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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

Invited Board Attendees from Board Caucus on Accountability and Transparency Review 3 (ATRT3): Maarten Botterman, Manal Ismail and León Sánchez

Invited Board Attendees from Board Caucus on Budgeting and Prioritization of Community Recommendations (BPCR): Ron da Silva and Chris Disspain

Executive and Staff Attendees: Jean- Baptiste Deroulez (Associate Project Manager, Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Amy Creamer (Senior Project Manager, GDD Strategic Initiatives), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Negar Farzinnia (Director, Implementation Operations), Larisa Gurnick (VP, Review Operations & Accountability), Laena Rahim (Regional Counsel, APAC), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Specialist), Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy) and Mary Wong (VP, Strategic Community Operations, Planning & Engagement)


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. Briefing on the Preparation for the next GNSO Review – The next (third) cycle of Organizational Reviews is due to begin with the third review of the General Names Supporting Organization (GNSO3) in June 2021, based on the current Bylaws mandate and considering the Board accepted the GNSO2's final implementation plan in January 2019.

    ICANN organization provided a brief overview of the preparation involved and the estimated timeline for the GNSO3 Review, within the context of the following topics:

    • The implications of the ATRT3's suggestion (in its transmittal letter to the Board) to implement a moratorium on launching any new Organizational and Specific Reviews until the Board has made its decision on the ATRT3's recommendation on reviews;
    • To determine an appropriate course of action to make the GNSO aware of the timing and preparation efforts involved for the next GNSO Review; and
    • To discuss the potential timing considerations and dependencies with Board action on the ATRT3 recommendation on reviews.

    The OEC, BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group collectively agreed that the next step would be for the OEC to consult the GNSO Council and the leadership of GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies to obtain their preliminary view on the timing for the next GNSO review. The view on the timing of the next GNSO review may be informed by the ATRT3's suggestion to implement a moratorium on launching any new Organizational and Specific Reviews until Board action on the ATRT3 recommendation on reviews, the upcoming Board action on the ATRT3 recommendations, as well as the GNSO's work plans.

    • Action Item:

      • ICANN org to assist the OEC to initiate a dialogue with the GNSO Council and to organize a joint meeting for the OEC, the GNSO Council and the Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies leadership in November 2020 to discuss the timing of the next GNSO Review, given ATRT3 recommendations and suggested moratorium on starting new reviews until the Board takes action on ATRT3 recommendations.

  3. Approval of Preliminary Report – The OEC approved the minutes of its 11 August 2020 meeting.
  4. Discussion on the Streamlining of Reviews and Prioritization of Recommendations – The OEC invited the BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group to join the meeting in order to continue the ongoing dialogue on the significant dependencies and implications for the work on streamlining of reviews and prioritization and resourcing of recommendations. ICANN org recapped the key takeaways from the discussion which took place during the joint meeting of the OEC and the BPCR on 25 August 2020:

    • The OEC and BPCR acknowledged the overlap between the work of the OEC, the BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group.
    • The BPCR has focused on proposals for ways to make recommendations more meaningful, effective, and actionable, but had not moved into the budgeting and prioritization aspect. This is addressed by ATRT3 recommendation on prioritization of community recommendations.
    • There is an opportunity to revamp the reviews to help achieve overall objective of process improvement – review teams to focus on "what" should change and "why"; Board to decide what should happen and why; ICANN org to define how to implement.
    • Board consideration of ATRT3 recommendations to fit into the broader consideration of issues prevalent to the long-term sustainability of reviews as an accountability mechanism within the bylaws and aligned with the community responsibilities.

    The ATRT3 Board Caucus Group and the ATRT3 Implementation Shepherds had a meeting on 8 September 2020 to discuss various questions which were identified by the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group. As an outcome of the meeting, ICANN org is compiling a list of pertinent documentation (which will be confirmed by the ATRT3 Implementation Shepherds before being circulated to the ATRT3 Board Caucus), in response to the Board's request for publicly available documentation on how the ATRT3 addressed public comments and review team members' concerns that led to minority statements. The OEC, BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group emphasized the importance of review teams' having clear communication that is fully accountable and transparent.

    As an action item from the joint meeting of the OEC and the BPCR on 25 August 2020, ICANN org presented a Draft Community Engagement Plan which is intended to inform the various communication and engagement activities that touch on streamlining of reviews, prioritization and planning for community recommendations, and Board action on ATRT3 recommendations, among other related work areas. As part of the Draft Community Engagement Plan, messaging on key issues is being developed as part of the standard process in preparation for ICANN69, scorecards will be developed as appropriate, a pre-ICANN69 session on the status of reviews is scheduled on 6 October 2020, and a webinar is targeted for November 2020 on the various topics of streamlining, prioritization of work, and the upcoming ATRT3 Board action.

    The OEC, the BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group engaged in an in-depth discussion on the topic of the proposal for Planning and Prioritization Framework pilot, which was discussed at the previous joint meeting between the OEC and the BPCR. The ATRT3 Final Report recommended some high-level guidance for ICANN org in relation to the creation of a community-led entity tasked with operating a prioritization process for recommendations made by review teams. During the previous joint meeting between the OEC and the BPCR, the OEC and the BPCR agreed that it would be worthwhile and feasible to apply the ATRT3's recommendation as a pilot program to potentially address some of the issues identified in relation to budgeting and prioritization of recommendations, to start addressing the problems which have been identified and to experiment with the ATRT3's recommendation on the creation of a community-led entity. This was agreed upon as a way forward, and as part of the process of reviewing the ATRT3 recommendations to help inform Board consideration and action.

    ICANN org clarified that the objective of a pilot program is to simultaneously leverage the annual planning process, and to use the platform to display and propose an approach to prioritization and planning. However, the challenge faced by ICANN org is the short timeframe between now and the date of publication of the ICANN annual planning documents. Thus, it would be unfeasible at this juncture to create an adequate process to engage the community ahead of the publication of the FY22 documents. In due course, as part of the envisioned pilot program, ICANN org will finalize a methodology for prioritization for the OEC and BPCR's consideration, as a longer-term framework that would be used to guide prioritization going forward.

    The OEC, the BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group will engage in further discussions on this topic.

    • Action Item:

      • Present Proposal for Planning and Prioritization Framework pilot for OEC/BPCR consideration when available.

  5. Update on the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) – ICANN org provided a brief update on the status of the IFR. The IFR team has drafted their recommendations and Initial Report, which will lead to the opening of a public comment proceeding on the draft report and recommendations.
  6. Review Update: Specific Reviews – ICANN org provided a brief update on the progress of Specific Reviews, i.e., the third review of Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3), the second review of Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS (SSR2), 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 was published for Public Comment to gather community input, to inform Board action on the ATRT3's Final Recommendations. The ATRT3 Board Caucus Group has engaged with the ATRT3 Implementation Shepherds to clarify aspects of the ATRT3 work. Per ICANN Bylaws, the Board has to take action on the ATRT3 Final Recommendations within six months from the date that the ATRT3 Review Team submitted its Final Report to the Board (by no later than 1 December 2020, as per the ICANN 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). The SSR2 Review Team is in the midst of analyzing the comments received and amending the Draft Report, as necessary. The SSR2 Review Team will conduct a webinar during prep week for ICANN69, and it expects to complete its review in October 2020.
    • RDS-WHOIS2 Review: 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. Recommendations requiring significant resources and budget will be included in operational planning and budgeting processes, allowing for appropriate community consideration and prioritization of planned work, as applicable.
    • CCT Review: The blog providing an update on the status of all CCT Recommendations was approved by the Board and published at: https://www.icann.org/news/blog/an-update-on-the-competition-consumer-trust-and-consumer-choice-cct-review. ICANN org and the CCT Board Caucus Group held an informational call with the Board on 27 August 2020 to present the CCT Board Caucus Group's recommended actions for 11 of the 17 pending recommendations, which are ready for Board consideration. Board action is expected to take place before the end of September 2020. ICANN org will continue to track recommendations that have been passed through to other parts of the community, to the extent information becomes available.
  7. Review Update: Organizational Reviews – ICANN org provided a brief update on the progress of Organizational Reviews, i.e., the second At-Large (At-Large2) Review, the second Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO2 Review), the second Nominating Committee (NomCom2) Review, the second Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Review and the second Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2) Review.

    • At-Large2 Review: At-Large2 Review has been completed. Board accepted the final implementation report of the At-Large2 Review Recommendations Final Report, signifying the conclusion of the At-Large2 Review. ALAC to provide the OEC with a written or oral progress update on the two outstanding implementation steps for two recommendations by 31 December 2020.
    • ccNSO Review: The ccNSO Review Working Party submitted its Feasibility and Initial Implementation Plan on 30 June 2020. The OEC is in the process of following up with the ccNSO to inform the OEC of its assessment prior to making a recommendation to the Board.
    • SSAC2, RSSAC2 and NomCom2 Reviews (First Implementation Progress Reports): The SSAC2 Review Work Group, the RSSAC2 Review Work Group and the NomCom2 Review Implementation Working Group submitted their respective progress reports on 30 June 2020.

      • Action Item:

        • In relation to the RSSAC2 Review, ICANN org will provide further details to the OEC, BPCR and ATRT3 Board Caucus Group on the status of recommendations which have not yet been implemented.
  8. Review of Open Action Items and Watched Action Items – 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.

    • Action Item:

      • The "Open Action Items" list will be amended to include a new item – the compilation of a list of pending Bylaws changes for OEC tracking of appropriate items, and broader identification of which Board committee or Caucus is responsible for shepherding the amendment (to be developed by ICANN org).

  9. Any Other Business

    • Future joint meetings – The OEC, the BPCR and the ATRT3 Board Caucus Group will continue to organize joint meetings on an ongoing basis, to the extent that their work is intertwined. The OEC will discuss its specific OEC work separately.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 3 November 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."