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Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) Meeting - Minutes

SIC Members: Ray Plzak – Chair; Sébastien Bachollet; Bertrand de La Chapelle; Francisco da Silva; and Judith Duavit Vazquez

Staff Attendees: Megan Bishop, Samantha Eisner, Alice Jansen, Denise Michel, Margie Milam, and Diane Schroeder


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

The Meeting was called to order at 11:39 am in Los Angeles, California.

  1. Review of Open Action Items: Staff provided a review of the open action items before the SIC, including the ccNSO review, the review of the ASO, the RSSAC (SIC action needed before 28 February), and the completion of the review of the TLG. A mechanism is being considered to track the implementation of Bylaws-mandated reviews. On the item regarding the Conflict of Interest policy and how it impacts the structure of the organization, the SIC will identify where they will carry this item into conversation with the BGC as necessary, and this item will be carried to a future agenda. For a GNSO PDP workflow improvements item raised by an SIC member, the SIC agreed to carry this item into the overall impact of the New gTLD Program discussion that will be before the SIC. The Committee discussed the item suggesting the creation of a procedure to ensure that the Board performs its work with regards to reviews and resolved to embed this discussion in the conduct of reviews item.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to provide a plan to the SIC regarding the completion of the TLG review. The plan is to be provided within three months.
      • The advice framework, addressing how the Board receives advice, will be the subject of a letter sent by the SIC Chair to the Board Governance Committee Chair within the first quarter of the year.
      • Staff to place a session on the overall impact of the New gTLD Program onto the Beijing meeting schedule.
  2. 2013 SIC Calendar: The SIC discussed its calendar for 2013, and noted some of the scheduling challenges that arise for telephonic meetings. The SIC approved the 2013 calendar.
    • Action:
      • Objections should be raised by 5 February 2013. 14:00 UTC will be the designated time slot for telephonic meetings should no objections be voiced.
  3. SIC Work plan: The Chair of the SIC led the committee on a review of its work plan, including the Bylaws mandated reviews, and the potential for implementing some sort of process control audit into the multiple reviews that are mandated within the organization. The SIC will be reviewing how to bring the ongoing organizational reviews to a close as soon as possible. The SIC also has on its plan to work on a holistic review of the ICANN ecosystem and landscape, and noted the importance for ongoing planning of SIC activities throughout the year. The work plan will be converted into a report to be presented to the Board at its Los Angeles workshop. The SIC approved the work plan with the caveat that a review of the SIC be added to the third quarter of the work plan.
    • Actions:
      • Staff and SIC Chair to start consulting on how to introduce process audits as part of the review cycle; SIC members to provide comments as applicable.
      •  The SIC will revise the work plan to incorporate a review of the SIC Charter into the Committee Planning item set for Q3.
  4. Charter Amendment Procedure: The SIC received an update of the procedure being defined to conduct a review of the charters of the groups within the GNSO. There are still some items that are under review, including practicality of timing of accomplishing charter changes and anticipating the types of comments that could issue from the community over proposed charter changes. Staff is reviewing iterations of the draft process now, and expect to have a draft for review by the SIC by the end of February 2013.
  5. Registry Stakeholder Group Charter Amendment: The SIC received a report on the public comments received on the Registry Stakeholder Group Charter proposed amendment. The SIC noted that the mechanisms identified in the Charter may not be the optimal form for inclusion of newcomers to ICANN, and noted that ICANN may have some broader review of this issue, separate from the Charter, that it has to consider. The SIC approved a motion to recommend that the Board approve the amendments to the Registry Stakeholder Group Charter.
    • Action:
      • Staff to forward recommendation to the Board.
  6. Application for New Constituency by Cybercafé Association: The SIC received a report on the application for a new constituency, to help prepare the SIC for consideration of the application at its next meeting. The Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group has issued its decision to reject the application on multiple grounds, including that the group is commercial in nature, among other concerns.
    • Action:
      • Staff to provide a formal recommendation to the SIC as well as identification of next steps. The SIC must consider this item in advance of the 28 February 2013 Board meeting to meet the required timeline for consideration of constituency applications.
  7. Impact of New gTLDs on ICANN Structure and Processes: The SIC received an update on the work on this issue, including the breakfast meeting in Toronto. The SIC supports the coordination of a session at the Beijing meeting to further community discussion on this topic.
    • Action
      • SIC Members are to read the report in-depth and to submit their comments.
  8. NomCom Review: The SIC Chair will draft a proposed way forward for SIC member and staff review and discussion at the next meeting.
    • Action:
      • SIC members and staff to provide inputs over email once the draft is circulated.
  9. Any Other Business: The SIC started a discussion on the conflict of interest issue and the impact on the structure of the Board. There is a concern noted by some Board members that there is a trend that no persons who are involved in the industry are able to be involved in decision making.
    • Action:
      • SIC member to document notes of concerns to have available for further conversation.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:59 pm local time in Los Angeles, California.

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."