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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Khaled Koubaa - Chair, Avri Doria and Lito Ibarra

Apologies: Danko Jevtovic and Leon Sanchez

Executive and Staff Attendees: Michelle Bright, Franco Carrasco, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Aaron Jimenez, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Benedetta Rossi, Lisa Saulino, Theresa Swinehart and Mary Wong


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 the items to be discussed.
  2. Review Update: Specific Reviews – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the progress of ongoing Specific Reviews.

    • Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice (CCT) Review: The CCT Review Team submitted its Final Report and Recommendations to the Board on 8 September 2018. The Final Report is now issued for public comment to inform Board action on the CCT Review Team's final recommendations. Pursuant to a request from the Registry Stakeholder Group, the public comment period has been extended to 11 December 2018.

      In parallel, ICANN organization will analyze the recommendations set out in the Final Report in terms of feasibility, cost, timing of implementation, and interdependencies with other work. ICANN organization will present its feasibility assessment and a summary of the public comments to the Board at its next Board Workshop in January 2019 for its consideration. As per the Bylaws, within six (6) months of receipt of the Final Report and Recommendations (i.e. 8 March 2019), the Board shall consider the report and public comments, to determine whether to approve the recommendations. The Board will then direct implementation of the recommendations that were approved and provide written rationale for the decision if any recommendations are not approved.

    • Registration Directory Service (RDS/WHOIS2) Review: ICANN organization updated the OEC that the RDS Review Team is planning a three (3)-day face-to-face meeting in Brussels on 10-12 December 2018 to consider the results of the public comments received, determine any corresponding changes in their Draft Report, and finalize the recommendations before submitting its Final Report to the Board in January 2019.

      ICANN organization further informed the OEC that it will present its feasibility analysis of the draft recommendations on the Draft Report to the RDS Board Caucus Group to assist it in analyzing any issues and challenges with recommendations that may be of concern, and to allow the Board an opportunity to determine if they intend to provide any feedback to the RDS Review Team on their draft recommendations.

    • In Planning - Third Review of ICANN's Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3): ICANN organization updated the OEC that Maarten Botterman was appointed as the Board Member to serve on the ATRT3. ICANN organization will confirm with the SO/AC Chairs on the nominations received thus far. At present, 17 nominations have been received from the various SO/ACs.

      ICANN organization highlighted that one of the nominations received is a member of the SSR2 Review Team, and such a nominee may not have the sufficient bandwidth to serve on the ATRT3. ICANN organization will discuss this potential issue with the SO/AC Chairs to ascertain whether they wish to proceed with such nomination. It is anticipated that the ATRT3 Review Team will commence its work in January 2019 with a face-to-face meeting, subject to the finalization of the ATRT3 Review Team members.

    • Second Review of Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS (SSR2): SSR2 Review Team provided the Board with an updated Terms of Reference (ToR) and Work Plan, after it resumed its work in June 2018. ICANN organization is currently analyzing the ToR and Work Plan, to provide an informed update to the SSR2 Board Caucus Group and the OEC as to whether necessary changes have been incorporated into the said documents, as a result of the concerns raised by the Board in its letter dated 23 June 2017. ICANN organization informed the OEC that upon resuming its work in June 2018, the SSR2 Review Team has been working more effectively and methodically in conducting the review.

      • Action Item:
        • ICANN organization to furnish its comparative analysis of the ToR and the Work Plan to the OEC and the SSR2 Board Caucus Group, for their consideration.
    • Draft Operating Standards – ICANN organization is currently developing a revised draft version of the Operating Standards, modifying sections by incorporating feedback from public comment (wherever possible), webinars, as well as best practices and lessons learned during the Specific Review work that has been conducted since the inception of the new Bylaws.

      The revised Draft Operating Standards is expected to be published for public comment on 17 December 2018, for an extended period of 45 days. Subject to the OEC and Board input and agreement, ICANN organization will organize a public session at ICANN64 in March 2019. Based on the current timeline, and subject to the feedback received during the public comment, the Board is expected to adopt the Operating Standards in April 2019.

  3. Review Update: Organizational Reviews – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the progress of ongoing Organizational Reviews.

    Nominating Committee (NomCom) Review: The Analysis Group (independent examiner) delivered its Final Report to ICANN organization in May 2018. Following the completion of the review phase, the Implementation Planning Team (IPT) was formed. The IPT is assessing the independent examiner's recommendations, culminating in the completion of the Feasibility Assessment and the Initial Implementation Plan, which will be delivered to the OEC in December 2018.

    The OEC Chair stated that he has received some feedback about the NomCom Review. Given the significant impact of the outcomes of the NomCom Review on the community, the OEC Chair emphasized the importance of taking into consideration the various views and observations from the community.

    ICANN organization informed the OEC that the NomCom IPT conducted a series of meetings during ICANN63 to inform the community of the IPT's progress. ICANN organization noted to the OEC that the main focus of the concerns raised by the community are related to issues that will be addressed, and/or can only be addressed during the implementation period. Further, while there may be diverging views on how the recommendations should be implemented, the community is generally supportive of the recommendations.

    • Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Review: The Analysis Group (independent examiner) has published its Draft Report for public comment. The public comment period for the Draft Report ended on 3 December 2018 and thus far, 6 comments have been received. The independent examiner will assess the comments received and incorporate any feedback into the Final Report, as appropriate. The Final Report is targeted to be published in December 2018; and the Feasibility Assessment and the Initial Implementation Plan will be delivered to the OEC in May 2019 for its consideration.

      ICANN organization observed that the SSAC has played an active role during the SSAC Review, and provided substantial feedback to the independent examiner on the draft Final Report.

    • Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Review: The ccNSO Review is currently underway. Meridian Institute (independent examiner) has published a survey for community input. The aim of the survey is to collect input from those who have interacted with ccNSO or have suggestions for ways to improve it. The survey is informed by learnings from Meridian Institute's research and interviews conducted to date.

      Following the close of the survey on 21 December 2018 (subject to possible extensions), Meridian Institute will evaluate responses, along with input received via interviews and other forums, as input to its assessment report.

      As with all ICANN Organizational Reviews, the second ccNSO Review is following a two-phased approach, in which the independent examiner first completes its assessment and then makes recommendations to address the findings noted during the assessment. The assessment report is expected to be posted for community consultation in February 2019. The Final Report is expected to be published in July 2019.

      • Action Item:
        • ICANN organization to provide the link for the survey to the OEC to enable them to participate in the survey and for them to share the survey link with the rest of the Board.
    • At-Large Review: On 23 June 2018, the Board accepted the At-Large Review Final Report from the independent examiner. The Board also received the Final At-Large Review Recommendations Feasibility Assessment & Implementation Plan (approved by the ALAC on 22 August 2017), and the At-Large Review Implementation Overview Proposal (approved by the ALAC on 20 April 2018). The Board directed the ALAC to convene an At-Large Review Implementation Working Group (ARIWG) that oversees the implementation process of the proposals, and develop a detailed implementation plan, which is due to be delivered to the OEC by end December 2018. ICANN organization stated that based on its preliminary review of the draft implementation plan, it does not anticipate that the OEC will have any major concerns with the content of the implementation plan.

      The OEC queried as to whether the recommendations would have any budgetary implications. ICANN organization responded to the OEC that at this juncture, there has been no request for immediate budget increase.

  4. Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) Proposed Charter Amendment– The OEC oversees the review of constituent body charters, which requires the OEC's recommendation to the Board on action.ICANN organization provided an update on the status of the proposed changes to the RrSG Charter.

    In September 2013, the Board approved a Process for Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters ("Process"), which established a four-phase process to be executed to secure formal Board approval of any community governance changes.

    To date:

    • The RrSG completed Phase I of the Process, voting to amend its governing Charter on 28 June 2018.
    • The RrSG formally advised ICANN organization via email on 6 July 2018 of the proposed RrSG charter amendment.
    • ICANN organization staff from the Policy Development and Support team was actively involved in supporting the redrafting of the RrSG Charter from the start of the process.
    • As part of its Phase II process responsibilities, ICANN organization conducted a review of the document and provided feedback to the RrSG of potential fiscal or liability concerns. While most issues were addressed, ICANN organization identified that there are some potential fiscal or liability concerns that persist, and that those would be flagged for the OEC when it considers whether to move to Phase III.

    At this juncture, the RrSG is formally requesting approval from the OEC to open the public comment process. ICANN organization prepared a comprehensive paper for the OEC, to assist the OEC in deciding whether to recommend the RrSG proposed charter amendment be published for public comment or whether another course of action, as decided by the OEC, should be taken.

    ICANN organization reiterated to the OEC that some of the legal and fiduciary concerns previously raised by ICANN organization persist, specifically, as it relates to the development of a grouping of registrars that have non-voting status within the RrSG even if they are not exercising a vote in any other part of the GNSO.

    ICANN organization further informed the OEC that the RrSG is aware of ICANN organization's concerns and its intention to share such concerns with the OEC. The RrSG Charter drafting team provided a cover note to the OEC to guide the OEC in its consideration as to whether to open the public comment; and indicated that no further changes will be made to the RrSG Charter based on their deliberations after their discussion with ICANN organization as they are of the view that the issue of enforceability of consensus policy is not a major concern.

    The OEC agreed to defer its discussion on this topic to its next meeting to enable all OEC members to participate in an in-depth discussion before making its decision. ICANN organization stated that it is feasible to open the public comment process before the end of December 2018, should the OEC decide to do so. The OEC will receive a report based on the community feedback thirty (30) calendar days after the public comment closes.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN organization to organize a telephonic meeting on 17 December 2018 for the OEC to discuss the RrSG proposed charter amendment.
      • For the OEC's ease of reference, ICANN organization to draft a brief analysis for the OEC setting out specific provisions/references to the relevant sections/provisions of documents for the persisting legal and fiduciary concerns.
  5. Any Other Business
    • Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) Review – Subject to availability, ICANN organization to include an agenda item at the next OEC meeting for the independent examiner, Interisle, to present their final report, findings and recommendations; and for the RSSAC Review Work Party to present their feasibility assessment of the final recommendations. This presentation will inform the OEC's recommendation to the Board regarding RSSAC Review Final Report and Recommendations.
    • IANA Naming Function (IFR) Review: Under Section 18.2 of the Bylaws, the first Periodic IFR shall be convened no later than 1 October 2018. In this regard, the OEC observed that the community has raised some questions around this issue, for instance, whether the IFR has commenced; whether there is diversity issue in relation to the selection of the IFR Team.

      The OEC Chair informed the meeting that, upon discussing this issue with ICANN organization at ICANN63, and given the OEC's oversight role on Specific Reviews, it was agreed that the OEC Charter would be revised to include its oversight on the IFR.

      ICANN organization updated the OEC that it will revise the OEC Charter to include oversight responsibility for IFR. Thereafter, ICANN organization will present the OEC Charter modifications to the OEC. Once approved by the OEC, the OEC Charter modifications will be submitted to the Board Governance Committee for its further action.

      ICANN organization elaborated on the diversity-related issues for the composition of the IFR Team:

      • Composition of the ccNSO appointment to the IFR Team (Section 18.7 of the Bylaws): The ccNSO is required to appoint two ccNSO members and one non-ccNSO member ccTLD representative to the IFR Team but it is facing difficulty in finding a non-ccTLD member, and thus it is proposing to appoint a third ccTLD member. The ccNSO will consult with the appointing organizations on whether its proposal is acceptable; and
      • The Bylaws also require that candidates for the IFR Team shall not be from countries from the same ICANN Geographic Region. However, currently there are no candidates from the APAC region. ICANN organization reiterated that this is a requirement of the Bylaws that must be adhered to.

      ICANN organization will highlight these issues to the appointing organizations, to ensure that they fulfil the Bylaws requirements and address the issues accordingly. ICANN organization further informed the OEC that they will collaborate with the ICANN APAC regional team.

      Responding to a query from the OEC as to whether the IFR began on time, ICANN organization confirmed that the IFR was initiated in September 2018, ahead of the 1 October 2018 deadline.

      • Action Item:
        • For the next OEC meeting, ICANN organization to present the proposed OEC Charter revision to include oversight responsibility for IFR, for the OEC's consideration.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 14 January 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."