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Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


You did not properly convey my position on changes to a draft.  I agree
with you that the WG must approve adding or deleting something
substantive in a draft during WG ballot.  Where we disagree is if the
recirculation ballot on those changes is the only required WG vote to
approve them or if the WG must vote in a meeting to accept the changes
before they go to recirculation ballot.  

FYI, in resolving comments, the practice in 802.3 is that any
technical/substantive change to a draft must be approved by the ballot
resolution group (the TF is generally authorized by WG motion as the
ballot resolution group, even though they are so designated in 802.3
rules).  Comment resolutions may be developed and even voted on in a
subgroup or they may be developed by the complete TF as appropriate for
the project.  But, responses and specified substantive draft changes are
ratified by motion of the TF as the authorized group to do comment

There are structural differences between WGs and procedural differences
in WG P&P that do not necessarily make the above applicable to any other
specific WG. 

Some thing on which WG motions are required (not necessarily an
exhaustive list):

1.  The Chair may decide procedural issues by placing them to a vote
2.  Anything appropriate to place to a vote so that WG process is
democratic (7.2.4)
3.  Removal of Chairs and Vice Chairs (, hold an election
4.  To request operation with treasury or surrender authorization
5.  To establish a TAG position or approve a TAG document (7.3)
6.  Form (renew) a WG Study Group (7.4)
7.  Any item on which the WG wishes to establish a WG position through
motion (9.3)
8.  Establish a directed position (9.3)
9.  Approve communication to a government body (14.2)
10. Approve its own PARs (17)
11. Conditional approval for Sponsor Ballot or RevCom submittal (21)
12. Any items required by WG P&P (e.g., in 802.3, WG P&P changes,
interpretations, initial WG ballot, etc.)
13. Though I couldn't find a written requirement, in practice, any WG
item brought before the EC is to have a counted WG vote

I don't know that we disagree on your second item either.  Perhaps I
didn't write too clearly, or think out of the "802.3 box".  (In 802.3 a
WG technical motion at a closing plenary can amend our rules, and would
therefore be sufficient to suspend them.  I only remember 802.3
suspending the rules a few times.)

What I was attempting to convey is that if a WG passed a motion to
"enable decisions without quorum", I would support the results of an
interim vote independent of quorum unless clearly constrained by LMSC
requirements.  Your point about suspending the rules per RROR is valid,
and something I overlooked.  Presented your argument plus a citation
that a WG rules amendment requires more than a WG vote in a meeting, I
would in the abstract support your interpretation (and consequently
withdraw my more general support of an "enabling motion" because I was
thinking too much in the context of 802.3 rules).  

None of this though changes my position that a WG can't suspend an LMSC
requirement through an "enabling WG motion".  Nor does it change my
opinion that LMSC P&P do not stop a WG from delegating draft development
work, comment resolution and the like to a subgroup or an interim WG
meeting independent of quorum, except items where LMSC P&P specifies WG
approval being required.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob O'Hara (boohara) [mailto:boohara@CISCO.COM] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


I guess we have a fundamental disagreement on a few issues.  The first
is what a WG must vote on.  If the WG does not have to vote on the
technical content of a draft, i.e., putting something in or taking
something out, why do we have clause in the EC P&P, at all.
What else is there for a WG to vote on in a meeting?  I believe that is
the only reason there is a clause on WG voting in out P&P.

The second item I disagree with you on is the ability of a WG to suspend
its rules.  I suppose, since we demoted RROR to advisory status, the WG
chair can make this decision without any vote of the WG, at all.
Robert's Rules, of course, has a different requirement.  Specifically,
RROR says that the operating rules or bylaws of an organization cannot
be suspended, except by the same process that is required to amend them.
As with the EC, we could not pass a motion (by any majority) to simply
change the effect of some clause in our P&P.  "Suspend the rules",
again, has a very specific meaning and limited effect according to RROR.
This is another place where we diverge significantly and are charting
our own, unknown, territory. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Grow, Bob [mailto:bob.grow@INTEL.COM] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 2:31 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


IEEE-SA has minimal requirements on how comment resolution is to be done
(all comments are to be considered, with that consideration evidenced by
a response to the comment).  LMSC P&P does not restrict how the draft is
developed and refined, but only requires a successful WG ballot
(referencing the Operations Manual on recirculations).  It is WG P&P
that constrains draft development and refinement and not LMSC P&P.  The
LMSC requirement to go to Sponsor ballot is that a WG letter ballot be
conducted and pass successfully.  

I agreed with you that a WGs do have additional requirements, but those
are not LMSC requirements.  Yes, if the judgement that a draft is
technically complete is assigned to a WG vote in the WG P&P, then that
requires a WG vote.  In this case (without an enabling motion), I would
not dispute the analysis and conclusions presented on quorum and quorum
calls per Roberts Rules.  

An enabling motion to allow WG decisions to be made without a quorum is
essentially a suspension of the WG rules.  A WG can suspend its own
rules, but it can't suspend LMSC rules and that is where I think we
diverge.  I believe an enabling motion can apply to anything required
within WG rules, but not to approvals required by LMSC rules.

If a WG in plenary authorizes the TF (TG) to "resolve comments and
conduct recirculation ballots as necessary", I believe such motion
enabling the action is not in conflict with LMSC P&P as LMSC P&P do not
require WG approvals for a WG ballot (intial or recirculation).  How
clean this is for a specific WG is dependant on the WG rules, in the
case of 802.3, the technical completeness requirement is to approve
entry into WG ballot, 802.3 rules do not require the WG to make the same
judgement on each recirculation ballot.  The WG ballot on a draft is the
final arbiter if comment resolutions delegated to the TG are acceptable,
the WG doesn't need to vote the issue twice once to approve the
recirculation and once again on the recirculation ballot (at least not
under 802.3 rules).

Bottom line, the only time I have trouble with an enabling motion is
when that enabling motion by a WG is attempting to suspend the LMSC P&P

--Bob Grow

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob O'Hara (boohara) [mailto:boohara@CISCO.COM] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


I fail to see how adoption of comment resolutions, any of which except
for "reject", involve changes to a draft can be accomplished without
passing a technical motion.  This seems to me to clearly require a WG
approval of a technical motion, covered under 7.2.4 of our P&P.
Initiation of a WG ballot also seems to require this same technical
vote, stating the WG position that the draft is "technically complete"
(YMMV with different language in each WG P&P).

I believe that the only action that a subgroup or interim session
without quorum is to report back to the entire WG.  It is then up to the
WG to take action, either by email ballot or at the next plenary

That our P&P need to address this issue, is clear.  When and how needs
to be determined.

-----Original Message-----
From: Grow, Bob [mailto:bob.grow@INTEL.COM] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:02 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


I would respectfully disagree with your conclusion about item "b".  If
not proscribed by the WG P&P, I believe a subgroup can take a large
number of actions without quorum when allowed with an enabling motion.
The only actions I would question within EC responsibility are those
specifically defined in the LMSC P&P as requiring WG/TAG approval
(usually with a specified percentage).  

Comment resolution, initiation of recirculation ballots and the like are
not things requiring WG approval within the LMSC P&P.  Even initiation
of a WG ballot is not constrained by LMSC P&P (though 802.3 has similar
constraints to those you describe for 802.11).  

TAG positions and communications with government bodies though are
approvals specified in the LMSC P&P, where there is no recognition of an
"enabling motion", only thresholds and quorum requirements.

Could this area be improved in the LMSC P&P absoultely (mostly by
simplification and removal of micromanagement through the P&P).
Unfortunately, we have a bigger "voting" issue to deal with based on
approved Standards Board Operations Manual changes effective in 2006.
So, I don't think anyone should not start on rules changes on this
detailed item.  BTW, there are also some AudCom issues affecting how we
maintain our P&P (as well as recommendations to split them up into
multiple dcouments).  These larger issues are probably something to
discuss on our conference call tomorrow even though it isn't on the

--Bob Grow

-----Original Message-----
From: boohara@CISCO.COM [mailto:boohara@CISCO.COM] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 11:40 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


I agree that we need to be able to make progress between plenary
sessions.  I was pointing out that our rules leave a lot to be desired
in this area.

I would like to see something added to our rules that allows SPECIFIC
empowerment at an interim session.  This would be take the form of a
motion at a plenary session that would allow only the work itemized in
the motion to be undertaken at the interim session.  The motion cannot
include any general provision, such as "and any such business that comes
before the working group".  Thus, a motion might include "resolve letter
ballot comments and issue a new draft to working group recirculation
ballot", or "respond to the liaison letter from XYZ SDO".

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Takefman [] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 10:33 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


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.

mike 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
> 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
> or until, after a reasonable time, there appears to be no prospect
> a quorum will assemble. If a quorum cannot be obtained, the chair
> the meeting to order, announces the absence of a quorum, and
> a motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described
> above.
> When the chair has called a meeting to order after finding that a
> 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
> motion - which he can no longer do except in connection with the
> permissible proceedings related to the absence of a quorum, as
> 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
> 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
> 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
> prior action; but upon clear and convincing proof, such a point of
> 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
> place is established well in advance. A quorum is required at other
> Working Group meetings. The Working Group Chair may vote at meetings.
> 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
> at all, outside of 802 plenary sessions, unless a quorum is present,
> questionable under our P&P.  Where any vote is taken,
> 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
> 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
> from anyone present, there is a quorum present.  Period.  The lack of
> objection from anyone present would also seem to preclude an appeal
> 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
> 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
> to the presence of a quorum in Geneva.  If a quorum was present, we
> 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
> 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.
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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

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