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Re: [dow1tf] Clarification of participation in WHOIS task force calls by alternates

  • To: <dow1tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <gnso.secretariat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [dow1tf] Clarification of participation in WHOIS task force calls by alternates
  • From: "Milton Mueller" <Mueller@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 11:01:15 -0500
  • Cc: <whois-sc@xxxxxxxx>, <NCUC-DISCUSS@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <bruce.tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <marc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Bruce and others:

GNSO Taks Forces are not neutral, purely informational bodies.
They are intended to be representational and they are
by necessity highly political. Therefore we need simple,
clear rules regarding participation. The "one voice/constituency"
rule guarantees fairness in representation and avoids
warping the politics of the deliberations by giving one
constituency multiple voices.

I know there are powerful people on the sidelines who
wish to inject their views into any and all task forces at
specific times. That is precisely why we need impartial
and unambiguous rules against ex parte communications.
That temptation must be resisted. It is not a good sign
that at the first bit of pressure the GNSO Council has
caved in to make the procedure less fair,
because it contrains precisely those parties that it was
designed to constrain.

Allowing the Chair of the TF to decide who has relevant
"facts" to contribute and using discretion to permit some
alternates to speak while preventing other alternates from
speaking is simply not an acceptable policy. If the TF needs
specific facts from specific parties it can issue requests
for them in the form of email. Also, I note that the
ICANN staff was supposed to fulfill that role.

In short, I see nothing here except an unacceptable
attempt by known parties to multiply their voices on
the task force so as to dominate the politics. This must
be rejected, and if it is not NCUC representations will
make a procedural issue out of it on the Task Forces.


 >>> "GNSO SECRETARIAT" <gnso.secretariat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 12/19/03 03:38AM >>>
[To: dow1tf[at]gnso.icann.org

The GNSO Council discussed this issue during its meeting on 18 Dec 2003.

It was recognised that alternates play a valuable role in task force
work in using their own network of contacts and resources to collect
data together for the task force.  Normally alternates would provide
their work through the primary constituency representative on the task
force.  It was noted however that during a particular call or physical
meeting an alternate may have some useful "factual" information to
provide that is relevant to the discussion.   Note that ICANN staff
members and the GAC liaison have typically operated in that mode during
GNSO council calls.  It was noted that a balance needs to be struck
between alternates offering information that might be strongly related
to a particular constituency viewpoint (e.g isolated events, anecdotal
information, or a reference to a Web blog or an academic paper
expressing a particular opinion) as opposed to factual information (e.g
a reference to an existing ICANN policy, or a reference to a previous
statistical survey, or ICANN workshop).

The Council recommended that the chair of each task force be given the
discretion to take advantage of the availability of alternate members
for the purposes of providing factual information, whilst ensuring that
each constituency expresses their particular opinion/viewpoint on the
policy issue under consideration through a single representative during
any single call or physical meeting.   If a particular constituency
believes that the intent of the motion of 20 Nov (which ensures fair
participation by all constituencies regardless of their size and
resources) is not being met, this should be raised with the chair of the
task force, through their representative on the task force.  If a
consituency is unable to resolve the issue with the task force chair,
then the constituency can request guidance from the GNSO Council,
through their representatives on the GNSO Council.

Bruce Tonkin
Chair, GNSO Council

posted by: GNSO Secretariat

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