Note: On 10 April 2012, the Board established the New gTLD Program Committee, comprised of all voting members of the Board that are not conflicted with respect to the New gTLD Program. The Committee was granted all of the powers of the Board (subject to the limitations set forth by law, the Articles of incorporation, Bylaws or ICANN’s Conflicts of Interest Policy) to exercise Board-level authority for any and all issues that may arise relating to the New gTLD Program. The full scope of the Committee’s authority is set forth in its charter at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/new-gTLD.
A Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors was held on 27 June 2012 at 17:00 UTC.
Committee Chairman Cherine Chalaby promptly called the meeting to order.
In addition to the Chair the following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Rod Beckstrom, Chris Disspain, Bill Graham, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, Ray Plzak, George Sadowsky, Mike Silber, Judith Vazquez and Kuo-Wei Wu.
Thomas Narten, IETF Liaison, and Thomas Roessler, TLG Liaison, were also in attendance as non-voting liaisons to the committee.
R. Ramaraj sent apologies.
The Chair introduced the agenda for the meeting.
Ray Plzak moved and George Sadowsky seconded the following resolutions:
Resolved, the following resolutions in this Consent Agenda are approved:
Approval of Committee Minutes:
Resolved (2012.06.27.NG01), the New gTLD Program Committee approves the minutes of the 10 April 2012 New gTLD Program Committee meeting.
Resolved (2012.06.27.NG02), the New gTLD Program Committee approves the minutes of the 6 May 2012 New gTLD Program Committee meeting.
Resolved (2012.06.27.NG03), the New gTLD Program Committee approves the minutes of the 29 May 2012 New gTLD Program Committee meeting.
Eleven Directors voted in favor of Resolutions 2012.06.27.NG01, 2012.06.27.NG02, and 2012.06.27.NG03. R. Ramaraj was unavailable to vote on the Resolutions. The Resolutions carried.
Reconsideration Request 12-1
The Chair presented the history of Reconsideration Request 12-1, reminding the committee of the initial GNSO Recommendations that were passed in March 2012, the New gTLD Program Committee’s consideration of those recommendations on 10 April 2012 and its decision to not make any changes to the Applicant Guidebook at that time. The Chair noted that the inclusion of the term “at this time” was meaningful. The public comment period on the GNSO Recommendations closed on 14 April 2012. The Chair reminded the Committee that Reconsideration Request 12-1 was received on 10 May 2012, and the Board Governance Committee (BGC) considered the Request at its meeting in early June.
At George Sadowsky’s request, the Chair reviewed the substance of the initial GNSO Recommendations, including the creation of the category of modified reserved names, the protection of IOC/Red Cross names in as many languages as feasible, and the applicability of top-level protections for all rounds of the New gTLD Program.
The Chair noted that the Committee did not reject the GNSO Recommendations, noting that the item could be renewed for Committee consideration at a later time. The BGC recommended that the Reconsideration Request did not identify material information that the Committee failed to consider at the time of its decision, essentially leaving no grounds.
The Chair commented that if the Committee were to accept the BGC recommendation, it would make sense to instruct the staff to review inputs received after 10 April, including public comment, comments in Prague, further work of the GNSO, and any GAC input, to demonstrate that the Committee is still engaged on this issue.
Mike Silber stated his opinion that reconsideration requests should be rejected rarely and only where there’s an abuse of a process. There should be an opportunity for requesters to get to heart of the issue, instead of being limited by a narrow process. Though this request may not have merit, his recommendation at the BGC was to allow the reconsideration to proceed. However, the option presented by the Chair seems sufficient, as it is not the purpose of the New gTLD Committee to go into the heart of the Reconsideration process.
The Chair noted that the BGC suggested a further evaluation as a matter of fairness.
Bill Graham commented that Mike’s comment deserves further consideration.
Chris Disspain commented that though the BGC process led to a denial of the request, the suggestion to re-visit the issue is a good example of the ATRT suggestion of reviewing ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.
Ray Plzak moved and Kuo-Wei Wu seconded the following resolution:
Whereas, the Board Governance Committee has reviewed Reconsideration Request 12-1 submitted by the International Olympic Committee on 10 May 2012 concerning the New gTLD Program Committee’s 10 April 2012 decision on the GNSO Recommendation for Protection of Red Cross and International Olympic Committee Names in New gTLDs (http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-new-gtld-10apr12-en.htm).
Whereas, the BGC has determined that Reconsideration Request 12-1 should be denied.
Whereas, the BGC stated in its recommendation: “Though reconsideration is not proper in this instance, the BGC notes the use of the phrase "at this time" in the 10 April 2012 decision. As a matter of fairness, the BGC invites the New gTLD Program Committee to evaluate whether its decision on the GNSO Recommendations relating to the IOC is now ripe for determination given that the public comment period on the recommendations has now closed.”
Whereas, Reconsideration Request 12-1 and the BGC’s recommendation have been posted on the ICANN website at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/governance/reconsideration.
Resolved (2012.06.27.NG04), the New gTLD Program Committee adopts the recommendation of the BGC that Reconsideration Request 12-1 be denied, as the requestor did not satisfy the requirements to bring a reconsideration request. The request did not identify material information that the New gTLD Program Committee failed to take into consideration when taking its 10 April 2012 decision.
Resolved (2012.06.27.NG05), the New gTLD Program Committee directs the President and CEO to review inputs received after the 10 April 2012 decision on this matter and provide an update to the New gTLD Program Committee.
Eleven Directors voted in favor of Resolutions 2012.06.27.NG04, 2012.06.27.NG05. R. Ramaraj was unavailable to vote on the Resolutions. The Resolutions carried.
ICANN’s Bylaws call for the Board Governance Committee to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board with respect to Reconsideration Requests. See Article IV, section 3 of the Bylaws. The New gTLD Program Committee, delegated the powers of the Board on this issue, has reviewed and thoroughly discussed the BGC’s recommendation with respect to Reconsideration Request 12-1 and finds the analysis sound.
Having a Reconsideration process whereby the BGC reviews and makes a recommendation to the Board (here, through the New gTLD Program Committee) for approval positively affects the transparency and accountability of ICANN. It provides an avenue for the community to ensure that staff and the Board are acting in accordance with ICANN’s policies, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.
To assure that the New gTLD Program Committee continues to remain accountable to the ICANN community, the Committee now seeks an update on the inputs received on this issue, including the close of public comment, the community comment (including the IOC/Red Cross and the Governmental Advisory Committee) received at the ICANN meeting in Prague, and the status of work within the GNSO on this issue.
Adopting the BGC’s recommendation has no financial impact on ICANN and will not negatively impact the systemic security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.
The Chair called the meeting to a close.