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Please Comment on the Timing of Reviews

16 May 2018


The topic of reviews has been an ongoing one over the years. As we went into ICANN61, and during ICANN61, we held many discussions on the budget and priorities for ICANN, as we are working to find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively, while considering the availability of the community and our resources. One theme that continued to arise during those discussions was community member concerns and observations regarding the number of concurrent reviews in the context of volunteer and resource strain – for example, currently, there are eleven reviews running at the same time.

Based on those discussions, we opened two Public Comment periods to provide transparency and get input on a range of available options, and to understand which options – or new suggestions - the community would support to alleviate the existing strain on volunteer and ICANN resources as it pertains to reviews, without diminishing ICANN's accountability.

To build on feedback from the community, we have developed initial short and long-term options to provide more reasonable scheduling of ICANN reviews that aim to help meet ICANN's accountability and transparency obligations in a more practical and sustainable manner. We are inviting public comment on the short-term and long-term options. After Public Comment closes, we will analyze the comments that were received and coordinate with the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board (OEC) to identify whether there is agreement in the community and if so, recommendations to the Board on the paths forward.

The short-term options involve the third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) and the second Registration Directory Service Review (RDS-WHOIS2).

  • The options for ATRT3 range from maintaining status quo, to moving forward with some aspects of the review (such as a focus only on the evaluation of prior review recommendations), to deferring the start of ATRT3 for approximately one year.
  • The options for RDS-WHOIS2 similarly range from keeping the status quo by continuing the review work under way, to limiting the work to the evaluation of prior review recommendations only, to pausing the work. We recognize the extensive work and progress the RDS-WHOIS2 Review Team has accomplished so far and thank the Review Team for their efforts, and encourage the team to participate in this Public Comment.

ICANN organization will of course continue our full commitment and support with both RDS-WHOIS2 and ATRT3 as planned. Should the public comment process and input indicate community agreement for another approach, that will then be implemented together with the community.

To find the list of the short-term options along with advantages, disadvantages, please click here [PDF, 140 KB]. Please share your public comment on short-term options by 6 July 2018.

The long-term options aim to provide scheduling flexibility with appropriate checks and balances by the community and the Board. These options are based on several principles, including: aiming for no more than three to four reviews per year, recognizing limited community resources, ensuring adequate funding for reviews, and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of the reviews. Long-term options include:

  • staggering of the reviews
  • adding new timing criteria
  • providing scheduling flexibility to the timing of reviews outlined in the Bylaws.

To find the list of the long-term options, along with advantages, disadvantages, and potential Bylaws implications, please click here [PDF, 116 KB]. Please share your public comment on the principles that would inform long-term options by 20 July 2018.

If you would like to invite us to present options and hold a Q&A with your constituency via a remote call, please contact us: reviews@icann.org.

Webinar Details & How to Attend

Two webinars will also be held to help the ICANN Community understand the proposals and provide additional opportunity for Q&A.

  • Webinar 1: 07 June 2018: 5:00-6:00 UTC [local time]
  • Webinar 2: 07 June 2018:17:00-18:00 UTC [local time]

To participate, please request a calendar invitation by sending your email request to mssi-secretariat@icann.org and indicate which webinar you will join.

I encourage you to please help ICANN improve the challenging timing of reviews by providing your input, including if you have other suggestions. Also by sharing this call to action with your fellow community members to encourage their input.

Thank you for your time, participation, and support.


Theresa Swinehart

Theresa Swinehart

SVP, Global Domains & Strategy