What I’ve Learned in a Year of Complaints
In March 2017, the ICANN Complaints Office was established, and I was named the ICANN org Complaints Officer. Since we started accepting submissions in May 2017, we have received 858 from around the globe. Of those 858, 22 were complaints regarding the ICANN org, and 836 were submissions related to other processes.
It’s been a really interesting and rewarding year. I spent a lot of time establishing the process, navigating the submissions, and, of course, addressing the complaints and issues underlying them. The 22 complaints about the org led to improved processes, and truly added opportunity and value for the org to research, analyze, and improve upon its work, all in a transparent manner.
Above all, this has been a learning experience, and I’ve gained additional insight into how the org and the community can work together to improve ICANN. The org made improvements to several processes as a result of complaints that were filed. For example, processes such as the public comment submissions and amendments to contracts between registries and registrars were improved upon, to name a few.
The first Complaints Office Semi-Annual Report describes the key activities and metrics for the reporting period, and has my observations and recommendations, all of which have been reviewed by and discussed with the ICANN President and CEO, Göran Marby. Göran will be acting on them to varying degrees, and I expect we’ll hear more on that in the coming months.
As you can tell by the numbers, there were many complaints outside of my scope, and several related to issues the org is not permitted to change – such as requests to override consensus policy or to re-architect the Domain Name System. One of my major focuses for the next six-months is clarifying the complaints process across the ICANN org so we are more efficient, the paths for various complaints are more clear, and we can ensure we are not wasting anyone’s time or efforts.
I will also be continuing my engagement efforts to raise awareness about the office and its importance to improving processes within the org, working to improve the office’s reporting capabilities, and establishing process timing expectations.
This new role has given me the opportunity to work with some incredibly passionate, engaged community members. Their input is a critical pillar of the org’s transparency and accountability efforts, and I encourage anyone who has an issue they’d like to discuss to reach out to me. I’m here to help in any way I can.