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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Khaled Koubaa – Chair, Avri Doria, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra and Leon Sanchez

Invited Representative of Interisle Consulting Group: Lyman Chapin

Invited Representatives of RSSAC Review Working Party: Brad Verd and Fred Baker (co-Chairs)

Invited Representatives of Analysis Group: Greg Rafert and Andrew Ungerer

Invited Representatives of NomCom Review Working Party and Implementation Planning Team: Cheryl Langdon-Orr and Tom Barret (co-Chairs)

Executive and Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett, Michelle Bright, Franco Carrasco, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Aaron Jimenez, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, Trang Nguyen, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Carlos Reyes and Theresa Swinehart


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

The Meeting was called to order at 20:00 UTC.

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

  2. Root Server System Advisory Committee ("RSSAC") Review

    1. Briefing on the RSSAC Final Report – Lyman Chapin, on behalf of Interisle Consulting Group LLC ("Interisle"), the independent examiner that conducted the RSSAC Review, provided a briefing of the Final Report to the OEC. As per the Bylaws, the purpose of the RSSAC Review was to determine whether the RSSAC has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure; (i) if so, whether any changes in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness; and (ii) whether the RSSAC is accountable to its constituencies, stakeholder groups, organizations and other stakeholders. The RSSAC Review also assessed the effectiveness of improvements resulting from the previous RSSAC Review, conducted in 2008.

      Mr. Chapin briefed the OEC that Interisle conducted approximately 48 interviews and launched an online survey to collect input from a broader set of people than could be interviewed. Approximately 39 people responded to the survey. The Draft Report was posted for public comment in May 2018. The Final Report was submitted in July 2018. In addition to the one-on-one interviews and the online survey, Interisle organized a webinar in May 2018 to help explain the findings and recommendations set out in the Final Report. Mr. Chapin noted that given the different interpretations of the Bylaws and the RSSAC Review RFP, the RSSAC and Interisle disagree on certain fundamental issues relating to the scope of the RSSAC Review. However, some of Interisle's findings have already been addressed by the RSSAC. The Chair thanked Mr. Chapin for his presentation.

    2. Briefing on the RSSAC Review Recommendations Feasibility Assessment & Implementation Plan ("Feasibility Assessment/Implementation Plan") - Brad Verd and Fred Baker, co-Chairs of the RSSAC presented an overview of the RSSAC Review Work Party (RWP) Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan (FAIIP), developed based on the RWP's review of the Final Report. The FAIIP includes an analysis of recommendations in the Final Report for usability and prioritization, provisional budget implications, anticipated resources and the proposed implementation timeline. The RWP has noted any objections or proposed modifications to recommendations where applicable, along with supporting rationale.

      The co-Chairs elaborated that in developing the FAIIP, the RWP formulated some standards and recommendations for ICANN to improve its Organizational Reviews, such as:

      • To define " Organizational Review";
      • To state the desired outcome of an Organizational Review;
      • To potentially modify the Request for Proposal ("RFP") for future Organizational Reviews;
      • To have a more active engagement and involvement from the ICANN organization and/or the OEC to ensure that an Organizational Review is being conducted in an appropriate manner.

      Upon being briefed by the co-Chairs on the FAIIP and given that the RWP included in the FAIIP some references to RSSAC037 and RSSAC038 (which are still under consideration by the ICANN Board) as potential means to address Recommendations 1 and 1a, the Chair sought feedback from the RSSAC co-Chairs as to how the Board should proceed. The co-Chairs noted their view that there is no interdependency or linkage between the RSSAC advice items and the Board's action on the FAIIP.

      The OEC Chair acknowledged the concerns raised by the RSSAC co-Chairs and thanked them for their presentation. The Chair further reiterated the importance of having ongoing dialogues with independent examiners and the community to ensure that reviews are conducted effectively.

      Further to the presentations above, the OEC will engage in further discussions on this topic, prior to making its recommendation to the Board.

      Lyman Chapin and the RSSAC co-Chairs left the meeting at this juncture.

  3. Nominating Committee ("NomCom") Review

    1. Briefing on the NomCom Review Final Report – Greg Rafert and Andrew Ungerer, on behalf of the Analysis Group, the independent examiner that conducted the NomCom Review, provided a briefing of the Final Report to the OEC. As per the Bylaws, the purpose of the NomCom Review was to determine whether the NomCom has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure; (i) if so, whether any changes in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness; and (ii) whether the NomCom is accountable to its constituencies, stakeholder groups, organizations and other stakeholders.

      As part of the review process, 60 interviews were conducted, and 85 survey responses were collected, in addition to the public consultation on the Assessment Report (published in January 2018). The Analysis Group also hosted a webinar on the Assessment Report, during which participants had the opportunity to provide initial feedback and seek clarification. Furthermore, the Analysis Group audited most of the NomCom meetings at ICANN60 and ICANN61; and confirmed that their findings and recommendations are appropriate. At ICANN61, the Analysis Group learned that the 2018 NomCom had already implemented several of their recommendations. At ICANN61, they also participated in a session in which they presented their findings and draft recommendations to interested members of the community.

      The representatives from the Analysis Group provided a high-level summary of the findings set out in the Assessment Report:

      • The NomCom is generally seen as performing its role effectively, but there is room to improve the functioning of the NomCom.
      • NomCom members have exerted, and continued to exert, tremendous effort and time to the activities of the NomCom.
      • NomCom members have significant technical and policy-related experience in their fields.
      • The NomCom's interactions with candidates have improved significantly over the past five years and are generally viewed positively.
      • The NomCom has made significant progress in becoming more transparent.
      • Diversity requirements for NomCom appointees are currently appropriate.
      • The leadership structure of the NomCom generally works well.
      • The current size of the NomCom is sufficient.

      In the interest of time, the representatives from the Analysis Group provided a brief overview of the recommendations set out in the Final Report in relation to the (1) composition and responsibility of the NomCom and its members; and (2) recruitment and evaluation processes.

    2. Briefing on the NomCom Review Feasibility Assessment & Initial Implementation Plan – Tom Barrett and Cheryl Langdon-Orr, co-Chairs of the NomCom Review Working Party and Implementation Planning Team ("IPT") presented an overview of the NomCom Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan (FAIIP), which contains the community's assessment of the feasibility of the recommendations in the Final Report, and provides an initial plan of how to implement them. It includes areas where the NomCom Review WP agrees with the Final Report, as well as those areas where it does not. The co-Chairs also provided the NomCom Review IPT's rationale for any disagreements it has with the findings or recommendations in the Final Report.

      The IPT divided the 27 recommendations into 5 categories:

      • Accountability & transparency to the community and the ICANN Board;
      • NomCom Charter/ICANN Charter;
      • Recruitment of NomCom nominees;
      • NomCom skills & training; and
      • Assessment.

      Tom Barrett shared the IPT's scorecard with the OEC, which helps the IPT to track its progress during the feasibility assessment and implementation planning stage, highlighting the following points:

      • The IPT consists of 14 volunteers, including former board members and several members of the current NomCom.
      • He made a recommendation for the MSSI team to continue supporting the NomCom Review, rather than transitioning it to other department(s) within the ICANN organization. Other departments within the ICANN organization may lack the bandwidth and/or skills to support the NomCom Review, and some of the recommendations may directly impact them.
      • The IPT modified four recommendations from the Final Report (Recommendations 15, 24, 25 and 27). Recommendation 24 introduces the creation of an empowered body of current and former NomCom members to ensure greater continuity across NomComs and in particular, to assist in implementing changes to NomCom processes. Whilst the Final Report recommended that the NomCom designate three specific seats for the board, the IPT modified this recommendation to obtain consensus from the community on the definition of an independent director; whether they want independent directors on the board; and whether the NomCom should limit the number of independent directors.

    Representatives from the Analysis Group and the co-Chairs of the NomCom Review WP left the meeting at this juncture.

  4. Any Other Business

    • IANA Naming Function Review (IFR): Further to the OEC's earlier discussion on the IFR at its 4 December 2018 meeting, the ICANN organization provided a brief update on the status of the IFR. Under Section 18.2 of the Bylaws, the ICANN Board convened the first Periodic IFR in September 2018.

      The ICANN organization updated the OEC on the diversity-related issues for the composition of the IFR Team:

      • The Bylaws require that candidates for the IFR Team shall not be from countries from the same ICANN Geographic Region: As there are currently no identified members from the APAC region, the ICANN organization has highlighted this issue to the appointing organizations, and requested each to reassess their processes to ascertain whether they are able to fulfil the Bylaws' requirement and address the issue accordingly.

      • Appointment of a non-ccNSO ccTLD manager 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. However, it is facing difficulty in finding a non-ccNSO ccTLD manager, and thus has appointed a third ccNSO-member ccTLD representative on an interim basis until a non-member can be identified.

        The ICANN organization has communicated to the ccNSO that the ICANN organization is not able to agree with a proposal that does not comply with the Bylaws. However, if the other appointing organizations do not object to the interim appointment, the ICANN organization does not take issue with such appointment. The ccNSO requested the ICANN organization to seek confirmation from the appointing organizations whether they have any objection to the interim appointment of the ccNSO ccTLD representative.

      The ICANN organization has requested the appointing organizations to provide a response on the above two issues by 25 January 2019. Subject to the resolution of the two issues above, the ICANN organization will host a kick-off meeting with the IFR Team members. If the issues remain unresolved, the ICANN organization will convene a call with all appointing organizations to discuss the Bylaws requirements and their proposed solutions.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 8 February 2019

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