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ICANN Resolutions » Approval of GNSO Business Constituency Charter Amendments

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.

Approval of GNSO Business Constituency Charter Amendments


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sat, 24 Jun 2017
Resolution Number: 
2017.06.24.03
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws (Article 11, Section 11.5(c)) state, "Each [GNSO] Stakeholder Group… shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board."

Whereas, the Board has established a Process for Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters (hereinafter "Process").

Whereas, the GNSO Business Constituency (BC), ICANN organization, and the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) have completed all steps identified in the Process to date - including a determination that the proposed changes will not raise any fiscal or liability concerns for the ICANN organization.

Resolved (2017.06.24.03), the ICANN Board approves the BC Charter Amendments. The CEO or his designee is directed to share this resolution with the leadership of the BC. The BC and ICANN organization are further directed to provide access to the new governing document on the appropriate ICANN and BC web pages.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Why is the Board addressing this issue now?

ICANN Bylaws (Article 11, Section 11.5(c)) state, "Each Stakeholder Group… shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board." The Board has interpreted this language to require that the ICANN Board formally approve any amendments to the governing documents of Stakeholder Groups (SG) and/or Constituencies in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO).

In September 2013, the Board established a Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters ("Process") to provide a streamlined methodology for compliance with the Bylaws requirement.

Earlier this year, the Business Constituency of the GNSO approved amendments to its governing documents and availed itself of the Process.

What are the proposals being considered?

The Business Constituency has substantially amended its existing Charter document to adjust to an evolving composition of membership and to enable it to more effectively undertake its policy development responsibilities. Among a number of amendments, the most substantial charter changes are in the following areas:

create a new position of General Counsel (GC) as part of the BC Executive Committee (BC-EC). According to the new charter, the GC is a non-voting position on the BC-EC and the main role of the new GC appears to revolve around maintaining a newly incorporated BC entity;
add new provisions acknowledging the role that the ICANN Ombudsman could play in resolving potential complaints by BC Members regarding actions or activities within the constituency. These provisions appear to serve as confirmation of the ability of members to seek out the Ombudsman as a means of appeal of actions within the BC with which they do not agree; and
revise the BC's membership threshold eligibility criteria. In particular, in an effort to avoid what the charter refers to as "conflicts of interest", the revised charter disqualifies from membership any entities which derive more than 30 percent of their annual revenue as a registry operator, registrar, or domain name reseller (e.g., "Contracted Parties").
What stakeholders or others were consulted?

In addition to extensive community deliberations within the BC, the proposed amendments were subjected to a 41-day Public Comment period (6 January – 15 February 2017). When the period was completed, staff produced a Summary Report for community and Board review on 8 March 2017.

What significant materials did the Board review?

Board members reviewed the proposed charter amendments, a copy of the Staff Summary Report summarizing community comments and an issue tracking checklist that describes the dispensation of various community comments considered by the BC.

What factors did the Board find to be significant?

The GNSO Business Constituency, ICANN organization, and the Organizational Effectiveness Committee completed all steps identified in the Process including a determination that the proposed charter amendments will not raise any fiscal or liability concerns for the ICANN organization and publication of the amendments for community review and comment.

Are there Positive or Negative Community Impacts?

The BC has amended its existing Charter document to adjust to an evolving composition of membership and to enable it to more effectively undertake its policy development responsibilities.

Are there fiscal impacts/ramifications on ICANN (Strategic Plan, Operating Plan, Budget); the community; and/or the public?

The amendments include adjustments to the membership eligibility thresholds established by the BC for constituency membership which could impact individual community members.

Are there any Security, Stability or Resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

There is no anticipated impact from this decision on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system as a result of this decision.

Is this either a defined policy process within ICANN's Supporting Organizations or ICANN's Organizational Administrative Function decision requiring public comment or not requiring public comment?

The proposed amendments were subjected to a 41-day Public Comment period (6 January to 15 February 2017).