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ICANN Resolutions » Deferral of the Second Review of the Country Code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO)

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.

Deferral of the Second Review of the Country Code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO)


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sat, 23 Sep 2017
Resolution Number: 
2017.09.23.05 – 2017.09.23.06
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, under the ICANN Bylaws the Organizational Review of the ccNSO was due to commence in August 2017.

Whereas the ccNSO has been subject to a continued, heavy work load, including four Specific Reviews, the implementation of the Empowered Community, the ongoing Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability.

Whereas, the Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee reached out to the Chair of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council with the option to defer the start of the second ccNSO Review by twelve months until August 2018, to alleviate the ccNSO's heavy workload.

Whereas the ccNSO Council Chair indicated that the ccNSO supports the deferral of the second ccNSO Review.

Whereas a public comment period on the proposed deferral received support from a majority of contributors.

Resolved (2017.09.23.05), that the second Review of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) shall be deferred until August 2018, as initiating the Review at this time is not feasible due to ccNSO's workload.

Resolved (2017.09.23.06), that the ccNSO is encouraged to conduct a self-review prior to the start of the second ccNSO Review in August 2018.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Why the Board is addressing the issue?

There is a continued pressure on community volunteer time. Currently, four Specific Reviews are underway, in addition to CCWG-Accountability Workstream 2 and various cross-community work efforts, all of which consume considerable volunteer time from the ccNSO community. Deferring the second review of the ccNSO will enable the ccNSO to conduct a preparatory self-review, adding valuable substance to the Review when it begins in August 2018. Under the Bylaws, the Board has the power to defer Organizational Reviews beyond the five-year cycle if conducting a review in that cycle is not feasible, and the various strains on the ccNSO support that feasibility concern. This action is in the public interest as it supports ICANN's component entities in devoting the proper resources to considering their accountability and ongoing purpose in the ICANN system.

What is the proposal being considered?

The proposal under consideration is to defer the second review of the ccNSO until August 2018.

Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

The Chair of the ccNSO Council, indicated that the ccNSO is supportive of a deferral because of competing obligations on the ccNSO's time. A public comment forum was opened on 6 April 2017. Four submissions were made, three of which were supportive of the deferral of the second ccNSO Review, citing benefits to the effectiveness of the review, use of volunteer resources, and an improved outcome, as well as deferral being an appropriate exercise of discretion provided for in the Bylaws with respect to timing.

A summary of comments can be found here [PDF, 381 KB].

What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

Among the community submissions, conflicting interpretations transpired on the wording of the ICANN Bylaws that permit the Board to defer Organizational Reviews. The Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group cited the wording of ICANN Bylaws Article 4, Section 4—specifically use of the word "shall" in reference to review timing--as justification for its stance, along with the importance of timing for maintaining public confidence, and thus setting a "dangerous precedent" by delaying. Noting this, the ICANN Board, acting under the same Bylaws language, has previously deferred organizational reviews based on feasibility considerations, namely the At-Large Review, and reviews of the Generic Names Supporting Organization, the Root Server System Advisory Committee, and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee.

The Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group also raised the concern that a deferral would undermine the newly set up review schedule (under the new Bylaws), questioning that the benefits of a deferral would outweigh the potential risk of impinging on ICANN's accountability commitment. However, deferring the review by 12 months, and thereby allowing the ccNSO to complete some of its work will allow for more focus on the ccNSO review; adding to rather than subtracting from ICANN's accountability commitment.

In addition, community comments pointed out that the second ccNSO review had already been deferred in 2015 due to the IANA Transition, and therefore the current process is the second time it is being deferred, resulting in the second ccNSO Review starting two years late. While this is a valid point, the fact that the additional volunteer committee to support the ccNSO review appropriately is necessary, means that the Board can rely on the feasibility provision in the Bylaws to agree to an additional 12 months deferral.

What significant materials did the Board review?

The Board reviewed the ccNSO request to defer the review. The public comments submitted in response to the proposal to defer the second ccNSO review were also taken into consideration by the Board. In addition, the Board gained an overview of the ongoing community work efforts, including CCWG-Accountability Workstream 2, cross-community working groups, ccNSO working groups,1 and all Specific Reviews. Based on this overview, and the fact that Bylaws allow for a deferral of reviews 'based on feasibility' the Board made the decision to support the deferral until August 2018.

What factors did the Board find to be significant?

The Board considered its prerogative to defer organizational reviews based on feasibility. In this context, the Board considered the high volume of on-going ccNSO work efforts and the resulting pressure on volunteer time. The Board also relied on the precedents set by the deferral of the second GNSO review in 2013, and the delay of several Specific (then Affirmation of Commitments) Reviews and Organizational Reviews in 2015.

The OEC, in light of concerns of multiple deferrals, recommends that while deferral is still appropriate in this situation because of the feasibility issues identified, believes that in the future it will be appropriate to consider only one deferral for a review for up to a year, assuming the appropriate feasibility concerns have been raised.

Are there positive or negative community impacts?

Positive impacts are the reduced pressure on the ccNSO workload, including more focused participation when the review process kicks off in August 2018. Additionally, the ccNSO has offered to use the deferral productively and conduct a self-review regarding the implementation status of the outcome of the previous Review, to set the context and prepare for the second ccNSO review.

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

There are no fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN as the FY18 budget set aside for this review will be reallocated to the next fiscal year. The ccNSO community will benefit from reduced pressure on its workload.

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

There are no security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS as the result of this action.