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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

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

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

Executive and Staff Attendees: Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Negar Farzinnia, Larisa Gurnick, Lars Hoffmann, Wendy Profit, Laena Rahim, Lisa Saulino 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 Preliminary Report – The OEC approved the minutes of its 12 May 2020 meeting.
  3. Discussion on Status of Specific Reviews - ICANN organization provided a brief update on the progress of Specific Reviews, i.e., the third review of ICANN Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3), the second review of the Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS (SSR2), the second Registration Directory Service Review (RDS-WHOIS2) and the Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice Review (CCT):

    • ATRT3: The ATRT3 delivered its Final Report to the Board on 1 June 2020. The Final Report will be published for Public Comment ahead of the Board's consideration. Given that some of the recommendations have changed quite significantly from the version of the recommendations that was published for Public Comment, three minority statements were submitted by four ATRT3 members. The minority statements are annexed to the Final Report and included in the overall representation of the consensus decision in each of the recommendation.

      At this juncture, ICANN org is formulating a workplan to enable the Board to take action on the ATRT3 final recommendations within six months from the date that the ATRT3 submitted its Final Report to the Board (by no later than 1 December 2020, as per the ICANN Bylaws). ICANN org will conduct a feasibility analysis of the recommendations to provide the relevant information to the Board. ICANN org also anticipates conducting regular meetings with the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group to keep them apprised of ICANN org's findings and assessment; which, in turn, would enable the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group to formulate proposed actions to be discussed with the Board. In line with best practices established for the previous reviews, the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group and/or the Board will engage with the implementation shepherds of the ATRT3 to obtain further clarification and/or provide update on specific issues.

      The OEC commented that, going forward, given the overlap between the work of the OEC and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group, it is critical for both groups to understand the planning and the timeline involved leading up to the deadline of 1 December 2020; and reiterated the importance of the OEC working transparently and collaboratively with the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group and the ATRT3 implementation shepherds.

    • 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) and the comments received expressed a great diversity in views with no clear alignment. The SSR2 Review Team is in the midst of analyzing the comments received and amending the Draft Report, as necessary. The SSR2 Review Team expects to complete its review in October 2020, a change from the previously planned completion date of 30 June 2020.
    • RDS/WHOIS2 Review: The RDS-WHOIS2 Review Team submitted its Final Report to the Board on 3 September 2019 and the Board took action on the final recommendations on 25 February 2020. Recommendations that have no dependencies with ongoing community work or do not require significant resources/budget are in the process of implementation. Other recommendations which require significant resources and budget will be included in the operational planning and budgeting processes, allowing for appropriate community consideration and prioritization of planned work, as applicable.

      In the current implementation phase of the RDS/WHOIS2 Review, ICANN org provides regular implementation status updates to the OEC, the RDS/WHOIS2 Board Caucus Group and the Board.

    • CCT Review: In relation to the CCT Review, ICANN org is implementing several accepted recommendations which can be implemented with existing resources. While some recommendations require no significant incremental costs and resources, recommendations that do require additional budget will be factored into the operational planning and budgeting processes to allow appropriate community consideration and prioritization of planned work, as applicable. ICANN org is working closely with the CCT Board Caucus Group on several pending recommendations to finalize its analyses and prepare for Board action. Based on the work that has been done to date, the Board is expected to make a decision on some of these recommendations in the first quarter of FY21. 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.

      • Action Item:

        • In relation to the ATRT3, ICANN org to formulate a feasible timeline leading up to Board action on the ATRT3 Final Report by 1 December 2020, for the OEC's ease of reference.
  4. Discussion on Status of Organizational Reviews - ICANN org provided a brief update on the progress of Organizational Reviews i.e., the second Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO2) Review, the second Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Review, the second Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2) Review, the second Nominating Committee (NomCom2) Review, and the second At-Large Review.

    • ccNSO2 Review (Feasibility Phase): The ccNSO2 Review Final Report was published on 29 August 2019. The ccNSO anticipates that its Feasibility Assessment and Initial Implementation Plan will be ready for submission to the OEC by July 2020.
    • SSAC2, RSSAC2 and NomCom2 Reviews (Implementation Phase): The SSAC2 Review Work Group, the RSSAC2 Review Work Group and the NomCom2 Review Implementation Working Group are continuing with their implementation work; and their respective progress reports are due on 30 June 2020.
    • At-Large Review (concluding Implementation Phase): The At-Large Review Implementation Working Group is concluding its implementation work; with its final implementation report due on 30 June 2020.
  5. Discussion on Streamlining of Reviews: A Comparative Analysis – ICANN org 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.

    Pursuant to a request from the OEC at its April 2020 meeting, ICANN org finalized a comparative analysis of problems previously identified by the Board and/or the community in relation to the streamlining of Organizational and Specific Reviews; and the extent to which the ATRT3 Draft Final Report addresses those identified problems. The comparative analysis will help inform the OEC's and the Board's discussions and next steps on streamlining of reviews, in alignment with the Board's consideration of the final ATRT3 recommendations.

    ICANN org's comparative analysis identified 22 problem statements related to the current processes guiding Organizational and Specific Reviews. The ATRT3 addresses six of these problems outright; and potentially two more depending on interpretation and elaboration once the recommendations are implemented. Therefore, at least 14 existing problems remain unaddressed.

    Upon being briefed by the ICANN org on the content of the comparative analysis, some observations and feedback from the OEC include:

    • The comparative analysis serves as a useful guiding document highlighting the problems that have been identified in relation to Organizational and Specific Reviews; encapsulating the work that has been done thus far to address those issues by the ATRT3, the community, the OEC and the ICANN org.
    • Problems that have been identified but not addressed by the ATRT3 may be addressed through other processes e.g., via the Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN's Multistakeholder Model, and Enhancing the Effectiveness of Review Recommendations and Their Implementation initiatives.

      • Action Item:

        • For the OEC's ease of reference, ICANN org to formulate a comprehensive table to track the 22 problems; to indicate how each issue is being addressed, setting out unaddressed issues, and tailoring some of the various ongoing initiatives to address specific gaps, etc.
  6. Review of OEC Open Action Items and Watched Action Items – ICANN org circulated the OEC's open action items list via e-mail, prior to the OEC meeting. The OEC noted that some of the open action items will be completed during the discussion at the current meeting, there are several action items which will be followed up in time for the next OEC meeting; and there are also other action items which will require more time to complete. The OEC also reviewed and revised the OEC's "Watched Action Items" list to reflect items which should remain on the list. Items on the list are not for current action, but deserve periodic examination or discussion by the OEC.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 02 July 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."