Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

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Name: Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG)
Date:29 May 2023
Other Comments

The Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposed Bylaws amendments and documents that are part of the implementation of recommendations from the NomCom2 Review. The following comments are consistent with those previously provided by the RySG: comments on the NomCom Report (21 Nov. 2014) and comments on the Final draft Report on the NomCom 2 Review (7 May 2018).


1. Fundamental Bylaws amendment (re: Unaffiliated)

While, to be clear, the RySG believes the appointment of directors who are independent or “non-affiliated“ to be a laudable goal, one which we support in concept, we are concerned with the draft definition within the “ICANN Nominating Committee (NomCom) “Unaffiliated“ Director Statement “. It is our impression that the definition is so wide as to in effect exclude anyone who has had any meaningful interaction with the ICANN community. We believe that this definition requires significant revision in order to achieve the desired goal – getting the best candidates to submit their candidacies. We encourage ICANN to ensure that in seeking “independence“, we do not go so far as to disqualify all those with relevant experience, which could be of added benefit to the Board and the community as a whole. 


The RySG also believes that care must be taken not to overly restrict the pool of potential candidates at the outset of the process. The NomCom can only select from amongst those who apply. In the past, some pools have been more limited in the number of well-qualified candidates based on all of the selection criteria. We therefore respectfully suggest that when defining “unaffiliated“ reasonable flexibility is envisaged so as to best support the NomCom in performing their role. This also is important in terms of timing: if suitable “unaffiliated” (under a strict definition) candidates do not make it through the regular selection process, there won’t be enough time to find additional candidates for consideration—and the Board should never be under-staffed due to an avoidable procedural complication.


2. Standard Bylaws amendments

Change terms to two-years

The RySG reiterates its support for changing the terms for voting delegates to two-years and instituting a one term limit noting that an individual may serve a second term provided a minimum of two years has passed since the conclusion of their first term. NomCom service is a complex responsibility and the additional year will provide necessary experience and continuity. The term limit will avoid allowing members to be involved in selecting Board members over three consecutive cycles. 


Transform all delegates into voting members

The RySG supports allowing all delegates to vote. As delegates participate in discussions and can influence voting, they should be permitted to participate fully with voting rights. In addition, the RySG doesn’t see how the GAC can vote unless the NomCom breaks the confidentiality rules for that member so they can get instructions from the GAC. The RySG is aware that the GAC has never participated on NomCom and may be discussing if it sees any way it could participate.


Create a NomCom Standing Committee

The RySG reiterates its support for the creation of a NomCom Standing Committee. The Standing Committee could be given the responsibility for improving the productivity, transparency, effectiveness, and accountability of the NomCom. With a Standing Committee the NomCom and its delegates could focus on the current year’s evaluation and selection activities rather than being mired down solving perennial issues about the application process. The Standing Committee would over time develop institutional knowledge about the NomCom to further enhance its future efforts. 


3. Standing Committee Charter

The RySG supports the draft Nominating Committee Standing Committee Charter that was posted for public comment on 17 April 2023.


4. Requested changes to Article 12

The RySG believes the RSSAC will determine their operational procedures and therefore offers our support but no specific comment. 

Summary of Submission

The Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposed Bylaws amendments and documents that are part of the implementation of recommendations from the NomCom2 Review and provided comments consistent with those previously provided by the RySG on the NomCom Report (21 Nov. 2014) and the Final draft Report on the NomCom 2 Review (7 May 2018).