Purpose: This public comment proceeding seeks to obtain community input on proposed amendments to the charter of the GNSO’s gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group.
Current Status: Amendments have been approved by the membership of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group.
Next Steps: The ICANN Board of Directors is expected to review the proposed amendments and take action.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The GNSO gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) has completed Phase I of the formal ICANN Board Process for approval of community charter amendments and voted to amend its governing Charter documentation. In addition, as part of its Phase II Board Process responsibilities, ICANN staff has assessed the amendments and determined that the proposals do not present any direct fiscal or liability concerns to the ICANN organization.
Accompanying this public comment announcement (see link below) is a document titled Charter of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group - Adopted by RySG Vote on 4 November 2015, which reflects the gTLD Registries’ proposed changes in a yellow highlight for all new and replacement text and which identifies deleted language in a “strikeout” font.
In sum, the RySG has amended its existing Charter to address a number of items – including those flagged by the ICANN Board in its Dublin Public Meeting resolution approving the last recent set of RySG Charter amendments (see - Board Resolution 2015.10.22.14). Among them, the most substantial charter amendments proposed by the RySG at this time are in the following areas:
- Creation of a new class of “Association” members;
- Changes to the weighted voting categories and measures of the group; and
- Adjustments to the community fee structure to accommodate the addition of association members.
Section II: Background
The ICANN Bylaws (Article X, Section 5.3) 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 September 2013, the Board approved a Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters (hereinafter “Process”) establishing four process phases that must be executed to secure formal 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 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.