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Accountability

ICANN has a proven commitment to accountability and transparency in all of its practices. Indeed, ICANN considers these principles to be fundamental safeguards in ensuring that its international, bottom-up and multi-stakeholder operating model remains effective.

The mechanisms through which ICANN archives accountability and transparency are built into every level of its organization and mandate - beginning with its Bylaws and Affirmation of Commitments.

Status of Reviews - For information about the current status as well as completed reviews, please visit Organizational Reviews and AoC Reviews sections.

Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability - In the wake of NTIA's announced intent to transition its stewardship of the IANA function to the global multistakeholder community, ICANN has worked to ensure that it remains accountable in the absence of this historical contractual relationship.  Resulting proposed transitions, including the assignment of additional responsibilities, have inspired the community to raise the broader topic of the impact this change could have on ICANN's accountability.  More information is available here.

Examples of ICANN’s Accountability and Transparency Practices

ICANN's commitment to fulfilling – and exceeding – these obligations is demonstrated in numerous ways throughout our organization. Here are some notable examples:

Type of ActivityDescriptionRelated Links
Quarterly Stakeholder CallsProvide updates on the latest policy and implementation developments, ICANN’s operational achievements and financial standings.Most recent report from Stakeholder Calls
Open Participation in ICANN ActivitiesICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) publicly post detailed information about their activities and deliberations, along with clear instructions on how one can participate.Participation Opportunities
Public CommentOpen public comment provides information on the issues ICANN stakeholders currently have posted for public comment, with opportunity for all stakeholders to provide input and feedback. Operational consultation offers another vital element of ICANN's accountability and transparency in the opportunity for operational consultation and feedback on various ICANN topics.Open Public Comments

Operational Consultations
Language ServicesWhile ICANN’s working language is English, multilingualism is essential for a global multistakeholder organization. In order to facilitate access to ICANN and broad participation in its work, it is the policy of ICANN to provide language services (including translation and interpretation) in the six United Nations languages where appropriate, while taking into account budget constraints.ICANN's Policy and Procedures on Language Services
Implementation of Review RecommendationsOnce recommendations resulting from AoC and Organizational Reviews are accepted by the Board, the implementation of these recommendations is publicly tracked with periodic status reports posted.​Links and information about Board-approved Review recommendations and implementation progress are available on detailed review pages.
Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the ICANN BoardOversight of the Bylaws-mandated organizational ReviewsOrganizational Effectiveness Committee
Project Portfolio Management SystemProvides visibility into ICANN's workload, progress and status of projects underway.Project Portfolio Management System

ICANN's work is guided by the Strategic Plan and Five-Year Operating Plan which were developed by the community with staff, and organized in a hierarchy of Objectives, Goals, Portfolios, and Projects.
KPI DashboardDashboard efforts continue to evolve. The ICANN KPI Dashboard shows how the organization is progressing on its five objectives and sixteen goals per our strategic and operating plans.ICANN KPI Dashboard
ICANN's Anonymous Hotline Policy and ProceduresIn response to a recommendation from the second Accountability and Transparency Review, NAVEX Global conducted a review of ICANN’s Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures. The external expert compared ICANN’s policy and procedures to various global frameworks for best practices, in order to identify any gaps and, if found, to make recommendations for possible improvements that help maintain the Anonymous Hotline Policy as a best practice reporting mechanism. ICANN is in the process of updating the Anonymous Hotline Policy and related procedures, as applicable and appropriate, to meet the recommendations and modifications proposed by the reviewer.

Practices & Recommendations: External Stakeholder Use of an Organizational Ethics & Compliance Hotline

ICANN Hotline Policy Review Report

ICANN Publication Practices

ICANN and its constituent bodies operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness. In furtherance of this transparency value, ICANN's general publication practices are intended to ensure that information contained in documents concerning ICANN's operational activities, and within ICANN's possession, custody, or control, is made available to the public unless there is a compelling reason for redaction or non-disclosure. There are exceptions to this general practice and, if redaction is required or there are grounds for non-disclosure, the smallest amount of material necessary will be redacted or withheld. A summary of the standards and the basis for which materials may be redacted or withheld from publication is available here.

Implementation of AoC Review Recommendations

Implementation of all AoC review recommendations accepted by the Board is publicly tracked and periodic status reports posted.

Implementation of Board-Approved Recommendations

Click on the name of the Review in the chart to access the latest status update on the progress of implementation of recommendations

Review # of recommendations
ATRT1 27
ATRT2 12
WHOIS 16
SSR 28
CCT Review launched October 2015
Total 83

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."