ICANN Resolutions » Acceptance of the Final Report and Feasibility Assessment and of the Initial Implementation Plan for the Second Organizational Review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee
Important note: The Board Resolutions are as reported in the Board Meeting Transcripts, Minutes & Resolutions portion of ICANN's website. Only the words contained in the Resolutions themselves represent the official acts of the Board. The explanatory text provided through this database (including the summary, implementation actions, identification of related resolutions, and additional information) is an interpretation or an explanation that has no official authority and does not represent the purpose behind the Board actions, nor does any explanations or interpretations modify or override the Resolutions themselves. Resolutions can only be modified through further act of the ICANN Board.
Whereas, the second Organizational Review of the SSAC commenced in February 2018, in accordance with the ICANN Bylaws, Article 4, Section 4.4.
Whereas, the independent examiner that conducted the second SSAC Review produced an assessment report that was published for public consultation on 21 June 2018, a draft final report that was published for public comment on 15 October 2018 and a final report, containing thirty (30) recommendations that was submitted on 17 December 2018.
Whereas the ICANN Community provided input via public comment on the draft final report.
Whereas, the SSAC Review Work Party (SSAC RWP), serving as a liaison between the SSAC, the independent examiner and the ICANN Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC), analyzed the independent examiner's recommendations for feasibility and usefulness, considered provisional budget implications, and anticipated resources to propose a prioritized implementation timeline in its Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan (Feasibility Assessment).
Whereas, in its Feasibility Assessment, the SSAC RWP supports nineteen (19) issues and their corresponding recommendations; the SSAC RWP supports six (6) issues but not the corresponding recommendations but it provided alternative recommendations instead; the SSAC RWP supports one (1) issue but not the corresponding recommendation and does not provide an alternative recommendation and provides detailed rationale for this; the SSAC RWP does not support four (4) issues and consequently also does not support the corresponding recommendations.
Whereas, the SSAC approved the Feasibility Assessment on 13 May 2019.
Whereas, the OEC received briefings from the independent examiner on its final report and the SSAC Review Work Party on its Feasibility Assessment during the OEC meeting on 23 May 2019.
Whereas, the OEC considered the final report, the Feasibility Assessment, and the public comment input in order to reach a recommendation to the Board for how to proceed with the second SSAC Review. The OEC recommended that the Board accepts both the SSAC Review independent examiner's final report and the SSAC Review Work Party's Feasibility Assessment. The OEC also recommended that the Board instruct the SSAC to convene an implementation work group to develop a detailed implementation plan for the recommendations, as detailed in the Feasibility Assessment, within six (6) months from the adoption of this resolution. The detailed implementation plan shall also contain appropriate implementation costing. The OEC further recommends to the Board that the implementation work group is to oversee the implementation of these recommendations, once the Board has approved said detailed implementation plan, including appropriate implementation costing.
Resolved (2019.06.23.15), the Board accepts the final report from the independent examiner.
Resolved (2019.06.23.16), the Board accepts the Feasibility Assessment.
Resolved (2019.06.23.17), the Board directs the SSAC to convene an SSAC review implementation work group that drafts a detailed implementation plan of the recommendations, as presented in the Feasibility Assessment, including appropriate implementation costing.
Resolved (2019.06.23.18), the detailed implementation plan shall be submitted to the Board as soon as possible, but no later than six (6) months after the adoption of this resolution. The detailed implementation plan should contain a realistic timeline for the implementation, a definition of desired outcomes, an explanation of how the implementation addresses underlying issues identified in the final report, and a way to measure current state as well as progress toward the desired outcome. The working group shall also work with the ICANN organization to include expected budgetary implications for each of the implementation steps into its detailed implementation plan. The implementation plan shall incorporate a phased approach that allows for easy-to-implement and least costly improvements to be implemented first, with those items with more significant budget implications to be addressed later in the implementation process.
Resolved (2019.06.23.19), the Board directs the SSAC Review implementation work group to oversee the implementation process, once the Board has accepted the detailed implementation plan. Any budgetary requests resulting from the implementation shall be made in line with the ICANN organization's annual budgeting processes.
Resolved (2019.06.23.20), the Board directs the SSAC review implementation work group to provide the OEC with implementation reports every six (6) months on progress against the implementation plan, including, but not limited to, progress toward metrics detailed in the implementation plan and use of allocated budget.
Why is the Board addressing the issue?
To ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve its performance, ICANN conducts Organizational Reviews of its Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee) and the Nominating Committee, as detailed in Article 4, Section 4.4 of its Bylaws. The second SSAC Review commenced in February 2018. The independent examiner conducting the review produced a final report that was published in December 2018. The SSAC Review Work Party, based on its detailed review of the independent examiner's final report, prepared its Feasibility Assessment, approved by the SSAC on 13 May 2019.
Analysis Group Consulting Group, LLC was appointed as the independent examiner for the SSAC Review in February 2018, in accordance with ICANN's procurement process that involved ICANN organization personnel and the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board (OEC), which is responsible for overseeing the organizational review process. During its work, Analysis Group reviewed relevant documentation, conducted 42 interviews with members of the SSAC, the wider ICANN community, the ICANN Board and the ICANN organization, and gathered 52 individual responses to its online survey. In addition, Analysis Group held regular meetings with the SSAC Review Work Party throughout the review, including public meetings at ICANN61,1 ICANN 62 and ICANN63.
The SSAC Review Work Party provided direct feedback to Analysis Group on an initial draft of the assessment report and an initial draft of the draft final report. Analysis Group considered the feedback and incorporated those elements that it deemed appropriate based on its independent role and professional judgement.
The draft final report was published for public comment on 15 October 2018, following the standard ICANN process. Analysis Group hosted a community webinar on the draft final report on 22 November 2018.
Analysis Group submitted its final report on 17 December 2018. The final report included a narrative of underlying issues identified by the independent examiner, and thirty (30) recommendations designed by the independent examiner as proposals to address those issues.
SSAC Review Work Party
In its Feasibility Assessment, the SSAC RWP provided a detailed rationale of all its concerns and agreements with the thirty (30) issues in the final report. The SSAC RWP analyzed the independent examiner's recommendations for feasibility and usefulness, considered provisional budget implications, and anticipated resources to propose a prioritized implementation timeline. As a result, the SSAC RWP supports nineteen (19) issues and their corresponding recommendations; the SSAC RWP supports six (6) issues but not the corresponding recommendations but it provided alternative recommendations instead; the SSAC RWP supports one (1) issue but not the corresponding recommendation and does not provide an alternative recommendation, providing detailed rationale for this; the SSAC RWP does not support four (4) issues and consequently also does not support the corresponding recommendations.
Of the four issues that the SSAC RWP rejected, three (#17, #22, #23) are concerned with the need for additional outreach and/or increased communication within the wider ICANN community. The SSAC RWP rejected these due to the SSAC's narrow remit and the fact that its small membership size – important for its effective functioning – prevents it from increasing its current outreach levels. The fourth issue that was rejected (#13) related to the call for a secure data storage location for SSAC analyses, something, the SSAC RWP explained, that the SSAC has no need for at this moment.
In cases in which the SSAC RWP proposed alternative recommendations, it adapted the independent examiners recommendations to better suit the SSAC's needs. For example, instead of creating an internship position for a graduate student to assist with research projects (Recommendation #12), the SSAC RWP proposed instead to create a fellowship position to attract more seasoned support and also to rely more often on ICANN technical staff. In other cases, the SSAC RWP rejected the independent examiners suggestion to create a more detailed recruitment plan (Recommendations #21, #24, #25), a concept with which the SSAC RWP is 'uncomfortable'. Instead the SSAC RWP proposes that the "SSAC should develop a formalized process to estimate the non-technical expertise required for anticipated future work and thereby identify any skills gaps in the current membership." And that the "Membership Committee should take non-technical expertise gaps into consideration when assessing new member applications."
Overall, the SSAC RWP explained its concerns and rationales for not supporting the independent examiner's recommendations; and provided detailed context about their proposed alternative recommendations.
Input from ICANN Community
In addition to the responses collected by Analysis Group through interviews and online surveys and through the public consultation on the assessment report, during the public comment on the draft final report, six (6) comments were submitted; two (2) authored by individual contributors, and four (4) by organizations (see summary report of public comment proceeding). Contributors to the public comment proceeding from the ICANN community were supportive of the draft final report, apart from one commentator who argued the review was out of scope. All other contributors particularly welcomed recommendations pertaining to the continuing purpose of the SSAC. For example, the Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG) noted that they "value the SSAC's demonstrated ability and effectiveness in filling the crucial role of providing technical advice to the ICANN Board, and believe that the decisions made by the ICANN Board are generally improved by SSAC's technical input." Contributors also supported recommendations pertaining to the SSAC's advice generation and provision of advice to the ICANN Board, the At-Large (ALAC) commented "that while it appreciates the SSAC prepares advice in a format to better communicate with the Board, the SSAC should also simultaneously attempt to write advice in such a way that the rest of the ICANN community more easily understands them, too". Contributors strongly supported recommendations pertaining to the SSAC's integration with SO/ACs and the ICANN community, where, for example, Business Constituency (BC) noted: "SSAC should focus effort on increasing the interactions with other SO/AC groups". Moreover, while a majority of contributors expressed support for recommendations about SSAC's size, membership, and term length, the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) maintained "its position that non-leadership member term limits should continue to apply". Finally, no indication of support or rejection was submitted with regards to recommendation pertaining to the SSAC's prior review implementation and continuing efforts for self-improvement.
OEC and Board Considerations and Actions
The OEC, as the ICANN Board committee overseeing organizational reviews, reviewed all relevant documents pertaining to the SSAC review in detail. Specifically, it considered the final report and the Feasibility Assessment, the public comment input, and the presentations and input received from the independent examiner and the SSAC Review Work Party, respectively. The OEC recommended that the Board take this action to continue with the SSAC Organizational Review process.
In taking this action, the Board accepts that the Feasibility Assessment provides an appropriate response to the issues raised by the independent examiner during the review. Implementing the SSAC Review Work Party-proposed improvements will be a significant step in assuring the post-review SSAC is able and capable to fulfil its Bylaws-mandated role and responsibilities.
In order to confirm that the SSAC proceeds appropriately, the Board is directing the SSAC to convene an implementation work group to provide it with a detailed implementation plan, including a concise overview of the current state for each of the SSAC Review Work Party's implementation proposals, a clearly defined goal of the implementation objectives, appropriate implementation costing, prioritization and resource implications, and a methodology of how to measure implementation progress on an ongoing basis. The Board believes that these metrics will help ensure an accountable and transparent implementation process, leading to meaningful, budget-conscious improvements to further enhance the SSAC's crucial role of advising the ICANN Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems.
The organizational review process is an iterative process and the Board hopes that all parts of the ICANN community will continue to work productively to understand the unique roles and viewpoints that each SO/AC brings to ICANN, to its policy development work and cross-community efforts. The Board looks forward to the outcome of the streamlining of organizational review process, to be completed before the next iteration of reviews, to further improve and refine the organizational review process.
As part of the OEC consideration of the SSAC's Feasibility Assessment, it came to light that there might be other ways that the ICANN organization could support the SSAC, specifically with regard to the SSAC's interaction with the wider community as well as the issue of providing 'quick looks' on particular issues to the Board. The latter is part of recommendation #7 of the final report and the Feasibility Assessment. The Board notes that that providing adequate ICANN organization support in these cases is an issue that the ICANN organization and President will take on separately and concurrently to the wider SSAC review implementation work. The Board encourages ICANN org and the SSAC to start a conversation about this process in concurrence with, but separate from, the drafting of the detailed implementation plan as outlined in the Board resolution above.
The Board also noted that the OEC and the SSAC discussed the value of linking strategic priorities of the SSAC to the ICANN Strategic Plan.
What is the proposal being considered?
The proposal being considered is for the Board to accept the independent examiner's final report and to accept the SSAC RWP's Feasibility Assessment. The Board is also to direct the SSAC to convene an implementation work group to draft a detailed implementation plan, to oversee the implementation of the recommendations as detailed in the SSAC Review Work Party in its Feasibility Assessment, and to submit every six (6) months a written report to the OEC detailing the implementation progress.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board has considered the relevant Bylaws provisions, the independent examiner's final report, the SSAC Review Work Party's Feasibility Assessment, and community feedback on the independent examiner's assessment report and draft final report, and took onboard the OEC's considerations when making this decision.
Are there positive or negative community impacts?
This Board action is expected to have a positive impact on the community as it supports the continuing process of facilitating periodic review of ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, as mandated by the Bylaws. Moreover, the implementation of the recommendation will lead to improved transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of the SSAC, in the spirit of continuous improvement.
Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?
This Board action may have fiscal implications, which will be catalogued in the forthcoming detailed implementation plan, which in itself will be subject to a future Board consideration. The detailed implementation plan shall outline how any budgetary requirements are going to be incorporated into future ICANN budgeting cycles.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
This Board action is not expected to have a direct effect on security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS.
How is this action within ICANN's mission and what is the public interest served in this action?
The Board's action is consistent with ICANN's commitment pursuant to section 4 of the Bylaws to ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve the performance of its supporting organizations and advisory committees.
This action will serve the public interest by fulfilling ICANN's commitment to maintaining and improving its accountability and transparency.
Is public comment required prior to Board action?
The independent examiner's draft final report was published for public comment. No additional public comment prior to Board action is required.