Clarification of feedback requests
February 19, 2009
From: NomCom Chair <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: IETF Announcement list <email@example.com>
Date: February 19, 2009
Subject: Clarification of feedback requests
There have been several requests to the nominating committee to clarify the outstanding feedback requests. There is apparently confusion about the names that some members of the community are presented when trying to provide the feedback we have asked them to provide. My apologies for the confusion. Unfortunately, this is engendered by the rules we are required to operate under. The IETF rules for the nominating committee require very strict confidentiality. We are not permitted to disclose the list of people who have volunteered for any position, nor the list of people we are considering for any position. However, the nominating committee clearly needs feedback from the community on people we are considering. Therefore, the following compromise has been worked out, and was reviewed by the working group that developed RFC 3777. The nominating committee may solicit feedback from individuals in the community. In doing so, the nominating committee must use lists of people that include at least some people who have not volunteered and are not being considered, so as to preserve confidentiality. Recently, a second call for feedback was sent out to some people in the community. This was done after the community provided significant and helpful nominations to the committee. Thank you for that. The list of people provided for that request was neither complete nor accurate. That is, there are people being seriously considered for whom we did not ask for feedback, and people on the list who did not volunteer and are not being considered. The reason for the omissions was two-fold. Firstly, we did not want to indicate what earlier people were still under consideration. Secondly, the committee's primary concern was to get feedback on individuals about whom we did not have enough information from the community. Remember that the purpose of the feedback request is not to judge popularity, but to get concrete feedback about the nominees abilities and performance in various roles. To complete the confusion, it should be noted that the tool used for feedback will never ask a person for feedback about themselves (there are other ways to provide that.) So if you are asked for feedback and do not see your name where you expect it, that does not tell you anything. You will not see your own name. Thank you, Joel M. Halpern IETF 2008 / 2009 Nominating Committee Chair PS: In my final report, I will include the observation that the current confidentiality rules are both confusing for the community and difficult for the committee. These rules create confusion and extra work for those providing feedback. They create extra work for the committee, and inhibit our ability to get the feedback we need.