ICANN Resolutions » Proposed Schedule and Process / Operational Improvements for AoC and Organizational Reviews

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.

Proposed Schedule and Process / Operational Improvements for AoC and Organizational Reviews


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Topic: 
Process / Operational Improvements for AoC and Organizational Reviews
Summary: 

Request the Board endorse the proposed schedule for the conduct of upcoming AoC Reviews
Request the Board to adopt the proposed schedule for the conduct of upcoming Bylaws mandated Organizational Reviews

Category: 
Board
ICANN Structures
Meeting Date: 
Tue, 28 Jul 2015
Resolution Number: 
2015.07.28.09 – 2015.07.28.14
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) and ICANN Bylaws, seven reviews are scheduled to take place in FY2016, in addition to the finalization of the GNSO Review.

Whereas, the ICANN community expressed concern regarding volunteer workload, its ability to effectively participate in these important accountability mechanisms, and the need to change the Review schedule, and the Accountability & Transparency Review Team (ATRT2) recommendations adopted by the Board called for improvements to the Review process.

Whereas, the Board desires to meet ICANN's accountability commitments and provide the community relief from the proposed schedule by delaying several of the Organizational Reviews mandated by the Bylaws, delaying and staggering some of the Reviews required under the AoC, and by adopting process and operational improvements to Reviews.

Whereas, based on public feedback, a proposed revised Reviews schedule and process and operational improvements were posted for public comment and discussed at ICANN53.

Whereas, in the CCWG on Enhancing ICANN Accountability process, some recommendations are under discussion that are interdependent with the AoC Reviews.

Resolved (2015.07.28.09), the Board endorses the following schedule for the conduct of upcoming AoC Reviews on or about the following dates: CCT Review to continue as scheduled, with a call for volunteers—October 2015; the second Security, Stability and Resiliency Review—June 2016; the second WHOIS Review—October 2016; and the third Accountability and Transparency Review—July 2017.

Resolved (2015.07.28.10), the CEO is directed to engage in a dialogue with the NTIA, a signatory to the AoC, regarding the changes to the AoC Review schedule endorsed by the Board.

Resolved (2015.07.28.11), the Board adopts the following schedule for the conduct of upcoming Bylaws mandated Organizational Reviews on or about the following dates: the second At-Large Review—April 2016; the second review of the Nominating Committee—February 2017; the second review of the Root Server System Advisory Committee – April 2017; and the second review of Security & Stability Advisory Committee—June 2017.

Resolved (2015.07.28.12), the Board acknowledges that the work of the CCWG on Enhancing Accountability may impact ICANN Reviews, and that adopted Accountability Framework recommendations will be factored into the Reviews timeline and processes.

Resolved (2015.07.28.13), the Board Governance Committee is requested to determine which committee or subgroup of the Board should be responsible for oversight of AoC Reviews, in parallel to Structural Improvements Committee's responsibility for overseeing Organizational Reviews.

Resolved (2015.07.28.14), the Board endorses the proposed process and operational improvements that were posted for public comment and are designed to simplify and increase the effectiveness of Reviews, and the Board acknowledges that the Structural Improvements Committee is finalizing "Organizational Reviews Policies, Procedures and Guidelines," following appropriate public consultation

Rationale for Resolution: 

Please see Secretary's Notes: 2015.08.10-Supplemental Information for AoC and Organizational Reviews Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements

Why is the Board addressing this issue?

The Board is addressing this issue because of the significant impact seven reviews in FY2016 would have on ICANN stakeholders' capacity and ICANN resources. In response to public requests to delay some or all Reviews, a proposal was posted for public comment that called for four Reviews to take place in FY2016 and introduced several improvements to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Reviews. Widespread concerns were received regarding the community's and ICANN's ability to conduct this large number of simultaneous Reviews, in addition to the already heavy workload, such as the IANA stewardship transition and the many policy initiatives underway and anticipated to start in FY2016. As a result, today's action provides relief to the community by proposing an updated schedule of reviews, and operational and process improvements to enable the community to more effectively participate in these key accountability mechanisms.

What is the proposal being considered?

Please see Secretary's Notes: 2015.08.10-Supplemental Information for AoC and Organizational Reviews Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements

The resolution endorses a proposed schedule for AoC and Organizational Reviews:

AoC Reviews - CCT Review to continue as scheduled, with a call for volunteers targeted for October 2015; SSR2 to be deferred by nine months (with the call for volunteers targeted for June 2016); WHOIS2 to be deferred by one year (with the call for volunteers targeted for October 2016); ATRT3 targeted for July 2017, based on the trigger of three years from the time that the Board took action on the recommendations of the prior Review Team;
Organizational Reviews - prepare for and begin the At-Large2 Review under a slower schedule, targeting an independent examiner to be engaged in March 2016 and conduct the Review between April and December 2016; and planning for NomCom2, SSAC2 and RSSAC2 will occur late in FY2016 and the Reviews will be conducted in FY2017.
The resolution also endorses the proposed process and operational improvements that were posted for public comment and are designed to simplify review processes and increase their effectiveness.

The resolution acknowledges that the work of the CCWG on Enhancing ICANN Accountability may impact ICANN Reviews, and that adopted Accountability Framework recommendations will be factored into the Reviews timeline.

Noting that the U.S. Department of Commerce's NTIA is a signatory to the Affirmation of Commitments that details ICANN's AoC Review obligations, the resolution also instructs ICANN's CEO to engage with NTIA on the AoC Review schedule change endorsed by the Board.

Related to process and operational improvements, the resolution tasks the Board Governance Committee with determining which Board committee or group should have the responsibility for oversight of AoC Reviews, in parallel to the SIC's responsibility for overseeing Organizational Reviews. The resolution also acknowledges that the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) will be finalizing "Organizational Reviews Policies, Procedures and Guidelines," following appropriate public consultation.

This supports the development of a comprehensive Review Framework. The improved documentation will facilitate clarity and shared understanding by all parties and will help streamline the operation of reviews.

Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

Written comments were submitted by seven organizations/groups and six individuals, in addition to discussions with community leaders and a public session held at ICANN53. Forum commenters represented one GNSO constituency and stakeholder group, and the At-Large Community, as well as a global not-for-profit association and several consultancy firms.

What significant materials did the Board review?

The Board reviewed public comments, participated in the public session on Reviews held at ICANN53, and considered Community views and comments discussed during ICANN53.

In addition to considering volunteer resources, the Board considered the financial and human resources necessary to support the operations of Reviews during the review and approval of ICANN's FY2016 Operating Plan and Budget. Reflecting on the community's views on prioritization of Reviews and Review recommendations, the Board believes that the implementation of "Organizational Reviews Policies, Procedures and Guidelines" will facilitate a clear and focused Review scope, consistent budgeting and cost tracking, and a streamlined Review process and duration.

Furthermore, the Board has periodically reviewed ICANN's plans and progress toward implementing the ATRT2 recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of Reviews.

What factors did the Board find to be significant?

As noted, the Board is sympathetic to the community's concerns about volunteer burnout and the community's and ICANN's ability to conduct the unusually large number of Reviews in one year. Community feedback also indicates a growing concern about the pace and effectiveness of implementation of prior Review recommendations and the need to improve clarity and consistency of reporting on the progress of implementation work. The Board considered this factor to be significant and in alignment with previous discussions held by the Board. To that end, the Board has assigned to the Board Governance Committee the task of determining which committee should bear the responsibility for oversight of AoC Reviews, in parallel to the Structural Improvements Committee's responsibility for oversight of Organizational Reviews.

Are there positive or negative Community impacts?

Based on Community feedback, the Board determined that maintaining the originally proposed schedule of four Reviews in FY2016 would have significant negative impact on the volunteers, Staff and ICANN's ability to accomplish the critical work laid out in the Strategic Plan and Operating Plan for FY2016.

At the same time, the Board is keenly aware of the importance of conducting independent and effective Reviews and thanks the community for offering valuable feedback and suggestions for an improved Review process and result. This effort is expected to have a significant and lasting positive impact on the community and the ongoing effectiveness of AoC and Organizational Reviews.

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

While there are not expected to be any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS as the result of actions being considered, there may be a perception that the deferral in the conduct of the next SSR Review could have a negative impact on the DNS. However, the Board notes that implementation of, and periodic reporting on, the last SSR Review continues, along with the range of ICANN SSR-related activities. In addition, the upcoming review of the New gTLD Program's effect on competition, consumer choice and trust (which is not deferred under today's resolution) is expected to include an assessment of safeguards put in place to mitigate issues involved in gTLD introduction or expansion.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function for which public comment was received.

Please see Secretary's Notes: 2015.08.10-Supplemental Information for AoC and Organizational Reviews Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements