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Statement from the CCWG-Accountability after Face-to-Face Meeting in Buenos Aires

20 June 2015

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Members and participants of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) Meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 19 June 2015.

The CCWG-Accountability face-to-face in Buenos Aires was attended in-person by 49 members and participants, as well as by a number of participants and observers that joined the meeting remotely using the virtual meeting room. 1 Advisor also participated.

The group discussed the summaries it had earlier prepared of the comments received from the community during the first public comment period on its initial draft report (https://www.icann.org/public-comments/ccwg-accountability-draft-proposal-2015-05-04-en) and can report the following:

Broad support was received for the overall accountability architecture proposed, based on on 4 building blocks, i.e. an empowered community, the Board, the Bylaws and the Independent Review Process.

Most comments considered the proposals would be improvements to ICANN's current accountability mechanisms.

Several commenters recommended the CCWG-Accountability take a more detailed look at the accountability of the community itself (the SOs and ACs) and also to ensure that ICANN is accountable to all stakeholders, including those outside ICANN.

While most commenters expressed support for the recommendations, some expressed concerns primarily regarding implementation details, legal implications, complexity, and underlying costs and risks associated with the proposals.

The CCWG-Accountability values the input received so far in the process and will continue working to refine its initial draft report.

While encouraged by the support received on the overall approach, the group acknowledges the concerns expressed and will give due consideration to suggestions and concerns as it develops a revised proposal in preparation for the upcoming second public comment period.

With regards to the community empowerment mechanism, the CCWG-Accountability has considered various models, and has acknowledged the commonality of views with regards to expectations of such models, including the need to set up mutual accountability, and enhancements to openness and diversity.

In particular, a number of commenters have raised concerns with the reference model. In that model, SOs and ACs would be required to set up separate legal entities, such as formally registering unincorporated associations, as their legal vehicle to exercise community powers. Feedback suggested that the community sees this model as too complex. The CCWG-Accountability has analyzed these comments carefully and will now focus its work on a refined model. This fresh approach, provisionally called the Empowered SO/AC model, gives the community comparable authority while not adding legal entities separate from the SOs and ACs.

The CCWG-Accountability also considered public comments related to the dependencies with the CWG-Stewardship's final proposal. As the CWG-Stewardship's proposal is under consideration by Chartering Organizations, the CCWG-Accountability notes that each of the items that the CWG-Stewardship has identified as critical to its proposal received overall support from the community. None of the comments suggested that CWG-Stewardship requirements could or should not be met.

The CCWG-Accountability will share these outcomes and considerations with the various groups and communities during ICANN53. The group looks forward to continuing the fruitful exchanges that inform further deliberations towards a second round of public comment, which is expected to be published by the end of July.

Note: video summaries of the basic accountability approach are available: