ICANN Resolutions » Reconsideration Request 13-4, DotConnectAfrica Trust
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NGPC denies DCA Trust's Reconsideration Request 13-4 relating to the .AFRICA string because DCA Trust has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration.
Whereas, DotConnectAfrica Trust’s (“DCA Trust”) Reconsideration Request, Request 13-4, sought reconsideration of the Board action (through the New gTLD Program Committee) on 4 June 2013, accepting advice from ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee regarding DCA Trust’s new gTLD application for .AFRICA, and determining that this particular new gTLD application will not be approved.
Whereas, the BGC considered the issues raised in Reconsideration Request 13-4.
Whereas, the BGC recommended that Reconsideration Request 13-4 be denied because DCA Trust has not stated proper grounds for reconsideration.
Resolved (2013.08.13.NG04), the New gTLD Program Committee adopts the BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-4, which can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/governance/reconsideration/recommendation-dca-trust-01aug13-en.pdf.
ICANN’s Bylaws call for the Board Governance Committee to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board with respect to Reconsideration Requests. See Article IV, section 3 of the Bylaws. The New gTLD Program Committee (“NGPC”), bestowed with the powers of the Board in this instance, has reviewed and thoroughly considered the BGC Recommendation on Reconsideration Request 13-4 and finds the analysis sound.
Having a reconsideration process whereby the BGC reviews and, if it chooses, makes a recommendation to the Board/NGPC for approval positively affects ICANN’s transparency and accountability. It provides an avenue for the community to ensure that staff and the Board are acting in accordance with ICANN's policies, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.
This Request asserted that the NGPC should have consulted with and considered the inputs of independent experts before acting on advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee (“GAC”) regarding DCA Trust’s new gTLD application. The Request calls into consideration: (1) whether the NGPC was required to consult with independent experts prior to making the decision on the GAC Advice on DCA Trust’s application and whether consultation with independent experts would have provided additional material information to the NGPC; and (2) whether the prescribed procedure for addressing GAC Advice in the Applicant Guidebook for the New gTLD Program was not complied with because the NGPC did not consult with independent experts in considering GAC Advice.
In consideration of the first issue, the BGC reviewed the grounds stated in the Request, including the attachments, as well as the briefing materials presented to the NGPC in advance of its 4 June 2013 decision, the rationale for that decision, the minutes of that meeting, and the material information from both the GAC and DCA Trust that was available and considered prior to the NGPC’s decision. The BGC concluded that DCA Trust failed to adequately state a Request for Reconsideration of Board action because they failed to identify any material information that was not considered by the NGPC. The BGC noted that DCA Trust does not suggest in the Request that the discretionary use of an independent expert would have resulted in a different outcome on their application. The BGC further concluded that, as DCA Trust had an opportunity to provide additional information in their response to the GAC Advice, but remained silent on this point, the NGPC considered all material information in making its 4 June 2013 decision.
In consideration of the second issue, the BGC determined that DCA Trust’s interpretation of the Applicant Guidebook to require the Board to seek advice is not accurate. Section 3.1 of the Guidebook provides with Board the discretion to seek the input of an independent expert when considering GAC advice, but does not obligate the Board to do so. Accordingly, the BGC concluded that the plain language of the Guidebook does not support the suggestion that the NGPC violated its process, and therefore made a decision without material information, when it did not seek the input of an independent expert.
In addition to the above, the full BGC Recommendation that can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/governance/reconsideration/recommendation-dca-trust-01aug13-en.pdf and that is attached to the Reference Materials to the Board Submission supporting this resolution, shall also be deemed a part of this Rationale.
Although not detailed in DCA Trust’s Request, and therefore not specifically discussed in the BGC Recommendation, the NGPC also considered DCA Trust’s claim that because the designated Kenyan GAC Representative disclaimed the GAC Advice on DCA Trust’s application, GAC Advice is in question. DCA Trust’s communications on this topic were sent to ICANN and the GAC Chair. As the Board has not received any notice of change from the GAC regarding its advice on this application, DCA Trust’s assertions on this topic do not provide any grounds for modification of the decision on Reconsideration Request 13-4.
Adopting the BGC's recommendation has no financial impact on ICANN and will not negatively impact the systemic security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.
This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.