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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Avri Doria – Chair, Alan Barrett, Akinori Maemura, Patricio Poblete, Katrina Sataki and Matthew Shears

Other Board Member Attendees: Becky Burr and Manal Ismail

Executive and Staff Attendees: Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Evin Erdogdu (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Alice Jansen (Implementation Operations Senior Manager), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Laena Rahim (Regional Counsel, APAC), Giovanni Seppia (VP, Implementation Operations), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Specialist) and Pamela Smith (Senior Coordinator, Review Support & Accountability)


The following is a summary of discussions, decisions, and actions identified:

The Meeting was called to order at 14:00 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 – The OEC noted that some of the "Open Action Items" will be discussed 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.

    In relation to future proposed Bylaws amendments (as a result of the prioritization process and implementation of the third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3) recommendations), the Chair noted that it would be beneficial for the OEC to be apprised of the ongoing list of pending Bylaw changes for the OEC's tracking purposes and for broader identification of dependencies (e.g., the Holistic Review).

    • Action Item:

      • ICANN organization to present an updated watchlist of potential upcoming Bylaws amendments at the OEC's next meeting in June 2022.
  3. Update on the Deferral of Organizational Reviews – The OEC is responsible for the oversight of all Organizational Reviews mandated by Section 4.4 of ICANN Bylaws. ICANN org presented a draft Board Paper in support of the OEC's recommendation to the Board on the deferral of Organizational Reviews.

    In June 2021, the Board deferred the third GNSO Review and directed ICANN org to develop a comprehensive plan for the next cycle of Organizational Reviews, in light of the Board-approved ATRT3 recommendations that will likely impact the future scope of Organizational Reviews. Specifically, ATRT3 Recommendation 3 calls for evolving the current Organizational Reviews into continuous improvement programs for SO/ACs, and introduces a new Holistic Review to consider the effectiveness of the continuous improvement programs, accountability of SO/ACs, and their continuing purpose and structure.

    The current planned start dates for each individual Organization in the next Organizational Review cycle, pending deferral, are scheduled from July 2022 – November 2026. In April 2022, ICANN org consulted with the Chairs of the ALAC/At-Large, ccNSO, ASO, NomCom, RSSAC and SSAC Chairs on the possibility of deferring their next Organizational Reviews, and all indicated broad support for the deferral until such time that the Board, community and ICANN org better understand the impact of the ATRT3 recommendations on the next Organizational Review cycle. They also agreed that deferral is appropriate in consideration of the current community workload.

    ICANN org proposes that the OEC recommends to the Board that it accepts a comprehensive plan for the next cycle of Organizational Reviews, which includes a deferral of six community Organizational Reviews:

    1. Obtain confirmation from each SO/AC/NomCom on deferral of Organizational Reviews in support of Board action to defer Organizational Reviews;
    2. Run Holistic Review Pilot including Continuous Improvement Pilot, to the extent applicable;
    3. Identify if any approved recommendations from the Holistic Review Pilot suggest changes to Organizational Reviews as specified in Bylaws;
    4. Coordinate with community on initiation of new cycle of Organizational Reviews (or their replacement) in line with approved Holistic Review Pilot Recommendations;
    5. If it becomes apparent that Holistic Review Pilot will not issue recommendations impacting the Organizational Reviews as specified within Bylaws, coordinate with community on initiation of Organizational Reviews from deferred cycle; and
    6. If neither steps 4 nor 5 have yet occurred, ICANN org shall report on status of deferral or continued need for deferral within three years from this Board action.

    The OEC discussed and agreed to recommend to the Board to accept the comprehensive plan for the next cycle of Organizational Reviews, which includes a deferral of the start of all Organizational Reviews scheduled within the upcoming Organizational Review cycle.

    • Action Items:

      • ICANN org to finalize the Board Paper, incorporating the relevant suggestion from the Chair.
      • The OEC to forward its recommendation to the Board for its consideration.
  4. Update on Holistic Review – The OEC continued its discussion on the Holistic Review as recommended by the ATRT3.

    ICANN org updated the OEC on the following:

    • The Pilot Holistic Review Terms of Reference (ToR) Team (comprising members from the OEC and former members of the ATRT3) has been meeting regularly since March 2022 with the objective of delivering the final ToR draft by ICANN74. The final draft will be posted for public comment.
    • A wiki space has been created to make the team's work accessible to the community.
    • A blog post on the launching of the Pilot Holistic Review was posted on the ICANN website on 25 April 2022.

    ICANN org noted that the Pilot Holistic Review ToR Team is making significant progress in terms of addressing the various sections of the ToR (objectives, deliverables, definitions, etc.). The OEC will have the opportunity to discuss and review the draft ToR at its next meeting in June 2022, before the draft ToR is posted for public comment.

    The Chair reiterated several points which have been discussed in previous OEC meetings. Given that there is a broad community interest on the Holistic Review, as the Pilot Holistic Review ToR Team work on the drafting of the ToR, it would be prudent for the OEC to think of providing public clarification on the ToR development process and whether the community will have an opportunity for input on the final ToR through the SO/ACs (through a formal process).

    The OEC emphasized and concurred on the importance of considering the following issues in relation to the ToR and the Pilot Holistic Review: (1) the next steps involved (e.g., whether the OEC will decide on the next steps upon the conclusion of the public comment period, or whether the OEC consult the Pilot Holistic Review ToR team to address the comments received); and (2) whether the Holistic Review ToR Team has the ability to amend its own ToR.

    The OEC will continue its discussion on this topic at its future meetings, and ICANN org will keep the OEC abreast of further developments.

  5. Update on ICANN CCWG-Accountability Workstream 2 (WS2) Implementation – ICANN org provided a detailed and comprehensive update to the OEC on the progress and timelines of the ongoing work for the implementation of WS2 recommendations. Implementation of the nearly 100 recommendations contained in the CCWG-Accountability WS2 Final Report is a multi-year project based on a detailed implementation plan agreed to by the ICANN org and the broader ICANN community. In brief:

    Progress of ICANN org recommendations:

    • 14 recommendations are complete;
    • 39 recommendations are in progress; and
    • 12 recommendations have not yet started: dependent on completion of a recommendation to begin (10 recommendations); and requires completion of an initiative to begin (2 recommendations).

    Progress of ICANN community recommendations:

    • 33 recommendations are in progress: Diversity (2 recommendations); Guidelines for Good Faith (3 recommendations); Human Rights Framework of Interpretation (1 recommendation) and SO/AC Accountability (27 recommendations); and
    • 4 recommendations: (Diversity) have not yet started, to start after completion of another WS2 recommendation).

    Responding to a query from the OEC, ICANN org clarified that there will be quarterly progress updates on the implementation of the WS2 recommendations to reflect any adjustments for tentative completion date. ICANN org further explained that in addition to the WS2 wiki page, ICANN org publishes several blog posts annually to keep the community abreast of the progress of the WS2 implementation.

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org on the progress of the implementation of recommendations from WS2, the Chair acknowledged that significant progress has been achieved by ICANN org and the community on the WS2 implementation. The OEC members expressed their appreciation to ICANN org for the clear reporting on the status of the WS2 implementation.

  6. Revamp of the wiki pages: Enhancing ICANN Accountability - Reviews & Special Projects – ICANN org provided an update on this agenda item. The objectives of revamping the wiki pages are to:

    • foster consistency and create predictability;
    • improve information accessibility;
    • introduce instant, visual user experience; and
    • clean-up the wiki pages to reflect up-to-date information.

    The wiki pages have been modified to be more consistent and uniformed in terms of the implementation status labels for the various recommendations:

    • Complete: A recommendation implemented in full and for which implementation documentation is available.
    • In progress: A recommendation for which work has started to address deliverables identified during the implementation design. Implementation design is the preparatory phase for implementation during which a cross-functional project team develops guidelines that include deliverables for implementation, costing out resources, risk assessment as well as an inventory of existing work, etc.
    • Not started: Work has not started because of a dependency on another recommendation and/or process.

    ICANN org shared some of the modifications made to the wiki pages (e.g., illustration of project descriptions, re-structuring of information, content clean-up, new spaces created, new central repository for WS2 implementation, and updates made to sections on ICANN website) and the cadence of reporting items (e.g., implementation progress report, wiki updates, updates on ICANN website and the Annual Implementation Report).

    ICANN org informed the OEC that a webinar on the "Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN Multistakeholder Model" project has been scheduled for 1 June 2022 during the ICANN74 Prep Week, during which ICANN org will discuss updates on the evaluation methodology that has been applied to some of the selected projects.

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org, the OEC commended ICANN org for the significant work and effort involved towards revamping the wiki pages to make them more accessible and user-friendly to the community.

  7. Any Other Business –

    • Approval of 14 April 2022 Preliminary Report - confirmation of action to be taken via e-mail.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 27 June 2022

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."