In March 2014, the Registrars Stakeholder Group (RrSG) formally submitted a set of Charter revisions to the Staff for processing in compliance with Phase I of the Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters. As part of its Phase II responsibilities, Staff undertook a review and recommended an additional set of modifications that were subsequently approved by the RrSG. The Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) of the Board then directed Staff to open a Public Comment Forum to solicit community input concerning the consolidated set of Charter amendments.
Section I: Description and Explanation
Pursuant to the Board-approved Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters (see Section II-Background for additional information), the Registrars Stakeholder Group (RrSG), in March 2014, completed Phase I of the Process. Please see the attached RrSG Charter v5.1-May 2014 (Redline) [PDF, 159 KB], which reflects the RrSG's proposed modifications as well as additional edits/content suggested by ICANN Staff in fulfillment of its process Phase II responsibilities. The following paragraphs provide a summary of the substantive changes made to the original governing document.
RrSG Proposed Changes v5.0 (highlighted in maroon font):
- The RrSG has amended its existing Charter (previously "Bylaws") to enable its internal processes to reflect the changing nature of the registrars' business. Specific language changes have been made or new sections added to address the capabilities of members to serve in leadership positions, to clarify the voting rights of RrSG members, and to provide clarity regarding the ability of affiliated members under common ownership to vote.
- Additional amendment provisions address improvements to procedures for streamlined election of officers when there is only one candidate, provisions for existing officers to vacate their office where ownership changes or other circumstances render them ineligible for office, clarification of the directed voting of GNSO Councilors, and clarification of the process for honoring the concept of geographic diversity in the make-up of GNSO Council representatives.
Additional Staff Modifications v5.1 Subsequently Approved by the RrSG (not highlighted):
- Staff recommended incorporation of the RrSG "Rules of Procedure" (separate document) into the Charter as Section 7. These rules govern motions, voting, and elections are included within the charters of other GNSO structures.
- Staff also suggested that a new Section 8–Amendments Tracking Log be included to document the history of approved changes to the Charter. The document was also reformatted for readability including the addition of a Table of Contents and page numbering.
The Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), as part of its Phase II responsibilities, directed Staff to publish the proposed RrSG Charter changes for Public Comment (process Phase III) so that the Committee and Board may have the community's input before taking a formal decision (process Phase IV) concerning the amendments.
Section II: Background
The ICANN Bylaws (Article X, Section 5.3) state, "Each Stakeholder Group shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board." The Board has interpreted this language to require that it formally approve any GNSO Stakeholder Group and/or Constituency Charter amendments.
On September 28, 2013, the ICANN Board approved a Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters (hereinafter "Process"),which establishes four phases that must be executed prior to formal adoption. Those phases are:
- Phase I: Amendment Preparation
- Phase II: Staff Review
- Phase III: Public Comments
Phase IV: Board Review
After receiving a recommendation from the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), the 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 above condition is met, the Board will ask for further explanation of the proposed amendments by the community.
Note: The RrSG's Charter amendments represent the first time that the Process will have been fully executed since the Board's approval in September 2013.
Section III: Relevant Resources
Section IV: Additional Information