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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: Manal Ismail

Executive and Staff Attendees: Jean-Baptiste Deroulez (Associate Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Jennifer Bryce (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Negar Farzinnia (Director, Implementation Operations), Larisa Gurnick (VP, Review Support & Accountability), 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 16:00 UTC.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.
  2. Review of Open Action Items and Watched Action Items – As a matter of practice, this agenda item will be presented at the beginning of each OEC meeting, to highlight the specific open action items which will be discussed at the present 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 the OEC's "Watch List 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 Items:

      • In addition to previously identified action items on the "Open Action Items" list, ICANN organization to include a new open action item - evaluating alternative ways to make the Google Drive more user-friendly for the OEC (e.g., to search for specific topics/ documents).
      • "Proposal for Planning and Prioritization Framework Pilot for OEC/BPCR consideration" to be updated to reflect an estimated date for ICANN org to present to the OEC/Board Caucus on Budgeting and Prioritization of Community Recommendations (BPCR) a draft framework 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.
  3. Deferral of the third Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO3) Review – Further to the OEC's discussion and agreed approach on this topic during its meeting on 20 April 2021, ICANN org presented a Board Paper in support of the deferral of the GNSO3 Review.

    The OEC concluded its discussion on this topic. The OEC approved the recommendation to the Board to defer the GNSO3 Review, with the support of the GNSO.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN org to finalize the Board Paper, incorporating the relevant suggestions from the OEC.
      • The OEC to forward its recommendation to the Board for its consideration.
  4. Update on the second review of the Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR2) Review – ICANN org provided an overview of the agreed approach in relation to the progress and timelines of work involved towards board action on the SSR2 Review recommendations.

    ICANN org noted that the approach differs from the approach that has been taken with other Specific Reviews, given some of the unique factors of the SSR2 recommendations (e.g., the significant number of recommendations, complexity of some of the recommendations, etc.). Working with the Board Caucus Group on SSR2, the Board will be prepared to take action on all SSR2 recommendations within the Bylaws' mandated timeframe. However, dispositive actions will not be feasible for some recommendations that will require further analysis and work.

    A communication plan will be implemented to support a timely, consistent and clear communication with the community on the overarching issues that impact Board consideration and action for the recommendations. ICANN org will continue to engage with the implementation shepherds to ensure that they are aware of the Board's progress and approach, and to ensure their continued involvement in the process.

    The OEC Chair observed that the agreed approach for the SSR2 recommendations seems to be based on lessons learnt from other review recommendations, and further noted the consistent ongoing effort that is being made to continually improve the approach taken towards Board consideration and action.

    ICANN org will keep the OEC updated of the work progress towards the anticipated Board action on 25 July 2021.

  5. Update on the third review of Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3) recommendations: impacts and dependencies – ICANN org provided a brief overview of the ATRT3 recommendations which may impact other ongoing work areas, and the various dependencies that should be taken into consideration in planning for implementation. The objective of the discussion is to illustrate the interconnectedness of the ATRT3 recommendations with other ongoing work (e.g., prioritization and funding, Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2) implementation work, etc.).

    To provide more clarity and achieve better engagement with the community on the scope and linkages between the various parts of the ATRT3 recommendations and their implications on other ongoing related work, the OEC suggested that the processes/ timelines of the linkages and the inter-dependencies of the ATRT3 recommendations and the other related work be shared with the community in due course.

    The OEC will continue its discussion on this topic at its future meetings.

  6. Update on the Nominating Committee Review Implementation Working Group (NomCom RIWG) – As part of ICANN org's continued review of the NomCom Standing Committee charter (Recommendation 24), and as requested by the OEC at its previous meeting, ICANN org circulated an update of the governance concerns posed by the current version of the NomCom RIWG's proposed Standing Committee charter. The objective of this agenda item is for ICANN org to brief the OEC on the overarching concerns in relation to the draft Standing Committee charter, prior to engaging with the NomCom RIWG to provide suggestions and edits for the NomCom RIWG's consideration.

    Among others, some of the concerns observed in relation to the proposed Standing Committee charter include:

    • A general concern that the NomCom RIWG was assigning "oversight" responsibility to the Standing Committee across all of the ICANN ecosystem, such as oversight over the process that the Board would use to assess NomCom's selections, or the Board's leadership selection roles.
    • The proposed composition of the Standing Committee – to be selected by the Standing Committee – may create some potential conflict and governance issues.
    • The potential role of the Board in the Standing Committee selection process.
    • Concern as to whether the Standing Committee might have too much responsibility as it relates to the NomCom and the ICANN community.
    • The charter anticipates that the Standing Committee itself could have some responsibility for communication with each of the parts of ICANN within the selection process. This raises the potential and possibility for the Standing Committee interference in the selection process and might also introduce additional complexities.

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org on the concerns in relation to the proposed Standing Committee Charter, the OEC reiterated its support of ICANN org's proposed approach and engagement with the NomCom RIWG. ICANN org will keep the OEC abreast of further developments on this topic.

    ICANN org further updated the OEC that as an action item from the joint meeting between the OEC and the NomCom RIWG on 22 April 2021, in relation to Recommendation 10 (Rebalancing of the NomCom), the NomCom RIWG is in the process of gathering evidence and justification to demonstrate broad community support on the implementation of recommendation. Thereafter, the NomCom RIWG and the OEC may potentially engage in another discussion to ensure that their work is aligned; and to determine the specific support and/or engagement necessary to assist the NomCom RIWG going forward.

  7. Discussion on Public Webinar to feature the OEC - As part of the Board's engagement with the community and the Board's communication plan, ICANN org is planning a series of public webinars, featuring different Board Committees. The purpose of the webinar is to inform the community on the purpose of the committee, its membership, and its areas of work (including focus, challenges, and opportunities). ICANN org provided an overview and proposed timing for the OEC webinar.

    The OEC agreed with ICANN org's proposal to conduct the OEC's webinar in September 2021 or later, to allow sufficient time for the OEC and ICANN org to prepare and move forward several current topics and align well with internal work to prepare the Annual Review Implementation Report, which encapsulates most of the work that the OEC oversees.

  8. Review of New Action Items - ICANN org re-capped the new action items arising from the OEC's present meeting.
  9. Any Other Business –

    • Update on Pending Bylaws Changes in relation to the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) recommendations – At the OEC meeting on 20 April 2021, ICANN org presented a list of pending Bylaws changes, for the OEC's tracking purposes and for broader identification of which Board committee or Board Caucus Group is responsible for shepherding each amendment.

      ICANN org updated the OEC that the list of pending Bylaws changes is currently being updated, to include additional relevant information. In relation to the upcoming Bylaws amendment arising from the Board-approved IFR recommendations, ICANN org is in the process of assessing the IFR-related Bylaws sections to propose amendments to those sections, with the intent of making those sections clearer and more comprehensive. In this regard, ICANN org anticipates a potential delay in moving forward with the IFR-related Bylaws changes.

      • Action Item:

        • ICANN org to provide an update to the OEC on the status of the IFR-related Bylaws changes in June/July 2021.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 18 June 2021

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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."