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

Executive and Staff Attendees: Jean-Baptiste Deroulez (Associate Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Jennifer Bryce (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), 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), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Laena Rahim (Regional Counsel, APAC), Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy) and Mary Wong (VP, Strategic Community Operations, Planning and Engagement)


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. Second Organizational Review of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee ("SSAC2") Review Final Implementation Report – ICANN organization briefed the OEC on the status and outcome of the Final Implementation Report. The SSAC2 Review Working Party (SSAC2 RWP) submitted its Final Implementation Report on 3 December 2020. The Final Implementation Report outlines the completion or projected completion of the work related to implementation of the recommendations arising out of the SSAC2 Review. The Final Implementation Report indicates that there are three recommendations (18, 24 and 25) which have limited components that are not yet fully implemented; and the remaining steps of the SSAC's implementation work have dependencies beyond the control of the SSAC.

    ICANN org noted that approximately half of the recommendations resulted in amendments to the SSAC Operational Procedures. These amendments demonstrate that the impact of the implementation of these recommendations will continue on as part of the ongoing processes, supporting the continuous improvement orientation of the SSAC as they operationalize and continue to follow the modified procedures on a go-forward basis.

    ICANN org further noted that the SSAC found the SSAC2 Review process to be a useful and beneficial experience, and it is supportive of the continuous improvement efforts.

    The OEC concluded its discussion on this topic. The OEC approved the recommendation to the Board that it is appropriate for the Board to accept the SSAC2 Final Implementation Report.

    • Action Item:

      • The OEC to forward its recommendation to the Board for its consideration.
  3. OEC Work Plan (2020-2022) Review – ICANN org provided a comprehensive update on the OEC Work Plan for 2020-2022, highlighting the relevant projects and upcoming milestones.

    In relation to the "Holistic Review Pilot" and the "Continuous Improvement Program Pilot" activities set out in the OEC Work Plan, the OEC commented on the importance of providing clarity to the community in terms of the impact of the ATRT3 recommendations on each of these activities.

  4. Review Update: Specific Reviews – ICANN organization provided an update on the progress of the second review of the Security, Stability, and Resiliency (SSR2). The SSR2 Review Team (RT) submitted its Final Report to the Board on 25 January 2021. The Final Report is open for Public Comment from 28 January to 9 March 2021 to inform Board action on SSR2 Review Team's final recommendations. Per the Bylaws, the Board shall consider SSR2 RT's Final Report within 6 months of receipt, by 25 July 2021. The SSR2 RT intends to host a webinar in February 2020 to brief the community on its final recommendations.

    The SSR2 Review Final Report contains 63 full consensus recommendations in the following areas:

    • SSR1 implementation and intended effects;
    • Key stability issues within ICANN;
    • Contracts, compliance and transparency around DNS abuse; and
    • Additional SSR-related concerns regarding the global DNS.

    ICANN org noted that the SSR2 RT reviewed and examined all the comments received (over a hundred public comments), but did not incorporate much of the input received from the Board, ICANN org and the community.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN org to provide a briefing to the Board on the status and outcome of the SSR2 Final Report and recommendations at the earliest opportunity;
      • ICANN org to undertake a feasibility assessment of the SSR2 recommendations; and
      • As part of the community engagement on the SSR2 final recommendations, ICANN org to facilitate regular dialogues between the OEC, the SSR2 Board Caucus Group and the Board.
  5. Review Update: Organizational Reviews – ICANN org provided a brief update on the progress of Organizational Reviews, including planning for the third Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO3) Review; the second Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO2) Review); the second Nominating Committee (NomCom2) Review; and the second Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC2) Review.

    • GNSO3 Review (Pre-planning Phase): 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 ATRT3 recommendations.

      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 responses generally supported the idea that the GNSO3 Review should be deferred given the ARTR3 recommendation for a new Holistic Review and evolving Organizational Reviews into a Continuous Improvement Program. The Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) requested a meeting with the OEC. While the meeting planning was underway for January 2021, the CSG requested that the meeting be postponed until after ICANN70.

    • ccNSO2 Review (Preparation for Board consideration of the Final Report): The ccNSO Review Working Party submitted its Feasibility and Initial Implementation Plan on 30 June 2020. On 11 August 2020, the independent examiner presented their findings and recommendations set out in the Final Report; and the ccNSO Review Working Party presented their Feasibility and Initial Implementation Plan to the OEC. The OEC followed up with a letter to the ccNSO in December 2020 to request clarification and additional information to help inform the OEC of its assessment prior to making a recommendation to the Board. The ccNSO is expected to provide an update to the OEC within the next several weeks.
    • NomCom2 Review (Implementation Phase): The NomCom2 Review Implementation Working Group (RIWG) submitted its second progress report to the OEC in December 2020, which provides an update on the implementation of the 27 recommendations and highlight the main areas of focus and activity during the past 6 months (proposed changes to the ICANN Bylaws and a proposed charter for the NomCom Standing Committee). ICANN org is preparing an analysis report for the OEC's consideration, highlighting some of the gaps observed and potential ways that those could be addressed.
    • RSSAC2 Review (Implementation Phase): The RSSAC2 Review Work Group submitted its progress report in December 2020. Out of a total of six recommendations, two have been implemented; another two are in progress; and the remaining two have not yet started (dependent on the progress of the Root Server System Governance Working Group).

      • Action Items:

        • In relation to the GNSO3 Review, ICANN org to provide further details to the OEC, setting out the steps required to document a potential deferral of the GNSO3 Review.
        • For the GNSO3 Review, the OEC will engage in discussions with the GNSO stakeholders to clarify the future of the GNSO reviews, as impacted by the Board-approved ATRT3 recommendations, starting with the planned meeting between the CSG and the OEC to be held after ICANN70.
        • In relation to the RSSAC2 Review (on the status of recommendations which have not yet been implemented), ICANN org to ascertain whether the implementation of the two recommendations is dependent on the progress of the Root Server System Governance Working Group.
  6. Update on the Implementation of Reviews – ICANN org provided a brief update on the progress of implementation of the following reviews:

    • Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice Review (CCT): 17 recommendations have been approved by the Board. Five have been implemented in full or in part. Three recommendations have dependencies on the outcome and/or completion of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group as well as the ongoing DNS abuse discussions. For the remaining accepted recommendations, ICANN org has initiated the implementation planning phase. For the six pending recommendations, two of them have dependencies on the ongoing community discussions on DNS abuse. The remaining four pending recommendations are in progress to bring those items to decision by the Board. The 14 pass-through recommendations are also in progress, and ICANN org will continue to track recommendations that have been passed through to other parts of the community, to the extent information becomes available.
    • Registration Directory Service Review (RDS-WHOIS2): 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. Out of 15 accepted recommendations, four recommendations have been implemented in full or in part; and two recommendations have dependencies (on the outcome of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2, next ATRT Review and the subsequent RDS-WHOIS2 Review). The one pass-through recommendation is also in progress, and ICANN org will continue to track this recommendation that has been passed through to other parts of the community, to the extent information becomes available.
    • Third Review of the Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3): ICANN org is initiating the implementation planning phase, which will be aligned with the project management framework that has been introduced across ICANN org, which allows for effective resource allocation throughout various phases of the project and better management of activities.
  7. Update on the Status of Budgeting and Prioritization of Community Recommendations Framework – ICANN org is in the process of developing a proposal for a Planning and Prioritization Framework, followed by a pilot phase, to potentially address some of the issues identified in the ATRT3 Final Report in relation to budgeting and prioritization of recommendations made by review teams. The draft proposal will be shared with the OEC/BPCR for their feedback and input, when available; and ICANN org will also work towards ensuring that there is an adequate engagement process with the community to obtain feedback and input on the draft proposal. Currently, ICANN org is at the phase of concept design and project planning, with the objective of potentially establishing a process to include the reporting of ongoing and readily available status and information about reviews-related work. ICANN org anticipates that a draft proposal of the concept design and prioritization methods will be ready by end-March/mid-April 2021. The OEC reiterated the importance of managing the community's expectations when formulating a budgeting and prioritization mechanism.

    ICANN org updated the OEC that the Planning and Implementation Operations departments are examining their resourcing needs to increase capacity for its planning and implementation work.

  8. 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 IFR Team carefully considered the comments received and the Final Report contains no changes from the Initial Report. The IFR Team submitted its final report to the ICANN Board at the end of January 2021. The Final Report will be published for Public Comment in advance of the Board's consideration.
  9. 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.
  10. Any Other Business –

    • Discussion on potential community webinar - Similar to requests received by other committees of the ICANN Board, the OEC discussed the prospect of conducting a community webinar in the near future to provide an overview of the scope, role and responsibilities of the OEC.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 18 March 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."