Proposed Charter for Enhancing ICANN Accountability Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) Submitted for Consideration
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On 3 November 2014, the Drafting Team that was formed by the ICANN community to develop a charter for the Enhancing ICANN Accountability Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) distributed a charter for adoption by chartering organizations. The charter includes, among other things, a problem statement, goals & objectives, scope, and proposed areas for work. The CCWG is expected to organize its activities in two Work Streams, consistent with the Revised Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process:
Work Stream 1: focused on mechanisms enhancing ICANN accountability that must be in place or committed to within the time frame of the IANA Stewardship Transition; and
Work Stream 2: focused on addressing accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation may extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition.
Each ICANN Supporting Organization (SO) and Advisory Committee (AC) is expected to consider the proposed charter during its upcoming November meeting(s). Following the adoption of the charter, chartering organizations are expected to identify their representative members to serve on the CCWG (each chartering organization will appoint a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 members to the CCWG). In addition, a call for volunteers to join the CCWG will be launched, so that anyone interested in this effort may join and participate. The CCWG is expected to commence its deliberations in late November or early December.
All members of the group formerly known as the "Cross Community Group" will be added to the CCWG as participants, unless some are appointed by chartering organizations to serve as members or decide not to join this effort.
Drafting Team Background
Considering the short timeframe ahead and the relation of part of the Accountability work to the IANA Stewardship Transition process, the Drafting Team worked on an expedited basis to develop the charter. The publication date was identified to align with the November meetings of ICANN's SOs and ACs, to allow for the question of CCWG charter adoption to be discussed. For details of each of the Drafting Team's meetings, including interim draft versions of the charter, please see here.
The Drafting Team was formed following the ICANN51 meeting and includes members appointed by the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), Address Supporting Organization (ASO), Country Code Supporting Organization (ccNSO), Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO).1 In addition, one representative from outside the ICANN SO/AC structure joined the Drafting Team to ensure that the charter defined an inclusive process for the broader community. For a full list of Drafting Team members, please see here.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has requested that ICANN "convene a multistakeholder process to develop a plan to transition the U.S. government stewardship role" with regard to the IANA Functions and related root zone management. In making its announcement, the NTIA specified that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following principles:
- Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
- Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS
- Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
- Maintain the openness of the Internet.
NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental organization solution.
During discussions around the transition process, the community raised the broader topic of the impact of the change on ICANN's accountability. The Enhancing ICANN Accountability process was finalized and posted on 10 October 2014, and can be found here. The scope of the Enhancing ICANN Accountability process is defined as ensuring that ICANN remains accountable in the absence of its historical contractual relationship with the U.S. Government and the perceived backstop with regard to ICANN's organization-wide accountability provided by that role, such as the renewal process of the IANA functions contract. It calls for an examination, from an organizational perspective, of how ICANN's broader accountability mechanisms should be strengthened to address the absence of its historical contractual relationship with the U.S. Government, including looking at strengthening existing accountability mechanisms (e.g., the ICANN Bylaws and the Affirmation of Commitments).
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1 RSSAC and SSAC were invited to participate in the Drafting Team, but were unable to join the effort.