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New GNSO Policy Development Process Revealed | PDP-WT Presents its Initial Report

31 May 2010

Updated: 6 August 2010
8 July 2010

As part of GNSO Improvements, the Policy Development Process (PDP) Work Team (WT) was tasked to developing recommendations for a new GNSO policy development process. ICANN’s policies have wide-ranging impact on how domain names are handled in the gTLD environment, so the method of developing the policies matters. The Work team has considered questions such as: who has the right to introduce a new issue into the PDP; how much background data should participants have before deciding policy; and, what are the possible outcomes of a PDP? Today, the PDP-WT is presenting its Initial Report, containing amongst others forty-five (45) draft Recommendations and a flow chart that is intended to serve as the basis for the new Annex A of the ICANN by-laws, for Community input.

The PDP-WT will be organizing a public information and consultation session at the ICANN meeting in Brussels (see http://brussels38.icann.org/ for further details). At the same time, a public comment forum has been opened (http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201007-en.htm#pdp-initial-report) for a period of 60 days (extended from 45 days). Following the closing of the public comment period, the PDP-WT will analyze the comments received and continue its deliberations in view of finalizing the report for submission to the Policy Process Steering Committee for review and ultimately to the GNSO Council for approval.


On 26 June 2008 the ICANN Board approved a set of recommendations designed to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, including its policy activities, structure, operations, and communications. The following pertains to the PDP-WT’s mission:

Revising the PDP: The Policy Development Process (PDP) needs to be revised to make it more effective and responsive to ICANN’s needs. It should be brought in-line with the time and effort actually required to develop policy and made consistent with ICANN’s existing contracts (including, but not limited to, clarifying the appropriate scope of GNSO “consensus policy” development). While the procedure for developing “consensus policies” will need to continue to be established by the Bylaws as long as required by ICANN’s contracts, the GNSO Council and Staff should propose new PDP rules for the Board’s consideration and approval that contain more flexibility. The new rules should emphasize the importance of the preparation that must be done before launch of a working group or other activity, such as public discussion, fact-finding, and expert research in order to properly define the scope, objective, and schedule for a specific policy development goal and the development of metrics for measuring success.

The charter of the PDP-WT is to develop and document a revised GNSO Policy Development Process that achieves the goals established by the ICANN Board. T he PDP-WT, with staff assistance, will need to determine what changes to the bylaws will be required. New processes will need to be documented properly to ensure that the bylaws (and any related operational rules or procedures) are updated accurately. The revised PDP, after review and approval by the PPSC, GNSO Council, and ICANN Board, would replace the current PDP defined in Annex A of the ICANN bylaws.

Further Information

Deadline and how to submit comments

Staff responsible: Marika Konings