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ICANN Resolutions » Information Transparency Initiative

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.

Information Transparency Initiative


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sat, 23 Sep 2017
Resolution Number: 
2017.09.23.10 – 2017.09.23.11
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the ICANN organization has established a need to secure vendors to implement the Information Transparency Initiative.

Whereas, upon receiving information from ICANN Organization on the identified needs and recommended solution of the Information Transparency Initiative, the Board followed a 6-step process to assist the Board in evaluating the recommended Information Transparency Initiative and approve it, and after having approved, to allow its oversight of the Information Transparency Initiative implementation.

Whereas, during its meeting on 17 August 2017, the Board Finance and Risk Committees reviewed the Information Transparency Initiative, and particularly financial and risk information, and the Board Finance Committee requested further analysis and documentation, which it received.

Whereas, the Board Risk Committee members present during the meeting on 17 August 2017, reviewed the risk information provided and had no objection, from a risk management perspective, to proceed with the Information Transparency Initiative,

Whereas, the Board Finance Committee has recommended that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all actions necessary to execute the contracts for the Information Transparency Initiative, as reflected in the reference materials to this paper, and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to those contracts.

Resolved (2017.09.23.10), the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), the take all necessary actions to execute the contracts for the Information Transparency Initiative, as reflected in the reference materials to this paper, and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to those contracts.

Resolved (2017.09.23.11), specific items within this resolution shall remain confidential for negotiation purposes pursuant to Article III, section 5.2 of the ICANN Bylaws until the President and CEO determines that the confidential information may be released.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Valuable ICANN information has accumulated in thousands of pieces of unstructured public content spread across 38 different public ICANN and SO/AC sites. This content continues to grow at rates of 25-30% per year. The ICANN organization currently surfaces this content through multiple, unconnected platforms with differing foundational technologies that are non-scalable, may be vulnerable, and are no longer fit for purpose.

ICANN has commitments to accountability and transparency to provide up-to-date and easy-to-find information in all six official U.N. languages, but the ICANN organization has no integrated system or process in place to efficiently create, govern, store, and manage that content.

The Information Transparency Initiative will allow ICANN organization to:

Create an integrated ongoing operational process to govern, preserve, organize, and secure ICANN's public content.
Build a foundation of content governance through consistent multilingual tagging, a functional information architecture, and enforced workflows.
Implement this governance through a new document management system, the content foundation for ICANN ecosystem-wide governance.
Deploy new workflows and processes to ensure consistent, multilingual taxonomy for greater content findability and multifaceted search capabilities.
Surface this improved multilingual content and search to the community through a new Content Management System which will serve as the backbone for ICANN's external web properties.
Establish a future-proof and content agnostic technology landscape.
Upgrade our technical infrastructure, and thereby serve our global community better through increased findability and accessibility of multilingual content.
There are three key areas for which the Information Transparency Initiative is aimed at improving: the ICANN organization's internal and external content governance, its public content findability in all six U.N. languages, and its technical foundation for the entire ICANN ecosystem (community, Board, organization).

The ICANN organization performed a thorough analysis of the costs associated with the Information Transparency Initiative, and finds it to be a viable, cost-effective solution. Further, the Board followed a 6-step process to allow for a thorough evaluation of the Information Transparency Initiative, leveraging the expertise available among Board members related to the scope of the project. The steps include: (i) the Board defines its requirements and questions; (ii) ICANN Organization prepares answers to Board questions; (iii) a group of interested Board members signs off on the Project plan; (iv) the Board Finance Committee signs off on the Project costs and funding and the Board Risk Committee evaluates the project's risks and the Organization's plans to mitigate them; (v) the Board makes a final decision on the Information Transparency Initiative; and (vi) the group of interested Board members (or Board members tasked by the rest of the Board) will provide oversight on the implementation of the Information Transparency Initiative.

In furtherance of step (iii) above, a group of Board members, including some from the Board's Finance and Risk Committees, as well as others with interest in the topic, came together to liaise with the ICANN organization to evaluate the Information Transparency Initiative project plan. However, the Board is considering establishing a Board Technical Committee and, once formed, this Committee will be the group expected to provide oversight on the implementation of the Information Transparency Initiative as referenced in step (vi) above.

The Board reviewed the ICANN organization's recommendation to approve the Information Transparency Initiative, the Board Finance Committee's recommendations for contracting and disbursement authority relating to the Information Transparency Initiative, and the fact that the Board Risk Committee did not object to the Information Transparency Initiative.

Taking this decision at this time is in the public interest in that it will enhance and improve the public's access to, and findability of, data surfaced by the ICANN organization in support of ICANN's mission. There will be a financial impact on ICANN to implement the Information Transparency Initiative. The cost is estimated at US$6.3 million plus a 30% contingency. The FY18 project costs will be funded from FY18 budgeted operating costs, FY18 budgeted contingency and additional FY18 savings/net excess. The FY19 - FY22 operating expenses for the Information Transparency Initiative will be included in those annual budgets. This action will not have a direct impact on the security, stability, and resiliency of the domain name system.

This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.