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Minutes | Board Governance Committee (BGC) Meeting

BGC Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain (Chair), Asha Hemrajani, Markus Kummer, Mike Silber, and Ram Mohan

Other Board Member Attendees: Marteen Botterman, Lito Ibarra, Akinori Maemura, and George Sadowsky,

ICANN Executive and Staff Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Melissa King (VP, Board Operations), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Operations Content Manager), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Senior Coordinator), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


The following is a summary of discussions, actions taken, and actions identified:

  1. Approval of Minutes – The Committee approved the Minutes of the 5 December and 16 December 2016 meetings.
  2. Update on the Reconsideration Process under the New Bylaws – The BGC was briefed on the pathway process of Reconsideration Requests filed under the new Bylaws, including each step during the process and the owners of those stets, from the moment that the Request is file to the issuance of a decision by the Board. The BGC noted that that there were two different processes: one for standard Reconsideration Requests, and one for Urgent Consideration Reconsideration Requests.
  3. Reconsideration Request 16-14 – The BGC received a briefing regarding Reconsideration Request 16-14, which is the first Reconsideration request to be filed under the new Bylaws. The Requester seeks reconsideration of the Contractual Compliance department’s decision to close Complaint #EWO-100-61631 concerning the domain name www.ripoffreport.com and the registrar with whom the domain is registered after ICANN’s investigation demonstrated that there was no violation of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Article 4, Section 4.2(k) of the ICANN Bylaws provides that upon receipt of a reconsideration request, ICANN’s Board Governance Committee (BGC) is to review the request “to determine if it is sufficiently stated.” Upon evaluation, the BGC determined that the Requester failed to demonstrate that he has been materially and adversely affected by the challenged conduct. The Requestor provides no evidence that he filed or had any involvement in Complaint #EWO-100-61631. To the contrary, the information provided by the Requester and gathered through ICANN’s investigation demonstrates that it was a different individual, and not the Requester, who submitted Complaint #EWO-100-61631 to ICANN.  Accordingly, the BGC approved a motion to summarily dismiss Request 16-14 pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.2(e)(ii) and (k) of the ICANN Bylaws.
  4. Review of the BGC’s Recommendation re Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee – The BGC discussed its recommendation that that the Board invoke the process to change the Fundamental Bylaws to redesignate the BGC’s Reconsideration process duties to another committee, and that the Board constitute the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee following completion of the Fundamental Bylaws amendment process.
  5. Publication of Board Committee Activity Papers – The BGC considered and approved a recommendation to the Board to approve the publication of Board Committee Activity Reports, which are prepared bi-annually. The BGC agreed that this action would further enhance the Board’s commitment to transparency as the reports will provide the community with a better understanding of the activities that are undertaken by the Board Committees. The committee discussed developing a standard reporting method which includes a set of metrics that are appropriate to include in the Activity Reports on the regular basis.
    • Action(s):
      • BGC Chair to liaise with the Chairs of the other Board Committees regarding what metrics are appropriate to include in the Activity Reports on a regular basis.
  6. Guidelines re Public Comments from Board Members – The Committee discussed the need for the development of a set of guidelines for Board members, outside of what is currently set forth in in the Board Code of Conduct, for comments made in public, including on social media, in public comment periods, and trade press. The BGC also discussed the importance of coordinating with the Communications Team on public statements.  The Committee noted that the guidelines are not intended to be an abrogation of free speech, or to squelch any dialogue with the community.
    • Action(s):
      • ICANN Org to develop draft guidelines for consideration by the BGC.
      • Once approved by the BGC, the guidelines will be submitted for Board consideration.
  7. Revised NomCom and 360 Degree Review Survey Templates – The Chair provided an update on the revised survey templates prepared by the independent advisors TTG on Board members for the NomCom and SO/AC as well as survey templates for 360-degree feedback by Board members. The Committee reviewed the draft survey templates.  The Committee agreed that there should be two surveys – a separate survey for the NomCom and SO/ACs to be completed by all Board members, and the other survey is the individual Board feedback survey.
    • Action(s):
      • BGC members to provide their comments and/or suggestions on the draft survey templates to the BGC Chair for incorporation into survey.
      • Chair to request refinement of questions that focus on the Board members’ participation in committees.
  8. Status Update on Pending Accountability Mechanisms – The Committee received an update on the review that is currently underway regarding the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) process and the process by which ICANN staff interacted with the CPE Provider.

Published on 01 February 2017.

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."