Contractual Compliance Conflict Risk Mitigation
When evaluating the compliance audit services providers, ICANN identified that most of the main Audit firms are new gTLD Applicants and also have relationships with many of the ICANN contracted registrars and registries. Therefore ICANN Contractual Compliance requested the providers to include in their proposal how they would address and mitigateany conflicts identified. The approach agreed withKPMG's is as follows:
- ICANN mandated that the audit service provider's team members selected for the audit program (auditors) cannot have current or past involvement with the new gTLD Program.
The audit services provider must have a robust mechanism to identify any relationships they have with any Registrars or Registries selected for audit:
- KPMG leverages an internal application to identify any audit/tax or advisory relationships they may have with the Registrars/Registries selected. Where any relationships are identified, the type of relationship is communicated, in writing, to ICANN (Note this is limited to simply the type of relationship ie not the detailed services as this is confidential). ICANN will then discuss with KPMG to address any significant conflict risks involved and a mitigation plan will be designed to reduce any identified risk (for example excluding that individual from the audit of the specific registrar/registry). If nosatisfactory mitigation solution can be implemented, ICANN will perform the audit of the relevant Registrar/Registry. Note: at no time will KPMG directly contact any of the contracting parties, as ICANN is managing the Audit Program directly; KPMG is simply supporting validation of the documentation.
- KPMG's Core Team is from their Contract Compliance Services group with supporting IT resources, none of who are or have been involved inthe new gTLD program.
The items above are just two examples ICANN has taken to manage and mitigateany conflicts of interest, as well as utilizing a robust ethical wall to protect the integrity of the program. We are confident that the steps above help all contracted parties gain comfort in our highly secured and developed risk mitigation efforts involving KPMG. If you have any additional questions please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org