In March 2015, the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) of the GNSO 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 Process Phase II responsibilities, Staff determined and reported to the Board’s Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) that the proposed changes did not present any fiscal or liability concerns for the ICANN organization. The SIC has subsequently directed Staff to open a Public Comment Forum to solicit community input concerning the RySG 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 gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) of the GNSO, in March 2015, completed Phase I of the Process. Please see the attached RySG Charter DRAFT (15 Jan 2015) | Redline [PDF, 216 KB], which reflects the RySG’s proposed modifications as well as additional edits/content suggested by ICANN Staff in fulfillment of its process Phase II responsibilities.
The RySG has amended its existing Charter to adjust to an evolving composition of membership and to enable the Stakeholder Group to more effectively undertake its policy development responsibilities. Among a number of amendments, the most substantial charter changes are in the following areas:
- Changes to the classifications of ”active” and “inactive” RySG members;
- Adding the concept of “staggered” terms for RySG officers;
- Creation of a "Vice Chair of Policy” officer position;
- Creation of a “Vice Chair of Administration” officer position;
- Adjustments to the formula for calculating an RySG meeting quorum;
- Adding a new election nomination procedure; and
- Other minor format and non-substantive editorial changes.
The ICANN Staff has determined that the proposed changes present no fiscal or liability concerns for the organization. The ICANN Board’s Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), as part of its Phase II responsibilities, has directed Staff to publish the proposed RySG 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 RySG’s Charter amendments represent only the second time that the Process will have been fully executed since the Board’s approval in September 2013.