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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim – Chair, Lito Ibarra, Khaled Koubaa, Markus Kummer and George Sadowsky

Other Board Member Attendee: Akinori Maemura

Executive and Staff Attendees: Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Rob Hoggarth, Melissa King, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, Margie Milam, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Lisa Saulino, Charla Shambley and Theresa Swinehart

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

The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 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. Review of Open Action Items – The Chair noted that the open action items list is a tool to enable the OEC to track ICANN's progress towards completing the action items identified in previous meetings. Some of the open action items will be completed during the discussion at the current meeting. There are several action items which will be followed up on in time for the next OEC meeting; and there are also other action items which will require more time to complete. With no questions raised by other OEC members on items on the list, the Chair proceeded to the next agenda item.

  3. Ongoing Review Update: At-Large Review – The OEC was provided with a brief update on the At-Large Review.

    ITEMS International, the independent examiner conducting the At-Large Review, submitted its Draft Report for Public Comment on 1 February 2017, after consultation with the At-Large Review Working Party on its initial findings and recommendations.

    ITEMS International, the independent reviewer, conducted over 100 interviews and received 242 responses from its online survey, collecting input from the At-Large community in English, French and Spanish. In addition to the one-on-one interviews and online survey, ITEMS International met with the At-Large Review Working Party, participated in At-Large activities at ICANN57 and attended several regional events. Moreover, ITEMS International will also conduct face-to-face sessions at ICANN58 in March 2017, as well as conduct several community-wide webinars soon, to provide an update to the ICANN community on the status and content of the report. OEC members are encouraged to participate in these webinars.

    The next steps for the At-Large Review include:

    • Draft Final Report for At-Large Working Party – April 2017
    • Publish Final Report – May 2017.
  4. Ongoing Review Update: Nominating Committee (NomCom) Review - The OEC was provided with a brief update on the NomCom Review.

    The Request for Proposal (RFP) for an independent examiner was launched on 19 January 2017 and proposals are due on 17 February 2017. The NomCom Review is scheduled to take place from April 2017 through May 2018. The NomCom Review Working Party has been assembled and has provided input into the selection criteria for the independent examiner, the scope of review as well as the criteria to be used in conducting the review.

    The OEC was also briefed on the estimated timeline for the NomCom Review:

    • Appoint Independent Examiner – March 2017
    • Launch Review – April 2017
    • Interviews: Community Surveys – April – September 2017
    • Preliminary Findings – October 2017
    • Draft Report for Working Party – November 2017
    • Draft Report for Public Comment – December 2017
    • Draft Final Report for Working Party – April 2018
    • Final Report Published – May 2018
  5. OEC Work Plan Review – The proposed OEC Work Plan for 2017-2020 was presented to the OEC for its consideration.

    The OEC approved the Work Plan for 2017-2020, noting that if there are charter changes or other modifications, ICANN Org would present amended work plans as appropriate.

  6. OEC Charter Modifications – Oversight over Specific Reviews – The OEC continued its discussion on whether, in the post-transition environment, the OEC might be the appropriate committee to coordinate oversight of "Specific Reviews" set out at Section 4.6 of the ICANN Bylaws (reviews that were formerly incorporated in the Affirmation of Commitments). The OEC had previously discussed that it was willing to take on this role if the remainder of the Board agreed.

    ICANN Org presented to the OEC a proposed draft revision to the OEC Charter to illustrate how the OEC Charter may be expanded to include oversight responsibility for Specific Reviews.

    Some observations and feedback from the OEC in connection with this topic include:

    • Previously, there was no specific committee of the Board assigned with general oversight of Specific or AoC Reviews. Instead, based on the subject matter of a particular review, a particular committee or collection of the Board would be charged with oversight of implementation of a particular set of recommendations.
    • Given the OEC's work on standardization of processes for Organizational Reviews, and similarities with Specific Reviews, it makes sense to consolidate this mandate and provide standardized processes. Substantive inputs into individual reviews may still need to be coordinated among other parts of the Board.

    The OEC approved the OEC Charter modifications to be submitted to the BGC for its further action.

    • Action Item:

      • ICANN Org to provide the Board Governance Committee with the proposed charter revision for consideration and further processing.
  7. Planning for Upcoming Reviews – The OEC was briefed on the schedule for upcoming Organizational Reviews mandated to begin in 2017, with many reviews happening simultaneously.

    ICANN Org presented a proposal for the OEC's consideration for a process improvement to streamline reviews. This would include initiation action by the Board, providing for a Board resolution and clear direction to the community on initiation and organization of associated review working parties. The Board could also use this as an opportunity to direct the initiation of self-reviews of the entity under review, for use as input to the independent reviewer, as well as direction to ICANN Org to proceed with procurement processes to identify the independent reviewer. Establishing a set of concrete guidelines will provide a clear direction to the ICANN community as to who is driving the schedule and further assist them to understand the workload and process involved.

    The OEC discussed whether there are transparency benefits from this process improvement, including clear understanding of the Board and the organization under review's obligations and responsibilities for each review. The OEC noted its preference for providing strong advice for certain preparatory work, such as a self- review, while not mandating that it happens.

    The OEC agreed to recommend to the Board that:

    • the Board initiate Organizational Reviews mandated to begin in 2017; and direct the organizations under review and ICANN organization to begin the necessary preparations at the appropriate times to enable the RSSAC Review to begin in April, the SSAC Review in June, and the ccNSO Review in July; and
    • the Board should strongly advise the organizations under review and ICANN Org to work closely with the OEC to commence the process preparing for reviews.

      • Action Item:

        • For the next OEC meeting in Copenhagen, ICANN Org to update the OEC on the upcoming Specific reviews (e.g. CCT, SSR2, RDS and ATRT3 Reviews) and the OEC's level of involvement for each Specific Review.
  8. Selection of Independent Examiners: Scorecard methodology and independence of examiners – ICANN Org provided a brief overview of the procurement process for the selection of independent examiners to conduct Organizational Reviews, including the standard scorecard used to evaluate proposals.

    This agenda item stemmed from a discussion between the OEC and the Number Resource Organization Executive Council (NRO EC) at the previous OEC meeting in January 2017 where they engaged in a dialogue on the process and selection criteria for an independent examiner to conduct the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) Review.

    ICANN Org noted that it receives a significant number of proposals from reviewers that have already conducted reviews for ICANN. The OEC requested that there should be consideration of how the work performed previously was viewed, to inform future selections. ICANN Org noted that there also seems to be concern from new applicants about the amount of time and knowledge that they are required to invest to carry out a review, which is often reflected in a higher-cost proposal. OEC members noted that it could be useful and beneficial to have a combination of (1) individuals with ICANN experience; and (2) individuals with no ICANN experience for a review. This could be part of the weighting when scoring the proposal, and guidance is sought from ICANN Org on how to achieve the proper balance of experience and independence.

    The OEC also queried ICANN Org on how potential for conflict of interest is considered, focusing on the need for independence. ICANN Org noted that information is requested in the procurement process to assist in this evaluation. On one hand, an understanding of the ICANN ecosystem is necessary to be able to judge performance, and therefore it is crucial to appoint candidates who have historical knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, new candidates would provide independence and effectiveness to reviews. Therefore, a balance needs to be achieved between independence vs familiarity with the ICANN ecosystem.

    • Action Item:

      • The OEC will continue this discussion at its next meeting in Copenhagen, with the aim of providing some guidance to ICANN Org on ways to improve the current selection process, including the scoring methodology and independence/objectivity considerations.
  9. Board Process for Evaluating and Approving New Constituencies – The OEC was briefed on the current process that the Board follows in assessing an application for a new Constituency. This was previously requested by the OEC to prepare for a discussion with the Board in conjunction with implementation actions required for GNSO Review Recommendation 24, which is included in Phase 1 of the GNSO Review Implementation Plan, targeted for completion in July 2017.

    Recommendation 24 states: "That the GNSO Council and Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies adhere to the published process for applications for new Constituencies. That the ICANN Board in assessing an application satisfy itself that all parties have followed the published process, subject to which the default outcome is that a new Constituency is admitted. That all applications for new Constituencies, including historic applications, be published on the ICANN website with full transparency of decision-making."

    ICANN Org noted that the Board process for recognition of new GNSO Constituencies was adopted in June 2011 and is applicable to Constituency applications intended for the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) and Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) within the Non-Contracted Parties House. There are two steps defined within this process. At the end of each step, an evaluation will be conducted by the applicable Stakeholder Group (SG), according to its internal charter provisions, which will determine whether the application is approved to proceed to the next phase subject to Board ratification.

    The OEC was informed that thus far, there was only one Constituency formed through this process and there are no other applications currently pending. The OEC also noted that although all applications for new Constituencies, including historic applications, are published on the GNSO website with full transparency of decision-making, a recurring complaint from the ICANN community is that such information is not easily found on the ICANN website.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN Org to prepare a response for the Board in relation to the action item under Recommendation 24 of the GNSO Implementation Plan.
      • The OEC to engage in a more in-depth discussion on the process for evaluating and approving new Constituencies after ICANN Org has prepared a response for the Board in relation to the action item under Recommendation 24 of the GNSO Implementation Plan.
  10. Charter Amendments: Business Constituency and Upcoming Charter Amendments – The OEC received an update on the community charter amendment process, an overview of upcoming charter amendments in 2017, and the proposed amendments to the Business Constituency Charter as well as a status update on public comments to date.

    Currently, five groups within the GNSO are amending their charters – Business Constituency, Non-Commercial Users Constituency, Registrar Stakeholder Group, Not-for-Profit Operations Concerns Constituency, and the Intellectual Property Constituency.

    At present, the scope of the Board review process of Charter Amendments is limited to GNSO only. The OEC oversees the review of constituent body charters, which requires the OEC's endorsement and recommendation to the Board. The Chair noted that the OEC has also considered how to innovate the constituent charter review process to reduce the time required for OEC action. For instance, in between meetings, the OEC would typically act via email within 48 hours to approve charter amendments.

    • Action Item:

      • The public comment period for the proposed charter amendments of the GNSO Business Constituency ends on 15 February 2017. The OEC to engage in a more in-depth dialogue on this topic once it receives a report on the community feedback and once it is prepared for board action based on the OEC's recommendations.
  11. Any Other Business

    The Chair called the meeting to a close at 08:37 a.m. local time in Los Angeles, California.

Published on 04 May 2017

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