I submitted a comment to the IEDR's PDP comment thing earlier today.
In the interests of transparency here it is in its entirety.
Thank you for offering us the opportunity to submit comments on the policy development process
We are a significantly affected party with respect to any and all potential changes to IEDR policy and process and so welcome the opportunity to be able to submit comments on this.
We have invested heavily in promoting the IE namespace both domestically and internationally and any and all comments submitted are based on our deep knowledge and experience of the IEDR's current policies and modus operandi. While we may be highly critical of the IEDR we wish to go on the record as stating that we do not appreciate our criticism being characterised as "mud slinging". The overheads involved with registering and managing a large number of .ie domain names is considerable and the workload is exacerbated on an ongoing basis by the registry, its rules and its processes.
We reserve the right to submit additional comments on this process prior to the deadline.
Our main concern at present is that we have little or no confidence in the IEDR's ability to act as both technical and policy manager for the IE namespace and that this entire process is, therefore, fundamentally flawed.
A large part of the IEDR's current policies are highly subjective and are therefore open to the personal interpretations of registry staff.
While the IEDR may be willing to make fundamental changes to its modus operandi in order to effect a positive change and improve the operation of the IE namespace so that it works to the mutual benefit of both stakeholders and the registry, we do not feel that the organisation is either capable or sincere in its wishes to make this change.
We also feel that the organisation's charter and structure, and specifically its governance, needs to be either fundamentally and radically changed or that a new organisation should be given a mandate to oversee the management and development of the IE namespace.
With respect to the draft document under consideration we have several queries and comments.
"All policy changes will not require a public consultation"
Why not? And who will make the determination on whether a public consultation is needed or not, and based on which criteria? Will this be recorded somewhere?
There seems to be very little guidance contained in the document as to basic rules / operating principles for Working Groups. Maybe this information is contained somewhere else? Idem for mechanisms to be used to recruit volunteers for a WG or obtain public input. Conversely speaking the document is probably over specific when mentioning tools like SurveyMonkey by name.
How will consensus be determined? Is this unanimous consensus, rough consensus? A definition of consensus seems in order. The document mentions 'consensus is defined as general agreement of the group', does this mean that if one person disagrees there is no general agreement?
"The PAC may intervene and give recommendations at anytime if required to make the report more acceptable by the majority" - This sounds odd to me and not very constructive. A better approach might be to have a PAC liaison that could serve as a liaison between the WG / PAC and provide input / assistance as appropriate.
What is the mechanism for the PAC to approve the report? Are there different level of 'approval'? (I guess this might be in the terms of reference that are referred to in the document)
Who will prepare the details of the implementation? There does not seem to be any public comment / consultation foreseen on the implementation plan.
In terms of policies themselves. That the proposed forms would even consider using the concept of "temporary" is just plain wrong. Policies cannot be temporary. They need to be constructed in such a manner that they provide a level of predictability to all stakeholders.
I am still not convinced that this process is transparent enough.
Even if the IEDR staff present policy proposals to their board in an impartial manner there is no way to know how the board will cope with them. As the board is not representative of industry or stakeholders are they even qualified to make a decision on a policy proposal's validity? From recollection those few changes to policy that were processed in the last 10 years only came about after them being stalled for no good reason by the board on more than one occasion. And as the board's minutes are not public the reasoning behind any of this will never be known, which brings us back to the topic of the IEDR's suitabilty to manage the namespace.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out