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InCommon Technical Advisory Committee Charter

1. Description & Constitution

The InCommon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) supports InCommon’s mission “to create and support a common framework for trustworthy shared management of access to online resources.” It is an advisory body to the InCommon Steering Committee. It provides advice on InCommon’s operational processes and practices, strategies, capabilities, and roadmap to InCommon Steering and to InCommon Operations (OPS).

1.1 Membership

The InCommon Steering Committee appoints TAC members to three-year terms. Individuals should have the necessary technical expertise and experience in the education and research community, and a track record of participation in that community. Appointments may be based on recommendations from the TAC.

The TAC will consist of at least seven and no more than thirteen appointed members. The membership should include representatives from the various constituencies that make up the InCommon community.

Due to the need for timely operational decisions in cases of operational outage, emergencies, or other situations where high priority tactical resolution is required, TAC members may be asked with little notice to participate in discussions.

In addition the membership may include non-voting Subject Matter Experts, as deemed necessary, to advise on and support TAC activities.

1.2 Selection of Chair and Vice Chair

The Chair and Vice Chair of the TAC shall be selected by the TAC and ratified by the InCommon Steering Committee. The Chair and Vice Chair will serve one-year terms to begin on January 1 and end on December 31.

2. Duties

The duties of the TAC are to:

  1. Regularly review and advise on InCommon's operations, technology choices and recommendations, and the impact of policies on technical concerns for consistency with and support of InCommon's roadmap and mission. Provide input to and receive input from the InCommon Steering Committee, OPS staff, and other related groups as appropriate.
  2. Regularly review and advise on InCommon’s service offerings (with an emphasis on technical issues) and make recommendations for new service development and service retirement, as appropriate.
  3. In a timely manner work with InCommon staff who are making critical decisions about the secure, robust, and reliable operation of InCommon services.
  4. Create Standing Committees and short-lived Working Groups, as required, to fulfill these duties.
  5. As InCommon identifies resourcing issues and solutions, TAC should ratify or augment InCommon’s findings to ensure service growth and development.
  6. Stay informed on relevant activities by engaging with members of the participant community, research and education federations globally, and relevant identity and access management (IAM) subject matter experts across other sectors.
  7. Participate in discussions with peer federations aimed at defining standards and practices addressing the changing dynamics in R&E federations.

3. Criteria for Success

The TAC is effective when each of the following statements are true:

  1. InCommon Steering, management, operations, and community derive great value from TAC’s activities.
  2. Technically inclined members of the InCommon community would consider a TAC assignment as marking a significant accomplishment in their careers.
  3. Interested members of the InCommon community are able to review and provide input to TAC’s activities.
  4. Interested members of the InCommon community are provided opportunities to be considered for membership in TAC.
  5. Interested members of the InCommon community are provided opportunities to participate in TAC Working Groups.

4. Voting Requirement

The TAC uses a process of “rough consensus” when developing recommendations. This process is copied from the IETF, and is described in RFC 7282.

The following voting rules shall apply to decisions of the TAC:

  1. A quorum comprises at least a simple majority of the appointed members whether participating in person or electronically.
  2. Recommendations to Steering should be reached using a group decision process that seeks the consent, not necessarily the agreement, of all appointed members and the resolution of legitimate objections.

5. Resource Requirements

The TAC requires the following support from InCommon:

  1. Access to InCommon Staff, Steering Committee and other groups as appropriate for discussion of relevant service operational topics, and for communication of recommendations and timely action through appropriate representation by TAC members.
  2. Advisory support as-needed and reasonable from InCommon Staff, and consultants when needed.
  3. Conference call facilities.
  4. Logistics and administrative support, including documenting meeting discussions and decisions, and support for an annual face-to-face meeting.

6. Group Meetings and Communications

Internal communication is conducted mainly through electronic mail utilizing the mailing lists and through conference calls. TAC voting may be conducted through email or through telephone communications as determined most appropriate. Face-to-face meetings will occur as necessary.

If there is no need, both conference calls and face-to-face meetings may be canceled by the TAC Chair in consultation with InCommon Staff.

External communication, including the posting of minutes, should occur on a regular basis, normally within 30 days of a meeting.

7. Membership Expectations

TAC members shall:

  1. Disclose any conflict of interest and recuse oneself from the affected vote.

  2. Participate in meetings, teleconferences, and e-mail discussions as needed. TAC members will be required to be available with a reasonable response time via email and/or telephone during operational decision making events.
  3. Cover their own costs incurred as a result of participation, including the cost of attending at least one face-to-face TAC meeting per year.

Adopted Dec. 7, 2015 by InCommon Steering Committee

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