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Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802

Mike -

I couldn't agree more - I would be very concerned if we end up in a 
situation where it is impossible to make forward progress on anything 
without a quorum in the room.


At 18:33 26/09/2005, Mike Takefman wrote:
>We are now getting onto a tricky position that threatens our
>abilities as an SDO to do our function wrt to quorums.
>Many dot groups allow interim sessions to do comment resolution,
>revise drafts and start ballots (recircs or new ballots). Normally
>with some form of enabling motion that is narrow in scope to
>allow "just" that particular project to progress. I have no problem
>with this sort of work being done without a quorum as the ballot
>itself gives the full WG (or Sponsor Group) the chance to object to
>any decisions, hence there is oversight. However, as strict reading
>of a quorum rule might disallow even that.
>Any crafting of rules in order to insure that WGs don't run willy
>nilly at interims should be undertaken carefully as to insure that
>the above case is not curtailed, less we grind progress to a halt.
>Arguably, having a WG chair follow any interim session with a
>quick ballot to confirm decisions is acceptable. However
>as we see in cases such as this, the timeframe to do such a confirmation
>would have to be at the short end.
>I look forward with interest to this ongoing debate.
> wrote:
>>As the EC parliamentarian, I do not believe we have any cause to
>>question the procedure of 802.18 in Geneva.  Our P&P constrains us to
>>only the review of the document requested by Mike.  I will offer my
>>reasoning and the backup material to fill in the picture.  First the
>>backup material.
>> From Robert's Rules, Chapter 11, section 40:
>>"Manner of Enforcing the Quorum Requirement
>>Before the presiding officer calls a meeting to order, it is his duty to
>>determine, although he need not announce, [page 338] that a quorum is
>>present. If a quorum is not present, the chair waits until there is one,
>>or until, after a reasonable time, there appears to be no prospect that
>>a quorum will assemble. If a quorum cannot be obtained, the chair calls
>>the meeting to order, announces the absence of a quorum, and entertains
>>a motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described
>>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. If the
>>chair notices the absence of a quorum, it is his duty to declare the
>>fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on any new
>>motion - which he can no longer do except in connection with the
>>permissible proceedings related to the absence of a quorum, as explained
>>above. Any member noticing the apparent absence of a quorum can make a
>>point of order to that effect at any time so long as he does not
>>interrupt a person who is speaking. Debate on a question already pending
>>can be allowed to continue at length after a quorum is no longer
>>present, however, until a member raises the point. Because of the
>>difficulty likely to be encountered in determining exactly how long the
>>meeting has been without a quorum in such cases, a point of order
>>relating to the absence of a quorum is generally not permitted to affect
>>prior action; but upon clear and convincing proof, such a point of order
>>can be given effect retrospectively by a ruling of the presiding
>>officer, subject to appeal (24).*"
>>Clause of the LAMS P&P states:
>>" Voting at Meeting
>>A vote is carried by a 75% approval of those members voting "Approve"
>>and "Do Not Approve". No quorum is required at meetings held in
>>conjunction with the Plenary session since the Plenary session time and
>>place is established well in advance. A quorum is required at other
>>Working Group meetings. The Working Group Chair may vote at meetings. A
>>quorum is at least one-half of the Working Group members."
>>Now some analysis.
>>As the EC parliamentarian, I have to say that we are in an ambiguous
>>situation.  Whether any WG or TAG is permitted to conduct any business,
>>at all, outside of 802 plenary sessions, unless a quorum is present, is
>>questionable under our P&P.  Where any vote is taken, requires
>>a quorum to be present at any meeting outside of a one held in
>>conjunction with a plenary session or 802.  There is no exception to
>>this rule.  This clause also defines a quorum.
>>Robert's Rules clearly specify that it is the responsibility of the
>>Chair to determine if a quorum is present, before calling a meeting to
>>order.  HOWEVER, we have made Robert's Rules advisory only.  The Chair
>>has full discretion under the LMSC P&P to decide all procedural issues.
>>Determining the presence of a quorum is clearly procedural.  Under our
>>P&P, if the chair declares a quorum is present and there is no objection
>>from anyone present, there is a quorum present.  Period.  The lack of an
>>objection from anyone present would also seem to preclude an appeal (but
>>this is not a question for today).
>>So if Mike declares that a quorum was present at the meeting in Geneva
>>and there was no objection from anyone at that meeting, we do not have
>>the right to second guess him under our P&P.  He has absolute authority
>>on procedural matters in his TAG.  The members present in Geneva could
>>also be assumed to be working under the presumption of a quorum, since
>>Robert's Rules does not require the chair to announce that a quorum is
>>present.  Unless a member called for a quorum determination, business
>>could proceed.
>>Finally, my response.
>>My recommendation is that we defer to Mike, allowing him to inform us as
>>to the presence of a quorum in Geneva.  If a quorum was present, we have
>>no reason, or ability, to question it.  If a quorum was not present,
>>then 802.18 was unable to take any official action and there is no
>>document, yet, for us to review.
>>Lastly, a recommendation.
>>We should immediately institute a change to the P&P that requires the
>>adherence to Robert's Rules for the conduct of our meetings and those of
>>the WGs and TAGs in order to remove these types of issues, for which
>>Col. Robert spent significantly greater time considering than have we.
>>  -Bob
>>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email 
>>reflector.  This list is maintained by Listserv.
>Michael Takefman    
>Distinguished Engineer,       Cisco Systems
>Chair IEEE 802.17 Stds WG
>3000 Innovation Dr, Ottawa, Canada, K2K 3E8
>voice: 613-254-3399       cell:613-220-6991
>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.  This 
>list is maintained by Listserv.


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