Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.
The Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Initial Report (IR) on the Second Customer Standing Committee (CSC) Effectiveness Review. We would like to express our appreciation for the efforts of the Review Team and support staff.
The RySG reviewed the Initial Report and with one major exception and one minor exception, supports its findings and recommendations.
The major exception relates to an inconsistency between the Findings and Recommendations related to meeting frequency. The RySG does not understand the rationale for the recommendation related to the topic. Specifically, in the IR, on p.8, related to meeting frequency “in light of the workload” (which was described as “routine and is rarely controversial”) and “the CSC suggested that meetings should be held at least once every two-months”. Reducing the frequency from monthly.
In the Recommendation, the IR states:
“The Team recommends that the CSC keeps the regular cadence of its meetings. It is acknowledged there is an issue with attendance. However, reducing the number of meetings would not resolve the issue in the Team’s view.”
But in the subsequent text, this conclusion is not supported. Instead, the IR recommends that the supporting organizations “are strongly encouraged” to provide alternates.
In the text that seems to undermine this recommendation, the subsequent topic in the IR is the ability of the CSC to attract capable volunteers. And in this section we read, “the Team also notes that since the first effectiveness review was concluded, the interest in the work of the CSC seems to be diminishing.” And that “The Team also observes a decreasing level of interest during the annual call for nominations.”
However, the IR does not have any Finding or Recommendation on this topic: “To date the Team has not considered the topic in more detail and looks forward to consultation with community and appointing organizations” and “the Team will consider this topic in more detail after the public consultation and dialogue with appointing organizations to provide a recommendation, if any.”
Lastly, we also note that the IR only focuses on meeting attendance as a measure of participation. The IR does not provide indications regarding the level of engagement of current CSC members, whether it be via email, document comment or other means. While the report discusses issues related to meeting attendance, it does not inform the reader if the members who are not participating in the meetings are disengaged.
While we understand the reasons for “meeting attendance” as the metric being used in the overall set of measures during this Effectiveness Review. We note that these metrics were designed pre-pandemic, before we all learned new ways of working.
The minor exception refers to Item 5 in “Additional Topics: “Should the PTI SLAs be reviewed periodically”.
The Recommendation states that the “Team general supports the view that a regular review of the SLAs… would be appropriate to ensure that the SLAs remain current and relevant.” And continues to recommend that the “CSC in close cooperation with PTI develop a framework for regular reviews of the SLAs.” And further that the “starting point for such a framework could be based on the “Process for Amending IANA Naming Service Level Agreements”.
We agree that a regular review of the SLAs would be appropriate. However, we find the need to “develop a framework” for such a review to be overly process-oriented, given the quality of the current “Process for Amending IANA Naming Service Level Agreements”. This current process for amendment has sufficient involvement of direct customers such that cross-SLA impacts would be accounted for during an amendment process. The work to develop and document a framework that accounts for various contingencies does not appear to be worthy of the benefit. Rather, we would just suggest that the current process for changing the SLAs be allowed to work. If IANA, the CSC, or a customer would like to propose SLA changes, let those changes come forward.
We recommend that the next CSC Review consider measures of CSC Member engagement that are broader and more meaningful than meeting attendance.
We recommend that the IR be updated to recommend that the CSC be allowed more control over its meeting schedule to be able to change meeting frequency to every other month.
We recommend that the IR be updated to recommend that the CSC adjust its attendance rules such that under certain conditions a representative from an appointing organization can assign their proxy to the other member from the same appointing organization.
We recommend that the IR be updated to allow, but not require the appointing organizations to appoint Alternates for Members/Liaisons.
We recommend that the IR be updated to remove the recommendation that a new Framework for regular SLA reviews be developed.
The RySG reviewed the Initial Report and with one major exception and one minor exception, supports its findings and recommendations. The major exception relates to an inconsistency between the Findings and Recommendations related to meeting frequency.