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ICANN Resolutions » Extension of Ombudsman Contract

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.

Extension of Ombudsman Contract


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Topic: 
Board approval of extension of contract for the current Ombudsman
Summary: 

Board Governance Committee has recommended that the Board extend the current Ombudsman's term for another year, through 27 July 2016.

Category: 
Administration and Budget
Board
General
Meeting Date: 
Sun, 21 Jun 2015
Resolution Number: 
2015.06.21.01-2015.06.21.02
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the Ombudsman's current contract term concludes on 27 July 2015.

Whereas, the Board Governance Committee has recommended that the Board extend the current Ombudsman's term for another year, through 27 July 2016.

Whereas, the current Ombudsman has agreed to accept a one-year contract extension if it is offered.

Resolved (2015.06.21.01), the Board hereby directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to extend the current Ombudsman's contract for another year, which will extend the expiration date of his current contract from 27 July 2015 to 27 July 2016.

Resolved (2015.06.21.02), the Board hereby directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to begin preparing the search process for the next Ombudsman as soon as feasible, which takes into account possible changes to the role of ICANN's Ombudsman based on inputs from the ongoing community discussion on accountability, beginning with developing a position description to be shared with the community for input.

Rationale for Resolution: 

ICANN's Bylaws require ICANN to maintain an Office of the Ombudsman. See Article V of the Bylaws at http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm#V. Having an ICANN Ombudsman positively affects the transparency and accountability of ICANN as the Ombudsman is one of the three main accountability mechanisms within ICANN. ICANN's current Ombudsman is familiar with and well versed in the complex issues now facing ICANN, including the New gTLD Program and other initiatives currently under way. The Ombudsman's caseload continues to increase over time, as both the nature of ICANN's activities and the breadth of the ICANN community expand.

The Ombudsman is currently an active participant in the ongoing community-based accountability discussions. Maintaining continuity in the Ombudsman's Office with the incumbent, particularly while the community is involved in discussing ICANN's accountability mechanisms, including the scope and breadth of the Ombudsman's office, is important to ICANN's current accountability profile. In addition, the scope of the Ombudsman's office is also meant to be reviewed in furtherance of one of the Board adopted recommendations contained within Recommendation 9 from the second Accountability and Transparency Review Team. Changing the Ombudsman before the work relating to the scope of the Ombudsman's office is completed may prove inefficient. That said, it is imperative to begin the search as soon as feasible for the next Ombudsman, taking into account possible changes to the role of ICANN's Ombudsman based on inputs from the ongoing community discussions on accountability, with a goal of appointing the next Ombudsman no later than the conclusion of the current Ombudsman's extended term. Such early preparation will help ensure that any transition that may take place to a new Ombudsman is a seamless as possible. The anticipated first step in this process is developing a position description to be shared with the community for input. In parallel, ICANN will begin identifying the best paths to take for seeking qualified candidates.

As there has been a budget for an ICANN Ombudsman since 2004 when the first Ombudsman was appointed this decision does not have a financial impact on ICANN the community or the public that was not already anticipated or included in the budget, outside of the anticipated potential costs of the search itself. This decision will not have any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the domain name system.