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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

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

Other Board Attendees: León Sánchez (Vice-Chair, ICANN Board) and Göran Marby (President and CEO)

Executive and Staff Attendees: Jean Baptiste-Deroulez (Associate Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Jennifer Bryce (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Steve Conte (Director, IROS Operations), Amy Creamer (Senior Project Manager, IROS Operations), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Negar Farzinnia (Director, Implementation Operations), Larisa Gurnick (VP, Review Support & Accountability), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Laena Rahim (Regional Counsel, APAC) and Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy)


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. Board Governance Committee (BGC) Proposed Sponsoring Structure Committees - ICANN organization provided a briefing on this topic. The BGC reviewed the existing Board Working Groups and Board Caucus Groups and suggested potential Sponsoring Committees based upon the purpose and scope of the Working Groups and Board Caucus Groups to streamline and standardize the way they are established and maintained. The framework adopted by the BGC calls for each Board Working Group and Caucus to be attached to a Board Sponsoring Committee that will oversee them. The BGC requested the OEC to review its suggested list and either approve it or suggest alternative sponsoring committees, if appropriate.

    The BGC suggested the OEC as the Sponsoring Committee for the following:

    • Board Caucus Group on the Third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3);
    • Board Caucus Group on Budgeting and Prioritization of Community Recommendations (BPCR);
    • Board Caucus Group on CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2);
    • Board Caucus Group on Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice (CCT) Review; and
    • Board Caucus Group on the Second Review of Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR2).

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org, some observations and feedback from the OEC include:

    • The OEC is agreeable with the BGC's suggestion for the OEC to be the Sponsoring Committee for the abovementioned Board Caucus Groups.
    • The OEC further noted that standardizing the framework for Board Working Groups and Board Caucus Groups is a positive way forward to provide a more formalized and streamlined structure to these groups.

      • Action Items:

        • As a next step, the OEC Chair to communicate the following with the BGC Chair: that (1) the OEC concurs with the BGC's proposal to be the Sponsoring Committee for the five Board Caucus Groups set out above; (2) the OEC intends to continue its practice of having at least one OEC member participate in the Board Caucus Groups that it sponsors; (3) the OEC plans to review the list of its sponsored Board Caucus Groups annually; and (4) the OEC is contemplating augmenting its charter to include caucus oversight methods, and to initiate that conversation with the BGC Chair; and
        • ICANN org to compile a list of OEC members participating in each of the Board Caucus Groups that it sponsors, for the OEC's ease of reference.
  3. Update on the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) – ICANN org provided a brief update on the status of the IFR. The IFR Initial Report was open for Public Comment from 8 October to 2 December 2020. The staff report of the Public Comment Proceeding is due on 22 December 2020.

    The IFR Team will carefully consider comments received and amend the IFR Initial Report as it deems appropriate and in the public interest before submitting its final report to the ICANN Board. The IFR Team expects to submit its final report to the ICANN Board by end January 2021. The final report will be published for Public Comments in advance of the Board's consideration.

    During the meeting, the OEC also reviewed and approved a draft letter of response from the ICANN Board to the IFR Team Co-chairs in relation to a recommendation within the IFR Initial Report requiring an amendment to the IANA Naming Function Contract.

  4. Review Update: Specific Reviews – ICANN organization provided an update on the progress and timelines of Specific Reviews, i.e., the third review of Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3) and the second review of the Security, Stability, and Resiliency (SSR2).

    • ATRT3: Per the ICANN Bylaws, the Board took action on the ATRT3 Final Recommendations within six months from the date that the ATRT3 submitted its Final Report to the Board (on 30 November 2020), and it has now moved into the implementation planning phase.
    • SSR2 Review: The SSR2 Draft Report closed for Public Comment on 20 March 2020. The SSR2 Review Team is working in sub-teams to analyze the comments received and amend the SSR2 Draft Report, as necessary. The SSR2 Review Team expects to complete its review in December 2020 (publication of the report may be delayed to January 2021 due to the holiday period).
  5. Review Update: 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 Nominating Committee (NomCom2) Review, the second Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Review, the second Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2) Review, and planning for the third Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO3) Review.

    • ccNSO2 Review: The ccNSO Review Working Party submitted its Feasibility and Initial Implementation Plan on 30 June 2020. The OEC will follow up with a letter to the ccNSO to request clarification and additional information to help inform the OEC of its assessment prior to making a recommendation to the Board.
    • NomCom2 Review: The NomCom2 Review Implementation Working Group (RIWG) submitted its first progress report on 30 June 2020. The NomCom RIWG is currently drafting an introductory note on proposals for Bylaws updates, as indicated in the detailed implementation plan, and will submit the note to the OEC by end December 2020.
    • SSAC2 and RSSAC2: The SSAC2 Review Work Group and the RSSAC2 Review Work Group will submit their respective progress reports to the OEC by end December 2020.

      • Action Item:

        • ICANN org to provide a response to a query from the OEC during its meeting on 15 September 2020 in relation to the RSSAC Review (on the status of recommendations which have not yet been implemented).
    • GNSO3 Review: During the OEC meeting held on 15 September 2020, ICANN org provided a brief update on the preparation involved and the estimated timeline for the GNSO3 Review in light of the following considerations:
      • 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 ICANN Board sent a letter to the GNSO Council, GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies on 12 October 2020 regarding the timing of the GNSO3 Review, suggesting a meeting in order to hear their views on the scheduling of the GNSO3 Review. The Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) responded on 30 November 2020, proposing that initial discussions around the particular aspects of the scope of the ATRT3 holistic review relevant to the GNSO3 Review be the focus of the meeting of the CSG and OEC in December. The OEC is currently awaiting a response from the GNSO Council and other Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies.

      • Action Item:

        • Given the recent Board action on the ATRT3 recommendations, the OEC Chair to follow up with the CSG, to ascertain whether the CSG would still like to proceed with an informal discussion, while waiting for the other groups within the GNSO to submit their input, if any.
  6. Upcoming OEC Activities – ICANN org provided a brief update on some of the upcoming OEC activities. In due course, ICANN org will provide a more comprehensive update in relation to following projects and upcoming milestones:

    • semi-annual OEC Activities Report for July to December 2020 - due in January 2021;
    • semi-annual implementation progress updates - due in December 2020 for review/consideration by the OEC in January 2021 (NomCom Review, SSAC2 Review, RSSAC2 Review and At-Large Review);
    • ccNSO Review Board action based on recommendation from the OEC (date pending conclusion of exchange between the OEC and the ccNSO);
    • review of the OEC Charter (last revision was in March 2019); and
    • ATRT3 Implementation Planning (the OEC's contribution to the process of ATRT3 implementation).
  7. 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.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 20 January 2021

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."