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RE: [council] Conflicts and the Draft reply to Fadi

  • To: joy@xxxxxxx, "Jonathan Robinson" <jonathan.robinson@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [council] Conflicts and the Draft reply to Fadi
  • From: <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 08:35:24 -0700
  • Cc: "'Julie Hedlund'" <julie.hedlund@xxxxxxxxx>, council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "'Mason Cole'" <mcole@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: Workspace Webmail 5.6.30

<html><body><span style="font-family:Verdana; color:#000000; 
font-size:10pt;"><div>Joy,</div><div><br></div><div>I thought the guidance 
clear enough. &nbsp;Financial interests that touch ICANN are a part of the 
Statement of Interest and a conflict of interest, made public, does not 
preclude participation. &nbsp;It just allows fellow Councillors a more 
three-dimensional way to assess that commentary.</div><div><br></div><div>As 
for Mason's draft, I have consulted with the BC and we are thinking through a 
set of suggestions.</div><div><br></div><div>Watch this 
Berard</div><div>Founder</div><div>Credible Context</div><div>58 West Portal 
Avenue, #291</div><div>San Francisco, CA 94127</div><div>m: 
<blockquote id="replyBlockquote" webmail="1" style="border-left: 2px solid 
blue; margin-left: 8px; padding-left: 8px; font-size:10pt; color:black; 
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-------- Original Message --------<br>
Subject: Re: [council] Conflicts and the Draft reply to Fadi<br>
From: joy &lt;<a href="mailto:joy@xxxxxxx";>joy@xxxxxxx</a>&gt;<br>
Date: Tue, December 18, 2012 6:06 pm<br>
To: Jonathan Robinson &lt;<a 
Cc: "'Julie Hedlund'" &lt;<a 
<a href="mailto:john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a>,        
<a href="mailto:council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a>, "'Mason 
&lt;<a href="mailto:mcole@xxxxxxxxxx";>mcole@xxxxxxxxxx</a>&gt;<br>
Hash: SHA1<br>
Thanks Jonathan, that is helpful.<br>
I won't venture to speak for John, but recall his question was:<br>
"Before I offer comment on Mason's draft and before we convene on<br>
Thursday can I get some guidance on how those of us who have a<br>
conflict on the matter of new gTLDs should conduct ourselves or offer<br>
I do not yet have a firm position, but rather was supporting the<br>
request for guidance on how the conflict of interest rules (as<br>
outlined by Julie) apply to developing a response to the letter from<br>
Fadi in this particular case. NCSG has seen the letter prepared by<br>
Mason. I am not aware of any discussion of conflicts of interest of<br>
NCSG Councillors who, in any event, support the GNSO Council writing<br>
to the CEO as proposed.<br>
Perhaps those Councillors with possible conflicts can assist by<br>
responding before the council meeting<br>
On 19/12/2012 11:51 a.m., Jonathan Robinson wrote:<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; Thanks Joy,<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; I am mindful of the short time between now and the Council meeting.<br>
&gt; Also of the issues that time zones create. Therefore I want to<br>
&gt; respond quickly.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; My personal thoughts on this are that Councillors can contribute<br>
&gt; from two key positions:<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; 1. As a representative of the group they represent on the Council <br>
&gt; 2. In their individual capacity<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; It will be helpful if Councillors can be clear in which capacity<br>
&gt; they are contributing.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; In the case of 1 above, I trust that this has been discussed to<br>
&gt; some extent in the groups / constituencies and therefore that<br>
&gt; councillors may be in a position to represent group positions.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; In the case of 2 above, we have SOI's from individual councillors<br>
&gt; so that helps to inform us.  After that, it may be down to a matter<br>
&gt; of judgement by councillors as to whether or not they contribute or<br>
&gt; not to a specific portion of the discussion.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; I stress here that I have responded rapidly to try to assist and am<br>
&gt; open to any other contributions on this, particularly to the extent<br>
&gt; that they are based on existing bylaws or procedures.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; Joy, I understand that you are seeking guidance but do you (or the<br>
&gt; NCSG to the extent that you are aware of it) have a firm view on<br>
&gt; this issue?<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; Jonathan<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; -----Original Message----- From: <a 
&gt; [<a 
 On Behalf Of joy Sent: 18<br>
&gt; December 2012 22:05 To: Julie Hedlund Cc: <a 
&gt; <a href="mailto:council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a> List; 
Mason Cole Subject: Re: [council]<br>
&gt; Conflicts and the Draft reply to Fadi<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; Thanks Julie, and John for raising this. Given that John's question<br>
&gt; relates not to a motion, but to a matter of Council business (the<br>
&gt; draft reply to Fadi), it would appear that the Council operating<br>
&gt; procedures cited here do not apply. If so, can I ask what guidance<br>
&gt; can Council offer (or be offered) on the point John has raised<br>
&gt; (particularly in light of how the Board has dealt with conflicts of<br>
&gt; interest and recent sensitivities on this topic). Cheers<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; Joy<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; On 18/12/2012 12:24 p.m., Julie Hedlund wrote:<br>
&gt;&gt; John,<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Thank you for your question with respect to conflicts of<br>
&gt;&gt; interest. Here is some information that may be helpful.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; The GNSO Council Operating Procedures (see <br>
&gt;&gt; <a 
&gt;&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; differentiate between "conflicts of interest" and "statements of<br>
&gt;&gt; interest."  The Procedures contain requirements relating to<br>
&gt;&gt; Statements of interest in Section 5.0.  These are defined as, "A<br>
&gt;&gt; written statement made by a Relevant Party that provides a<br>
&gt;&gt; declaration of interests that may affect the Relevant Party's<br>
&gt;&gt; judgement, on any matters to be considered by the GNSO Group. " <br>
&gt;&gt; These statements of interest are to be provided by any member of<br>
&gt;&gt; a GNSO Group (such as the Council, but also Working Groups) to<br>
&gt;&gt; the Secretariat not less frequently than once a year and at the<br>
&gt;&gt; beginning of a GNSO Group meeting the Chair asks if members have<br>
&gt;&gt; updates to their statements of interest.  Below I've included the<br>
&gt;&gt; questions that form the content of the statement of interest.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; The Procedures also reference "conflicts of interest," but only<br>
&gt;&gt; in the context of a disclaimer (see excerpt from Section 4.5,<br>
&gt;&gt; Obligational Abstentions, below) that refers to the Statements of<br>
&gt;&gt; Interest procedures and notes that these statements do not<br>
&gt;&gt; require that the Councilor abstain from participating and voting.<br>
&gt;&gt; In particular, section 4.5 notes as follows:<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; /".the term "Conflict of Interest" will not pertain when a GNSO <br>
&gt;&gt; Councilor argues for and votes "Yes" or "No" on a matter which,<br>
&gt;&gt; by virtue of that action, directly or indirectly benefits that<br>
&gt;&gt; individual financially or economically; however, that<br>
&gt;&gt; interpretation does not imply that circumstances cannot occur in<br>
&gt;&gt; which a Councilor may perceive his/her situation as obligating a<br>
&gt;&gt; formal abstention."  /<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; With respect to abstentions, the "Obligational Abstention" (see <br>
&gt;&gt; details below) perhaps addresses what you refer to as "conflict<br>
&gt;&gt; of interest." That is, it allows a Councilor to abstain from a<br>
&gt;&gt; vote as follows and provides cases as examples (see below):<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; "A Councilor who believes that proceeding to vote on a motion or<br>
&gt;&gt;  action before the Council not only warrants, but requires,<br>
&gt;&gt; his/her abstention and, thereby, recusal from deliberations, is<br>
&gt;&gt; considered to be facing an obligational abstention."<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; I hope that this is helpful, but please let me know if you need<br>
&gt;&gt; more information or have more questions.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Best regards,<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Julie<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Julie Hedlund, Policy Director<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; *Excerpted from GNSO Council Operating Procedures, Section 5.3.3,<br>
&gt;&gt; page 21*<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 5.3.3    _Content_<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Relevant Parties shall complete all six sections of the Statement<br>
&gt;&gt; of Interest form as specified below:<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 1.     Please identify your current employer(s) and position(s).<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 2.     Please identify your declared country of primary<br>
&gt;&gt; residence (which may be the country to which you pay taxes).<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 3.     Please identify the type(s) of work performed at #1<br>
&gt;&gt; above.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 4.     Please list any financial relationship beyond /de<br>
&gt;&gt; minimus/ stock ownership you may have with any company that to<br>
&gt;&gt; your knowledge has a financial relationship or contract with<br>
&gt;&gt; ICANN.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 5.     Do you believe you are participating in the GNSO policy <br>
&gt;&gt; process as a representative of any individual or entity,whether<br>
&gt;&gt; paid or unpaid?  Please answer "yes" or "no."  If the answer is<br>
&gt;&gt; "yes," please provide the name of the represented individual or <br>
&gt;&gt; entity.   If professional ethical obligations prevent you from <br>
&gt;&gt; disclosing this information, please so state.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; 6.     Please identify any other relevant arrangements,<br>
&gt;&gt; interests, or benefits as requested in the following two<br>
&gt;&gt; questions:<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; i.       Do you have any type of material interest in ICANN GNSO <br>
&gt;&gt; policy development processes and outcomes?  Please answer "yes"<br>
&gt;&gt; or "no."  If the answer is "yes," please describe the material<br>
&gt;&gt; interest in ICANN GNSO policy development processes and<br>
&gt;&gt; outcomes.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; ii.       Are there any arrangements/agreements between you and<br>
&gt;&gt; any other group, constituency or person(s) regarding your<br>
&gt;&gt; participation as a work team member?  Please answer "yes" or<br>
&gt;&gt; "no."  If the answer is "yes," please describe the<br>
&gt;&gt; arrangements/agreements and the name of the group, constituency,<br>
&gt;&gt; or person(s).<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; *Excerpted from GNSO Council Operating Procedures, Section 4.5, <br>
&gt;&gt; Abstentions, page 15*<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; a.     _Obligational Abstentions_<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; This category of abstentions results from conditions in which a <br>
&gt;&gt; Councilor may find that he/she is unable to vote on a measure due<br>
&gt;&gt; to a competing personal (e.g. religious), professional, or<br>
&gt;&gt; political interest that interferes with his/her ability to<br>
&gt;&gt; participate in the matter or where participation raises ethical<br>
&gt;&gt; questions.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; /_Disclaimer concerning the term "Conflict of Interest"_//:<br>
&gt;&gt; There are certain financial interests and, possibly, incentives<br>
&gt;&gt; associated with GNSO actions that affect Internet domain name<br>
&gt;&gt; policies.  As they pertain to GNSO Council voting actions, such<br>
&gt;&gt; interests are expected to be documented in a Councilor's required<br>
&gt;&gt; Statement of Interest (see Chapter 5.0 <br>
&gt;&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; and do not require that the Councilor abstain from participating<br>
&gt; and<br>
&gt;&gt; voting.  //GNSO Councilors do not have a fiduciary responsibility<br>
&gt;&gt; to act in the best interests of ICANN in discharging their <br>
&gt;&gt; responsibilities on the Council. While the deliberations and<br>
&gt;&gt; decisions of ICANN are made in the interests of the global<br>
&gt;&gt; Internet community as a whole, GNSO Councilors are understood, in<br>
&gt;&gt; some cases, to represent the views of organizations and interest<br>
&gt;&gt; groups that would materially benefit from policies recommended by<br>
&gt;&gt; the GNSO.  It is understood that Councilors are often employed by<br>
&gt;&gt; or represent those affected parties and such relationships could<br>
&gt;&gt; engender subsequent benefit to Councilors as individuals.  As a<br>
&gt;&gt; result of these special circumstances and to avoid confusion with<br>
&gt;&gt; ICANN's Conflict of Interest Policy, which does not pertain to<br>
&gt;&gt; GNSO Council matters, the term "Conflict of Interest" will not<br>
&gt;&gt; pertain when a GNSO Councilor argues for and votes "Yes" or "No"<br>
&gt;&gt; on a matter which, by virtue of that action, directly or <br>
&gt;&gt; indirectly benefits that individual financially or economically;<br>
&gt;&gt;  however, that interpretation does not imply that circumstances<br>
&gt;&gt; cannot occur in which a Councilor may perceive his/her situation<br>
&gt;&gt; as obligating a formal abstention.  /<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; A Councilor who believes that proceeding to vote on a motion or<br>
&gt;&gt; action before the Council not only warrants, but requires,<br>
&gt;&gt; his/her abstention and,thereby, recusal from deliberations, is<br>
&gt;&gt; considered to be facing an obligational abstention.  Although it<br>
&gt;&gt; is not possible to draft a set of exhaustive conditions under<br>
&gt;&gt; which obligational abstentions can arise, two examples are<br>
&gt;&gt; provided by way of illustration:<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; _Case 1_:  a Councilor (attorney by profession) is representing a<br>
&gt;&gt;  client in legal actionrelating to a matter before the Council<br>
&gt;&gt; and, and as required by his/her professional code, must abstain<br>
&gt;&gt; and, furthermore, such abstention should not be counted as a<br>
&gt;&gt; negative vote. [Note:  this type of situation requires the remedy<br>
&gt;&gt; specified in Paragraph 4.5.3 <br>
&gt;&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; below].<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; _Case 2_:  a Councilor is a paid consultant for a national<br>
&gt;&gt; political body that has a vested interest in a particular motion<br>
&gt;&gt; before the Council.  The Councilor is concerned that his/her<br>
&gt;&gt; future income potential and ability to retain a consulting<br>
&gt;&gt; engagement with the national body may be affected if he/she votes<br>
&gt;&gt; on the measure. In such a case, the Councilor believes that the<br>
&gt;&gt; ethical course of action is to abstain.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; In the two examples above, personal or professional obligations <br>
&gt;&gt; interfere with the Council member's ability to participate<br>
&gt;&gt; ethically; thus, requiring recusal from deliberations on the<br>
&gt;&gt; matter and abstention from voting.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; From: "<a 
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a 
&lt;<a href="mailto:john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a><br>
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a 
 Date: Monday, December 17,<br>
&gt;&gt; 2012 12:00 PM To: Mason Cole &lt;<a 
href="mailto:mcole@xxxxxxxxxx";>mcole@xxxxxxxxxx</a> <br>
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a 
href="mailto:mcole@xxxxxxxxxx";>mailto:mcole@xxxxxxxxxx</a>&gt;&gt;, "<a 
href="mailto:council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a> <br>
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a 
List" &lt;<a href="mailto:council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a> 
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a 
Subject: [council] Conflicts and<br>
&gt;&gt; the Draft reply to Fadi<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Jonathan, et. al.,<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Before I offer comment on Mason's draft and before we convene on<br>
&gt;&gt;  Thursday can I get some guidance on how those of us who have a <br>
&gt;&gt; conflict on the matter of new gTLDs should conduct ourselves or<br>
&gt;&gt; offer input?<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Cheers,<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; John Berard Founder Credible Context 58 West Portal Avenue, #291<br>
&gt;&gt; San Francisco, CA 94127 m: 415.845.4388<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; -------- Original Message -------- Subject: [council] Draft reply<br>
&gt;&gt; to Fadi From: Mason Cole &lt;<a 
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a 
href="mailto:mcole@xxxxxxxxxx";>mailto:mcole@xxxxxxxxxx</a>&gt;&gt; Date: Fri, 
December 14, 2012 11:11 am <br>
&gt;&gt; To: "<a 
href="mailto:council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a> &lt;<a 
&gt;&gt;  &lt;<a 
href="mailto:council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a> &gt;&lt;<a 
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Council colleagues --<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; I have taken the liberty of drafting a reply to Fadi's request<br>
&gt;&gt; for Council advice on the BC/IPC request for more RPMs. Jonathan<br>
&gt;&gt; and I have spoken about a process from here and I am happy to<br>
&gt;&gt; keep the pen for possible suggestions and edits. Speaking for<br>
&gt;&gt; myself, though I realize the holidays are fast approaching I<br>
&gt;&gt; would hope we can get a communication to Fadi expeditiously.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Many thanks --<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt;&gt; Mason<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
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