Operations Steering Committee (OSC)

Last Updated: 21 February 2014

Section 1: Resources and Links

Section 2: Charter of the GNSO Operations Steering Committee (OSC)

(Approved by the GNSO Council, 29 January 2009)

The OSC will be responsible for coordinating, recommending and reviewing changes to certain operational activities of the GNSO and its constituencies with a view to efficient outcomes. The BGC WG Report on GNSO Improvements makes a number of recommendations in three operational areas, as follows:

  1. GNSO Operations – developing any changes needed to the Council’s structure and role in response to the Board approved GNSO structure;
  2. Stakeholder Group and Constituency Operations – including outreach efforts to encourage broader participation in stakeholder groups and constituencies by explaining the added value of ICANN participation to such groups; and enhancing constituencies per the BGC-WG Report; See FN-1
  3. Communications – Develop tools for increased communication effectiveness and efficiency within the GNSO and improve GNSO communication and coordination with other ICANN structures, including members of the ICANN Board, other Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs).

The immediate goal of the OSC is to develop recommendations to implement operational changes contained in the BGC WG Report. Once recommendations have been implemented, the OSC will be responsible for reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of these new improvements and for recommending further operational enhancements as warranted.

The OSC also will take on other responsibilities as assigned by the GNSO Council. For example, the Council might have the OSC examine how constituency support might be further enhanced in the future, identify when new training curricula might be called for, or consider how to best align the GNSO Council’s work with ICANN’s strategic plan on an ongoing basis.

A. Working Method for the OSC

The OSC will initially establish three separate teams to take on the work of each of the three operational areas described above. The OSC will serve as the coordinating body for these separate work teams. There are two reasons to establish three teams: 1) recommendations span a significant list of topic areas, and dividing the work into three teams may reduce the volume of work asked of each individual participant; and 2) successful implementation of certain recommendations may benefit from special expertise and experience. For example, those who are active in constituency management will have valuable expertise to help the team responsible for developing consistent and transparent rules of constituency participation. Communications experts may have valuable insights on the best collaborative tools to use in a distributed working environment.

B. The OSC Work Teams

A brief description of each OSC Work Team and a link to its charter document are set forth below:

GNSO Operations Team

Develop a proposal for Council consideration on GNSO operations related recommendations. Recommendations considered from the BGC WG Report include:

  • Determine what steps are needed to establish the role of the Council as a “strategic manager of the policy process.”
  • Define and develop scope and responsibilities of any other standing “committees” as recommended by the BGC WG (those suggested to date: committee to analyze trends; committee to benchmark policy implementation)
  • Develop “Statement of Interest” and “Declaration of Interest” forms.
  • Develop curriculum for training Council members, constituents, facilitators and others.
  • Prepare clear rules for the establishment of new constituencies within stakeholder groups, while recognizing that differences exist between stakeholder groups and constituencies.
  • Review and recommend amendments as appropriate regarding methods for encouraging, promoting and introducing new constituencies, while recognizing that differences exist between stakeholder groups and constituencies.

Work Team Charter: GNSO Operations Team gnso operations team

Constituency Operations Team

Develop a proposal to implement recommendations focused on enhancing constituency and stakeholder group operations. Recommendations considered from the BGC WG Report include:

  • Develop a global outreach program to broaden participation in current constituencies.
  • Enhance existing constituencies by developing recommendations on the following:
  • Develop a set of top-level participation guidelines based on the principles as defined in the GNSO recommendations, while recognizing differences between constituencies and that one size may not fit all constituencies.
  • Develop a “tool kit” of basic administrative, operational and technical services available to all constituencies

Work Team Charter: Constituency Operations Team constituency operations team

Communications Team

Develop a proposal to improve communication and coordination for Council consideration. Recommendations considered from the BGC WG Report include:

  • Improve the GNSO’s web site
  • Improve the GNSO’s document management capacity
  • Improve the GNSO’s ability to solicit meaningful public comments on its work
  • Improve the GNSO’s coordination with other ICANN structures.

Work Team Charter: OSC Communications Team osc communications team

Special Focus Teams

The OSC also may consider whether any of the activities called for in the recommendations lend themselves to being addressed through the establishment of a special team.

Work Team Operating Rules and Membership

The OSC has established standard operating rules and membership criteria for the various OSC work teams. They are set out in the charter documents that have been drafted for each work team.

C. OSC Operations Processes

Membership in the OSC

Initially, the OSC will be comprised of the following members:

  • GNSO council chair or vice chair
  • 1 representative from each constituency (need not be a Council member)
  • 1 Nominating Committee appointee to the GNSO

Other Participants in the OSC

  • Optional liaisons or appointed representatives from the ALAC and the GAC
  • OSC Work Team Chairs
  • GNSO secretariat
  • 1 ICANN policy staff representative

Goals and Milestones for the OSC

To be determined cooperatively by the OSC and the work teams and approved by the Council

Decision Making for the OSC

Unless otherwise determined by the OSC members, committee decisions will be made using a “full consensus of the members” process.

Staff Support

The ICANN Staff assigned to the OSC and any work teams established will fully support the work of the committee and applicable work teams as directed by the Chair including meeting support, document drafting, editing and distribution and other substantive contributions when appropriate.

FN-1: For clarity, the GNSO Improvements effort is based on the following structural framework; (1) interested individuals or organizations make up constituencies; (2) constituencies make up stakeholder groups; and (3) stakeholder groups provide the structure for the GNSO Council. One additional structural layer added to this framework is a bicameral overlay structure utilizing two voting “houses.” As approved by the Board, those two voting houses are themselves composed of two stakeholder groups each for GNSO Council voting and decision-making purposes.