Guidelines for Proposal Authors

Becoming a policy proposal author

The idea for a policy change often arises when a network operator finds they do not meet certain policy criteria.

Other proposals come about because somebody sees something happening they think has a negative impact for the community, or the networks, or the global Internet.

Proposing a policy change might help you get the resources you need to build your network. You may find that many in the APNIC community also share your situation and agree with your goals. With their help you can develop a solution that suits everybody.

If the community reaches consensus on your proposal it will be implemented by APNIC and become part of the rules for Internet Resource Management in the Asia Pacific region.

To help you become a proposal author, this guide explains everything from submitting a proposal to final implementation from a proposer’s point of view.

Submission Before each APNIC Conference, the Policy SIG Chair sets a deadline for the submission of policy proposals. The deadline for submissions is normally 5-6 weeks before the meeting.

The PDP (Policy Development Process) requires that proposals be available for discussion on the SIG mailing list for a minimum of 4 weeks before the OPM (Open Policy Meeting). The OPM is held as part of the Policy SIG meeting which occurs two times per year at APNIC Conferences.

When submitting a policy proposal, the author may send the proposal in text to the APNIC Secretariat’s policy email account, or use the submission form on this website. The only section of the proposal template which must be completed is the ‘Problem Statement‘.
 

Acceptance & Publication The Chair must review and accept your proposal before circulating it to the SIG mailing list.

Generally, this means the Chair will check that the issue dealt with in your proposal falls within the scope of the Policy SIG Charter.

There are a few other reasons the Chair(s) may reject your proposal. These are contained in the APNIC SIG Guidelines.

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

  • The proposal is out of scope for the 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 [link]

Once the proposal is accepted for discussion by the SIG Chair(s), the Secretariat will assign it a proposal number in the format [prop-nnn] where ‘nnn’ is a sequential number indicating the order proposals are accepted by the Chair(s). The text of the proposal will be posted to the mailing list and on the APNIC website.

A status page is created for each proposal. These pages form a public record and archive of all proposals that are discussed and decided by the APNIC Community under the PDP.

 

Mailing List Discussion When the proposal is posted to the Policy SIG Mailing List, the Chair will invite the community to ask questions and offer their opinion on the proposal.

As explained in the APNIC SIG Guidelines.

In the weeks before the meeting, proposal authors should subscribe to the appropriate 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 APNIC meeting.[link]

 

It is recommended that you try to encourage discussion on the mailing list, as this discussion will help the Chair’s evaluation of the proposal. Perhaps you can also ask other community members to contribute to get the discussion started.

If there are concerns or objections to the proposal, the author is encouraged to incorporate mailing list feedback into the proposal, so that it offers the best possible solution to the Problem Statement.

Authors are welcome, but not required, to submit a revised version of the proposal at any time, including during the OPM itself. These should be sent to the Secretariat policy email address, so the administrative work of updating the APNIC website can be done for access and transparency.

 

Presentation At the Policy SIG Meeting

If you are not able to attend the Policy SIG meeting in person, you may ask the Secretariat to organize remote participation for you.

If you can’t participate in person or even remotely, your proposal will still be discussed. You can either ask for a volunteer to present your proposal, or the SIG Chair will appoint somebody.

 

The agenda for the next Policy SIG session will allocate time for your proposal to be presented, discussed, and decided.

There is a standard template for proposal presentations. You are not required to use this if you would prefer to present your proposal in another format. Also, the community has developed guidelines for presenters which you may find helpful.

The presentation should be around 10-15 minutes in length. It should explain the Problem Statement your proposal is trying to address and provide details of the solution you are proposing. The agenda will allow around 30-45 minutes for your proposal, so the remaining time after your presentation will be devoted to questions and comments on your suggestion.

The Secretariat will let you know what time your proposal is scheduled in the agenda and will give you a deadline to submit slides for your presentation (PowerPoint or PDF is preferred).

 

Consensus Following the community discussion in the Policy SIG meeting, the SIG Chair(s) will decide whether or not the community has reached consensus.

In making the consensus decision, the Chair(s) will consider the opinions and discussion on the mailing list as well as those from the SIG meeting. They will also consider input from remote participants at the SIG meeting.

To gauge the level of support or opposition to your proposal the Chair(s) may request a “show of hands” and/or they may use APNIC’s Confer (CONsensus FEedback in Realtime) system to electronically gauge consensus among all those participating in the SIG meeting.

To be clear, neither a show of hands nor the Confer system are a vote. Authors should not draw any conclusions from a count of those for or against their proposal.

 

Understanding the meaning of consensus at APNIC is sometimes a challenge for new SIG participants as the decision of the Chair(s) can seem to be in conflict with the perceived level of support or opposition. This is because the Chair(s) must also consider the weight of responses, not merely the number of responses.

The APNIC SIG Guidelines outlines the basic steps in the consensus decision-making process, in particular you should consider the section on minor and major objections.

If your proposal reaches consensus at this point you cannot relax just yet, there are still some more steps along the way to full acceptance.

If your Proposal does not reach Consensus If your proposal does not reach consensus at both the Policy SIG and Member meetings, it cannot proceed in the PDP and will need to be considered again at the next SIG meeting (in around 6 months time).

It is not unusual for a significant change in policy to take more than one meeting to reach consensus.

If you wish to continue with your proposal, you may want to consider submitting a revised draft that incorporates feedback and attempts to resolve the objections that were raised by other community members.

The Chair(s) will consider if the proposal has enough merit and support to continue discussion. If there is no support for your idea, or little chance of reaching consensus, the SIG Chair(s) may recommend the community should abandon the proposal.

 

AMM Consensus Policy proposals that reach consensus at the Policy SIG, must also reach consensus among the APNIC Membership in order to proceed in the PDP.

During the AMM/AGM, the Policy SIG Chair will report the outcomes of the SIG to the APNIC Members present. In particular, the report will include those proposals that have reached consensus.

The Chair of the AMM/AGM will then present the proposals passed by the Policy SIG and seek consensus on them for a second time.

 

This important step in the PDP is an opportunity for the financial Members of APNIC to review the decisions made at the SIG level.

 

Comment Period If your proposal reaches consensus at both the SIG and APNIC Member /General Meetings, the Chair(s) will post the approved version back to the Policy SIG Mailing List for a final call. This Comment Period may be from 4 to 8 weeks depending on the complexity of the issues involved and/or the level of discussion.

If there are still concerns about your proposal, you may need to continue to answer questions and explanations on the mailing list.

At the end of this period the SIG Chair(s) will decide if the consensus reached at the APNIC Conference is maintained. If so, the Chair(s) will request the EC to endorse the decision.

Executive Council endorsement The APNIC Executive Council has a range of responsibilities to safeguard the continued operation of APNIC and must review proposals to ensure they have reached consensus under the PDP, fulfil fiduciary responsibilities, and to consider broad Internet policy issues.

If your proposal is endorsed by the APNIC Executive Council arrangements will begin for implementation of the changes.

 

Editorial Process Implementation of a policy change is in two parts. The policy documentation must be updated and the Secretariat systems and procedures must be updated.

Generally speaking, re-drafting of any policy documentation is the first publicly visible change. The publication of new policy documents is governed by the APNIC Document Editorial Policy. Specifically, this policy requires that substantive changes to official APNIC [numbered] documents are made available in draft form for review prior to being finalized.

The beginning of the draft review period will be announced on the Policy SIG mailing list.

As a proposal author, it is recommended that you review the policy documentation drafts to establish that the changes reflect the wording and intent of the consensus proposal.

 

Once you have reviewed the text of the draft Policy documents, you should submit any comments or feedback according to the instructions given on the draft documents page.

 

Implementation Depending on the nature and urgency of the change, it may be possible to implement immediately upon endorsement by the APNIC EC.

Most likely though, the implementation will require staff training, procedural changes, reprogramming of APNIC’s resource management systems and website updates.

Complex changes may take as much as 6 months after APNIC EC endorsement before they can be safely implemented.

The Secretariat will make announcements regarding the implementation of the proposal soon after the APNIC EC makes its decision and at the time of implementation.

The Secretariat and other sources of help

At any time during this process, you may contact the APNIC Secretariat and request assistance, advice, interpretation, information on operational practice, or other data. Staff will endeavor to provide any support possible.

The Policy SIG Chair(s) and other community members are also available to provide advice and information to proposal authors, or to other stakeholders participating in the discussion.