Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability ICANN54 co-Chairs' Statement
Presented at ICANN54 Public Forum by León Sanchez:
Members and participants of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) met in Dublin, Ireland from 16-22 October 2015 at ICANN54. Over the past seven days, the CCWG-Accountability has held more than 25 hours of formal meetings, with additional discussions taking place in various SO-AC-led sessions, in the hallways and often times over meals and drinks.
After some voiced concerns with the speed of progress leading into Dublin, we as co-Chairs, called on the community for full mobilization and reinvigorated dedication to making measurable progress over the week in Dublin. We are extremely pleased to announce that the community tackled this challenge head on and succeeded. In what the group has coined “an environment of collaboration,” CCWG-Accountability members, participants, ICANN Board Directors, external Advisors, legal counsel and interested observers came together to identify outstanding issues in the 2nd Draft Report and moved towards consensus on solutions.
A summary of key decisions and agreed-upon next steps are outlined below:
Sole Designator as Reference for Enforcement
The group reached broad agreement to move forward with the Sole Designator as the new reference enforcement model for the next draft proposal. The group will next attempt to finalize "patching" the model to alleviate any outstanding concerns on their next draft proposal.
The group begun defining a consensus based decision-making model, which includes a community consultation period. Discussions on the topic were informed by concerns raised in the Public Comment on the 2nd Draft Report about unintended concentrations of power.
Independent Review Process
The group confirmed support for the proposed IRP enhancements, and is now moving into the implementation phase. To spearhead this phase, a drafting sub-group with expert support will be constructed to develop and draft bylaws and detailed operating procedures.
Community Power: Review/Reject Budget and Operating Plan
The group has identified a balanced process and approach for the One-Year Operating Plan and Budget, which was an outstanding item coming into Dublin.
Community Power: Recall Individual Board Directors
The group confirmed a decision method for removal of a director appointed by the Nominating Committee, and a separate decision method for removal of a director appointed by an Advisory Committee or Supporting Organization.
Mission and Core Values
The group confirmed its support for a clarification of the Mission Statement and articulation of the Commitments and Core Values. An example of a clarification includes ICANN's ability to enforce agreements with contracted parties, subject to reasonable checks and balances.
The group reached consensus to include a general human rights commitment into the Bylaws. However, further work is needed on language and has been tasked to the Human Rights Working Party.
Incorporation of the Affirmation of Commitments into the Bylaws
The group finalized outstanding details of the incorporation of the Affirmation of Commitments Review into the bylaws. There is high confidence that these bylaws are nearly ready for consideration in terms of implementation.
Work Stream 2
The group adopted a focused list of Work Stream 2 items, with an emphasis on transparency requirements. There was also broad agreement to bring some of these transparency requirements into Work Stream 1 in consideration of the discussions around the Sole Designator enforcement model.
Timeline and Next Steps
The CCWG-Accountability has had intensive discussions on the group's work plan, anticipated progress and next steps towards finalization. As such, the group has adjusted its timeline in a manner that attempts to balance the various timeline constraints, both inside and outside of the community. While details are still being solidified, the timeline is rigorous, and will likely keep the CCWG-Accountability busy through January. However, the co-Chairs, members and participants of the CCWG-Accountability understand the importance of and will execute an inclusive, open and bottom-up process.
The current timeline proposes posting a high-level overview of recommendations and a summary of changes from the 2nd Draft Proposal for a 35-day public comment on 15 November 2015. Alongside the 35-day public comment, the CCWG-Accountability will submit these resources to the Chartering Organizations for initial feedback. The CCWG-Accountability plans to issue a full detailed report, including annexes and in-depth documentation, mid-way into the public comment period for roughly 20 days of consultation. After synthesis of the comments received, and assuming no major changes, the group currently projects submission of Work Stream 1 Recommendations to the ICANN Board in late January 2016.
We sincerely thank the community for their dedication to our unprecedented goal. We'd like to give special recognition to the GAC, ALAC, ASO and SSAC for their comments on our proposal while in Dublin. In addition, we are grateful to the volunteers, support staff, Advisors and independent counsel who put in a tremendous effort this past week. They deserve and have earned the community's greatest respect and the deepest recognition.