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Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA) 
> [mailto:matthew.sherman@BAESYSTEMS.COM] 
> Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 10:12 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
> Steve,
> You have omitted one key quote:
> In Ch. XI, Section 40 under "Manner of Enforcing the Quorum 
> Requirement"
> it states:
> 	'When the chair has called a meeting to order after 
> finding that a quorum is present, the continued presence of a 
> quorum is presumed unless the chair or a member notices that 
> a quorum is no longer present.'
> However I will go further to justify my stance and state that:
> At least I don't know of any.  Our rules say a quorum must be 
> present, but don't say how the presence is determined.  
> Determining a quorum is a non-technical matter.  Therefore 
> (in the absence of a specific rule) it is up to the chair to 
> decide how to determine if a quorum is present.
> All the guidance we are citing from Roberts is just that - Guidance.
> None of it is binding.  The question is completely and 
> totally up to the chair.
> Now while I don't think you asked this, it could be suggested 
> that we clarify the 802 rules on interim quorum.  However I 
> have found that for any rule we can define, we can always 
> find a loophole and ambiguity.
> Further I suggest you ask yourself the following:
> Do you check for the presence of a quorum before every vote?  
> Do you think it is reasonable to check for a quorum before 
> every vote? Do you even check prior to the opening of each meeting? 
> My suggestion is that with regard to an interim quorum, our 
> rules are clear enough, and that we leave it be.  Explictly 
> requiring more could have substantial administrative impact - 
> particularly on our larger groups.  The chair determines the 
> quorum, and it is completely up to him how.  Unless 
> challenged, he may presume one if he likes.  There is nothing 
> in our rules that prevent this.  I believe that formalizing 
> additional rules will simply lead to additional complexity 
> with an even greater risk of more loopholes and patches to the rules.
> Hope that helps.
> Mat
> PS - 
> As an aside, there was one occasion I can recall (perhaps you were
> there) where at the closing meeting of a WG interim, someone 
> called for a quorum.  Of course many people like to skip out 
> early, and a quorum was not present.  The WG was unsure how 
> to proceed and basically closed down the meeting (a quorum 
> was unachievable at that point) leaving many important 
> motions and much WG business unattended to.  It was a mess.
> One person had completely killed a critical meeting using this tactic.
> (I think because they needed to leave early or something).  
> As I recall all business conducted before the point of the 
> quorum call was presumed valid.  I don't believe any rules 
> changes occurred based on the events.
> However after much research I think the WG leadership decided 
> on the following basic guidance should the situation reoccur 
> (if anyone wishes to correct me on any of these matters feel free):
> 	If a quorum is called and not present: 
> 		Continue transacting business anyway
> 		Don't shut down the meeting		
> 		Business conducted prior to the quorum call is 
>           considered valid
> 		Decisions after the quorum call must be 
>           affirmed by the WG
> 			Either use the reflector or at the next plenary
> 	Only follow the process above if a quorum is challenged
> 		Otherwise assume a quorum is present
> Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
> Senior Member Technical Staff
> Office: +1 973.633.6344
> email:


I agree with you that overly complicating our rules is undesirable and
generally seems to lead to unintended consequences.

I also was present at the meeting you refer to in your "PS" above and have
the following observations:

1) I don't believe that the person who did the quorum call did so "because
he needed to leave early" but did so for other reasons that I don't know and
won't speculate on.
2) The (I believe) unintended result was that votes on issues other than the
one that was about to be voted upon when the quorum was called were placed
in question - some of which were time-sensitive for a variety of reasons,
but were unlikely to have been controversial.
3) I also believe that your outline of what was decided with respect to do
if a quorum call was made is accurate.


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