Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting: Meeting Session 1 | 21 September 2017

OEC Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim – Chair, Lito Ibarra, Khaled Koubaa, Markus Kummer and George Sadowsky

Other Board Member Attendees: Becky Burr, Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain and Akinori Maemura

Observers: Leon Sanchez and Matthew Shears

Invited SO/AC Chairs: James Bladel (GNSO), John Curran (ASO), Patrick Folstrom (SSAC), Alan Greenberg (ALAC), Katrina Sataky (ccNSO), Thomas Schneider (GAC), Tripti Sinha (RSSAC), Brad Verd (RSSAC)

Executive and Staff Attendees: Samantha Eisner, Larisa Gurnick, Jamie Hedlund, Robert Hoggarth, Lars Hoffmann, Melissa King, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, David Olive, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Carlos Reyes, Lisa Saulino, Charla Shambley, Theresa Swinehart and Heidi Ullrich

The following is a summary of discussions, decisions, and actions identified:

The Meeting was called to order at 11:30 a.m. local time in Montevideo, Uruguay.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.

  2. Specific Reviews: Issues and Challenges - Interaction with SO/AC Chairs – ICANN organization provided a comprehensive overview of the current process of Specific Reviews with the objective of providing the meeting attendees with a better understanding of the range of issues and challenges faced in connection with Specific Reviews. ICANN organization also highlighted the potential risk areas and improvements under the various stages, as well as the roles and responsibilities of different parties in the review cycle. In essence, there are seven phases under the Specific Reviews process (a flowchart of the Specific Reviews process was presented to the OEC):
    • Phase 1: Pre-Planning
    • Phase 2: Initialization and Selection
    • Phase 3: Planning
    • Phase 4: Conducting the Review
    • Phase 5: Board Consideration
    • Phase 6/7: Implementation and Ongoing Support of the Recommendations

    The OEC and the SO/AC Chairs engaged in a broader conversation on the issues observed by ICANN Community, ICANN Board and ICANN organization in relation to Specific Reviews, including:

    • Selection of Review Team:

      Currently, there is no documentation of how the evaluation is conducted to ensure that review teams have the sufficient skills and diversity; and each SO/AC uses their own nomination process and therefore, the overall timeline is not clear nor coordinated between the SO/ACs.

      In this regard, the OEC discussed as to whether there are ways to strengthen the role of SO/AC Chairs in this aspect; and whether there is value in providing the SO/ACs with a "skill set and diversity check" before the final selection is made by SO/AC Chairs.

    • Topics/Scope of Work:

      If the scope of work is not finalized until the Review Team is assembled, this may prevent individuals from applying to serve on the Review Team or cause Review Team members to contribute less if the Review workload turns out to be greater than envisioned.

      Therefore, the OEC considered whether the scope of work should be defined prior to engaging Review Team members; or the possibility of having the scope being decided through a community-led mechanism prior to the selection process of the review team.

    • Multiple simultaneous reviews:

      There are a limited set of volunteers who are available to participate in review teams, and this factor contributes towards volunteer fatigue. Thus, the OEC discussed the possibility of spacing out and/or changing the timeline of the Reviews; and ways to reduce the impact on community workload.

    • Unclear expectations:

      A vague definition of desired outcome and impact from Specific Reviews makes it difficult to evaluate whether the Specific Reviews are producing the intended results.

    The Chair expressed the OEC's support and encouragement for the SO/AC Chairs to collaborate and coordinate among themselves, to address the issues and challenges raised during the discussion.

    • Action Item:

      • ICANN organization to assist the SO/AC Chairs, as necessary, to identify and address the identified challenges in connection with Specific Reviews.
  3. Review of Operating Standards – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the status of the draft Operating Standards.

    The ICANN Bylaws call for the development of Operating Standards to conduct reviews efficiently and effectively, developed through community consultation including public comment opportunities. ICANN organization aims to post the draft Operating Standards for public comment in the first week of October 2017. 

    ICANN organization highlighted some of the issues which will be addressed in the draft Operating Standards:

    • Amended process for selection of review teams:

      Under the draft Operating Standards, SO/ACs to nominate up to seven candidates, indicating their three preferred choices. ICANN organization will provide the SO/AC Chairs with an overview of diversity and skill set of the (preferred) candidates nominated. SO/AC Chairs will proceed to select the preferred candidates or request from their SO/AC to reconsider their nomination to better address shortcomings in diversity and skill set.

      In this regard, the Bylaws vest the SO/AC Chairs with the responsibility to make the final selection taking into consideration diversity and skill set, and this should be done based on a process that is agreed to by the SO/ACs. SO/ACs play a pivotal role in the nomination of their respective candidates.

    • Amended process for scope-setting:

      The draft Operating Standards propose the establishment of a scope drafting team to draft the proposed scope before the Review Team is formed. Each SO/AC will have two members on the Scope Drafting Team. SO/ACs will approve the proposed scope. Unless two or more SO/ACs reject the proposed scope, it will be forwarded to the Board for consideration. The Board would consider the proposed scope in terms of compliance with ICANN mission and Bylaws, and rejection of the proposed scope would require two-thirds vote of the Board.

      • Action Items:

        • ICANN organization to circulate the draft Operating Standards to the SO/AC Chairs ahead of the public comment period, for their consideration and feedback.
        • ICANN organization to assist the OEC to organize a meeting with the SO/AC Chairs at ICANN60 to discuss steps to be taken to address the issues and challenges identified in connection with Specific Reviews.
        • SO/AC Chairs to provide further input and/or feedback on any additional issues which may have not been raised by the SO/AC Chairs to-date.
  4. Any Other Business

The Chair thanked the SO/AC Chairs for their participation during the meeting.

The Chair called the meeting to a close at 12:47 p. m. local time (Montevideo, Uruguay).

Published on 27 October 2017