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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Khaled Koubaa - Chair, Avri Doria, Lito Ibarra, George Sadowsky, Leon Sanchez and Matthew Shears

Executive and Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, John Jeffrey, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Lisa Saulino and Theresa Swinehart


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

The Meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. local time in Panama City, Panama.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of the items to be discussed.
  2. Discussion on Long-term and Short-Term Options for Streamlining Reviews – ICANN organization provided a brief description of the long-term and short-term options for streamlining reviews. The timing of Bylaws-mandated Specific and Organizational Reviews resulted in multiple reviews occurring at the same time – currently eleven reviews are in various stages of work. The situation has strained volunteer and ICANN resources and resulted in Board and community discussions, including at ICANN61, to look for possible solutions to lessen the strain on volunteer community and resources, while maintaining accountability.

    Following discussions within the Board and based on community feedback, ICANN organization proposed options for immediate and long-term approaches to address these issues. Short term and long-term proposals are out for public comment and the ICANN community is encouraged to provide additional thoughts and ideas on making the review schedule more manageable and sustainable and on ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness of reviews in the future.

    Short-term Options: In relation to the short-term options, these involve the third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3). The options are:

    • Option A: maintaining the current path of the review;
    • Option B: limiting the scope of the review to implementation of prior recommendations; or
    • Option C: commencing the Review Team work upon Board action on CCWG-WS2 recommendations (with the work of the Review Team to start no later than 30 June 2019 and conclude within twelve months, as prescribed in the Bylaws).

    Each option carries advantages and disadvantages, and some options will result in potential cost savings. Options pertaining to the Second Review of the Registration Directory Service Policy (RDS-WHOIS2) have been removed from public comment at the request of the RDS-WHOIS Review Team.

    The OEC members shared their preliminary views on the short-term options, including the role of evaluating the accountability of the Board and the potential scope of the ATRT3, and agreed to continue their discussion once the public comment opportunities have concluded.

    Long-term Options: Long-term options aim to provide scheduling flexibility with appropriate checks and balances by the community and the Board, with the goal of meeting ICANN's accountability and transparency obligations in a more practical and sustainable manner. The principles behind the long-term options aim to have 3-4 reviews per year, address community fatigue, lessen the annual budget earmarked for reviews, and ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the reviews.

    ICANN organization highlighted some of the concepts; which would require further elaboration and definition if they are supported by the community:

    • Staggering the reviews to have no more than one Specific Review and two Organizational Reviews running concurrently, to have a schedule that is more sustainable and reasonable;
    • Adding timing criteria in order to initiate the next cycle of a Specific or Organizational Reviews, which could include factors such as a requirement that prior review recommendations be fully implemented and possibly operational for a period of time before the next review is initiated;
    • Adding requirements that, like the ATRT, other Specific Review teams complete their work within 12 months. This requirement could also be applicable to Organizational Reviews;
    • Focusing the work of Specific Review teams on topics of highest priority to the community; and
    • Adding scheduling flexibility for Specific Reviews to the Bylaws, with appropriate checks and balances.

    The OEC raised some additional observations and suggestions, including:

    • The need to improve the selection criteria of independent reviewers;
    • To examine the possibility of limiting the number of volunteers from the community on Review Teams (e.g. one community member limited to volunteering in 1 to 2 Review Teams); recognizing the strain that the Reviews are placing on the community, and the limited community resources.
    • To explore the possibility of establishing a metric to better evaluate input/feedback gathered from public comments; and
    • The need to conduct a review of the entire review process;

    The OEC requested the ICANN organization to conduct a modeling simulation exercise of the various periods within a review.

    • Action Items:
      • Upon receiving a summary analysis of the public comments by ICANN organization, the OEC will continue its discussion on the short-term options at its next meeting in September 2018.
      • The OEC requested ICANN organization to prepare a document to assist the OEC in assessing the long-term options after the public comment period closes on 31 July, which will then be discussed by the OEC at ICANN63.
  3. Any Other Business
    1. Approval of Preliminary Reports: The OEC approved the minutes of its following meetings:

      • 29 May 2018; and
      • 6 June 2018, with George Sadowsky abstaining.

The Chair called the meeting to a close at 4:30 p.m. local time (Panama City, Panama).

Published on 09 July 2018

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."