IEEE 802.3 Chair's guidelines

Chair's guideline on electronic participation in meetings

Scope of this guideline

This 'Chair's Guideline' addresses participation via teleconference or other electronic means in Task Force meetings.

General requirements

In appropriate circumstances, electronic capabilities may be effective in advancing technical work and to facilitate generation of consensus. Some general requirements for electronic participation in meetings include:

  1. When a face-to-face meeting is held, inclusion in that meeting of participants via electronic means is for the benefit of the committee, not for the benefit of a participant that didn't attend the meeting.
  2. Teleconference participation is strictly at the discretion of the Task Force and Working Group Chair.
  3. Electronic participation must carry no additional cost to the Working Group.
  4. There is no obligation to provide teleconference, web meeting or other electronic participation as part of a face-to-face meeting.

Electronic participation in typical meetings

Telephone participation has been found to be effective for a brief topic that requires input from specialist(s) who couldn't justify the travel to attend only for that topic, or could not participate in the meeting in person for medical reasons. For example, when processing an Maintenance Request experts from a completed project contribute to the discussion and resolution of the item or when receiving a liaison contribution from another SDO, an expert from that SDO can contribute to the presentation and discussion of the contribution.

Based on such experience, an individual may participate in a meeting by electronic means under the following conditions:

  1. Consent for each individual is required from the Working Group Chair and as appropriate the Task Force Chair prior to the meeting.
  2. Participation is only during that portion of the meeting where their expertise is required.
  3. The individual cannot vote in the meeting and will not receive any attendance credit for the meeting.

Open teleconference participation at a contingent interim Task Force comment resolution group meeting

In the past, when a draft is at the point where it is expected to move onto the next stage of the process (e.g. about to complete Working Group Ballot and move onto Sponsor Ballot), and the expected number of comments is low or none, a contingent interim meeting of the Task Force is called to perform comment resolution. This is a short meeting (about half a day or less in duration), where the option of electronic participation is offered to all. Again, since the meeting is short and the attendance is small, electronic participation worked effectively.

Based on such experience, general teleconference participation may be offered for Task Force comment resolution group meetings under the following conditions:

  1. The Task Force meeting purpose is to perform comment resolution from what is expected to be the final recirculation prior to a draft moving to the next stage of the process, with scheduled meeting duration less than a day.
  2. If no comments are submitted, the contingent meeting may be cancelled with short notice. The meeting announcement should include such warning of possible cancellation.
  3. Consent for a contingent meeting is required from the Working Group Chair and the Task Force Chair prior to the meeting.
  4. The fact that electronic participation will be provided shall be announced as part of the initial meeting notice.
  5. Individuals participating by electronic means cannot vote in the meeting.
  6. A detailed agenda for the meeting should be provided with the meeting notice.
  7. New business may be introduced as an information item but cannot be voted upon. Such an item would be at the end of the agenda and included at the discretion of the Task Force Chair. The option of including new business in a comment resolution meeting may be used to provide warning, with the possibility of limited discussion, of a future topic rather that simply requiring that all such items be ruled out of scope.
  8. Open teleconference participation at comment resolution meetings at a Plenary will not be provided.

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Last Update: 28 Nov 14

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