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ICANN Resolutions » Independent Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization Final Report and Recommendations

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.

Independent Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization Final Report and Recommendations


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Topic: 
Independent Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization Final Report and Recommendations
Summary: 

Independent Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization Final Report and Recommendations

Category: 
Board
General
ICANN Structures
Meeting Date: 
Sat, 25 Jun 2016
Resolution Number: 
2016.06.25.10 – 2016.06.25.15
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, ICANN Bylaws Article IV, Section 4.1 calls on the ICANN Board to "cause a periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review. The goal of the review, to be undertaken pursuant to such criteria and standards as the Board shall direct, shall be to determine (i) whether that organization has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, and (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness."

Whereas, the second independent review of the GNSO commenced in 2014.

Whereas, the independent examiner that conducted the GNSO Review produced a Draft Report [PDF, 2.5 MB] that was published for public comment in May 2015.

Whereas, the independent examiner produced a Final Report [PDF, 727 KB], containing thirty-six (36) recommendations in September 2015.

Whereas, the GNSO Review Working Party serving as a liaison between the GNSO, the independent examiner and the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board assessed the implementation feasibility of all 36 recommendations and suggested a prioritization of recommendations.

Whereas, the GNSO Council adopted the GNSO Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations with a modification.

Whereas, the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board concluded that the GNSO Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations as adopted by the GNSO Council, ought to guide the implementation process of the 36 recommendations.

Resolved (2016.06.25.10), the Board acknowledges the independent examiner's hard work and thanks them for producing a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the GNSO's effectiveness, transparency, and accountability.

Resolved (2016.06.25.11), the Board acknowledges the work and support of the GNSO Review Working Party during the review process, as well as its insightful Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis that was adopted by the GNSO Council on 14 April 2016 and guided the OEC's recommendation to the Board. The Board thanks the GNSO Review Working Party for its efforts.

Resolved (2016.06.25.12), the Board accepts the Final Report from the independent examiner.

Resolved (2016.06.25.13), taking into account the GNSO Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations, adopted with modifications by the GNSO Council, the Board adopts thirty-four (34) recommendations of the Final Report (i.e. all recommendations excluding recommendations 23 and 32).

Resolved (2016.06.25.14), the Board requests that the GNSO Council convene a group that oversees the implementation of Board-accepted recommendations. An implementation plan, containing a realistic timeline for the implementation, definition of desired outcomes and a way to measure current state as well as progress toward the desired outcome, shall be submitted to the Board as soon as possible, but no later than six (6) months after the adoption of this resolution.

Resolved (2016.06.25.15), the Board directs the GNSO Council to provide the Board with regular reporting on the implementation efforts.

Rationale for Resolution: 

To ensure ICANN's multistakeholder model remains transparent and accountable, and to improve its performance, ICANN organizes independent reviews of its supporting organizations and advisory committees as prescribed in Article IV Section 4.1 of the ICANN Bylaws. The second GNSO Review started in 2014 and the independent examiner presented its Final Report in September 2015.

The Board's action today is consistent with ICANN's commitment pursuant to section 9.1 of the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) to maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability, and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making reflect the public interest and that ICANN is accountable to all stakeholders.

The GNSO Review recommendations have the potential to advance ICANN's transparency and accountability objectives and have been considered carefully by the Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee as well as by the full Board.

The Board resolution will have a positive impact on ICANN and especially the GNSO as it reinforces ICANN's and the GNSO's commitment to maintaining and improving its accountability, transparency and organizational effectiveness.

Development of implementation steps for the Board-adopted GNSO Review recommendations is not expected to have a considerable budgetary impact on the organization. However, implementation work may necessitate certain expenditures (including staff support) and may require a significant commitment of volunteer time. Volunteer workload and ICANN resources will be considered during the implementation planning and prioritization.

Why is the Board addressing the issue?

This resolution completes the second review of the GNSO and is based on the Final Report of the independent examiner, Westlake Governance, as well as the GNSO Review Working Party's assessment of the recommendations as adopted by the GNSO Council. Following the assessment of all pertinent documents and community feedback by the Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee, the Board is now in a position to consider and act on the recommendations and instruct the GNSO to start the implementation process in due course.

What is the proposal being considered?

The proposal the Board is considering is the Final Report by the GNSO Review's independent examiner in combination with "GNSO Review Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations", adopted by the GNSO Council, and considered by the Organizational Effectiveness Committee.

What significant materials did the Board review?

The Board reviewed the independent examiner's GNSO Review Final Report containing 36 recommendations; the Board also reviewed the "GNSO Review Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Assessment" as adopted by the GNSO Council, and it reviewed the considerations by the Organizational Effectiveness Committee with regard to both the Final Report and the Feasibility Assessment. Additionally, the Board considered the Report of Public Comments [PDF, 1.58 KB] on the Independent Examiner's Initial Report as well as the overview of changes [PDF, 114 KB] that took place from the Initial to the Final Report as a result of this community feedback.

Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, or budget)?

The work to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO organization may require additional resources beyond those included in the Board-approved FY17 Operating Plan and Budget, when adopted. This determination depends on the implementation planning and the definition of desired outcomes and prioritization. Additionally, implementation work should serve as an input into the next strategic planning cycle.

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

This action is not expected to have a direct impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS. Still, once the improvements are implemented future policy-development will become more transparent and accountable, which in turn might indirectly impact the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS in a positive way.

Is public comment required prior to Board action?

A Public Comment was opened following the publication of the Draft Report in May 2015. As this is a result of a Bylaw-mandated organizational review, public comment is not necessary prior to implementation. It is important to note that throughout the GNSO Review process there has been extensive discussion and exchange of ideas and information between the independent examiner, the GNSO Review Working Party, the GNSO community and the ICANN Board.