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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

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

Other Board Member Attendee: Steve Crocker

Observer: Matthew Shears

Executive and Staff Attendees: Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Melissa King, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, Göran Marby, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Lisa Saulino, Theresa Swinehart

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

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.

  2. Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Review Update: Selection of Independent Examiner – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the status of the SSAC Review. The RFP for an independent examiner was launched in July 2017. The Review is scheduled to take place from October 2017 through June 2018.

    ICANN organization completed its evaluation in September 2017 and requested the OEC to confirm the selection of finalist to serve as the independent examiner for the SSAC Review. ICANN organization presented an overview of the applications received, as well as the key selection criteria reflected on the evaluation scorecard. The selection of an independent examiner followed ICANN's procurement process, which includes independent evaluation of submissions, presentations by the highest scoring proposals, follow-up interviews, and reference checks, as well as receiving inputs from internal subject matter experts (in line with the practice implemented for the identification of the RSSAC reviewer).

    The discussion highlighted some concerns and observations from the OEC and invited attendees, including:

    • Given that ICANN organization received proposals from only two bidders, ICANN needs to ascertain why it is not receiving proposals from a wider range of bidders.
    • In relation to the scoring methodology, ICANN organization is requested to examine the possibility of revising its internal processes for creating and administering evaluations to separate "gating" factors from "degree" items.
    • Because of the technical nature of the entity that will be reviewed, ICANN organization to consider the possibility of obtaining input and opinion from a third party on the security-related qualifications of the proposed review teams.

    Pursuant to an in-depth discussion on this topic, and upon reviewing the evaluation process, the OEC agreed to have a further discussion on the process and selection criteria for the independent examiner at its next meeting.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN organization to carry out an analysis to learn why only a small number of bidders were interested in this work and what can be done to remedy this situation in the future.
      • ICANN organization to examine its contractual requirements for bidders.
      • In respect of the scoring methodology, ICANN organization to assess and review the possibility of revising the internal processes for creating and administering evaluations to separate the "gating" factors from the "degree" items.
      • The OEC and ICANN organization to explore the possibility of obtaining input and opinion from a credible third party on the proposals received from the bidders to assess their security-related expertise. Additionally, ICANN organization will obtain some clarity and ensure that this proposal is in line with internal processes.
  3. Any Other Business

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 27 October 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"""" is not an IDN."