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In recent years, ICANN has taken many steps to improve transparency and accountability in its operations. Most notably, a detailed budget process and disclosure process has been developed (see: http://www.icann.org/en/financials/proposed-opplan-budget-v1-fy09-17may08-en.pdf [PDF, 355K] for the most recent detailed budget).
About one year ago, ICANN began reporting metrics for each month to the public website on a "dashboard". Over that period, ICANN has published monthly financial information (both revenue and expense) and IANA metrics on queue times for request processing.
Effective immediately, that dashboard reporting is being substantially expanded (see: http://forms.icann.org/idashboard/public/). In this expanded form, the community can continue to access the IANA and financial information, and will additionally show information in particular:
- Communications (publications issued and new subscribers per month)
- Fellowships Program history (applications, regions, acceptances, attendance)
- Accredited registrar geographic distribution -- this data is already available on interactive maps and data escrow status (see: http://forms.icann.org/idashboard/public/)
- Registrations per registry
- Registry services request processing.
Identified Deliverables Tied To Budget
In addition, ICANN staff and Board have developed a summary operational "scorecard" that is tied to the operating plan and budget. This is in effect a summary of the entire ICANN operating plan, with discrete, clearly indentified deliverables. It is meant to provide insight into organizational goals and progress made on the plan, as tied to the budget. This will be posted as part of the dashboard view within a few weeks.
New Functional Reporting
Further, with significant involvement of the Board Finance Committee, staff have developed a new functional reporting approach, so there can be better analysis and understanding of where ICANN's money is spent. This will be previewed at ICANN's Cairo meeting, and made a regular part of ICANN's reporting (via the dashboard) within this calendar year.
Summary of Other Transparency and Accountability Measures Taken So Far
In addition to these new measures, the following mechanisms are already available:
- A set of Frameworks and Principles for Accountability and Transparency (see: http://www.icann.org/en/transparency/acct-trans-frameworks-principles-10jan08.pdf, [PDF, 420K])
- Monthly newsletters
- A monthly compliance update
- The ICANN blog
- Improved public comment forum
- Improved extensive minutes of Board discussion
- Improved, more flexible and accessible website
- Posting of all inbound and outbound correspondence
- Transcription and archiving of public meetings links
- Information disclosure policy (see: http://www.icann.org/en/transparency/acct-trans-frameworks-principles-10jan08.pdf [PDF, 420K])
- Translation principles (see: http://www.icann.org/en/transparency/acct-trans-frameworks-principles-10jan08.pdf [PDF, 420K])
- Implementation of Independent Accountability and Transparency Audit
- Improved remote participation site
- And regular annual financial auditing [PDF, 144K]
- ICANN Ombudsman | Ombudsman 2008 Annual Report [PDF, 1.2M]
More To Come
Transparency and accountability will always remain an area of emphasis in ICANN's ongoing evolution, with more reporting and tools planned into next year.