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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim – Chair, Wolfgang Kleinwachter, Markus Kummer, Bruno Lanvin, Ray Plzak, Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Member Attendee: Chris Disspain

Observer: Ron da Silva

Executive and Staff Attendees: Megan Bishop, Samantha Eisner, Larisa Gurnick, Robert Hoggarth, John Jeffrey, Margie Milam, David Olive, and Theresa Swinehart

Invited Guests: Richard Westlake and Colin Jackson – Westlake Consulting, Jen Wolfe – Chair of the GNSO Review Working Party


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

The Meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.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 OEC approved the minutes of its 19 June 2015 meeting as presented.

  3. Review of Open Action Items – The Chair noted that all open action items are on the agenda.

  4. OEC Activities Report Q3 2015 – Staff provided the OEC with the third quarter activities report prior to the meeting. The OEC reviewed the proposed report, approved it, and agreed to send it to the Board.

    • Action Items:

      • Chair to send Report to Chair of Board.

  5. Charter Amendment – Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG) – In March 2015, the gTLD RySG of the GNSO submitted a set of Charter revisions to the ICANN Staff for processing in compliance with Phase 1 of the Process for Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters. The OEC received a report on the scope of amendments, designed to adjust to an evolving composition of membership and to enable the Stakeholder Group to more effectively undertake its policy development responsibilities, as well as a report on the public comments received.

    The OEC agreed with the charter amendments as presented, and recommended it be sent to the Board for its approval at its meeting in Dublin in October 2015.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to submit the Proposed Amendment to the RySG Charter for Board consideration at the next meeting of the Board.

  6. At-Large Advisory Committee Review – The OEC continued its discussion of the At-Large Review. The OEC discussed that the At-Large will be conducted under a new, improved approach and will leverage the learnings from the GNSO Review.

    At this juncture, planning work is in process to address topics that require fine-tuning and adjustment of the standard review approach to tailor it for the At-Large (i.e. survey design, structure, timeline, interviews and assessment of prior review recommendations). Holly Raiche is the designated chair for the At-Large Review Working Party.

    Staff provided an update on the phases and estimated timing of the At-Large review as follows:

    • Self-Assessment and Planning – May - Oct 2015

    • Competitive Bidding to Select Independent Examiner – Nov 2015 - April 2016

    • Conduct Review – April 2016 – January 2017

  7. GNSO Review Update – The Final Report on the organizational review of the GNSO was delivered by Westlake Governance (the independent examiner) on 15 September 2015. Westlake representatives were invited to present to the OEC an analysis of the feedback received in response to the public comment on the Draft Report and to provide an overview of their Final Report issued after considering public comments. The OEC noted their concerns that while the report compiles many facts, and is quite useful in many areas, some of the analysis of issues could have been deeper. The OEC's discussion focused heavily on the issues of representation and how to address effectiveness, and challenged some of the premises put forward in response to Recommendation 23 regarding constituency representation on the GNSO Council.

    The OEC noted that the broader issue of structural changes across the organization to more effectively address representation and participation issues was not part of Westlake's duties, as that is a more holistic question that may need to be addressed within the community in the years to come. It is a far broader issue than the general restructuring of the GNSO.

    Staff highlighted that the timeline for the review has been extended to provide the GNSO community sufficient time to complete their comments and to provide sufficient time for the feasibility assessment to be conducted.

    The Chair of the GNSO Review Working Party identified that the Working Party is developing comments on the Final Report with a goal of having those completed by the ICANN meeting in Dublin. The OEC will receive that feedback, and then staff will prepare feasibility assessments to guide further consideration of the recommendations, with a goal of Board Action on the recommendations by February 2016.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to postpone the development of feasibility assessments of recommendations to the Board until after ICANN 54 to enable the WP and the GNSO to provide their feedback.

      • For future reviews, Staff to improve the process based on this learning experience i.e. ensure that community has an opportunity to consider changes to draft recommendations prior to publication of the Final Report, looking in on how to build in certain factors, and how to mitigate timing issues when it is difficult to bring the parties together.

  8. Review Framework – Staff provided an overview of public comments received on the Proposed Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements for Reviews. Staff began a discussion of topics, including:

    • Development of an alternate process to assess whether a given ICANN organization has a continuing purpose

    • Addressing community's concerns about GNSO structure and similar considerations about the effectiveness of how ICANN organizations are structured

    • Potential implications of CCWG Accountability Proposal on Organizational Reviews

    The OEC stressed the need to make sure that the review process is closely linked to the strategic plan, as issues such as continuing purposes of entities within will be impacted by the strategic direction of the organization at any time.

  9. Processes for Conducting Effective Reviews - In light of the OEC's responsibilities for the review and oversight of policies, processes, and procedures that relate to organizational reviews, the OEC is well positioned to share with the Board best practices and lessons learned from conducting effective reviews (e.g. the GNSO review). Staff shared some of the lessons learned by Staff from recent reviews:

    • Community's attention and engagement is crucial

    • Operational effectiveness vs. ability to meet strategic challenges

    • Standard Policies, Procedures & Guidelines facilitate adherence to governance mandates

    • Project management discipline essential in reviews & implementation projects

    • Implementation success difficult to assess without specific agreed upon success factors

    The Chair clarified that one of the reasons why this topic is on the agenda is that the Board is aware that the new gTLD program reviews were beginning; and they recognized the number of reviews associated with the program.

    The OEC further highlighted that it is essential to have community buy-in in order to achieve success in the implementation of review outcomes. Therefore, it is critical for us to build an additional feedback channel that allows the community to comment before the final review report is released.

    Furthermore, Staff also updated the OEC that the next Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) review (Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice) is starting soon; with the call for volunteers on 1 October 2015. In this regard, some of the lessons learned are applicable to AoC reviews; and it would be interesting to provide them with a briefing at the beginning of their process.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to coordinate with individual OEC members to refine the list of lessons learned from recent reviews, with a goal to use these lessons to improve future review cycles.

  10. Holistic Assessment of ICANN Structures – This agenda item will be discussed at the Dublin meeting in October 2015.

  11. Any Other Business

    The Chair called the meeting to a close at 3:29 p.m. local time (Los Angeles, California).

Published on 08 January 2016

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