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Accountability and Transparency

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

The mechanisms through which ICANN org achieves accountability and transparency are built into every level of its organization and are mandated in its new Bylaws.

Status of Reviews - For information about future, current and completed reviews, please visit Organizational Reviews and Specific Reviews sections.

ICANN Publication Practices - ICANN org's publication practices are guided by ICANN org's Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP). ICANN org developed the ICANN Publication Practices for Board, Litigation and Accountability Processes to describe ICANN org's publication practices as it relates to: Board resolutions, Preliminary Reports of Board Meetings and Minutes, Board briefing materials, and independent review process materials. Included in this document are also short descriptions and quick access to other operational practices such as the Guidelines for the Posting of Board Briefing Materials and the ICANN Redaction Register.

Post IANA Transition - Following the transition of the IANA stewardship functions and the termination of the Affirmation of Commitments on 1 October 2016, ICANN org has adopted new Bylaws that strengthen the Internet community's accountability mechanisms vis-à-vis ICANN org. These new enhanced community powers are enshrined in ICANN org's new Bylaws. Additional information on these new accountability mechanisms and how these were developed are available here.

Please note: all reviews that started prior to 1 October 2016 were/are conducted under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC). With the coming into force of the Transition, the AoC ceases to be in effect, and under the new Bylaws, the Reviews formally known as "AoC Reviews" are now referred to as "Specific Reviews". Unless stated otherwise, all review-related information on this site is derived from the new Bylaws.

Examples of ICANN org's Accountability and Transparency Practices

ICANN org'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 Calls

Provide updates on the latest policy and implementation developments, ICANN org’s operational achievements and financial standings.

Most recent report from Stakeholder Calls
Open Participation in ICANN org Activities

ICANN org'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 Comment

Open 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 org's accountability and transparency in the opportunity for operational consultation and feedback on various ICANN org topics.

Open Public Comments

Operational Consultations
Language Services

While ICANN org’s working language is English, multilingualism is essential for a global multistakeholder organization. In order to facilitate access to ICANN org and broad participation in its work, it is the policy of ICANN org to provide language services (including translation and interpretation) in the six United Nations languages and additional languages where appropriate, while taking into account budget constraints.

ICANN's Policy and Procedures on Language Services
Implementation of Review Recommendations

Once the Board accepts recommendations resulting from Specific Reviews and Organizational Reviews, 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 System

Provides visibility into ICANN org's workload, progress and status of ongoing projects.

Project Portfolio Management System

ICANN org's work is guided by the Strategic Plan and Five-Year Operating Plan which were developed by the community with the ICANN org, and organized in a hierarchy of Objectives, Goals, Portfolios, and Projects.

Accountability Indicators

Dashboard efforts continue to evolve. The ICANN Accountability Indicators shows how the organization is progressing on its five objectives and sixteen goals per our strategic and operating plans.

ICANN Accountability Indicators
ICANN's Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures

In response to a recommendation from the second Accountability and Transparency Review, NAVEX Global conducted a review of ICANN org’s Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures, identified gaps and provided recommendations for possible improvements to enhance the Anonymous Hotline to a best practice reporting mechanism.

ICANN org has made various modifications to the Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures, as applicable and appropriate, to meet the recommendations and modifications proposed by the reviewer.  ICANN org is currently in its final states of further updating and modifying the Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures to address the remaining recommendations.

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

ICANN Hotline Policy Review Report

Recommendation 9 Executive Summary

Annual Reviews Implementation Report

Section 4.5 of ICANN's Bylaws state that “ICANN will produce an annual report on the state of the accountability and transparency reviews, which will discuss the status of the implementation of all review processes required by Section 4.6 and the status of ICANN’s implementation of the recommendations set forth in the final reports issued by the review teams to the Board following the conclusion of such review".

Annual Reviews Implementation Report
Transparency Report

The second Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT2) issued Recommendation 9.4 on the development of transparency metrics and reporting in the Annual Report. The activities in support of this recommendation are covered in the Transparency Report.

Transparency Report

Implementation of AoC Review Recommendations

Implementation of all current/future Specific Review recommendations accepted by the Board is publicly tracked and periodic status reports posted. Historic information from the AoC Reviews (the pre-Transition term for Specific Reviews) can also be found here.

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
ATRT3 Review launched January 2017
CCT Review launched October 2015
RDS (formerly WHOIS) Review launched October 2016
SSR 28
SSR2 Review launched June 2016
Total 83
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"""" is not an IDN."