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Phase II of Public Comments Process Enhancements

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 31 August 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: Comments: 30 Sep 2011
Replies: 15 Oct 2011
(see note in Section I)
Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

ICANN Staff requests community feedback concerning implementation plans [PDF, 876 KB] for three specific Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) recommendations (#15, 16, and 17) that affect the way ICANN publishes and manages Public Comments. These ATRT recommendations, which comprise Phase II of the Public Comments Improvement program, address:

  • Stratification: Categorize topics to assist the community understand the subject matter and inform a participation decision.
  • Prioritization: Assist community members in determining the importance or urgency of a solicitation by providing key information.
  • Comment/Reply Cycles: Structure the community's input process into an initial period for submitting new comments followed by a separate reply period during which community respondents would be able to address and rebut arguments raised in opposing parties' previous comments.

A fourth area involving Technical Forum Improvements is also incorporated into this solicitation.

A Focus Group was organized in July 2011 to provide input concerning various implementation scenarios related to the topics mentioned above. The Focus Group held its deliberations in ICANN's Wiki environment from 20 July 2011 through 19 August 2011. A summary report [PDF, 162 KB] of the group's activities has been prepared and the Wiki space in which the Focus Group worked is accessible for viewing at:

The attached report [PDF, 148 KB] addresses the four enhancement areas each in a separate section that incorporates Staff implementation recommendations, Focus Group input where applicable, and additional questions to stimulate community feedback concerning these processes.

Note: As an initial test of this concept, the comment forum on this paper will introduce a Reply Cycle. At the conclusion of the initial comment period (30 September) and assuming that on-topic submissions have been received, the comment period will be extended for an additional 15 days (15 October). During this extension, contributors are asked to address any additional submissions to previously posted comments. For each such reply, it will be helpful to everyone for the contributor to cite the original poster's name, comment date, and any particular text that is pertinent. At the conclusion of the full comment period, ICANN plans to seek feedback concerning the process and what changes or enhancements might make it more useful and productive. A consolidated report of the forum submissions will incorporate both the initial comment and subsequent reply periods.
Section II: Background

The Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) submitted a report to the ICANN Board on 31 December 2010 containing 27 recommendations, three of which (#15, 16, and 17) address improvements concerning how Public Comments are announced, published, and managed. At its 24 June 2011 meeting, ICANN Board accepted the implementation plans developed by ICANN Staff regarding these recommendations.

These plans were organized into two major phases based upon complexity and the ability to effectuate short-term improvements.

A set of Phase I activities was implemented effective 30 June 2011. In that first phase, Staff completely redesigned web pages, added new navigation menus, streamlined Announcement and Public Comment Box formats, and introduced an "Upcoming Topics" feature. Staff also created internal document templates to facilitate publication and ensure presentation consistency. We also added new standardized data fields across all solicitations (e.g., Originating Organization, Purpose, Current Status, Next Steps) and clarified opening and closing dates and times.

Phase II of this initiative addresses enhancements involving: Stratification, Prioritization, Comment/Reply Cycles, and Technical Forum Improvements. Please see the attached report [PDF, 148 KB] for further information on each of these improvement areas.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

The following documents and reference links are provided to assist community members in contributing to this solicitation:

Section IV: Additional Information
Staff Contact: Filiz Yilmaz Email:

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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