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Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) Meeting - Minutes

SIC Attendees:  Bill Graham, Sébastien Bachollet, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Ray Plzak – Chair, and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Member Attendees: Jonne Soininen

Invited Attendees:  Rinalia Abdul Rahim and Asha Hemrajani

Executive and Staff Attendees:  Matt Ashtiani, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Larisa Gurnick, Rob Hoggarth, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, Denise Michel, David Olive, and Wendy Profit


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

The Meeting was called to order at 10:20 a.m. local time in Los Angeles, California.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.
  2. Approval of Minutes – The SIC approved the minutes of its 10 September 2014 meeting as presented.
  3. Review of Open Action Items – The Chair noted that all open action items are on the agenda.
  4. ASO Review – The Chair provided the SIC with an overview of the status of the review of the Address Supporting Organization (ASO), conducted in accordance with the ICANN ASO Memorandum of Understanding. The Chair noted that all items within the Numbers Resource Organization’s (NRO) implementation report are essentially closed, and that two items pertaining to the ICANN Board were considered moot by the ASO Addressing Council (seeking policy advise outside of global policy proposals, and consideration of the relationship of global policies to recommendations arising out of the Accountability and Transparency Reviews.) The SIC agreed to recommend that the Board accept a December 2013 final report from the NRO regarding the ASO Review, and thank the NRO for its work in conducting the review and acknowledge the completion of the implementation work resulting from the recommendations received by the NRO during the review.
    • Action Item:
      • Staff to assure that the ASO Review is included as an item on the Board’s agenda at its next regular meeting.
  5. Review Framework – Staff provided the SIC with an update on the inventory and mapping of the reviews within ICANN performed by Moss Adams. The purpose of the report is to identify gaps, overlaps and dependencies within the structural reviews and Affirmation of Commitments reviews. A few recommendations were provided, including development of overall review management procedures and centralized tracking, as well as development of primers for independent examiners to allow for greater consistency. Staff noted that the SIC may benefit from further discussions with staff regarding identification of next steps and how this could align with the work on the implementation of the ATRT2 recommendations. The SIC discussed that one of the things that could benefit the organization would be the development of a review that is across the organization, and not about the particular entities or "siloes".
    • Action Item:
      • Staff to group the areas of the mapping into discussion topic areas in advance of the next SIC meeting.
      • Staff to develop a structured plan for SIC discussion of topic areas and prioritization.
  6. GNSO Review Update – Staff provided the SIC with an update on the GNSO review. The 360 assessment, which is an online tool to collect information from the supporting organizations, advisory committees, community, Board, and staff, was launched on 4 August 2014 and has been extended through ICANN51 (17 October 2014) to provide more response time. Westlake Governance, the independent examiner, will combine the results of the 360 assessment with information and analysis from their other work on the GNSO review, and provide a first draft report to the GNSO Review Working Party for feedback and clarification. A draft report is anticipated to then be posted for public comment in approximately February 2015. The SIC discussed the limitation imposed on the review that it was not to address structural issues, and clarified that this limitation was put in place so that the reviewers themselves don’t attempt to identify a structural change, but provide information to the GNSO Review Working Party (and the GNSO in full) that might necessitate a structural change that meets the needs of the organization.
  7. SIC Activities Report Q3 2014 – Staff provided the SIC with an overview of the third quarter activities report regarding completed and on-going SIC activities. The SIC reviewed the proposed report, approved it, and agreed to send it to the Board.
  8. SIC 2015 Work Plan – Staff provided the SIC with an overview of the items in the proposed 2015 Work Plan. The two primary focuses of the Work Plan are: (a) the Review Framework, which is the development of an integrated approach to reviews; and (b) the upcoming Bylaws-mandated reviews of ICANN structures. The review cycle consists of four phases—Planning, Conducting Review, Implementation, and Operationalization. In addition to the continuation of the GNSO Review, four other reviews are scheduled to take place during 2015—ALAC, NomCom, SSAC, and RSSAC. The SIC noted a potential timing issue in particular with the NomCom review, as the Board Working Group on the NomCom just released a report based on the prior structural review. The SIC discussed the elements and timing of the Work Plan, as well as adding an annual SIC Charter review to the Work Plan.
    • Action Item:
      • Staff to identify the required commencement dates for each upcoming review in accordance with the Bylaws, and identify any potential conflicts that may arise due to the timing requirements.
      • Sébastien Bachollet to draft a note for potential SIC conversation regarding the issue of community workload overload and the relationship to reviews, to serve as the basis of a future discussion item within the SIC.
  9. Impact of the IANA Stewardship Transition and Accountability Enhancements on ICANN Structures – The SIC continued its discussion of the overall architecture of ICANN, the role and autonomy of the various supporting organizations and advisory committees, and accountability measures.
    • Action Item:
      • Staff to provide the SIC with a timeline on the IANA stewardship transition work as well as the Enhancing ICANN Accountability work, to the extent timelines can be identified.
      • Staff to provide the SIC with a summary of its discussion.
  10. Thanks to Departing Committee Members – The Chair thanked Sébastien Bachollet and Bill Graham for their service on the SIC.

The Chair called the meeting to a close at 11:42 local time (Los Angeles, California).

Published on 6 February 2015

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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."