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Board–GAC Working Group Announces Implementation of ATRT Recommendations on GAC Advice and GAC Advice Register

16 March 2012

At the ICANN 43 Meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Board-GAC Recommendation Implementation Working Group (BGRI-WG)1 met to review efforts to implement the Accountability and Transparency Review Team’s (ATRT) GAC-related recommendations.2   The BGRI-WG is pleased to announce the final implementation of ATRT Recommendations addressing GAC Advice (Recommendation 9) and the creation and operation of a GAC Advice Register (Recommendation 10).

ATRT Recommendation 9 calls for the clarification of what "constitutes GAC public policy "advice" under the Bylaws."  The BGRI-WG recognized that GAC advice is defined on the GAC website3.  The BGRI-WG noted that this definition covers only GAC advice to the ICANN Board and not other GAC communications to ICANN Supporting Organizations and other Advisory Committees.  Finally, the BGRI-WG recognized that pursuant to GAC Operating Principle 47, the "GAC works on the basis of seeking consensus among its membership."  In the unlikely event of the GAC providing the Board with non-consensus advice, including a full range of opinions, it is expected that the Board will come back to GAC for further clarification and discussion.

ATRT Recommendation 10 calls for the establishment of formal, documented processes under which the Board notifies the GAC of "matters that affect public policy concerns to request GAC advice."  It also directs ICANN to "develop an on-line tool or data base in which each request to the GAC and advice received from the GAC is documented along with the Board’s consideration of and response to each advice."  In Costa Rica, ICANN staff presented to the BGRI-WG a draft Register of GAC Advice to the Board and Board Requests of ICANN Advice.  The BGRI-WG identified a few issues that required further consideration but approved the current version of the register as a first iteration.

Finally, ATRT Recommendation 14 calls in part for establishing "a process to determine when and how ICANN engages senior government officials on public policy issues on a regular and collective basis to complement the existing GAC process."  With respect to ATRT Recommendation 14, the GAC agreed that convening a high-level governmental meeting is one means of raising government support and commitment to the GAC process. Accordingly the GAC will continue to work toward the possibility of holding such a meeting during the next ICANN meeting in Prague.    

The BGRI-WG looks forward to updating the community on its continued work on Recommendations 11-14 in the near future. 

1 Background on the formation, purpose and composition of the BGRI-WG is available at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/other/board-gac-2011

2 Final Recommendations Of The Accountability And Transparency Review Team, available at http://www.icann.org/en/about/aoc-review/atrt/final-recommendations-31dec10-en.pdf [PDF, 3 MB].

3 See https://gacweb.icann.org/display/GACADV/GAC+Advice