ICANN is posting for public comment proposed Bylaws revisions that would incorporate a higher voting threshold for the Board to determine not to follow the advice of the Governmental Advisory Committee. Currently, the Bylaws require a simple majority of the Board (50% + 1) to vote to not follow a piece of advice from the GAC. The proposed amendments to the Bylaws would require 2/3 of the voting members of the Board to vote to act inconsistently with a piece of GAC advice.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) considers and provides advice on the activities of ICANN as they relate to concerns of governments, particularly matters where there may be an interaction between ICANN's policies and various laws and international agreements or where they may affect public policy issues. The ICANN Bylaws require formal determination by the Board that it is taking action inconsistent with GAC advice, if that were to ever occur. Pursuant to the Bylaws, a simple majority of the Board (50%+1) is required to make this determination.
The Bylaws also specify that the Board and the GAC must have a consultation regarding the Board's intention to act inconsistently with GAC advice. The first ICANN Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT1), recommended the formalization of that consultation process. Members of the ICANN Board, together with the GAC, formed a Board-GAC Recommendations Implementation Working Group (BGRI), which developed a formalized process that included the raising of the voting threshold to 2/3 of the voting members. Though a Bylaws change is required to give full effect to this formalized process, the ICANN Board previously indicated that the higher voting threshold would be applied in the event ICANN determined act inconsistently with GAC advice prior to the posting for and consideration of public comments on the required Bylaws revisions. The second Accountability and Review Team (ATRT2) recommended for the completion of the Bylaws revision process. At its meeting in June 2014, the BGRI determined that it was timely to send these proposed revisions to the Board for consideration, and on 30 July 2014 the Board approved this public comment posting.
The proposed Bylaws revisions posted here for comment give effect to the higher voting threshold set out in the formalized process.
Section II: Background
Section III: Relevant Resources
The proposed revisions to the ICANN Bylaws are available here [PDF, 487 KB].The formalized Process for Consultation between the ICANN Board of Directors ("Board") and the Governmental Advisory Committee ("GAC"), including those required pursuant to Article XI Section 2.1.j of the ICANN Bylaws [DOC, 41 KB] sets out the full consultation process as accepted by the BGRI in April 2013.