Purpose: This Public Comment proceeding is on behalf of the third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3), who seeks to solicit input on its draft report. The Accountability and Transparency Review is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws (Article 4, Section 4.6) to review "ICANN's execution of its commitment to maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability, and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making reflect the public interest and are accountable to the Internet community."
Current Status: The report drafted by the ATRT3 contains key findings and draft suggestions and recommendations. The ATRT3 has not reached consensus on its suggestions and recommendations. It is seeking input from the community on the proposals included in the draft report.
Next Steps: The ATRT3 will carefully consider comments received and amend the report as it deems appropriate and in the public interest before submitting its final report to the Board. The ATRT3 expects to submit its final report to the Board in March 2020. The final report will be published for Public Comment in advance of the Board's consideration.
Section I: Description and Explanation
This Public Comment proceeding is on behalf of the third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3), who seeks to solicit input on its draft report.
The report drafted by the ATRT3 contains findings, suggestions and recommendations with regard to ICANN accountability and transparency in key areas:
- Governmental Advisory Committee
- Public Input
- Policy Development Process
- Specific and Organizational Reviews
- Accountability Indicators
- Prioritization of Activities, Policies, and Recommendations
The ATRT3 collected opinions on ICANN's accountability and transparency from individuals and ICANN structures via a survey and engagement sessions at ICANN Public Meetings. This input helped the team identify areas which require improvement and could benefit from a suggestion or recommendation. More information on the ATRT3's key findings, suggestions and recommendations is detailed in the draft report summary (see Section 1).
The ATRT3 welcomes community comment on all sections of its draft report and highlights the following topics as particularly critical:
Specific and Organizational Reviews (see Section 10.5): As stated in the draft report, "Although ATRT3 could not come to consensus on a single proposal to address the issues related to Specific and Organizational Reviews it did manage to narrow the options down to two distinct possibilities for this draft report which are presented [in the report]. The ATRT3 is seeking input from community on these to assist it in coming to a conclusion on this topic for its final report."
Prioritization of activities, policies, and recommendations: The draft report includes a suggestion on this topic (see Section 12.4).
Section II: Background
The Accountability and Transparency Review is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws (Article 4, Section 4.6) to review "ICANN's execution of its commitment to maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability, and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making reflect the public interest and are accountable to the Internet community."
On 20 December 2018, ICANN announced the selection of an 18-member team to conduct the third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3). The ATRT3 is mandated by the Bylaws to issue its final report within one year of convening its first meeting, i.e. by 5 April 2020.
Per the Bylaws, the issues that the Accountability and Transparency Review Team may assess include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) assessing and improving Board governance which shall include an ongoing evaluation of Board performance, the Board selection process, the extent to which the Board's composition and allocation structure meets ICANN's present and future needs, and the appeal mechanisms for Board decisions contained in these Bylaws;
(B) assessing the role and effectiveness of the GAC's interaction with the Board and with the broader ICANN community, and making recommendations for improvement to ensure effective consideration by ICANN of GAC input on the public policy aspects of the technical coordination of the DNS;
(C) assessing and improving the processes by which ICANN receives public input (including adequate explanation of decisions taken and the rationale thereof);
(D) assessing the extent to which ICANN's decisions are supported and accepted by the Internet community;
(E) assessing the policy development process to facilitate enhanced cross community deliberations, and effective and timely policy development; and
(F) assessing and improving the Independent Review Process.
(iii) The Accountability and Transparency Review Team shall also assess the extent to which prior Accountability and Transparency Review recommendations have been implemented and the extent to which implementation of such recommendations has resulted in the intended effect.
(iv) The Accountability and Transparency Review Team may recommend to the Board the termination or amendment of other periodic reviews required by this Section 4.6, and may recommend to the Board the creation of additional periodic reviews.
- Review of ICANN's Accountability Indicators (https://www.icann.org/accountability-indicators)
- Prioritization and rationalization of activities, policies and recommendations
To undertake its work, ATRT3:
- Organized its report based on the above list of topics.
- Reviewed the implementation and effectiveness of the 47 distinct ATRT2 recommendations.
- Conducted a major survey of individuals and structures (SOs, ACs, as well as GNSO constituent bodies and RALOs) on a wide range of relevant topics. Results of the survey can be found in Annex B of the draft report
- Held interviews and meetings with the community at ICANN65 and ICANN66.
- Received briefings from various groups such as ICANN org's Public Comment team and the Nominating Committee Review Implementation Working Group.
- Reviewed the ICANN Accountability Indicators in detail.
- Reviewed a large number of ICANN documents.
- Requested and received a number of clarifications from ICANN org.
Section III: Relevant Resources
Section IV: Additional Information
- ATRT3 Review Team wiki space: https://community.icann.org/x/QK7DAw
- Accountability and Transparency Review page on icann.org: https://www.icann.org/resources/reviews/specific-reviews/atrt
- Second Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT2) Final Report: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/final-recommendations-31dec13-en.pdf
- Second Accountability and Transparency Review implementation wiki page: https://community.icann.org/display/atrt/ATRT2+Implementation+Program