Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Board Actions - Reviews

Last Updated:

Note: the following material describes reviews conducted in 2004 and 2005 that were not technically Board actions; however, they were included here for the sake of continuity and ease of reference.


ICANN ByLaws Article IV, Section 4


1. The Board shall cause a periodic review, if feasible no less frequently than every three years, of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review. 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 results of such reviews shall be posted on the Website for public review and comment, and shall be considered by the Board no later than the second scheduled meeting of the Board after such results have been posted for 30 days. The consideration by the Board includes the ability to revise the structure or operation of the parts of ICANN being reviewed by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Board.


Independent Review (Patrick Sharry, 2004)

In 2004, ICANN commissioned Patrick Sharry to conduct a review of the GNSO Council (not the GNSO in general). Mr. Sharry examined the PDP timelines; staff support for policy development, policy implementation and compliance; how policy issues arise; voting patterns; constituency representation; and communications and outreach. He recommended that the Council include members from all five ICANN regions and find ways to encourage more non-English speaking participants; revamp the PDP, including by having a scoping phase and regular reporting on milestones achieved; develop a formal process for seeking input from other ICANN structures; use more face-to-face meetings and possibly a facilitator to help achieve consensus; establish a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Staff to establish metrics for support; develop a closer working relationship with the General Counsel's office; assess the viability of each policy recommendation; establish a way to monitor compliance with, and review the effectiveness of, each policy; utilize the Ombudsman's services more; determine how NomCom Councilors can add value; supply the NomCom with a description of what skills and expertise it needs most; and overhaul the GNSO website. There were three substantive comments posted on the Sharry Review from the GNSO Council, the Registry Constituency, and Danny Younger, see reference below. One point by the Registry Constituency noted that the opportunity for public comment is not necessarily "sufficient without more outreach to impacted parties."

Patrick Sharry Recommendations (2004)

GNSO Self-Review (2004)

The GNSO Council also conducted a Self Review, which can be found in Appendix 3 of Mr. Sharry's review (see reference below). The Council highlighted its work on several consensus polices, including the Whois Data Reminder Policy, the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, the Whois Marketing Restriction Policy, the Restored Names Accuracy Policy and the Expired Domain Deletion Policy. The GNSO also provided policy advice to the Board and staff on a set of criteria by which to judge applicants seeking to operate .NET. The GNSO Self Review recommended making PDP timelines less rigid; using Staff and independent experts to prepare more analyses and issues papers; having Staff legal counsel available as needed; developing a project management process; establishing monitoring and enforcement mechanisms for new policies; and developing a complaints process for gTLD registration practices.

GNSO Self Review (2004) ["Section 10: Summary and Recommendations," in Annex 3 of Sharry Review]

These reviews share a common approach in certain respects: (i) allowing for more flexibility in the PDP process; (ii) ensuring strong Staff support for policy development; and (iii) developing better mechanisms for public participation and discussion.

London School of Economics (2005-2006)

London School of Economics (LSE) Public Policy Group (2005-2006)

Board Governance Committee (2007)

Board Governance Committee (BGC) Review Working Group (June 2007) on GNSO Improvements

BGC Working Group's October 2007 Draft Report on GNSO Improvements

BGC Working Group's February 2008 Final Report on GNSO Improvements