Purpose: This public comment proceeding proposes short-term options pertaining to current reviews to address the workload of the volunteer community and impact on ICANN resources. Specifically, the aim of this public comment proceeding is to invite feedback on options on whether and how to adjust the timeline for two Specific Reviews to alleviate existing strain on volunteer and ICANN resources. The two reviews for consideration for short-term options are the third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) and the second Registration Directory Service Review (RDS-WHOIS2).
Current Status: The timing of Specific and Organizational Reviews mandated by the Bylaws has resulted in multiple reviews occurring at the same time. Currently, there are eleven Organizational and Specific Reviews, in various phases of the review process. This is in addition to policy development work and other work across the ICANN community. This high level of activity strains both volunteer and ICANN resources. During ICANN61, as the community was discussing ICANN's next budget cycle and planning, the volunteer and resource strain was frequently discussed. Based on feedback from the ICANN community, and as discussed with the community at ICANN61, ICANN organization presents some short-term options to alleviate the existing strain on volunteer and ICANN resources relating to reviews. This public comment proceeding seeks input on the options presented, or additional ideas, that might address the current circumstances and ease the heavy workload associated with current reviews.
Next Steps: After this public comment proceeding closes, ICANN organization will summarize and analyze the comments received and share those with the community and the Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the ICANN Board (OEC) in identifying recommendations to the ICANN Board on paths forward.
Section I: Description and Explanation
From the discussions over the past months with the community and at ICANN61, there are several options available in the short-term to lessen the strain on the volunteers and to normalize the usage of ICANN resources across years. Of the eleven reviews that are currently ongoing there are two that, based upon their status and other ongoing related work, are the most likely to have the greatest cross-community impact on volunteer participation and resources in the event their scope or schedule are modified. These are two Specific Reviews:
- ATRT3 – The Review Team has not yet been selected by the SO/AC chairs
- RDS-WHOIS2 – The Review Team, appointed in June 2017, has identified the need to separate their work into multiple tracks because of the ongoing related work on the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on WHOIS.
There are options presented for both of these reviews, from maintaining the current path of the review, to limiting scope, or in the case of ATRT3, considering a postponement of no more than one year. Each option carries with it advantages and disadvantages, and some options will result in potential cost savings. For an in-depth description of short-term options to adjust the timeline for Specific Reviews and summary charts, please refer to the resources in Section III.
Section II: Background
The timing of Specific and Organizational Reviews mandated by the Bylaws has resulted in multiple reviews occurring at the same time. Currently, eleven Organizational and Specific Reviews are underway in different phases of work (more information here). The work associated with these reviews is extensive and has a direct impact on many parts of the ICANN community. The number of concurrent reviews, the resulting demand on community resources, and review-related budget requirements prompted the ICANN community, ICANN organization, and ICANN Board to consider possible avenues for short-term relief. For an in-depth description of short-term options to adjust the timeline for Specific Reviews and summary charts, please refer to the resources in Section III.
Long-term options to adjust the timeline of reviews: In addition to the short-term options pertaining to two Specific Reviews, ICANN is also presenting potential long-term solutions to streamline the review schedule in the future. Concurrent with this public comment proceeding, there is also a public comment proceeding setting out those long-term options to achieve more scheduling flexibility for future reviews (with appropriate checks and balances by the community and the ICANN Board) and meeting ICANN's accountability and transparency obligations in a more practical and sustainable manner. Similar to the principles that inform short-term options, the principles applicable to the long-term options aim to have no more than three to four reviews per year, recognize limited community resources, ensure adequate funding for reviews, and ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the reviews. For more information, please see the public comment proceeding: "Long-Term Options to Adjust the Timeline of Reviews."
Section III: Relevant Resources
To help provide ease and clarity, this public comment proceeding includes:
- Short-Term Options to Adjust the Timeline for Specific Reviews [PDF, 141 KB] – a detailed description of short-term options and summary charts
- A fillable form [PDF, 1.31 MB] – where you can select your preferred options and provide additional comments
If you have additional ideas, please use the "comment" section of the fillable form or "Submit Comment" above.