ICANN Resolutions » CCWG-Accountability WS2 – Final Report

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CCWG-Accountability WS2 – Final Report


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 7 Nov 2019
Resolution Number: 
2019.11.07.36 – 2019.11.07.41
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, on 14 March 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United States Department of Commerce (NTIA) announced its intention to transition the stewardship of the IANA Functions to the global multistakeholder community.

Whereas, NTIA required that the transition proposal must have broad community support and uphold the following principles:

Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services;
Maintain the openness of the Internet; and
Not result in ICANN becoming a government-led or an inter-governmental organization.
Whereas, on 9 November 2018, the CCWG-Accountability WS2 Co-Chairs submitted the WS2 Final Report (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/ccwg-acct-ws2-final-24jun18-...) to the Board upon Chartering Organizations approval.

Whereas, ICANN is obligated under Section 27 of the Bylaws to consider the consensus-based WS2 recommendations with the same process as developed for the recommendations from WS1 of the CCWG-Accountability, and may only reject the recommendations that it deems are not in the global public interest. The recommendations must meet the NTIA principles as set out in Section 27.1(c).

Whereas, the recommendations contained in the WS2 Final Report are directed to the ICANN Board, ICANN org and the ICANN community.

Whereas, the WS2 recommendations directed to the ICANN community are for the community to implement, with support as needed from ICANN org.

Whereas, the community's prioritization and staging of the WS2 recommendations for implementation will be facilitated through the budgeting and planning processes.

Whereas, the WS2 Implementation Team informed the Board that a public consultation was not needed for the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report.

Resolved (2019.11.07.36), the Board thanks the members of the CCWG-WS2 for their dedication and over two years of work to achieve the WS2 Final Report and its consensus recommendations.

Resolved (2019.11.07.37), the Board adopts each of the consensus recommendations contained within the WS2 Final Report.

Resolved (2019.11.07.38), the Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to proceed to implementation of the WS2 recommendations, including the considerations identified in the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report.

Resolved (2019.11.07.39), the ICANN Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to start implementation on those recommendations provided in the WS2 Final Report that are possible to move forward without waiting for a budgeting cycle. This includes providing support as available to the ICANN community for those parts of the WS2 recommendations that are community driven in implementation. As much as possible, work should begin upon adoption of the WS2 recommendations.

Resolved (2019.11.07.40), the Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to provide regular implementation status reports to the Board, as committed in the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report.

Resolved (2019.11.07.41), for all WS2 recommendations that are identified for the ICANN community, the Board directs the ICANN President and CEO, or his designee(s), to notify the relevant community groups of their adoption. The Board requests that all parts of the ICANN community that are responsible for implementation of recommendations participate in reaching a successful implementation.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Why is the Board addressing this issue?

During the development of the proposals for the IANA Stewardship Transition, the ICANN community divided the work of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability into two phases. The first work stream (WS1) concluded in 2016 and developed consensus recommendations on accountability enhancements to take place before the IANA Stewardship Transition. The community also agreed to conduct a work stream (Work Stream 2, or WS2) through which the CCWG-ACCT would remain in place and develop recommendations for accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation was not required for the successful IANA Stewardship Transition. The ICANN Board committed to consideration of the WS2 recommendations through Article 27 of the ICANN Bylaws. Today's action is the culmination of the CCWG-ACCT effort and in alignment with the Board's commitments from 2016.

In July 2018, WS2 submitted to the Chartering Organizations its Final Report containing consensus recommendations and implementation guidance to four of those recommendations. Upon approval by the Chartering Organizations, CCWG-ACCT Co-Chairs submitted the WS2 Final Report to the Board in November 2018.

Upon submission of the WS2 Final Report, ICANN org prepared the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report outlining the recommendations and considerations of effort required from the community, ICANN org and Board in the implementation of the WS2 recommendations. This implementation feasibility assessment report also notes the roles, responsibilities, and resourcing considerations for the implementation of the WS2 recommendations.

The WS2 Implementation Assessment Report was discussed with the WS2 Implementation Team, comprised of the Co-Chairs and the rapporteurs for the WS2 Subgroups, and their input and clarifications informed the final report. The WS2 Implementation Team urged the Board to move forward to approval and directing implementation of the recommendations, as opposed to putting the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report out for comment and inputs on prioritization. The Board is supportive of moving forward to implementation, but also notes that prioritization as among the many WS2 recommendations and in light of the other work facing the ICANN community and org, is still a necessary and essential conversation.

As noted in the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report, while the community's prioritization and staging of recommendations for implementation will be facilitated through the budgeting and planning processes, the ICANN Board expects that ICANN org will start implementation on those recommendations provided in the WS2 Final Report that are possible to move forward without waiting for a budgeting cycle.

ICANN org is also expected to provide support as available to the ICANN community for those parts of the WS2 recommendations that are community driven in implementation. As much as possible, work should begin upon adoption of the WS2 Final Report.

The tracking of WS2 implementation will be reported regularly to the Board and Community.

Why is the proposal being considered?

The WS2 Final Report contains over 100 consensus-based recommendations that encompass the following topics: Diversity, Guidelines for Good Faith Conduct, Human Rights, Jurisdiction, Improving the ICANN Office of the Ombuds, SO/AC Accountability, Staff Accountability, and Transparency. Each of these topics contains specific accountability and transparency recommendations directed at ICANN org, the community and the Board to implement. Over 30 of the recommendations are for the ICANN community to implement, and the org and Board are only in a support role to those efforts.

WS2 recommendations must follow the five principles that NTIA set out for the transition:

Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services;
Maintain the openness of the Internet; and,
Not result in ICANN becoming a government-led or an inter-governmental organization.
There are no recommendations within the report that contradict any of these principles. The recommendations do not impact the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS, impact the provision of the IANA service, impact the openness of the Internet, or open any possibility for ICANN to become a government-led or inter-governmental organization. On the whole, the recommendations are drafted in a manner that supports and enhances the multistakeholder model through building in multiple levels of accountability in the important issues addressed. As such, the NTIA principles are satisfied and the recommendations are appropriate to proceed.

The Board notes that the WS2 recommendations directed at ICANN org should commence implementation as soon as it is feasible within the parameters of the annual budget and operating plan. The Board acknowledges that there are recommendations that have been directed to the Board that are not within the Board's power to direct an outcome as the implementation resides with the community. As the chartering organizations have approved the WS2 Final Report it is anticipated that the community will implement the WS2 recommendations that have been directed to them to implement.

The Board expects that each recommendation will be adopted and directed for implementation, and as that implementation proceeds, the Board expects ICANN org to provide regular implementation updates for the community and the Board. The Board also expects that as clarifications are needed on whether the implementation work is meeting the intention of the recommendations, that ICANN org works closely with the WS2-IT as needed. The Board expects that as ICANN org will identify which items are ready to proceed directly to implementation, and that the remainder of the items will be identified within the planning cycle for inclusion in the budget and operating plan work for further prioritization.

Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

The WS2 Final Report underwent public consultation and sign off by the respective Chartering organizations. Additionally, in the preparations of the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report, the WS2 Implementation Team met with the Board Transition Caucus group to discuss and inform the final report. Agreement was reached that the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report did not need to undergo public consultation, as the prioritization and implementation would be part of ICANN's ongoing operational planning process. There will be further consultation, through ICANN's planning cycles, on the prioritization of the recommendations still awaiting implementation.

What significant materials did the Board review?

The Board reviewed the WS2 Final Report (inclusive of the implementation guidance contained therein) and the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report in reaching its decision to adopt the WS2 Final Report and the recommendations contained therein. The WS2 Implementation Assessment Report was formed through guidance and clarifications obtained through discussions with the WS2 Implementation Team to ensure that the intent of the consensus recommendations was reflected in the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report.

Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?

As the Board communicated at the adoption of the Workstream 1 report and recommendations, implementation of the WS2 recommendations will be funded out of ICANN's annual budget and operating plan process. The WS2 Final report also acknowledged that it will take several years to complete the implementation of the recommendations. This allows for ICANN org to budget in accordance with its limited resources. As noted in the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report, there are some recommendations that are currently undergoing implementation without waiting for the completion of the budget and operating plan process, or that can proceed quickly to implementation without significant budget impact, and the Board expects the work on those to proceed as swiftly as possible.

However, the implementation of WS2 recommendations adopted by the Board will have a considerable resource and budgetary impact on ICANN.

The Board notes that it has the obligation and responsibility to balance the work of ICANN in order to preserve the ability for ICANN org to serve its Mission and the public interest.

Are there positive or negative community impacts?

On the whole, the ICANN Board adopting the WS2 recommendations is anticipated to have positive community impacts. First, it is important that the Board adhere to its commitments to see through the Enhancing ICANN Accountability process. Second, and more importantly, is that as the recommendations are implemented, the community should see positive enhancements to ICANN accountability at all levels – the Board, org and community.

Should the SO/ACs and community groups to whom the recommendations are addressed decide to take on implementation of the WS2 recommendations directed to them, there could be an impact on the community workload. This, in addition to other ongoing work, and associated cost, could affect community bandwidth and resources. Such resource implications will not be clear until the SO/ACs and community groups consider the WS2 recommendations directed at them and determine a course of action. The Board also understands the importance of ICANN org involvement in supporting the implementation work of the SO/ACs and community groups.

Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

The Board action to adopt the WS2 Final Report and its recommendations is not expected to have a direct effect on security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS.

Is this action within ICANN's Mission? How does it relate to the global public interest?

The WS2 Final Report was a consensus document produced by ICANN's multistakeholder community in compliance with NTIA's principles established to enable a successful the IANA transition. This is embodied in ICANN's bylaws, Article 27 - Transition, and falls within ICANN's Mission.

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

Public comments were received on the WS2 Final Report prior to Board consideration.