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Chairman’s Blog

7 February 2017
By Steve Crocker

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Over the next few months I will be using this blog to share some insights and commentary on the operation of the ICANN Board and to introduce various Board members. This past week the Board passed a resolution to evolve the Board Governance Committee to be more responsive and more efficient in dealing with concerns with decisions of the Board.

I’ve asked Chris Disspain, chair of the Board Governance Committee to explain the details.

Evolving the Board Governance Committee

Chris Disspain, Board Governance Committee Chair

Over the past several weeks, the Board Governance Committee (BGC) has been considering how to streamline its work in the face of high volumes of accountability mechanism work, including Reconsideration Requests.

As many of you know, the BGC is responsible for helping the Board improve its performance. Like Board Governance Committees in other organizations – the core activities of the BGC include an array of board performance related activities, such as conflicts of interest policies, board committee structures (including slating and charters of other committees), governance guidelines and other important governance related activities (see https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/charter-06-2012-02-25-en)

Over the past several years, the BGC’s work on Reconsideration Requests has increased, and that is only expected to continue under the new Bylaws. The BGC advised the Board that the attention it devotes to the accountability mechanisms is reducing the time available for the BGC’s core governance work and that performance would be enhanced through the development of a Board committee responsible for the oversight of ICANN Accountability Mechanisms, including the BCG’s Reconsideration responsibilities. This will help improve our performance as a Board, the BGC’s performance, and help us serve the community better.

The BGC’s work on Reconsideration Requests is set out in the Fundamental Bylaws, the part of ICANN’s Bylaws that require community approval to change.

Following the BGC’s recommendation, the Board has decided to launch a process to initiate a Fundamental Bylaws amendment so that we can have a full discussion with the ICANN community on enhancing ICANN’s governance and responsiveness to accountability mechanisms, while respecting the new community powers. We look forward to this first use of the Empowered Community and the enhanced dialogue among ICANN and the community.

For more information, please see the Board’s resolution. We will keep you updated as the Bylaws amendment process moves forward.


Steve Crocker

Former ICANN Board Chair