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Minutes | Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Avri Doria – Chair, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra, Mandla Msimang and Matthew Shears

Other Board Member Attendee: Leon Sanchez

OEC Apologies: Becky Burr and Ihab Osman

Executive and Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett, Franco Carrasco, James Caulfield, Amy Creamer, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Wendy Profit and Laena Rahim


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

The Meeting was called to order at 17:00 UTC.

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

  2. Introduction to the work of the OEC and Reviews – For the benefit of the newly-appointed members of the OEC, ICANN organization provided a comprehensive overview of the work and responsibilities of the OEC under its charter. ICANN org elaborated on the various areas of responsibility and oversight of the OEC in relation to Organizational and Specific Reviews; and provided an in-depth explanation on the review processes (e.g. phases, duration and sequencing of Organizational and Specific Reviews).

    The OEC Chair commented that the OEC also interacts and coordinates with the Board Caucus Groups in relation to processes and procedures applicable to the conduct of Reviews, as well as other issues as needed or identified by the respective Board Caucus Groups. Further, given the existing concerns in connection with the duration and sequencing of reviews, different workstreams are currently underway to address different issues.

    ICANN org presented the OEC Work Plan, which provides a quarterly view of activities relating to the OEC's work – it is a forward-looking tool for the OEC to chart and monitor its upcoming work, reflecting the current year (2019) and future years through 2021.

  3. Update on the Streamlining of Reviews and Discussion on Next Steps

    1. Board Caucus on Budgeting and Prioritization of Community Recommendations (BPCR) - ICANN org provided an update on how the timing and streamlining reviews work intersects with the work of the BPCR, which aims to address the issue of having a large number of community recommendations arising from different processes and the need for those recommendations to be more clearly defined and focused and prioritized, to enable them to be implemented in a feasible manner. The OEC agreed to continue its discussion on this topic.

    2. Streamlining of Reviews – A draft proposal on the "Timing and Streamlining of Reviews" was prepared by ICANN org, with input from the OEC, prior to the Board Workshop in September 2019, setting out the issues which could be subject to streamlining reviews (i.e., scope, duration and cadence, skills of those conducting reviews, role of the ICANN Board, ICANN org and the community) as well as questioning whether it might be appropriate to change the focus of reviews towards issuance of findings as opposed to the focus on recommendations. The OEC will discuss and consider how to share the draft proposal with the third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3) and the broader community.

    3. ATRT3 Work Progress in relation to Reviews – The ATRT3 is finalizing its draft report for public comment (which is scheduled to be published on 16 December 2019). The report drafted by the ATRT3 contains key findings and draft suggestions and recommendations.

      The ATRT3 has not reached consensus on its suggestions and recommendations and will be seeking input from the community on the proposals included in the draft report. Specifically, the ATRT3 highlights the following topics as particularly critical:

      • Specific and Organizational Reviews; and
      • Prioritization of activities, policies and recommendations.

      The OEC agreed that the draft suggestions and recommendations proposed by the ATRT3 raise many questions in relation to the review processes in a positive way. At this juncture, the ATRT3 aims to provide more clarity and will continue its work to provide further details on their proposals.

      Given the time pressure that the ATRT3 is under (the ATRT3 expects to submit its final report to the Board in March 2020), the OEC would benefit from having discussions with the ATRT3 and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group after the draft report has been published for public comment, to share their feedback and obtain clarification on specific issues. This would enable the OEC to have a clearer understanding of specific topics (e.g. streamlining issues, etc.).

      Responding to a query from the OEC on the status of the relationship and interaction between the OEC and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group, ICANN org clarified that to date, the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group has not had any interaction with the OEC in relation to specific proposals and recommendations before bringing them to the Board for its consideration. While there is no "formal" process for the interaction between the OEC and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group, the OEC is cognizant that the ATRT3 is working on the streamlining efforts, and ICANN org will provide support to the OEC to conduct meetings, to discuss specific issues with the ATRT3 and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group. The OEC Chair reiterated that it would be useful for the OEC to have an opportunity to review and comment on specific issues before they are being escalated to the Board.

      The OEC will continue its discussion on this topic, and to engage with the ATRT3 to discuss the proposed recommendation related to the streamlining of reviews. As the Board Liaison to the ATRT3, Leon Sanchez commented that it would be beneficial for him to receive feedback and insight from the OEC on how the work of the ATRT3 intersects with the OEC's streamlining work.

      • Action Item:

        • ICANN organization to organize a suitable time for the OEC and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group to meet with the ATRT3 in early January 2020.
  4. Update on the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) – ICANN org provided a brief overview of the IFR. The IFR Team consists of 12 voting members and three liaisons (one each from the Customer Standing Committee, ICANN and the PTI). The IFR Team has requested for a Board Liaison to the IFR Team, although this is not stipulated by the bylaws. The OEC Chair raised the option of appointing two Board Liaisons to the IFR Team.

    The OEC concluded its discussion on this topic and agreed to make a request to the Board Governance Committee (BGC) for the appointment of a Board Liaison(s) to the IFR.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN org will prepare the necessary resolution for the OEC's consideration and recommendation to the ICANN Board to formally appoint an ICANN staff member to serve as a point of contact to facilitate the communication between the IFR Team and ICANN. .
      • At a future OEC meeting, the OEC to discuss the cadence for the OEC to receive regular updates from ICANN organization on the status of the IFR.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 14 February 2020

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."