Purpose: The CCWG-Accountability requests community feedback on its 2nd Draft Proposal of proposed enhancements to ICANN's accountability framework it has identified as essential to happen or be committed to before the IANA Stewardship Transition takes place (Work Stream 1). Community input will help the CCWG-Accountability improve its proposal and carry on with next steps, including Chartering Organizations' endorsement of the CCWG-Accountability output before it is submitted to the ICANN Board of Directors during or after ICANN54.
The CCWG-Accountability seeks input and feedback on its 2nd Draft Report [PDF, 2.62 MB]. The 2nd Draft Report is also available section by section on the CCWG-Accountability's Wiki workspace at https://community.icann.org/x/pKs0Aw. Translations will also be posted on the Wiki workspace as available for each section.
This 40-day comment period is an opportunity for the community to make its voice heard and to shape the outcome of the CCWG-Accountability work. The following questions provide a framework to assist with preparing and providing feedback to the CCWG-Accountability:
- Do you agree that the CCWG-Accountability proposal enhances ICANN's accountability?
- Are there elements of this proposal that would prevent you from approving it transmission to Chartering Organizations?
- Does this proposal meet the requirements set forward by the CWG-Stewardship?
Current Status: This second consultation will focus on outstanding issues, provide further details regarding the Work Stream 1 proposal(s), and will highlight any changes to proposal(s) arising from the feedback received in the first public comment consultation.
Next Steps: After the public comment period closes, the CCWG-Accountability will reconvene and continue its work, aiming to finalize Work Steam 1 proposal(s) for submission to the Chartering Organizations and eventually to the ICANN Board of Directors. Key milestones include:
- The CCWG-Accountability reviews public comment #2 and refines its proposal to prepare the final report.
- The CCWG-Accountability delivers the final report to the Chartering SOs and ACs for their consideration and approval.
- CCWG-Accountability delivers the final proposal to the ICANN Board of Directors during or after ICANN54.
Upon proper notification, the CCWG-Accountability will begin implementation oversight of Work Stream 1 and on or around this time begins its work on Work Stream 2.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The following is a summary of the key changes the CCWG-Accountability has made to its proposal between the First Draft Report in May and this Second Draft Report. The changes are significant. They have been made in response to comments received during the public consultation on the Initial Draft Report, during numerous interactions with the ICANN community at the ICANN53, and through further refinement and debate centered on the face-to-face meeting of the CCWG-Accountability in Paris in July 2015.
The reference model to empower the multistakeholder community
Although effective in meeting the requirement of empowering the multistakeholder community the Empowered SO/AC Membership Model also created a number of critical problems, including:
- The requirement for some SOs and ACs to establish legal persons, through whom they participate as a member in the Empowered SO/AC Membership Model or to enforce rights was a significant issue for a number of SOs and ACs.
- The differential statutory rights between SOs and ACs that become members and SOs and ACs that were not members (chose not to participate in the Model).
- The significant risks associated with to the statutory rights of members, which allows them to dissolve ICANN and bring derivative suits.
- After considering various possible models and discussing options with external legal counsel the CCWG-Accountability has developed the “Community Mechanism as Sole Member” Model as its proposed model for empowering the community. This Model builds upon the more favorable concepts in the other models and simplifies certain implementation aspects.1 Decisions of the SOs and ACs made through their existing processes would directly determine exercise of the rights of the Community Mechanism as Sole Member (Section 6) – in other words, no new decision-making group or committee is formed in this model.
- The selection of this model directly influences how the Community will exercise its powers as a member and has required the elaboration of the Community Mechanism, which now includes a community discussion phase before the exercise of any community powers (Section 7).
Additional stress tests
Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling’s statement of 16 June 2015 suggested four additional stress tests to the CCWG-Accountability:
- NTIA-1: Test preservation of the multistakeholder model if individual ICANN’s SOs and ACs opt out of having votes in community empowerment mechanism(s).
- NTIA-2: Address the potential risk of internal capture. ST 12 and 13 partly address capture by external parties, but not for capture by internal parties in an SO or AC.
- NTIA-3: Barriers to entry for new participants.
- NTIA-4: Unintended consequences of “operationalizing” groups that to date have been advisory in nature (e.g. GAC).
Refinements to key elements
Along with the changes above, key elements of the proposal evolved and matured, some in significant fashion, but did not modify their fundamental concepts. These refinements include:
- Mission & Core Values, especially balancing of Core Values.
- Board removal and recall through the Community Mechanism as Sole Member.
- Independent Review Process by clarifying a community-driven [panelist] selection process, and providing further detail on the panels and the ability to appeal.
- Community power with regard to budget so as to provide continuity of operations and a PTI-IANA Budget veto as requested by the CWG-Stewardship.
- Work plan for Work Stream 2 to:
- Enhance diversity and the culture of transparency within ICANN
- Further address concerns about community accountability. The 2nd Draft Report includes a recommendation for regular structural reviews of SOs and ACs to assess their accountability towards their participants as well as towards the stakeholders they are designed to represent.
- Elaborate on a Commitment to human rights in the ICANN Bylaws.
- Details on an implementation plan for Work Stream 1, including a Bylaws drafting process.
The CCWG-Accountability thanks everyone who offered comments, input and feedback in response to the Initial Draft Report. That input and the discussions since have driven the significant changes to the initial model that underpin the Community Mechanism as Sole Member model proposed in this report. The significant concerns raised by the community have successfully been resolved, and the CCWG-Accountability looks forward to the scrutiny this report will encourage in teasing out remaining issues.
1In making this decision, the CCWG-Accountability relied on expert legal advice from its retained firms. The memo and other documentation provided to the CCWG-Accountability on this topic are available in Appendix G.
Section II: Background
On 14 March 2014 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition its stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions and related root zone management to the global multistakeholder community. NTIA asked ICANN to convene a multistakeholder process to develop a proposal for the transition. The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) was formed in July 2014 to assemble and deliver through the ICANN Board to NTIA a transition proposal consistent with the key principles outlined in the NTIA announcement.
As initial discussions of the IANA Stewardship Transition were taking place, the ICANN community raised the broader topic of the impact of the transition on ICANN's current accountability mechanisms. From this dialogue, the Enhancing ICANN Accountability process was developed to provide assurance that ICANN remains accountable in the absence of its historical contractual relationship with the U.S. Government, which has been perceived as a backstop with regard to ICANN's organization-wide accountability since 1998. Following public comment periods and discussions on accountability, a final Revised Enhancing ICANN Accountability: Process and Next Steps was published in October 2014. It includes considering how ICANN's broader accountability mechanisms should be strengthened in light of the transition, including a review of existing accountability mechanisms such as those within the ICANN Bylaws and the Affirmation of Commitments.
A Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) was convened, designed and approved by five ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. The CCWG-Accountability was chartered to deliver proposals that would enhance ICANN's accountability towards all stakeholders.
As indicated in the CCWG-Accountability Charter, the CCWG-Accountability has divided its work into two Work Streams:
- Work Stream 1: focuses on mechanisms enhancing ICANN accountability that must be in place or committed to within the time frame of the IANA Stewardship Transition;
- Work Stream 2: focuses on addressing accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation may extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition.
Section III: Relevant Resources
The CCWG-Accountability seeks input and feedback on its 2nd Draft Report [PDF, 2.62 MB]
The 2nd Draft Report is also available section by section on the CCWG-Accountability's Wiki space at https://community.icann.org/x/pKs0Aw. Translations are also available on the Wiki space.
To view CCWG-Accountability draft documents, mailing-list exchanges, meeting archives etc., please refer to the CCWG-Accountability Work Space. See CCWG-Accountability Charter for more information on the CCWG-Accountability mandate.
Section IV: Additional Information
The CCWG-Accountability invites the community to a webinar providing an overview of their work and answer any questions. These webinars will be identical, interpreted live into 6 languages, and held at different times to facilitate participation across time zones:
- 4 August from 19:00 – 21:00 UTC (time zone converter here)
- 7 August from 07:00 – 09:00 UTC (time zone converter here)
- 25 August from 18:00 – 20:00 UTC (time zone converter here)
For further details, please see: here.
For more information on the IANA Stewardship Transition, please go to:
- High Level Overview of the IANA Stewardship Transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability Processes Graphic
- IANA Stewardship Transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability Microsite
A chart comparing the current Mission & Core Values with the Second Draft Proposal's proposed Mission, Commitments & Core Values can be found on the CCWG wiki [PDF, 134 KB] .