On 2 November 2016, the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) held a face-to-face meeting in Hyderabad, India, to further its discussions on Work Stream 2. 60 members and participants attended in-person, and many others joined the meeting remotely using the virtual meeting room.
As a part of Work Stream 1, the CCWG-Accountability defined areas where further accountability discussions needed to take place. These discussions, called Work Stream 2, have been underway since June 2016. The purpose of Work Stream 2 is to disseminate the new accountability principles into several key parts of ICANN’s day-to-day operations and to develop a culture of accountability across the ICANN Community, Organization, and Board.
Co-Chair Thomas Rickert described the two accountability Work Streams as the two phases of building a home. “By completing Work Stream 1, [we] built the foundation of our new house. Now, with Work Stream 2, we are putting in windows and adding furniture.” Completing Work Stream 2 will help ensure that ICANN remains accountable to the global Internet community for years to come.
During the meeting, the CCWG-Accountability received updates from its nine subgroups and produced a dashboard to update the ICANN Community about the status of its work. The CCWG-Accountability also made substantive progress in several areas:
- It reached consensus on a set of Draft Supplementary Rules for the Independent Review Process. The draft will be published for public comment soon.
- It developed a set of questions for ICANN’s Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) to identify their existing accountability mechanisms. The co-Chairs sent these questions to the SO and AC Chairs on 4 November.
- It determined that the Ombuds Office subgroup will act as a steering committee to oversee the external review of the Ombud function within ICANN, as mandated by the 2nd Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT).
- It developed an initial set of guidelines for bringing forward any proposed Board removal actions. These guidelines are publicly available and will be refined based on the any feedback received.
- It discussed a comprehensive set of recommendations to enhance ICANN’s transparency policies.
The CCWG-Accountability also had the pleasure to speak with ICANN’s CEO, Göran Marby. The discussions focused on the interaction between the working group’s accountability enhancements and the introduction of a new “Complaints Officer” position at ICANN. A constructive dialogue was initiated, and the CCWG-Accountability looks forward to further engagements with Mr. Marby in the future.
The CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs recognize the outstanding dedication of its volunteers, and express gratitude to ICANN staff for their diligent and skilled support. For more information on the CCWG-Accountability, or to view meeting archives and draft documents, please refer to their dedicated wiki page.
About the CCWG-Accountability
The CCWG-Accountability was established in 2014 as a part of the IANA stewardship transition. The group’s goal is to ensure that ICANN's accountability and transparency commitments to the global Internet community are maintained and enhanced in the absence of the IANA functions contract with the U.S. Government.
The group divided its work into two Work Streams:
- Work Stream 1 was focused on identifying mechanisms to enhance ICANN’s accountability that must be in place or committed to within the timeframe of the IANA stewardship transition.
- Work Stream 2 is focused on addressing accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation may extend beyond the IANA stewardship transition.
The CCWG-Accountability proposed twelve recommendations to enhance ICANN’s accountability as a part of the IANA stewardship transition. The consensus Work Stream 1 proposal was approved and transmitted by the ICANN Board to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration on 10 March 2016. On 1 October 2016, the IANA functions contract lapsed, and CCWG-Accountability’s Work Stream 1 recommendations went into effect.
The CCWG-Accountability is comprised of 227 people, organized as members appointed by and accountable to Chartering Organizations; individual participants; one ICANN Board liaison; one ICANN staff representative; and one former ATRT member who serves as a liaison. The group also has over 130 mailing list observers.
The CCWG-Accountability is an open group. Anyone interested in the work of the CCWG-Accountability can join as a participant or observer. For more information about how to join the CCWG-Accountability, please send an email to acct-staff [at] icann.org.
Thomas Rickert, León Sánchez, Mathieu Weill