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Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802


The same model has served 802.3 equally well.  So well, I can't remember
the case of any non-draft electronic ballot (except one interpretation
response) while I've been associated with 802.3. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Jeffree [mailto:tony@JEFFREE.CO.UK] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 12:42 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802

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
ballots as necessary"), the vote that determines whether or not the
are valid is the recirc ballot itself; what the interim meeting is
being empowered to do is to assist the Editor in preparing a new draft.
other cases where the actions delegated to an interim are not coupled to
ballot on a draft, for example, authorizing an interim to work on a PAR,

the requirement for the WG to vote on it can (and should) be met by the
approving the resultant text at the following Plenary. In such cases,
interim is simply making a recommendation that needs subsequent

In 802.1, we never take formal votes in task group meetings (and 802.1 
interims are simply concatenated task group meetings). Any votes that
necessary to ratify work done at an interim are taken either in the form
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 to 
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
for the past 20 years or so.


In 802.1

At 00:21 27/09/2005, Bob O'Hara (boohara) wrote:
>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
>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
>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
>This is another place where we diverge significantly and are charting
>our own, unknown, territory.
>  -Bob
>-----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
>(all comments are to be considered, with that consideration evidenced
>a response to the comment).  LMSC P&P does not restrict how the draft
>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
>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 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
>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.
>  -Bob
>-----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
>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
>"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
>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
>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
>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
> > 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
> > determine, although he need not announce, [page 338] that a quorum
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > order.  HOWEVER, we have made Robert's Rules advisory only.  The
> > has full discretion under the LMSC P&P to decide all procedural
> > Determining the presence of a quorum is clearly procedural.  Under
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > adherence to Robert's Rules for the conduct of our meetings and
> > the WGs and TAGs in order to remove these types of issues, for which
> > Col. Robert spent significantly greater time considering than have
> >
> >  -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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