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Minutes | Meeting of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board (OEC) | 24 July 2023

OEC Attendees: Katrina Sataki – Chair, Alan Barrett, Maarten Botterman, Chris Chapman and Matthew Shears

Other Board Member Attendees: Becky Burr, James Galvin and Danko Jevtovic

OEC Apologies: Avri Doria

Executive and Staff Attendees: Jennifer Bryce (Project Manager, Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Negar Conrad (Director, Implementation Operations), Steve Conte (Senior Director, IROS Operations), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Evin Erdogdu (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Larisa Gurnick (VP, Review Support & Accountability), Jason Kean (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Giovanni Seppia (VP, Implementation Operations) and Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy).

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

The Meeting was called to order at 13:00 UTC.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.
  2. Review of Open Action Items and Recently Completed Action Items – The OEC reviewed the "Open Action Items" with ICANN organization. The OEC noted that some of the "Open Action Items" will be discussed at the current meeting. Several action items will be followed up in time for the next OEC meeting, and there are also other action items which will require more time to complete.

    ICANN org shared the OEC work plan, which is a living document illustrating a six-month snapshot of anticipated OEC actions and discussions, and priority items, as well as the activities that are anticipated beyond December 2023.

  3. Update on Specific Reviews (SSR2 and CCT-DNS Abuse) recommendations for Board consideration – ICANN org presented an update regarding the next steps with respect to pending SSR2 and CCT-DNS abuse related recommendations:

    Next steps on 63 SSR2 recommendations:

    • 13 approved;
    • 16 rejected; and
    • 34 placed into pending status. To date:

      • 3 recommendations resolved with Board action on 1 May 2022;
      • 21 recommendations resolved with Board actions on 16 November 2022; and
      • 10 recommendations still pending.

    Next steps on 35 CCT recommendations:

    • 29 approved and/or passed through the community for consideration; and
    • 6 placed into pending status.

    Over the last several months, ICANN org evaluated all the pending recommendations and had discussions with the relevant Board Caucus Groups. The scorecard takes into account the input received from the Board Caucus Groups, and it contains a section highlighting ICANN org's efforts to date in the area of DNS abuse. As a result, the following recommendations are being put forward for Board consideration:

    8 SSR2 recommendations:

    • 2 (Recommendations 9.2 and 9.3) related to contractual compliance activities; and
    • 6 (Recommendations 12.1, 12.2, 12.4, 13.1, 13.2 and 14.2) related to DNS abuse.

    2 CCT recommendations:

    • Recommendations 14 and 15 related to DNS abuse.

    In relation to SSR2 Recommendation 12.3 relating to DNS abuse, ICANN org's assessment is still ongoing and ICANN org intends to discuss this recommendation by the end of the week with the CCT, DNS abuse and SSR2 Board Caucus Groups. Thereafter, ICANN org will present this recommendation for the OEC's consideration at its August 2023 meeting. Once these steps are completed, this recommendation will be presented for Board action.

    Some observations and feedback received during the meeting in connection with this topic include:

    • James Galvin noted that ICANN org is already carrying out various initiatives in relation to DNS abuse. He also noted that ICANN org should continue doing its efforts on this topic, and obtain guidance from, and in consultation with, the Board, as necessary.
    • In relation to CCT Recommendations 14 and 15, Becky Burr recommended ICANN org to review the GAC Consensus Advice from ICANN66 related to CCT Review and subsequent rounds of new gTLDs.

      • Action Items:

        • ICANN org to revise the Scorecard and the Board Paper, incorporating the relevant suggestions from the OEC.
        • Thereafter, the OEC to forward its recommendation to the Board for its consideration.
  4. CCT Board Caucus Group Charter - The charter was circulated for OEC review in June 2023. The OEC provided various suggestions and edits which have been incorporated into the final version. Becky Burr, on behalf of the CCT Board Caucus Group, approved the CCT charter.

    The OEC, as the sponsoring committee for the CCT Board Caucus Group, have reviewed and approved the CCT charter before it is being submitted to the Board Governance Committee (BGC) for its further action.

    • Action Item:

      • The OEC Chair to circulate CCT Board Caucus Group charter to the BGC for its review.
  5. Retirement of Recommendations Proposed Process – ATRT3 Recommendation 5 prompted a process for the retirement of community developed Board-approved non-policy recommendations in exceptional cases and according to specific criteria.

    Non-policy recommendations refer to community recommendations developed outside of a policy development process, such as Specific Reviews or Cross-Community Working Groups. This is a living process that should be revised, as needed. Once the process is approved by the OEC, ICANN org will circulate the process to the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) for information. The process will then be shared with the SO/AC leadership for information and feedback to secure community agreement with the procedure, and the expanded responsibilities of the Planning Prioritization Group. Once the consultation with the SO/AC leadership is complete, the final process and a summary of the consultation will be distributed to the OEC and SPC for information. The OEC's final approval will be sought and minuted accordingly. The process will be documented in the Planning Prioritization Framework, and referenced in relevant documentation, such as the forthcoming revised version of the Operating Standards for Specific Reviews.

    ICANN org provided a summary of the proposed process:

    Step 1

    ICANN org's Implementation Operations (IO) team to initiate process based on consultation with SMEs. Criteria for retiring include, but not limited to:

    • Environment change
    • Override
    • Cost/benefit
    • Time
    • Community support
    Step 2 IO team produces an issue paper for relevant Board Caucus Group(s) consideration. Should the Board Caucus Group(s) support the retirement, the issue paper is shared with the relevant Board Committee. Should the Board Caucus Group be in favour of keeping the recommendation up for implementation, the Caucus decision is minuted accordingly and the IO issue paper is withdrawn.
    Step 3 Recommendation(s) submitted to Planning Prioritization Group along with rationale.
    Step 4 Planning Prioritization Group considers the recommendation proposed for retirement and the accompanying rationale, and provides input.
    Step 5 IO opens a standard public comment period for broader community consideration on the issue paper that includes the input of the Planning Prioritization Group.
    Step 6 Any comment received during public comment is incorporated and addressed in the issue paper and its updated version is shared with the Board Caucus Group(s) for final consideration.
    Step 7 Should the Board Caucus Group(s) remain supportive of the recommendation's retirement, IO produces a draft Board action for the Board Committee to make a recommendation to the Board.
    Step 8 Once the Board passes the Board resolution to retire the recommendation, IO informs the stakeholders of the retired recommendation via appropriate communication avenues. The retirement of the recommendation is documented in the closing report of its respective Specific Review.

    The OEC expressed its support and agreement with the approach presented by ICANN org.

    • Action item:

      • ICANN org to circulate the proposed approach to the SPC for information and thereafter, consult the SO/AC leadership.
  6. Reviews Risk Assessment for the ICANN Board – The OEC continued its discussion on this topic. Pursuant to a request from the Board during the 29 April 2023 Board Workshop to better understand the risks associated with Reviews and to inform current and future Reviews related decisions, ICANN org produced a Risk Assessment that analyzed the current state of ICANN Reviews. The assessment identifies strategic, legal, accountability, reputational and procedural risks to ICANN and proposes mitigations for the Board to consider.

    ICANN org briefly described the Reviews Risk Assessment, including a related mitigation proposal.

    The risk assessment applies the same methodology as ICANN's Enterprise Risk Assessment but has a different scope of evaluation in that it examines a specific functional area, the ICANN Reviews.

    To conduct this assessment, Reviews SMEs identified potential risks, their triggers and consequences, and analyzed if existing controls were effective in mitigating risks or if a new action plan was required.

    The proposed action for the Board to consider is to defer ATRT4 by one year, to April 2025 to: more closely align with the implementation of the most significant ATRT3 recommendations and the updates to the Operating Standards for Specific Reviews; and to allow for adequate scheduling of work activities with consideration to community participation, all in consultation with, and with the support of the ICANN community.

    The OEC agreed that from a sequencing perspective and in relation to the specific provision of ATRT3 Recommendation 3.5 (no review should run in parallel with the Holistic Review), it would be logical to undertake ATRT4 after the Pilot Holistic Review (PHR) has concluded. ICANN org elaborated that the PHR ToR Team has concluded its work on drafting the revised ToR and is finalizing its communication plan to socialize the revised ToR with the community, specifically to highlight how the ToR Team has addressed the community's concerns from the first round of public comments.

    ICANN org requested the OEC to review and provide feedback to the ToR team as to whether the revised ToR has addressed the community's concerns. This would enable the ToR Team to consult the community to prepare for a webinar to take place at the end of August 2023.

    The OEC agreed for the risk assessment to be presented to the Board at the upcoming September 2023 Board Workshop.

    The OEC will continue its discussion on this topic at its future meetings.

  7. Update on IANA Naming Functions Review (IFR) – ICANN org provided an update on the following:

    1. IANA Naming Function Review Bylaws Changes Public Comment Review and Board Action Approval

      As part of the Fundamental Bylaws Amendment Process, ICANN org sought input on a comprehensive package of amendments to Articles 18 and 19 of the ICANN Bylaws, which define ICANN and the community's obligations regarding the IFR.

      The Public Comment proceeding received 4 comments (from the ccNSO Council, RySG, and two individuals):

      • The ccNSO identified two co-Chair selection process sections that require updating to match the numbering of the composition sections. This update has been implemented. The ccNSO raised a question as to whether it was even feasible for the IFR to proceed without the update to the numbering. ICANN org noted that the first IFR proceeded even with mis-numbering in the co-Chair section. Therefore, ICANN org reiterated that this numbering issue should not prevent the second IFR from taking place as planned.
      • There were several comments that were not taken on: changes to the frequency of IFR; change of scope of IFRs. ICANN org explained that these comments are not appropriate for unilateral action by the Board. They seem more appropriate to raise within the IFR itself, if those entities wish to bring that to the IFR. ICANN org does not recommend any changes based on these comments, and there were no objections by any of the commenters raised to the proposed updates as presented.

      Responding to the OEC Chair's question, ICANN org clarified that comments received which were not directly related to the topic are noted within the proposed rationale in the Board Paper and ICANN org will coordinate internally to ensure that these items are being flagged to the IFR.

      The OEC agreed to recommend to the Board to approve the Fundamental Bylaws Amendments to Articles 18 and 19 relating to the IANA Naming Function Review and the IANA Naming Function Separation Process.

    2. Initiation of the Second IANA Naming Function Review (IFR2)

      ICANN org is in the process of appointing the membership to the RT. The Board needs to convene the IFR2 by 16 September 2023. ICANN org circulated the draft Board paper to OEC via e-mail to recommend to the Board to initiate the IFR2 in line with the requirements of Article 18 of the ICANN Bylaws.

      The OEC agreed to recommend to the Board to convene the IFR2 in accordance with the requirements under Article 18 of the ICANN Bylaws.

  8. Update on Pilot Holistic Review Revised Draft Terms of Reference (ToR) - The OEC continued its discussion on this topic. Following months of work, the ToR Development Team has completed the PHR Revised Draft ToR, along with a cover note highlighting the issues addressed. The initial Draft ToR Public Comment proceeding revealed diverging community views on the PHR and Holistic Review, as outlined in the ToR document. The OEC reconvened the ToR Development Team to address the issues identified during the Public Comment proceeding.

    ICANN org highlighted that one of the issues that are still being raised is the issue of community bandwidth, which has been addressed in the revised ToR. The OEC agreed that the revised ToR and cover note (to be sent to community leaders) have addressed the concerns expressed by the community and that the PHR ToR Development Team should proceed with their planned steps to socialize the revised ToR with community to gauge reaction prior to the Board decision to post for Public Comment.

    The OEC will continue its discussion on this topic at its future meetings.

  9. Decisions Reached via E-Mail – The Chair noted the decisions which the OEC has reached via email. The OEC voted unanimously via email to take the following action:

    • Approved the amended NPOC Charter to proceed for Board consideration.
  10. Review of New Action Items – ICANN org recapped the new action items arising from the OEC's present meeting.
  11. Any Other Business

    • NomCom2 Review Implementation (public comment summary and proposed way forward) – the OEC to continue its discussion on this topic at its meeting in August 2023.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 9 November 2023