Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
As the person who called for the determination that a quorum was present
at a closing 802.11 meeting at an interim session, and thereby caused
the meeting to be adjourned, I would like to fill in the gaps.
The question on the floor was to forward a draft of 802.11g to working
group ballot. The chair of Task Group g had just admitted that the
draft was incomplete, thereby indicating that the motion to forward the
draft was in violation of the WG P&P. Because the WG chair (actually
one of the vice chairs sitting for the chair) would not rule the motion
out of order on these grounds and I was certain that a quorum was not
present, I asked for the chair to determine that a quorum was present,
in order to prevent the start of the WG letter ballot and have the task
group continue its work, rather than having the voting members of the WG
do it for them.
Mat's comments below are correct. However, 802.11 has since modified
its P&P to include the following statement (in part):
"2.8.2 Interim Sessions
Interim sessions of the WG, TGs, SGs and/or SCs are scheduled by the
respective groups no later than the end of the prior plenary meeting.
There is no standing schedule for interim sessions; however typically a
WG interim session is held between 802 plenary sessions. Other interim
sessions may be scheduled as needed to conduct business of the WG, TGs,
SGs and/or SCs. The date, time, and place of the session(s) must be
approved by the WG. Interim sessions shall be announced at the final WG
Plenary meeting and entered in the minutes of the meeting.
Official actions of these sessions are valid if one of the following
a) A WG quorum is present.
b) Specific empowerment that has been pre-authorized by the WG at
the time of the meeting approval."
It would seem that item b) has no actual effect under the 802 P&P.
As an aside, there was one occasion I can recall (perhaps you were
there) where at the closing meeting of a WG interim, someone called for
a quorum. Of course many people like to skip out early, and a quorum
was not present. The WG was unsure how to proceed and basically closed
down the meeting (a quorum was unachievable at that point) leaving many
important motions and much WG business unattended to. It was a mess.
One person had completely killed a critical meeting using this tactic.
(I think because they needed to leave early or something). As I recall
all business conducted before the point of the quorum call was presumed
valid. I don't believe any rules changes occurred based on the events.
However after much research I think the WG leadership decided on the
following basic guidance should the situation reoccur (if anyone wishes
to correct me on any of these matters feel free):
If a quorum is called and not present:
Continue transacting business anyway
Don't shut down the meeting
Business conducted prior to the quorum call is
Decisions after the quorum call must be affirmed by the
Either use the reflector or at the next plenary
Only follow the process above if a quorum is challenged
Otherwise assume a quorum is present
Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
Senior Member Technical Staff
BAE SYSTEMS, CNIR
Office: +1 973.633.6344
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