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Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) Meeting - Minutes

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

Apologies: Judith Duavit Vazquez

Staff Attendees: David Olive – Vice President, Policy Development Support, Rob Hoggarth, Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Alice Jansen, Larisa Gurnick, Erika Randall, and Denise Michel


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

The Meeting was called to order at 7:35 am local time in Beijing, China.

  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, and the completion of the review of the TLG.  For the RSSAC review, the Bylaws item has been placed on the Board's Agenda as a consent agenda item.  For the TLG review, the SIC will receive a report in approximately one month with a status update and this item will be carried to a future agenda to determine the path forward at that time. On the advice framework item, the SIC will defer this item to a future date given the current priorities of the BGC and the need to coordinate with the BGC on this item.
    • Action:
      • The SIC Chair and Staff to refer back to implementation plans and to track accomplishments as part of the review exercise.
      • SIC member (Bertrand de La Chapelle) to draft a note evaluating the structural impact of the Conflict of Interest policies on the composition and efficiency of the organization and reviews.
  2. SIC Work plan: The Chair of the SIC led the committee on a review of its work plan, including the Bylaws-mandated reviews.  The SIC will likely not initiate the next cycle until late the second trimester or into the third trimester.  The Bylaws overhaul work that is going on within the BGC, and the SIC will track that work to determine what its involvement is going forward. The SIC also has on its plan for the third quarter to work on a review of the ICANN ecosystem and landscape.
    • Action:
      • Staff to compile a list of all accomplished activities from the work plan to be fed into the end of the year reporting.
      • SIC Members to provide work plan revisions to staff.
  3. GNSO Charter Amendment Procedure – The SIC received an update on the proposed procedure for considering charter amendments of the Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies within the GNSO, including a discussion of amendments to the paper prepared on the topic.  The SIC discussed that the amended procedure is designed to simplify and streamline the process to deal with charter amendments to make the process as straightforward as possible.  The SIC engaged in a discussion regarding the proper role of the Board in the charter amendment procedure.  Members of the SIC deliberated the overall balance of power issues and whether the role of the Board is to provide a formal approval on charter amendments of Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies within the GNSO, or whether the Board's role is to validate the process undertaken by the Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies within the GNSO when amending their charters.  The SIC determined that the balance of power issue required further attention and voted against opening a public comment forum at this time for community review and comment on the proposed process on charter amendments of the Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies within the GNSO.
    • Action:
      • SIC member (Bertrand de La Chapelle) to formulate an agenda item for the Board's workshop sessions in Beijing to discuss the role of the Board in the procedure for GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies to amend their charters.
  4. NomCom Review – The SIC Chair reported that a meeting is scheduled among Nominating Committee support staff and SIC members while at the ICANN Beijing Meeting to discuss the way forward with the review process.
    • Action:
      • Staff to send a meeting notice to SIC members.
  5. Organizational (Bylaws) Reviews – The SIC Chair provided an overview of the two-pronged approach to the organizational reviews required under ICANN's Bylaws and overseen by the SIC, including a discussion of the "micro approach," which would serve as a process controls audit, and a "macro approach," which could align the Bylaws reviews with the reviews required under the Affirmation of Commitments, including important questions such as the functionality of the policy-making processes. The final step would be to devise a method to take the output from the reviews and feed it into ICANN's strategic planning process.  The SIC discussed some of the challenges posed by reformulating the approach to the review process, including the potential for changes to the Bylaws to address the required reviews. As a result, the organizational reviews that are being initiated soon will focus more on the process controls, while the broader issues are being worked through.
    • Action:
      • Staff to provide the SIC with an analysis and review of the various review obligations ICANN has currently to enable the SIC to have data to consider in future discussions regarding streamlining the organization's review responsibilities.
  6. Impact of the New gTLDs on ICANN Structure and Processes – The SIC Committee will discuss the strategic planning for this topic at its next meeting.  It will also discuss activities to be scheduled during ICANN's meeting in Durban.
  7. Any Other Business – The SIC discussed that the SIC has two agenda items on the Board's Agenda related to the RSSAC Charter and the ratification of the NCSG decision regarding the Cyber Cafe application for a new GNSO Constituency.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 am local time in Beijing, China.

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."