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Re: [ga] Re: More information on Proposed Bylaw Changes to Improve Accountability public comment period

  • To: "Roberto Gaetano" <roberto@xxxxxxxxx>, maria.farrell@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [ga] Re: More information on Proposed Bylaw Changes to Improve Accountability public comment period
  • From: "Edward Hasbrouck" <edward@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 08 Oct 2009 08:26:48 -0700

On 8 Oct 2009 at 12:36, "Roberto Gaetano" <Roberto Gaetano 
<roberto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

> a mere extension of the comment period would not require a Board decision

This was not  "mere" extension of a comment period.  It was a decision to 
override a previous vote of the Board fixing a specific comment period.

if the original comment period had not been set by the Board, your 
argument might have some merit.  But my question is not about comment 
periods in general, or whether they always need to be set by the Board, 
but about staff unilaterally overriding a specific directive voted by the 
Board. In this case, the Board had already decided (for what reasons we 
don't know, since the Board met in secret, in violation of the Bylaws, but 
hopefully for good and sufficient reasons) to specify a comment period.

My question, to which I have received no answer and which I reiterate, is 
which member of the staff believed they had the authority to override the 
Board resolution on the comment period, and what resolution of the Board 
or provision of the Bylaws they believe delegated to them, or gives them 
in general, authority to override such a resolution of the Board.

The underlying specific matter may seem in some ways minor, if you think 
about it solely as a change of date (rather than as part of a process of 
revision of ICANN's procedural safeguards and principles).  But the 
*manner* in which the date was changed raises very fundamental questions 
about the relationship of staff and Board, and the locus of actual 

If members of ICANN's staff believe that they have inherent authority, 
without the need for formal delegation, to disregard or override specific 
and explicit directives voted by the Board, that should be of concern to 
all ICANN stakeholders, including the board.

If ICANN's Board is *not* concerned that staff take for granted their 
authority to revise or revoke directives of the Board (or, perhaps, that 
the Board can override its own publicly-disclosed and voted decisions by 
some other informal and secret process), that should be of even more 
concern to the community.

Both of these go to the heart of ICANN's structure of authority, 
accountability (to the Board and, through procedural requirements for 
Board decision-making, to the community), and above all transparency.

It is ironic,  of course, that the policy proposal for the Affirmation of 
Commitments was not posted for public comment prior to being signed and 
announced as  a fait accompli.  Nor were any of the other procedural 
prerequisites in the Bylaws for such a policy proposal complied with.

The AoC has now been posted for comments, after the fact, but only 
supportive comments are being solicited or posted:  ""If you have a 
comment or message of support for ICANN, please feel free to use the box 


Critical comments and questions, when they have been submitted through 
this form, have not been posted.

A "public forum" for messages only of congratulations and praise for what 
the Great Leaders have done -- advertised as "what others are saying" (a 
wide range of groups and individuals sent responses and messages of 
support.... In order to retain the community's reaction to the 
Affirmation, we have therefore set up this webpage to act as an archive 
and a repository" --  reeks of the hypocrisy of tyrants, and exposes the 
hypocrisy of the putative "Commitments"  themselves.

I continue to await any official response as to the staff decision to 
override the Board resolution on the comment period, the failure to post 
the policy proposal for the AoC or comply with any of the other procedural 
rules in the Bylaws *before* it was approved, the solicitation only of 
supportive comments on the AoC, and the censorship of the responses 
falsely identified as representing "the community's reaction to the 
Affirmation", when in fact they represent only those reactions with which 
ICANN was sufficiently pleased to select them for publication.


Edward Hasbrouck

Edward Hasbrouck

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