Purpose: This public comment proceeding seeks community input on the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2) draft recommendations to Improve SO/AC Accountability. These draft recommendations were developed by the CCWG-Accountability as required by Annex 12 of the final report of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Work Stream 1 (CCWG-Accountability, WS1).
Current Status: The CCWG-Accountability reviewed these draft recommendations at its 29 March 2017 plenary meeting and approved their publication to gather public comments.
Note: A minority of CCWG members prefer that the optional annual Accountability Roundtable discussion described on page 32 be expanded to include "mutual" accountability, where each SO/AC is held accountable to the other SO/ACs.
Next Steps: Following the public comment period the inputs will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability WS2 who will consider amending its recommendations in light of the comments received and will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If significant changes are required as a result of the public consultation the CCWG-Accountability WS2 may opt to have a second public consultation on the amended recommendations. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability WS2 will forward the final recommendations on improving ICANN's Transparency to its Chartering Organizations for approval and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.
Section I: Description and Explanation
This WS2 project obtains its mandate and scope from ICANN bylaws and the CCWG-Accountability, WS1 Final report. ICANN's new bylaws reflect the CCWG Supplemental Final Proposal1 on Work Stream 2 (WS2):
Section 27.1. WORK STREAM 2, (b) The CCWG-Accountability recommended in its Supplemental Final Proposal on Work Stream 1 Recommendations to the Board, dated 23 February 2016 ("CCWG-Accountability Final Report") that the below matters be reviewed and developed following the adoption date of these Bylaws ("Work Stream 2 Matters"), in each case, to the extent set forth in the CCWG-Accountability Final Report:
(iii) Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee accountability, including but not limited to improved processes for accountability, transparency, and participation that are helpful to prevent capture;2
This Bylaws mandate for this project specifically mention capture, a concern raised by NTIA in Stress Tests 32-34, regarding internal capture by a subset of SO/AC members, and concern that incumbent members might exclude new entrants to an SO/AC.
This WS2 project was described in greater detail in the CCWG Final Proposal, Recommendation 123:
Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committee accountability, as part of WS2.
- Include the subject of SO and AC accountability as part of the work on the Accountability and Transparency Review process.
- Evaluate the proposed "Mutual Accountability Roundtable" to assess viability.
- Propose a detailed working plan on enhancing SO and AC accountability as part of WS2.
- Assess whether the IRP would also be applicable to SO and AC activities.
The recommendations presented in this report address all these requirements.
As part of its standard processes the CCWG-Accountability will seek public input on all its proposed recommendations.
1 CCWG Final Proposal, 23-Feb-2016, at https://community.icann.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=58723827
2 ICANN Bylaws, 27-May-2016, p. 135, https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/adopted-bylaws-27may16-en.pdf [PDF, 1.42 MB]
3 Annex 12 of CCWG Final Report, 23-Feb-2016, pp. 5-6, at https://community.icann.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=58723827&preview=/58723827/58726378/Annex%2012%20-%20FINAL-Revised.pdf [PDF, 242 KB]
Section II: Background
To address the requirements from Annex 12 of the CCWG-Accountability WS2 Final Report with respect to SO/AC Accountability the sub-group separated its work into 3 tracks:
- Review and develop recommendations to improve SO/AC processes for accountability, transparency, and participation that are helpful to prevent capture.
- Evaluate the proposed "Mutual Accountability Roundtable" to assess its viability and, if viable, undertake the necessary actions to implement it.
- Assess whether the Independent Review Process (IRP) should be applied to SO/AC activities.
To support this work the CCWG-Accountability WS2 solicited input and documentation from each SO and AC (and from Group constituencies and stakeholders groups) in order to review and assess existing mechanisms for accountability, transparency, and participation.
The draft report reflects several months of research and deliberation, starting with exploration of whom ICANN's SO/ACs are accountable to. Track 1 recommendations present 25 best practice recommendations for the SO & ACs to consider implementing in the areas of Accountability, Transparency, Participation, Outreach and Updates to Policies and Procedures. Track 2 recommendations include not implementing the Mutual Accountability Roundtable (where a minority of CCWG-Accountability WS2 members disagreed with this) while Track 3 concludes that the IRP should not be made applicable to activities of SO & ACs.