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ICANN Board Defers ATRT4, Initiates Pilot Holistic Review

20 May 2024

We are pleased to announce that the ICANN Board approved two actions related to the ICANN Review process: the initiation of the Pilot Holistic Review and deferral of the fourth Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT4). Both are important steps in the Board's commitment to implement community-issued Specific Review recommendations and to its oversight responsibility over Specific Reviews, including ATRT4.

Initiating the Pilot Holistic Review

The Board's decision to initiate the Pilot Holistic Review is a positive step toward progressing the implementation of ATRT3 recommendations. ATRT3 recommended that ICANN create a new type of Specific Review, called the Holistic Review (Recommendation 3.5). The Pilot Holistic Review will bring together a group of ICANN community members to help design the Holistic Review. If supported by the ICANN community and approved by the ICANN Board, the Holistic Review would examine the continuous improvement, effectiveness, and accountability of the ICANN community structures as well as the collaboration among them. The Pilot Holistic Review will include defining the potential relationship between future Holistic Reviews and the Continuous Improvement Program (CIP).

Please see the published Board resolution for the complete rationale.

The Board recognizes the importance of this work and requested that the Pilot Holistic Review commence no later than September 2024. We encourage the community to review and share the Call for Volunteers to help us build a strong and diverse team. Interested volunteers must apply by 19 June 2024.

Deferring ATRT4

As outlined in the ICANN Bylaws, the next Accountability and Transparency Review – ATRT4 – was due to commence in April of this year. The Accountability and Transparency Review is one of four community-led Specific Reviews outlined in ICANN's Bylaws to examine ICANN's progress on aspects of its commitments.

While the Board recognizes the importance of upholding the timelines outlined in the Bylaws, after consultation with ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, the Board took action to defer ATRT4 for a limited time, not to exceed 12 months.

This decision to defer ATRT4 is intended to minimize running of multiple reviews projects in parallel, to allow for progress in the implementation of ATRT3 recommendations, and is based on community support for a limited deferral. Please see the published Board resolution for the complete rationale. This limited-time deferral will allow for ATRT4 to take place when there is support and involvement of the community to ensure it can be carried out as thoroughly, effectively, and efficiently as possible.

We look forward to continuing to facilitate and support the work of the ICANN community to progress the implementation of ATRT3 recommendations.


Theresa Swinehart

Theresa Swinehart

SVP, Global Domains & Strategy