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Report of the SRSIOC Chair 15/09/01

Firstly let me apologise for the delays in the preparation of this report. The events of the past month have made it difficult to prepare. Please note that this is not the report of the committee but only of myself as Chair.

As you will see from the attached SRS Project Manager's report there has been significant progress with the development of the required consultation documents and there has been some feedback. I have included this document to allow council to consider he matters raised.

Regrettably the IOC itself has not functioned at all well, culminating in the resignations of Peter Mott and Ewen McNeill. It is clear that there were a number of issues behind each of these resignations and it is not for me to comment on these.

There are some very clear objectives which bear restatement:

1. The functions of the register cannot be put at risk by any of the changes that are made

2. The outcome of the changes must be a significant number of registrars operating in a truly competitive market. A monopoly or dominant registrar would be a worse situation than we have now (as the monopoly/dominant registrar might not be under our control

3. Registrants rights must be protected.

The SRS WG report makes these issues clear. The IOC's role is not to debate the options, but to facilitate these outcomes and allow the Project Manager to implement the SRS. Regrettably most of the internal debate has focussed on process and format of documents.

There appears to be a school of thought that the SRS is a simple technical exercise ('5 lines of Perl', 'two geeks and a pager').

Statements like these are simplistic and tend to divert attention from the real issues which are that the SRS Implementation is a far wider project with commercial, legal, competitive, employment as well as technical perspectives (to name but a few). This technical focus has produced significant tension with proponents of various views becoming almost religious in their zeal to promote a particular perspective.

A more appropriate view is to determine what functions are required to provide the outcomes desired and then develop a technical and infrastructual solution to meet them.

The SRS IOC requires members who are willing and able to devote time to ensuring that an appropriate process is followed, that all stakeholders are properly consulted and that the outcomes referred to above are achieved. SRS IOC members need to be willing and able to accept input from any and all sources in whatever form the author wishes to present these. A broad experience and focus beyond the technical issues is essential

The IOC is not, again imho, a platform from which to unduly influence the outcome of the process.

After consideration I agree with Rose that it is not appropriate for there to be representatives of any particular group on the IOC as it is the committee's job to ensure that the interests of _all_ groups are protected. (this does not mean that there should not be a registrars simply that they should not be directly on the committee as it opens the way for accusations of bias.

The SRS WG was successful (imo) because it had a wide cross section of relevant skills and experience represented amongst it's members. Many detail issues, such as the thickness of the registry, were not directly tackled in the final report and thus arguments over these were avoided. The SRS IOC has no such luxury and must now address them.

The purpose of the documents Rose is producing is to form a coherent whole so that those who wish to can see what the final SRS will look like (including the Office of the ccTLD manager and all other related issues). This will allow all stakeholders to judge if the proposed outcome will meet these requirements. Council(?) will need to resolve/approve this blueprint.

I trust council will feel able to agree with these statements and be able to quickly find replacement committee members with appropriate experience

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