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Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


Actually, in the case of 802.18, I would say their often is an urgency
to their work, which in my mind is primarily liaison work.  That is why
this is such an issue to them.  


Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
Senior Member Technical Staff
Office: +1 973.633.6344

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Jeffree [mailto:tony@JEFFREE.CO.UK] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 7:41 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802

Roger -

As you say, the major (only?) "other" activity that may require voting
likely to be liaison activities. In 802.1, that has never been an issue,
it is very rare indeed that we have a liaison activity that is as urgent
requiring action between two plenaries. Hence, we start out from an 
assumption that a quorum won't be needed for interims.

I believe the major difference we are really talking about is one of 
working style, and not the urgency of decision taking. As far as I can 
tell, the wireless groups (as a sweeping generalization) seem to operate
a mode that is based on taking binding WG votes on technical issues "in 
real time", as opposed to the 802.1/802.3 mode where such votes are 
deferred to the opening/closing WG plenaries during Plenary sessions
to ballots on drafts.

I strongly suspect that an unintended consequence of the difference in 
working style is that gaining WG voting rights becomes far more
in the wireless groups, and the gaining of a real consensus among the 
participants, as opposed to simply winning a vote, becomes
less important. This in turn encourages organizations to send more 
representatives to meetings than is either necessary or desirable,
to maintain a strong voting presence in WG meetings.

So, my own prejudice in this would be to change the rules such that,
as plenary sessions are quorate by definition, interim meetings, and
goup/task force meetings during plenaries are NEVER quorate, by
(i.e., require all formal business to be transacted via email motions,
by ballots on drafts, or at formal WG plenaries during plenary
This might help to encourage all of our working groups to move away from

the "if it moves, vote on it, and if it doesn't move, vote on it in case
does" approach and to develop a more collaborative, consensus-seeking, 
style of working.


At 10:14 27/09/2005, Roger B. Marks wrote:
>I agree that comment resolution (the main activity in 802.16, and in
>other groups, I presume) is not inherently a "Working Group" activity.
>ballot itself (whether Working Group Letter Ballot or Sponsor Ballot)
>in the hands of the appropriate ballot group. Comment resolution is the

>procedure of developing suggestions to present to the ballot group.
>at the IEEE-SA level, the procedures for comment resolution are very
>(perhaps even nonexistent), because the proposed resolutions are
>in ballot for confirmation.
>PARs are rarely an issue, since (due to the P&P prescription) they
>require a Plenary anyway.
>On the other hand, some WGs do have other voting business besides
>resolution and PARs. It is for their sake that I believe it is
>to remove the quorum ambiguities.
>What are the "other" activities? I'd like to hear some examples from
>of the other groups. Some have complex operations to manage; most of
>relevant issues are non-technical but may require attention at some 
>interims. (I don't chair such a group, so I am just speculating.)
>In my own experience, the major "other" voting activity regards liaison

>statements. These are often time-sensitive; a two-month delay is often 
>unacceptable. For "Coordination with Other Standards Bodies," the P&P
>not specify any procedure for WG approval of a liaison statement.
>it seems appropriate to approve them by vote, and an interim session
>like a pretty good place to do so. But the status of such a vote may be

>For "Communications with government bodies," of course, the procedures
>different, and a 75% WG vote is specified. It seems to me that this is
>most likely place for us to run into trouble due to the ambiguous
>Of course, it easy for me to make that statement, since that's what
>At 08:41 +0100 2005-09-27, Tony Jeffree wrote:
> >Bob -
> >
> >I suspect what your difference of opinion with Bob boils down to is a

> question as to when/where the WG does its voting. In the example Bob
> (a WG authorizing an Interim to "resolve comments and conduct 
> recirculation ballots as necessary"), the vote that determines whether
> not the changes are valid is the recirc ballot itself; what the
> meeting is actually being empowered to do is to assist the Editor in 
> preparing a new draft. In other cases where the actions delegated to
> interim are not coupled to a ballot on a draft, for example,
> an interim to work on a PAR, the requirement for the WG to vote on it
> (and should) be met by the WG approving the resultant text at the 
> following Plenary. In such cases, the interim is simply making a 
> recommendation that needs subsequent ratification.
> >
> >In 802.1, we never take formal votes in task group meetings (and
> interims are simply concatenated task group meetings). Any votes that
> necessary to ratify work done at an interim are taken either in the
> of a ballot on a draft, or as a vote at a plenary meeting in a plenary

> session. On the very, very rare occasions when it has been necessary
> ratify work done at an interim in a more timely manner, we have made a

> motion and conducted an email ballot. That approach has served us very

> well for the past 20 years or so.
> >
> >Regards,
> >Tony
> >
> >
> >
> >In 802.1
> >
> >At 00:21 27/09/2005, Bob O'Hara (boohara) wrote:
> >>Bob,
> >>
> >>I guess we have a fundamental disagreement on a few issues.  The
> >>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
> >>What else is there for a WG to vote on in a meeting?  I believe that
> >>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
> >>its rules.  I suppose, since we demoted RROR to advisory status, the
> >>chair can make this decision without any vote of the WG, at all.
> >>Robert's Rules, of course, has a different requirement.
> >>RROR says that the operating rules or bylaws of an organization
> >>be suspended, except by the same process that is required to amend
> >>As with the EC, we could not pass a motion (by any majority) to
> >>change the effect of some clause in our P&P.  "Suspend the rules",
> >>again, has a very specific meaning and limited effect according to
> >>This is another place where we diverge significantly and are
> >>our own, unknown, territory.
> >>
> >>
> >> -Bob
> >>
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: Grow, Bob [mailto:bob.grow@INTEL.COM]
> >>Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 2:31 PM
> >>To:
> >>Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
> >>
> >>Bob:
> >>
> >>IEEE-SA has minimal requirements on how comment resolution is to be
> >>(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.
> >>LMSC requirement to go to Sponsor ballot is that a WG letter ballot
> >>conducted and pass successfully.
> >>
> >>I agreed with you that a WGs do have additional requirements, but
> >>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
> >>requires a WG vote.  In this case (without an enabling motion), I
> >>not dispute the analysis and conclusions presented on quorum and
> >>calls per Roberts Rules.
> >>
> >>An enabling motion to allow WG decisions to be made without a quorum
> >>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
> >>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
> >>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
> >>judgement on each recirculation ballot.  The WG ballot on a draft is
> >>final arbiter if comment resolutions delegated to the TG are
> >>the WG doesn't need to vote the issue twice once to approve the
> >>recirculation and once again on the recirculation ballot (at least
> >>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
> >>requirements.
> >>
> >>--Bob Grow
> >>
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: Bob O'Hara (boohara) [mailto:boohara@CISCO.COM]
> >>Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:20 PM
> >>To:
> >>Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
> >>
> >>Bob,
> >>
> >>I fail to see how adoption of comment resolutions, any of which
> >>for "reject", involve changes to a draft can be accomplished without
> >>passing a technical motion.  This seems to me to clearly require a
> >>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
> >>(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
> >>WG to take action, either by email ballot or at the next plenary
> >>session.
> >>
> >>That our P&P need to address this issue, is clear.  When and how
> >>to be determined.
> >>
> >>
> >> -Bob
> >>
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: Grow, Bob [mailto:bob.grow@INTEL.COM]
> >>Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:02 PM
> >>To:
> >>Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
> >>
> >>Bob:
> >>
> >>I would respectfully disagree with your conclusion about item "b".
> >>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
> >>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
> >>not things requiring WG approval within the LMSC P&P.  Even
> >>of a WG ballot is not constrained by LMSC P&P (though 802.3 has
> >>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
> >>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
> >>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
> >>agenda.
> >>
> >>--Bob Grow
> >>
> >>
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: boohara@CISCO.COM [mailto:boohara@CISCO.COM]
> >>Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 11:40 AM
> >>To:
> >>Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
> >>
> >>Mike,
> >>
> >>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
> >>in this area.
> >>
> >>I would like to see something added to our rules that allows
> >>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
> >>the motion to be undertaken at the interim session.  The motion
> >>include any general provision, such as "and any such business that
> >>before the working group".  Thus, a motion might include "resolve
> >>ballot comments and issue a new draft to working group recirculation
> >>ballot", or "respond to the liaison letter from XYZ SDO".
> >>
> >> -Bob
> >>
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: Mike Takefman []
> >>Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 10:33 AM
> >>To:
> >>Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
> >>
> >>Colleagues,
> >>
> >>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
> >>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
> >>> only the review of the document requested by Mike.  I will offer
> >>> reasoning and the backup material to fill in the picture.  First
> >> > 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
> >>to
> >>> determine, although he need not announce, [page 338] that a quorum
> >>> present. If a quorum is not present, the chair waits until there
> >>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
> >>> above.
> >>>
> >>> 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
> >>> chair or a member notices that a quorum is no longer present. If
> >>> chair notices the absence of a quorum, it is his duty to declare
> >>> fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on
> >>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
> >>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
> >>> and "Do Not Approve". No quorum is required at meetings held in
> >>> conjunction with the Plenary session since the Plenary session
> >>and
> >>> place is established well in advance. A quorum is required at
> >>> Working Group meetings. The Working Group Chair may vote at
> >>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
> >>> situation.  Whether any WG or TAG is permitted to conduct any
> >>business,
> >>> at all, outside of 802 plenary sessions, unless a quorum is
> >>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
> >>> this rule.  This clause also defines a quorum.
> >>>
> >>> Robert's Rules clearly specify that it is the responsibility of
> >>> Chair to determine if a quorum is present, before calling a
meeting to
> >>> order.  HOWEVER, we have made Robert's Rules advisory only.  The
> >>> has full discretion under the LMSC P&P to decide all procedural
> >>issues.
> >>> Determining the presence of a quorum is clearly procedural.  Under
> >>> 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
> >>an
> >>> objection from anyone present would also seem to preclude an
> >>(but
> >>> this is not a question for today).
> >>>
> >>> So if Mike declares that a quorum was present at the meeting in
> >>> and there was no objection from anyone at that meeting, we do not
> >>> 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
> >>> also be assumed to be working under the presumption of a quorum,
> >>> Robert's Rules does not require the chair to announce that a
quorum is
> >>> present.  Unless a member called for a quorum determination,
> >>> could proceed.
> >>>
> >>> Finally, my response.
> >>> My recommendation is that we defer to Mike, allowing him to inform
> >>as
> >>> to the presence of a quorum in Geneva.  If a quorum was present,
> >>have
> >>> no reason, or ability, to question it.  If a quorum was not
> >>> 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
> >>> adherence to Robert's Rules for the conduct of our meetings and
> >>of
> >> > the WGs and TAGs in order to remove these types of issues, for
> >>> Col. Robert spent significantly greater time considering than have
> >>>
> >>>  -Bob
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ----------
> >>> This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email
> >>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.
> >>
> >>----------
> >>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
> >>This list is maintained by Listserv.
> >>
> >>----------
> >>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
> >>This list is maintained by Listserv.
> >>
> >>----------
> >>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
> >>This list is maintained by Listserv.
> >>
> >>----------
> >>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
> >>This list is maintained by Listserv.
> >>
> >>----------
> >>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email 
> reflector.  This list is maintained by Listserv.
> >
> >Regards,
> >Tony
> >
> >----------
> >This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email 
> reflector.  This list is maintained by Listserv.
>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
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