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The staff manager's issue report is the precursor to the GNSO policy development process (PDP). The PDP is relatively new and there has been a high degree of variation in the quality, length and usefulness of the issues reports so far. This is not surprising since Council and staff are still developing procedures. Therefore, Council proposes guidelines to provide structure for future staff manager issue reports. The goal is to ensure that the materials are directly useful to the work of the Council.
An issue report has three objectives:
The by-laws lay down a structure as to how the above objectives may be met.
What SHOULD NOT be in the issues report
The report has a short time frame (15 calendar days). This tells us that it is NOT intended to contain:
What SHOULD the issues report look like?
It should be the primary document needed for the Council to make a decision whether to proceed or not with a PDP. It should include links to existing documents that provide directly relevant background.
The report must be clear in its recommendation to Council. Past reports have not had this clarity and the GNSO chairman has been obliged to draft terms of reference for a Council WG in an attempt to provide such clarity. It would be more appropriate if the report itself proposed such terms of reference (recognising that Council may choose to modify them). Therefore all future issues reports should contain:
The length of an issues report will be guided by the topic. Some issues reports may be very short; others may be lengthier but none need be long.
Summary of guidelines
The issue report should: