GNSO Council Teleconference Minutes

Last Updated: 31 August 2009
25 August 2005

25 August 2005

Proposed agenda and related documents

List of attendees:
Philip Sheppard - Commercial & Business Users C.
Marilyn Cade - Commercial & Business Users C.
Grant Forsyth - Commercial & Business Users C
Greg Ruth - ISCPC
Antonio Harris - ISCPC
Tony Holmes - ISCPC
Thomas Keller- Registrars
Ross Rader - Registrars
Bruce Tonkin - Registrars
Ken Stubbs - gTLD registries
Philip Colebrook - gTLD registries
Cary Karp - gTLD registries
Lucy Nichols - Intellectual Property Interests C - absent - apologies - proxy to Niklas Lagergren
Niklas Lagergren - Intellectual Property Interests C
Kiyoshi Tsuru - Intellectual Property Interests C. - absent
Robin Gross - Non Commercial Users C. - absent - apologies - proxy to Norbert Klein
Norbert Klein - Non Commercial Users C.
Alick Wilson - Nominating Committee appointee
Maureen Cubberley - Nominating Committee appointee - absent - apologies
Avri Doria - Nominating Committee appointee

16 Council Members

Olof Nordling - Manager, Policy Development Coordination - absent - apologies
Maria Farrell - ICANN GNSO Policy Support Officer
Liz Williams - Senior Policy Counselor
Glen de Saint G�ry - GNSO Secretariat

GNSO Council Liaisons
Bret Fausett - acting ALAC Liaison

Michael Palage - ICANN Board member

Invited Guests - Constituency Officers
Tim Ruiz - Registrar Constituency - Vice Chair
Bob Connelly - Registrar Constituency - Secretary
Marie Zitkova - gTLD Registries Constituency - Chair
Steve Metalitz - Intellectual Property Interests C - Executive Vice President

MP3 Recording

Bruce Tonkin chaired this teleconference.

The topic of this committee meeting is the terms of reference for the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO)

Approval of Agenda
Marilyn Cade requested planning for interaction with the ICANN Board to be added to the agenda.

Item 1. Review the goals and expected outcomes of the GNSO review, at both
the Council and constituency level

The goal of the review is twofold and forms part of the ICANN bylaws
"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

The criteria and standards of the review must be approved by the Board. The Board has asked the GNSO Council to prepare a terms of reference (TOR) with input from the Board that would be used to guide an outside consultant or independent person to conduct the review
The TOR is due to be completed in time for adoption by the Board at the Vancouver meeting in December 2005.

The goal and high order steps for developing the TOR were as follows:
- the purpose of the current meeting is to inform the GNSO members of the upcoming review
- to gather input from the GNSO community
- produce a draft TOR
- submit TOR to the Board
- invite Board input to the draft during a joint GNSO Council/ICANN Board teleconference on 8 September 2005
- proposed final draft TOR presented to the Board for approval

What outcomes is Council seeking?
Bruce Tonkin referred to the outcome of the 2004 GNSO Council review that stated that the GNSO Council had a continuing role and proposed 20 Recommendations by which Council's processes and procedures could be improved.
The GNSO Review based its work on 9 questions:

1. Policy Achievements

2. Outreach, geographic diversity and transparency.
Has the GNSO Council contributed to other ICANN core values such as outreach, bottom-up consensus based policy development, geographical diversity and transparency?

3. Policy Development Process timelines
Are the timelines relevant?

4. Has there been effective ICANN staff support for policy development?

5. Policy implementation and compliance
After the completion of policy development has policy implementation, compliance and outcome been effective?

6. Demand based raising of policy issues
Is the current mechanism of alerting the GNSO Council to new policy issues effective?

7. Voting Pattern
Does the Council vote as a consensual body?

8. Number of constituency representatives
Has the presence of three rather than two representatives per constituency helped or hindered the GNSO Council?

9. Communication to the ICANN Community
Are the enabling mechanisms for GNSO Council outreach effective?

Council members and executive representatives from the constituencies were asked to express their views on what review output would be useful to increase constituencies' effectiveness.

From a Council and constituency perspective, seeking feedback on perceptions the ICANN community held and their expectations for the GNSO would provide a good slate of work to focus upon and continue improvement. Improved dialogue and information explaining ICANN which would facilitate people joining the appropriate constituency or the At Large Advisory Committee and become involved in ICANN's activities. Timelines should be pragmatically established to meet the expectations in policy development work in the constituencies and the community in general. The diversity among the constituencies and the way they operated was a challenge to the policy development timelines.

Bruce Tonkin referred to the outcome of the GNSO Review which stated that:
"Changes are needed to the PDP timelines. There is a need to formalize current practice, not least to ensure that the GNSO operates in accordance with its own bylaws and procedures. The structure of the PDP needs to be maintained, but it needs to acknowledge that different policy issues require types of work and therefore different time frames."
Constituencies differed widely, e.g. Business Users and ISPs would be more consistent in a position than an organisation as diverse in perspective as the At Large, and some had regular secretarial help while others had a membership spread over the globe with no structured secretariat. In the case of the Registrar constituency, though the number of registrars involved or who voted on an issue at any one time was low compared to the constituency membership, the number of names or registrants those registrars served was a large section of the community. Constituencies should be examined from multiple dimensions and not only on a numerical membership basis.
An outcome of the review could be finding common methods and systems and learning what some constituencies, and likewise the Council, did well, which could be translated into facilitating overall efficiency at the constituency level.
An ICANN bylaws requirements is to identify whether each constituency is meetings its objectives.

A Board member noted two important outcomes the process should achieve:
- What was the perception, outcome from the ICANN Board and the community of the GNSO process
- How would the process be evaluated to produce the outcome.

Recommendations with depth and breadth in the discussions better enabled the Board to make informed decisions.

In summary
The goals of the review are to be found in the in the ICANN bylaws Under Article IV,
and the constituency description:
" 3. Each Constituency identified in paragraph 1 of this Section (5) shall maintain its recognition, and thus its ability to select GNSO Council representatives, only so long as it in fact represents the interests globally of the stakeholder communities it purports to represent, and shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness.
No individual or entity shall be excluded from participation in a Constituency merely because of participation in another Constituency. "
The GNSO council could be evaluated against whether the processes of the policy development process had been followed and a constituency could be evaluated against whether it was globally representing the interests of that community in an open and transparent manner.

Item 2: Discuss the current draft document - receive input from Council
members and constituencies

- specific drafting should be handled via the mailing list

Feedback was requested on the Initial areas for the criteria review:
- Representativeness
- Authority
- Effectiveness
- Transparency

The structure of the document should highlight the terms of reference by placing them up front and certain background sections in an annex.
All prior documentation that has addressed the effectiveness of the supporting organisation should be incorporated into the TOR. Previous discussions and papers have been captured in the background document It would be helpful to provide extracts of the original green and white papers and the recent evolution and reform report that address the GNSO (DNSO).
ICANN's bottom-up model is relatively unique with specific supporting organisations, in particular the GNSO council, developing policy which the Board may adopt or return for reconsideration. The scope of the review should articulate the uniqueness of ICANN's model and an independent reviewer would need to be directed and grounded in the approach.

Concern was expressed about using terms such as, "fairness", "appropriateness", "sufficient" without tieing some criteria or stipulating, through the TOR, that the reviewer should be explicit in their choice, identification of and rational for comparators.
Specific words such as, "fairness" were in fact included in the bylaws, and terms could be defined as the work progresses.
If the word "fairness" would be used in a submission to the Board, there should be an explanation of how it could be replaced and what was sought to be seen to be "fair".

Measuring perception and focusing on the GNSO's capability to support the concepts of fairness were different. Examine whether there are structures in place that supported those objectives such as, policies and processes, rather than analysing or trying to quantify if the GNSO as a body was acting fairly.
The bylaws make provision for new constituencies to be formed and yet since the inception of the DNSO, no constituencies have been formed. The question should be asked whether that capability exists and whether the current structure was optimal to forming new constituencies. There was great diversity in the constituencies that was not apparent to outsiders. The GNSO was inherently designed to accommodate counterbalancing viewpoints and many ICANN participants had interests at stake.
The review should take into account that the GNSO coexists in a larger world with two other supporting organisations and an At Large Advisory Committee.

In summary, the challenge of the work lies in the quality of the methodology used to do the analysis, the tools and the measures.

Item 3: Discuss the involvement of the GNSO constituencies in the review,
and identify what information will be needed from the constituencies to
assist the external review

Comments on Methodology
Concerns were expressed with regard to anonymity and confidentiality of input and the question was whether transparency, a characteristic of the GNSO processes should continue. There was general agreement that people should be accountable for their contributions. and that there should be open dialogue. The aim was continual improvement and that required open dialogue contrary to anonymous submission which killed open and transparent discussion, one of ICANN's strengths.

Statistical analysis was not desirable for the nature of the organisation however methodology needed certain facts. It was generally agreed that verbal interviews produced more response, and that it was not necessary to record these interviews or produce a full transcript. Care should be taken when summarising recordings or transcriptions to ensure that they conformed to what the interviewee said. The interviewee should have the option to confirm the accuracy of any written summary of a verbal interview.

In summary, the general objective was to ascertain the general understanding of the Review goal and the type of outcome desired.

Prepare for the interaction with the ICANN Board on 8 September 2005.

Next steps:
- Further input from Council members and constituencies on the terms of reference by COB Monday 29 August, 2005
- The GNSO Council 20 recommendations included as part of the terms of reference (TOR).
- Create a fresh draft TOR to be sent to Board in the current format for joint GNSO Council/ICANN Board discussion 8 September, 2005
- Second draft TOR to be published for public comment.

Bruce Tonkin declared the GNSO meeting closed and thanked everybody for participating.
The meeting ended: 16: 10 CET.

  • Next GNSO Council Teleconference Thursday 1 September 2005 at 12:00 UTC.
    Topic: New TLDs
    see: Calendar