ICANN Resolutions » Amendment of the ASO MoU

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Amendment of the ASO MoU

Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 7 Nov 2019
Resolution Number: 
2019.11.07.15 – 2019.11.07.16
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, Section 9.1 of the ICANN Bylaws establish the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) to advise the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the operation, assignment, and management of Internet addresses.

Whereas, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered on 21 October 2004 between ICANN and the Number Resource Organization (NRO) establishes that the NRO shall fulfill the role, responsibilities, and functions of the ASO.

Whereas, Article 4, Section 4.4 of the ICANN Bylaws calls for "periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization … by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review."

Whereas, the MoU stipulates that the "NRO shall provide its own review mechanisms" and in 2017 the NRO engaged ITEMS International to conduct the second organizational review of the ASO.

Whereas, ITEMS International completed the second organizational review of the ASO in 2018 and made 18 recommendations to the NRO.

Whereas, Recommendations 2 and 4 called for revisions to the ASO MoU to reflect editorial changes related to references to the ICANN Bylaws, the inclusion of the African Network Information Centre as a signatory, and the removal of Attachment B.

Whereas, the ASO developed proposed revisions to the MoU for ICANN's consideration.

Whereas, the ICANN Board, through its Organizational Effectiveness Committee, reviewed the proposed revisions.

Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws, at Section 9.1(b), defines the ASO entity as that described in the 2004 MoU, and this section needs to be updated.

Whereas, there are additional Bylaws changes anticipated as a result of the implementation of the recommendations from the ASO organizational review.

Resolved (2019.11.07.15), the ICANN Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to enter into the updated MoU with the NRO.

Resolved (2019.11.07.16), the ICANN Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee, to coordinate with the ASO to develop a proposed set of Bylaws changes as anticipated to implement the recommendations from the organizational review.

Rationale for Resolution: 

The Board's acceptance of the updating of ICANN's MoU with the NRO is a necessary step in recognizing the evolution of its relationship with the NRO and the ASO, and in implementing the recommendations arising out of the most recent organizational review of the ASO, conducted pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.4 of the ICANN Bylaws.

The proposed revisions to the MoU address multiple of the recommendations from the organizational review (https://www.nro.net/accountability/aso-and-icann-accountability/independ...):

Recommendation 5, "Upon completion of every independent review of the ASO, the NRO and ICANN should initiate discussions, as per Article 9 of the MoU, to examine results and consequences of their cooperation. The parties should determine if the ASO has a continuing purpose within the ICANN structure, and re-evaluate the MoU accordingly."
Recommendation 2: "The NRO should consider updating the ASO MoU to reflect the fact that the appropriate section of the New ICANN Bylaws regarding Organizational Reviews is Section 4.4 (previously Article IV, Section 4)."
Recommendation 4: "The signatories of the ASO MoU should consider updates to the MoU including i) the addition of AFRINIC as a signatory, ii) the removal of Appendix B."
Part iii of Recommendation 4: "updates in connection with the responsibilities of the ASO as a Decisional Participant in the ICANN Empowered Community"
Recommendation 13: "The ASO MoU should be updated to reflect the new reality of the Empowered Community and specify that the roles and responsibilities within the ASO must be clearly defined"
While Recommendations 4 and 13 were not fully accepted by the NRO, as the NRO was concerned about duplication of the ICANN Bylaws, the MoU is updated to reflect the new powers that the ASO holds as part of the Empowered Community as it relates to the selection and removal of ICANN Board directors, as the MoU already addressed the Board selection role.

There will be additional areas where the ICANN Board will be asked to take decisions on items arising out of the ASO organizational review, particularly regarding amendments to the ICANN Bylaws. One of those amendments is expected to be an updating of the reference to the 2004 MoU that is currently within the Bylaws. The Board looks forward to receiving a unified package of all proposed Bylaws amendments needed to implement the recommendations from the organizational review.

This action is not anticipated to have any fiscal impact or any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the Internet's DNS. This action is within the mission of ICANN and serves the public interest as it supports ICANN's identified role in the coordination of the allocation and assignment of IP numbers and facilitation of development of global number registry policies.

This is an Organizational Administrative function for which public comment is not required.