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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Avri Doria – Chair, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra, León Sanchez, and Matthew Shears

OEC Apologies: Khaled Koubaa

Invited Representatives of SSAC: Rod Rasmussen (Chair), Greg Aaron and Lyman Chapin

Executive and Staff Attendees: Steve Conte, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Julie Hammer, Lars Hoffmann, Aaron Jimenez, Laena Rahim, Benedetta Rossi, Kathy Schnitt, and Theresa Swinehart


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

The Meeting was called to order at 16:00 UTC.

  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 – At the OEC's previous meeting, it received briefings from the independent examiner that conducted the SSAC Review (the Analysis Group) as well as the co-Chairs of the SSAC Review Work Party (RWP). Due to time constraints, the OEC agreed to engage in a further discussion on this topic, prior to making its recommendation to the Board.

    In continuing the discussion on the SSAC Review, Lyman Chapin highlighted that some of the main issues previously raised relate to: whether the SSAC could or should play a role that is different from the one that it currently plays; the timeliness of SSAC's advice; and the appropriate size of the SSAC.

    Rod Rasmussen reiterated that the SSAC was satisfied with the SSAC Review conducted by the Analysis Group, and internally, the SSAC has been continually working on implementing some of the recommendations set out in the Final Report.

    The OEC and the SSAC representatives engaged in an in-depth discussion on this topic. Some observations and feedback from the OEC on this topic include:

    • Following an issue which Cherine Chalaby raised during the previous OEC meeting regarding the appropriate size of the SSAC and the timeliness of its advice to the Board in relation to the NCAP project, Rod Rasmussen elaborated that the NCAP is a highly atypical and complex project. The day-to-day management of the NCAP project required detailed project planning (scheduling, resource allocation, etc.), which was outsourced to experienced professionals. The NCAP project has been a learning experience for the SSAC and going forward, the SSAC is able to undergo the process in a more expeditious manner.
    • The OEC commented that Recommendation #5 (follow-up on the state of past and future advice provided to the Board) and Recommendation #10 (SSAC to explicitly communicate the reasons for its decisions around topic selection and focus with others in ICANN) are extremely important recommendations. Recommendation #10 warrants more discussions with the SSAC and the Board to assess if there can be a synergy between the Board's strategic goals and the SSAC's work.
    • Recommendation #7 (Quick-looks): the SSAC informed the OEC that it was not clear as to whether the suggestion was made by one person or more, and therefore, they were not able to gauge the level of interest and prioritization for the recommendation.
    • Recommendation #8 (setting research priorities): the OEC and the SSAC agreed that the SSAC should take into consideration the direction of the Board Technical Committee (BTC), in an effort to align the SSAC's research priorities with ICANN's strategic plan.
    • Whilst the SSAC should remain as an Advisory Committee to the Board, from the Board's perspective, the OEC suggested that the Board should reevaluate how it can better support the SSAC through ICANN, specifically through ICANN's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO).

    The Chair thanked the SSAC representatives for their participation, and they left the meeting at this juncture.

    The OEC concluded its discussion on this topic. Subject to agreed changes being incorporated into the Board Paper, the OEC approved the recommendation to the Board to accept the Final Report, to accept the Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan, and to instruct the SSAC to commence implementation by drafting a detailed implementation plan, including appropriate implementation costing.

  3. Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) Proposed Charter Amendment - The OEC continued its discussion on the RrSG proposed charter amendment from its previous meeting on 23 May 2019.

    The OEC Chair sought further clarification as to whether the fiscal and liability concerns raised by ICANN organizations still persist pursuant to the completion of the Public Comment proceeding, specifically in relation to Section 2.2.3 of the Charter. ICANN organization reiterated that the potential fiscal and liability concerns will still need to be addressed by the OEC and the Board in due course. ICANN organization clarified that part of the challenge faced in this scenario is that, while the potential fiscal and liability concerns were raised during the Public Comment proceeding, the community feedback did not indicate that the community shared these concerns. Therefore, it is a balancing exercise between a potential legal and fiscal issue versus the community feedback and decision on the issue.

    The OEC concluded its discussion on this topic, and recommended to the Board that it is appropriate for the Board to consider the proposed RrSG charter amendments, despite the potential fiscal and liability concerns identified by ICANN organization.

  4. Any Other Business

    • Action Item:

      • Roles and Responsibilities for Specific Reviews: For the OEC's ease of reference, ICANN organization to circulate the documentation on the Roles and Responsibilities for Specific Reviews, adopted by the OEC in February 2018. The OEC further suggested that this documentation should form part of the onboarding materials for incoming Board members.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 01 August 2019

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."