Bylaws changes are proposed in order to increase availability of technical advice to the Board as well as the effectiveness of the Technical Liaison Group as set forth in the Bylaws.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The ICANN Board has recently been reviewing the fundamental question of how it can obtain the advice that it needs. Advice on technical matters is one of those key areas where the existing advisory mechanism, the Technical Liaison Group (or TLG) is not meeting the Board's needs or the mission as stated in the Bylaws. One of the key functions that the TLG is supposed to serve is to form a panel of experts to which ICANN can direct technical questions. To date this expert panel has not yet been formed. The TLG is comprised of four organizations (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the International Telecommunications Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)) and has primarily focused its efforts on the annual appointment of a liaison to the ICANN Board and a voting member to ICANN's Nominating Committee. The need for the operation of the TLG to change has been an ongoing conversation within ICANN, as noted in the review of the TLG that was recently completed.
The proposed Bylaws posted for comment are anticipated to help streamline the efforts of the component entities of the TLG in providing the ICANN Board with technical advice. Instead of focusing their efforts on the appointment of a Board liaison or a Nominating Committee member, the primary task remaining with the TLG entities will be focus on the appointment of the expert panel that the Board can call upon for advice. The liaison role does not offer this more global access to expertise, as the TLG liaison role rotates on an annual basis, and no one liaison is able to deliver a coordinated position representing all of the TLG entities. The existence of the expert group will allow the Board to seek coordinated input, if needed, from all four component entities at the same time.
The Bylaws changes do not represent any change to the role of the TLG, which is to "channel technical information and guidance to the Board and other ICANN entities." Nor is there any change to four entities that make up the TLG. This proposed change is directed only towards simplifying how the TLG operates and delivers technical advice to the Board.
Section II: Background
The Technical Liaison Group is one of the advisory mechanisms set out in the ICANN Bylaws. It is comprised of four organizations (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the International Telecommunications Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)). Today, three of those organizations (ETSI, ITU-T and W3C) appoint a liaison to the ICANN Board on a rotating basis. In 2010, ICANN, through the Structural Improvements Committee, commissioned an organizational review of the TLG (available at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/reviews/tlg), which resulted in recommendations to change the structure of the TLG.
Section III: Relevant Resources
Proposed Bylaws Amendments [PDF, 69 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information