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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

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

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


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

  1. Process: Specific Reviews – To prepare the OEC for its new role in oversight of Specific Reviews, ICANN Org provided a comprehensive overview of the current Specific Review process, as well as roles and responsibilities of different parties in the review cycle and potential areas of process improvement.

    Some of the areas of discussion included:

    1. Selection of Review Teams: The OEC discussed the risk that an appointed Review Team may not have the necessary qualifications or may not be sufficiently diverse to represent the ICANN community. To address this concern, the OEC Chair considered whether an additional step should be built into the process for the Board, through the OEC, to flag its concerns for the SO/AC leadership so that these concerns can be considered prior to finalization of selection.
    2. Terms of reference and work plan to be delivered by the Review Team: The OEC discussed the role of the Board in the event that a Review Team's terms of reference and work plan appear to go beyond the Bylaws' specified remit or addressed areas outside of ICANN's mission. The OEC recognized that the Board should examine the terms of reference and work plan as part of its oversight role to confirm consistency with the remit and mandate of the Review Team under the Bylaws.
    3. Adherence to workplans and budget considerations: ICANN Org identified that the ongoing work of the Review Teams, tracking to the work plans, is being followed on fact sheets produced at regular intervals and publicly posted for transparency purposes. The fact sheets illustrate the progress of the review as compared to the resources that have been allocated and spent and measured against the milestones that have been achieved. The OEC could provide oversight over future budgeting processes along with the Board Finance Committee, including dialogues on future processes and expectations for multi-year projects, and how requests outside of budget envelopes could be considered.
    4. Board liaisons and organizing Board inputs: The OEC discussed the importance of providing Board input to the various Specific Reviews and considered mechanisms to facilitate the Board's engagement with the Review Teams. The OEC recognized the effectiveness of past practices used by the Board to organize and develop feedback, and agreed that it may be beneficial to identify ways to provide support for the Board Liaisons to the Specific Reviews. The OEC recommended that a caucus approach be taken, with a small collection of Board members convened for each Review. This could be an existing group, such as a Working Group or Board Committee that is already active, or developed on an ad hoc basis based on the substantive area of each Review. The Board-designated liaison to the Review Team could be a member of the relevant caucus, and official communications could be passed through the liaison. The OEC will also consider providing further guidance to Board liaisons as to what is expected in terms of providing feedback to the Review Team, providing updates and identifying issues to the Board and/or the Board caucus.
    • Action Items:

      • The OEC plans to exercise its oversight authority over Specific Reviews by analyzing the composition of Review Teams to identify if there are concerns as to whether the membership reflects a sufficiently diverse and skilled team. ICANN Org will incorporatean additional step into the process for the OEC to consider the diversity and expertise of a Review Team, prior to the finalization of the selection process by the SO/AC leaders. The OEC will consider an appropriate follow-up, including initiating a dialogue with the SO/AC leaders if concerns surface regarding the skills and diversity of the proposed Review Team.
      • The OEC plans to explore the management of budgets for Specific Reviews, including initiating a dialogue with the Board Finance Committee to address the multi-year aspect of Specific Reviews and how ICANN Org should respond to Review Team requests that may exceed the allocated budget.
      • The OEC will initiate a dialogue with the Board to create Board caucus groups to support the Board liaisons for Specific Reviews and will be generally responsible for providing oversight over the process-related aspects of these groups, with the subject matter expertise to be provided by the Board members selected to serve on these groups.
  2. Ongoing Review for Discussion: Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice Review (CCT Review) – The Draft Report was published on 7 March 2017, and the public comment period will close on 19 May 2017. The CCT Review was initiated under the Affirmation of Commitments, not under the new ICANN Bylaws.

    ICANN Org reported on the work underway to analyze feasibility and operational impact of the proposed recommendations and sought guidance from the Board on whether it desired to provide high-level feedback to the CCT Review Team prior to the publication of its Final Report. Possible topics for Board consideration could include prioritization of the recommendations, or the costs and benefits of implementing the approximately fifty recommendations contained in the Draft Report.

    The OEC agreed to form a Board caucus to organize Board feedback and/or input regarding the report and recommendations, with support and input from ICANN Org, where necessary.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN Org to assist the OEC in inviting the Board to initiate a Board caucus to provide inputs on the CCT Draft Report.
      • ICANN Org to provide a timeline of the CCT Review to the OEC, for the OEC's reference.
  3. Ongoing Review for Discussion: Second Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS) Review (SSR2) – The SSR2 Review Team is at the planning phase of its review. The OEC discussed how it could support the appointed Board Liaison in his interactions with the Review Team, and agreed that it would be appropriate to convene a Board caucus at this time.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN Org to assist the OEC in inviting the Board to initiate a Board caucus to support the Board Liaison in providing input and feedback to the SSR2 Review Team.

    The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 15 May 2017

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."