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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Avri Doria – Chair, Becky Burr, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra, Ihab Osman and Matthew Shears

OEC Apologies: Mandla Msimang

Other Board Member Attendee: León Sánchez (Vice-Chair, ICANN Board)

Executive and Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett, Michelle Bright, Franco Carrasco, Steve Conte, Amy Creamer, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Vinciane Koenigsfeld, 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. Reviews Update:

    1. 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), and the Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice (CCT) Review:

      • ATRT3: The ATRT3 Review Team has informed the Board that it will deliver the Final Report in May 2020, due to the cancellation of their planned face-to-face meeting at ICANN67. Thereafter, the Board will acknowledge receipt of the Final Report and direct ICANN organization to post it for public comment, in accordance with the Bylaws.
      • SSR2 Review: The SSR2 Draft Report closed for public comment on 20 March 2020. Eighteen (18) public comments were received (which contain more than 300 substantive individual comments). At this juncture, the SSR2 Review Team is in the midst of analyzing the comments received and amending the Draft Report, as necessary. Their planned completion date of June 2020 may be impacted, depending on the amount of work involved to address the public comments.
      • CCT Review: In relation to the CCT Review, the Board is expected to take action in June 2020 on a set of pending recommendations for which the analysis/information is available. ICANN organization is in the midst of working on addressing the information which the Board has requested. In line with Board expectations, engagement sessions with the CCT Implementation Shepherds will take place at appropriate junctions to ensure the Shepherds are apprised of work undertaken. It is anticipated that the Chairman of the Board will post a blog to inform the community of the progress made to date on the CCT Recommendations.
    2. Organizational Reviews – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the status of Organizational Reviews:

      • ccNSO2 Review: The Final Report of the Second Review of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO2) was published on 29 August 2019 and the ccNSO is drafting its Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan. The ccNSO will submit its Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan in due course for OEC consideration.
      • SSAC2 Review and RSSAC2 Review: Following Board action in March 2020 on both the Security and Stability Advisory Committee's (SSAC) and the Root Server System Advisory Committee's (RSSAC) detailed implementation plans, both the SSAC and the RSSAC will continue to implement the Board-approved recommendations; and both have confirmed that they will submit their respective implementation progress reports by 30 June 2020.
      • Nominating Committee Review: Following Board action on the detailed implementation plan in November 2019, the Nominating Committee Review Implementation Working Group meets weekly to oversee the implementation; and the first implementation progress report will be submitted to the Board by 30 June 2020.
      • At-Large Review: The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) indicated that it is nearing the end of implementation and plans to submit its final implementation report by 30 June 2020.
  3. Discussion on Streamlining of Reviews: Potential Next Steps – ICANN organization provided an update on this topic; recapping the issues surrounding ICANN's current review configuration and summarizing the state of discussion of the ATRT3's proposal with regards to streamlining of reviews. ICANN organization restated the issues which could be subject to streamlining of reviews and provided a refresher on the Board's position on the matter, which was submitted by the Board to the ATRT3 as part of the public comment proceeding on the Draft Report. The main issues for the Board were scope of reviews, duration and cadence, operational methods, and the roles and responsibility of ICANN Board, ICANN organization and the community.

    Upon being briefed by ICANN organization, some observations and feedback from the OEC included:

    • The OEC noted that it is timely to make significant progress on this topic, given the robust discussion surrounding it over the last several years.
    • The OEC further noted that an additional consideration is the current virtual working environment due to the COVID-19 situation, which would present challenges with regard to timing.

    In relation to the current ATRT3's streamlining proposal, it is not clear currently how it reflects the public comments received nor explain how the recommendations would effectively address identified problems with reviews. The OEC discussed the topic in-depth and agreed as follows:

    • Given that the ATRT3 has refined and improved the reviews-related recommendations pursuant to comments received from the community, the OEC agreed that it would be beneficial for ICANN organization to formulate a comparative analysis between community-supported problem statements, solutions and relevant ATRT3 recommendations; and
    • Prior to finalizing their report, the ATRT3 to brief the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group and the OEC on the status of ATRT3 recommendations, with specific emphasis on the streamlining of reviews proposal.
    • Action Items:

      • ICANN organization to prepare a comparative analysis between community-supported problem statements, solutions and relevant ATRT3 recommendations; and
      • ICANN organization to organize a joint call between the OEC, the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group and the ATRT3 to enable the ATRT3 to present their recommendations (specifically on ATRT3's streamlining proposal), as they work towards submitting their Final Report to the Board.
  4. Update on the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) – ICANN organization provided a brief update on the status of the IFR. The IFR team is continuing with their regular meetings. IFR team members have self-selected particular sections of the IANA Naming Functions Contract to research and determine if ICANN and PTI are in compliance (research to be completed by end April 2020). Two interviews with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have been set up for the team during April: (1) Finance regarding the PTI Budget process; and (2) the CSC interview. ICANN organization further noted that the CSC Liaison, is temporarily unable to participate in the IFR work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as he works in the medical field.

  5. Confirmation of Action Taken via E-mail:

    • Approval of 19 February 2020 Preliminary Report.
  6. Any Other Business

    • Succession Planning for the OEC – For purposes of contingency planning and pursuant to the Chairman of the Board's request that all ICANN Board Committees consider succession planning for their committees.

      The OEC agreed that it would be valuable to have a vice-chair from a business continuity perspective and is supportive of taking the next steps to complete this process.

      • Action Item:

        • The OEC Chair to communicate with the Chair of the Board Governance Committee (BGC) on contingency planning and to ensure that the OEC is aligned with the BGC's approach and processes.
    • Review of OEC Action Items – ICANN organization to circulate the list of the OEC's action items via e-mail, prior to the next OEC meeting.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 07 May 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."