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  • To: David Olive <david.olive@xxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Maria Farrell <maria.farrell@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 22:35:12 +0000
  • Cc: "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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  • In-reply-to: <CD12146B.1BB28%david.olive@icann.org>
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • References: <CD12146B.1BB28%david.olive@icann.org>
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear David and Council members,

With thanks to Marika for her precis of the policy v implementation paper
on the GNSO Council call this evening, we should also look beyond the
critical decision-point of when something is policy versus implementation,
to improving the quality and purity of decision-making on implementation
issues. This would give reassurances that may take some of the heat out of
the policy v implementation debate.

I would like to make a suggestion on fine-tuning implementation itself, so
that there is less risk/perception of the possibility for it to be
influenced in non-objective ways.

Implementation is something of a 'black box'. The staff does its best with
the policy inputs and operational/legal/environmental constraints to
produce a sensible result. We assume the criteria they use are practicality
and expedience. i.e. that it's basically technocratic decision-making in
the pure sense of the term.

But when a policy-making executive (such as the ICANN staff but equally the
European Commission or Dept. of Commerce) takes on authority for
decision-making, there still need to be checks and balances on that 'black

Aside from the possibility of self-dealing by the executive, there is a
risk of outcomes being influenced by small numbers of insiders who aren't
part of the executive but have sufficient access to influence
decision-making in un-transparent ways.

I propose the post hoc reporting of a rationale behind the implementation
decisions ultimately taken and - crucially - *a register of contacts
received from named external actors regarding implementation of a specific
issue*. Contacts include outreach to or from those providing expert input,
operational insights or, as some fear, attempting to influence that process.

Reporting the fact of contacts is best practice in the UK, and increasingly
in the EU, with public registers of lobbyists being slowly introduced. It
has the benefit of reassuring the public that decisions have been taken
fairly, and it also protects staff members from undue contacts.

What do others think?

Also, I'd be happy to take part in the organising committee for a session
in Beijing, if that's helpful.

All the best, Maria

On 8 January 2013 23:22, David Olive <david.olive@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Dear GNSO Council Members:
> As mentioned previously, I would like to share with you a staff paper
> concerning the topic of policy vs. implementation which outlines a draft
> framework for community discussion. In addition, the paper aims to identify
> a number of principles, questions as well as possible improvements that
> will hopefully facilitate further consideration of this issue.
> In addition to sharing this with you, we are also planning to circulate
> this to the other ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees
> for their consideration. Further to any steps the GNSO may want to take in
> relation to this issue, our idea would be to solicit volunteers from the
> different SO/ACs to set up a small organizing committee to plan a session
> in Beijing on this topic so further consideration can be given to possible
> next steps and/or recommendations.
> If you have any comments and/or questions, please feel free to share those
> with the list. This topic is also expected to be on the agenda for the next
> GNSO Council meeting.
> Best regards,
> David
> --
> David A. Olive
> Vice President, Policy Development Support
> Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
> 1101 New York Avenue, NW - Suite 930
> Washington, D.C.    20005
> Office: 202.570.7126      Mobile:  202.341.3611
> ****

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