Purpose: The purpose of this public comment proceeding is to obtain community input on proposed changes to the charter of the GNSO Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC). The changes have been approved by the membership of the NCUC and are awaiting ICANN Board review and approval. Due to the extent of the revisions and consistent with the ICANN Board Process for Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters, the ICANN Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee has authorized this public comment proceeding.
Current Status: Charter changes have been approved by the membership of the NCUC. ICANN staff has assessed the amendments and determined that the proposals do not present any direct fiscal or liability concerns to the ICANN organization.
Next Steps: Pending community feedback, the ICANN Board will review the proposed changes to the NCUC charter.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The GNSO Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) has completed phase I of the ICANN Board Process for Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters and voted to amend its governing charter documentation. In addition, as part of its phase II responsibilities, ICANN staff has assessed the charter changes and determined that the proposals do not present any direct fiscal or liability concerns to the ICANN organization.
The document titled Bylaws of the Noncommercial Users Constituency (2017) reflects the NCUC's proposed new bylaws documentation. The document is the culmination of extensive work by the NCUC leadership and follow-up dialogue with ICANN staff before, during, and after ICANN58.
Among a number of changes noted by staff, the amended bylaws:
- Align various provisions with the charter of the Noncommercial Stakeholders Group;
- Add a complete new chapter that thoroughly details new mechanisms to help the NCUC fulfill its obligations as part of the new ICANN Empowered Community;
- Clarify areas of NCUC membership eligibility – particularly the definition of eligible membership organizations and matters regarding non-eligible organizations;
- Expand provisions obliging NCUC members to disclose instances of support from ICANN or specific parts of the ICANN community;
- Add details on the duties and expectations for regional representatives on the NCUC Executive Committee;
- Expand provisions for the removal of NCUC officers;
- Create a new vice chair role – replacing the secretary-treasurer role;
- Provide more detail about the role of the NCUC Treasurer; and
- Add more detail about the role and activities of the NCUC Policy Committee.
Reviewers of the new revised governance document should consider scrutinizing it as though it were freshly created.
Section II: Background
The ICANN Bylaws (Article 11, Section 11.5c) state, "Each Stakeholder Group … shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board." The ICANN Board has interpreted this language to require that it must formally approve any GNSO Stakeholder Group and/or Constituency charter amendments.
In 2013, the ICANN Board approved a Process for Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters establishing four phases that must be executed to secure formal ICANN Board approval of any community governance changes. Those phases are:
- Phase I: Amendment Preparation
- Phase II: Staff Review
- Phase III: Public Comments
- Phase IV: Board Review
After receiving a recommendation from its Organizational Effectiveness Committee, the ICANN Board shall either:
- Recognize the proposed charter amendment by a simple majority vote; or
- Reject the proposed amendment by a supermajority (2/3) vote and provide a specific rationale for its concerns.
If neither condition is met, the ICANN Board will ask for further explanation of the proposed amendments by the community.
Section III: Relevant Resources
Bylaws of the Noncommercial Users Constituency (2017) [PDF, 120 KB]