ICANN Board of Directors deliberates the Ombudsman Framework

6 March 2009
By Frank Fowlie

PETER DENGATE THRUSH: We come, then, to a recommendation concerning the ombudsman framework, which are the effectively the rules by which the ombudsman operates. And Steve Goldstein, can I ask you to take us through this?

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Yes, Chair, I'd be delighted. I don't believe that our ombudsman, Frank Fowlie is here. I think he's probably still having office hours.

PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Yes, I understand he's still doing the work of the ombudsman in his office.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, I understand he's had quite a procession at his door. So let me just say a few words.

Frank has distinguished himself in the ombudsman community. He has pioneered with online dispute resolution in ombudsman situations. He recently received his doctorate and, for lack of a better word, let's say an ombudsmanship, but I'm sure there's a more precise title that goes with it, and he has seen great credit redound upon ICANN in the ombudsman world and in the dispute resolution world. So we're very proud of Frank. Nevertheless, Frank has had some of his ideas about how his procedures should be conducted and we have had some of our ideas about it, and over the past few years, we've had a — the ombudsman frame back go back and forth and finally we've achieved closure on it, and both parties are satisfied.

So with that in mind, I would read the resolution.

Whereas, the ombudsman submitted a draft ombudsman framework to the board for approval.

And whereas, the draft ombudsman framework was posted for public comment in 2004.

And whereas, the board's request that the governance committee — whereas, at the board's request, the governance committee has suggested revisions to the framework and has had several discussions with the ombudsman about those revisions.

Whereas, the governance committee and the ombudsman have reached agreement on revised language to the ombudsman framework.

Whereas, the revised ombudsman framework documents the procedures and processes under which the ombudsman currently operates.

Whereas, the BGC — in other words, the governance committee — has recommended that the board approve the posting of the framework for further public comment.

It is resolved that the ombudsman framework as revised be posted for further public comment and considered at the next possible board meeting or be returned to the Board Governance Committee for additional consultation.

PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you, Steve. Is there a seconder for this resolution? Thank you, Dennis.

Any discussion? Thomas.

THOMAS ROESSLER: As I mentioned in my previous remark, I've had a history, and I was actually quite amused to see a public comment period come up that dates from the time when I first dropped out of ICANN business.

That's been five years ago. I think the ombudsman is fulfilling an incredibly important function in the overall scheme of things. I also think that we need to learn — we need to see what we have learned about this framework in the meantime, so I would urge you to take this comment period seriously and use it.

PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Thank you, Thomas. Any other contributions?

Seeing none, I'll put the resolution. All those in favor please raise their hands.

[Show of hands].

PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Any opposed? Abstentions? Carried. Thank you.


Frank Fowlie