, if applicable.

Slide 9: Questions

  • This final slide invites participants to ask questions about the proposal and begin the discussion.

5.5 Guidelines for informational presentations

The requirements for informational presentations are not as rigid as those for proposal presentations. However, it is suggested that presenters include a title slide and summary slide. Presenters should also consider the general presentation hints outlined in SIG Guidelines Section 6.

6. Code of conduct

APNIC coordinates many community activities, including conferences, meetings, trainings, workshops, social events, and digital platforms. These are organized for the benefit of all participants and are intended to be valuable and enjoyable to all. A Community Code of Conduct explains expectations for anyone participating in these events and platforms, including delegates, guests, speakers, contributors, commenters, APNIC staff and all others involved. It applies not only to physical events, but also to remote participants, online meeting spaces and digital platforms.