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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

Executive and Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett, Franco Carrasco, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Aaron Jimenez, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, Trang Nguyen, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, 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. Approval of the OEC Work Plan (2019-2021) – The OEC Work Plan was presented to the OEC for its consideration. The Work Plan provides a quarterly overview of the OEC's activities. It is a forward-looking tool for the OEC to chart and monitor its upcoming work, organized on a calendar basis, reflecting the current year (2019) and future years through 2021.

    Some observations and feedback from the OEC on the Work Plan include:

    • The OEC noted the outcome of the community discussions on streamlining of reviews and reviews prioritization and affordability may potentially result in a change to the organizational and/or specific review timelines, which would consequently impact the OEC's Work Plan significantly.

    • Given that the Work Plan is a living document that is updated regularly, in addition to it being presented to the OEC twice a year, the OEC suggested that the current Work Plan should be made available to the OEC via the OEC's shared drive.

    • In relation to the "Charter Amendments" pertaining to the OEC charter, ICANN organization highlighted that the timelines may require further modification, depending on the outcome of the Board Governance Committee's (BGC) discussion on the alignment of ICANN's 5-year Strategic Plan across the Board's Committees.

    The OEC approved the Work Plan for 2019-2021.

    • Action Item:

      • ICANN organization to discuss internally to institute a more efficient method to make relevant documents (such as the Work Plan) accessible to the OEC (e.g., via their shared drive).

  3. Review of OEC Action Items – An updated list of Action Items was presented to the OEC. The Action Items document enables the OEC to track progress towards completing the action items identified in previous OEC meetings. This document is divided into 3 parts: (1) Complete action items; (2) In-progress action items; and (3) Watch items.

    Some observations from the OEC on the Action Items document include:

    • It is a useful document to assist the OEC to track the various action items. Therefore, the OEC suggested that the Action Items document should be made available to the OEC on a shared drive for the OEC's ease of reference.

    • Further, the OEC recommended that, going forward, it may be expedient to have the Action Items document presented to the OEC at every meeting as a brief check-in to ascertain the status of action items since its previous meeting (e.g. in progress/pending/completed).

    With no questions raised by the OEC, the Chair proceeded to the next agenda item.

    • Action Items:

      •  ICANN organization to discuss internally to institute a more efficient method to make relevant documents (such as the Action Items) accessible to the OEC via a  shared drive.

      • ICANN organization to include a review of open and recently closed Action Items on the agenda of future OEC meetings.

  4. Discussion on the Topic Paper on Enhancing the Effectiveness of Review Recommendations and their Implementation" – ICANN organization revised the topic paper on "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Review Recommendations and their Implementation", incorporating feedback obtained from the discussion between the Board and the leadership of the various Review Teams on 14 June 2019, as well as input from the Board at its discussion during ICANN65.

    During the meeting, the OEC highlighted some preliminary comments and observations which will be discussed with the Board Caucus on Budgeting & Prioritization of Community Recommendations.

    The OEC agreed for the revised Topic Paper to be forwarded to the Board Caucus on Budgeting & Prioritization of Community Recommendations for additional input. Thereafter, with input from the Board Caucus on Budgeting & Prioritization of Community Recommendations, the OEC will present the Topic Paper to the Board for discussion before socializing it with the community.

  5. Discussion on OEC Charter Review – The OEC is responsible for performing a review of its charter on an annual basis.  This item is on the agenda for the OEC to initiate a discussion to consider the possibility of a new committee name that is aligned with the naming convention followed by other ICANN Board Committees, which is more descriptive of the OEC's scope of responsibilities.

    ICANN organization briefed the OEC that there may be some confusion on the current name, especially by community members who are not so well-versed with the OEC scope; and "organizational" may also be confused with the way "organization" is now being used in reference to "ICANN organization". At this juncture, it may be worthwhile to consider changing its name to something clearer and more descriptive of the work that it is doing, such as, Board Committee on Bylaws-Mandated Reviews, Board Committee on Reviews, or Board Committee on Reviews and Effective Structures.

    In connection with this topic, some observations from the OEC include:

    • Previously, the OEC has had its name changed once, as the community was unfamiliar with the acronym used;

    • The OEC is a Board Committee that has changed its name more often than any other Board Committees; and

    • The OEC noted that among all the Board Committees, the community understands what the OEC does and is familiar with its work. Therefore, it may not be necessary for the OEC to change its name.

    Furthermore, ICANN organization highlighted that at the upcoming Board Workshop in September 2019, the BGC will conduct a session on the alignment of ICANN's 5-year strategic plan with the ICANN Board Committees' respective charters.

    The OEC agreed to continue its discussion on this topic, and to obtain further clarity and understanding from the BGC as to what is required in its updated charter.

  6. Review Update: Specific Reviews – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the progress of ongoing Specific Reviews, i.e., third review of ICANN Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3), second review of Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS (SSR2), Registration Directory Service (RDS/WHOIS2) Review; and the Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice (CCT) Review.

    In relation to the CCT Review, ICANN organization is following the actions by the Board on 1 March 2019. As it relates to the recommendations passed through to noted community groups, the OEC Chair observed that there is a gap as there is no specific process defined on how the reporting should be conducted; and it is crucial to have a process or mechanism to aggregate how the community groups considered the items coming out of the CCT-RT.

    In connection with the ATRT3, responding to a query from the OEC, ICANN organization reaffirmed that questions from the ATRT3 Review Team to the Board in relation to the implementation of ATRT2 recommendations should be directed to the Board Caucus Group on ATRT3 who will support the Board in responding to the questions.

    • Action Item:

      •  ICANN organization to discuss with the ATRT3 co-chairs to ensure that the proper process is adhered to in terms of requesting Board input.

  7. Review Update: Organizational Reviews – Due to time constraints, this agenda item was not discussed in-depth during the meeting.
  8. Any Other Business

    1. Update: IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) – Further to the OEC's earlier discussions on the IFR at its previous meetings, 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.  In making appointments to the IFR Team, the ccNSO Council ran into complications in identifying a non-ccNSO ccTLD representative.

      However, the ccNSO has recently identified a non-ccNSO ccTLD representative via its selection processes and is now able to commence its work. ICANN organization is working on the required next steps to begin the IFR Review Team's work (i.e., re-affirming the volunteer appointees as most of them were appointed almost a year ago; and requesting the ccNSO/GNSO Councils to appoint co-chairs as per the requirements of the Bylaws).

      Notwithstanding the above, ICANN organization noted that the process for the proposed Bylaws change to remedy the issue in meeting the composition requirements continues, as this complication may potentially recur in the future. In this regard, the public comment for the Fundamental Bylaws Amendment Proposal – IANA Naming Function Review closed on 26 July 2019. In general, there is community support to move forward with the fundamental Bylaws amendment. ICANN organization will circulate the staff report (due on 9 August 2019) to the OEC for its approval, prior to sending it to the Board. ICANN organization also highlighted that during the public comment proceeding, the Registry Stakeholder Group commented that they intend to propose another change to the fundamental Bylaws with the intent of removing the Registry Stakeholder Group's responsibility for assuring that each of its appointed representative is geographically diverse.

      The OEC agreed to continue its discussion on this topic once the current IFR is completed, to assess whether further changes would be required to the fundamental Bylaws. The OEC will also observe how the Registry Stakeholder Group's proposal might interact with the other ongoing diversity-related work by the CCWG-ACCT Work Stream 2.

    2. Process for Streamlining Organizational Reviews: A Proposal – A document was published for public comment from 30 April to 15 July 2019. ICANN organization is in the process of summarizing the responses received and will provide an update to the OEC.

      • Action Item:
        •  In light of the upcoming Board Workshop in September 2019, which will discuss the timing and streamlining of reviews, ICANN organization to organize a telephonic meeting for the OEC during the week of 26 August 2019 for the OEC to continue its discussion on this topic.

    3. Board Advice Received from the Second At-Large Summit (ATLAS II) in 2014 – ICANN organization briefed the OEC that in 2014, the Board received an advice from ATLAS II in relation to a periodic review of the multistakeholder model. The OEC had several discussions on this topic previously.

      • Action Item:
        •  ICANN organization to assist in preparing a proposed response to the At-Large, for the OEC's consideration and recommendation to the Board.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 01 October 2019

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