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This page provides a high-level overview of activities to facilitate and support the ICANN Reviews Program. Please visit the Accountability Wiki Workspace for more details.

Getting Started with Reviews Specific Reviews
Review Process Organizational Reviews
Timing of Reviews  

Specific and Organizational Reviews are required by the ICANN Bylaws and are critical to maintaining a healthy multistakeholder model. These reviews assess how certain aspects of the ICANN ecosystem are performing, including how ICANN org, Board and the community fulfill various commitments. To learn how to get involved, please visit Getting started with Reviews.

Below, please find a status update for all Specific and Organizational Reviews.

Status of Specific Reviews

Specific Reviews Status Next Cycle Additional Resources
Accountability and Transparency The third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) is complete. Implementation of recommendations is in progress. The next Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT4) has a dependency on the Pilot Holistic Review, a recommendation of the ATRT3.

Latest news and updates: ATRT Wiki Workspace

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: ATRT Review Home Page on ICANN.org.

Read ICANN Preparing to Launch the Pilot Holistic Review on ICANN.org.

Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice (CCT) The first CCT Review is complete.  Implemention of the recommendations is in progress. In the case of the CCT Review, ICANN Bylaws Section 4.6(d)(ii) dictate: “After a New gTLD Round has been in operation for one year, the Board shall cause a competition, consumer trust and consumer choice review.

Latest news and updates: CCT Wiki Workspace

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: CCT Review Home Page on ICANN.org

 

Registration Directory Service Review (RDS) The second Registration Directory Service Review (RDS-WHOIS2) Review is complete. Implementation of the recommendations is in progress.

The Directory Service Review (RDS) shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years, measured from the date the previous Directory Service Review Team was convened.

The third RDS Review (RDS3) is currently scheduled for October 2022, pending Board action to defer the review, in light of the ATRT3 recommendation to suspend the RDS review until the Pilot Holistic Review has taken place, as well as dependencies on the ongoing implementation of RDS2 and EPDP Phase 2 recommendations.

Latest news and updates: RDS Wiki Workspace

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: RDS Review Home Page on ICANN.org

Security, Stability, and Resiliency (SSR) The second Security, Stability and Resiliency Review (SSR2) Review is complete. Implementation of the recommendations is in progress. The third Security, Stability and Resiliency Review (SSR3) was deferred on 10 March 2022.

Latest news and updates: SSR Wiki Workspace

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: SSR Review Home Page on ICANN.org

 

Status of Organizational Reviews

Organizational Reviews Status Next Cycle Additional Resources
Address Supporting Organization (ASO) The second Address Supporting Organization Review (ASO2) implementation was considered complete in November 2019. The third Address Supporting Organization Review (ASO3) was deferred on 12 June 2022.

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: ASO Review Home Page on ICANN.org.

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the ASO on ICANN.org.

At-Large (At-Large) The second At-Large Review (At-Large2) Review implementation was considered complete by the ICANN Board in September 2020. The third ALAC/At-Large Review (ALAC3) was deferred on 12 June 2022.

Latest news and updates: At-Large/ALAC Review Wiki Workspace.

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: At-Large Review Home Page on ICANN.org.

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the ALAC on ICANN.org.

Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) The second Country Code Names Supporting Organization Review (ccNSO2) implementation was considered complete by the ICANN Board in October 2021. The third Country Code Names Supporting Organization Review (ccNSO3) was deferred on 12 June 2022.

Latest news and updates: ccNSO Review Wiki Workspace.

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: ccNSO Review Home Page on ICANN.org.

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the ccNSO on ICANN.org.

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) The second Generic Names Supporting Organization Review (GNSO2) implementation was considered complete by the ICANN Board in January 2019. The third Generic Names Supporting Organization Review (GNSO3) was deferred on 21 June 2021.

Latest news and updates: GNSO Review Wiki Workspace.

Historical milestones, outputs and deliverables:  GNSO Review Home Page on ICANN.org

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the GNSO on ICANN.org.

Nominating Committee (NomCom) The second Nominating Committee Review (NomCom2) implementation is estimated to be complete by June 2022.  The third Nominating Committee Review (NomCom3) was deferred on 12 June 2022.

Latest news and updates: NomCom Review Wiki Workspace

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: NomCom Review Home page on ICANN.org.

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the NomCom on ICANN.org.
Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) The second Root Server System Advisory Committee Review (RSSAC2) implementation is estimated to be completed by June 2022.  The third Root Server System Advisory Committee Review (RSSAC3) was deferred on 12 June 2022.

Latest news and updates: RSSAC Review Wiki Workspace.

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables: RSSAC Review Home Page on ICANN.org.

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the RSSAC on ICANN.org.
Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) The second Security and Stability Advisory Committee Review (SSAC2) implementation was considered complete in March 2021.  The third Security and Stability Advisory Committee Review (SSAC3) was deferred on 12 June 2022.

Latest news and updates: SSAC Review Wiki Workspace

Historical milestones, outputs, and deliverables:SSAC Review Home Page on ICANN.org.

Read the Board Resolution to defer the next Organizational Review of the SSAC on ICANN.org.

 

Tools and Resources Available to You

The Specific Reviews Page and Organizational Reviews Page each provide an introduction to Specific and Organizational Reviews and the process that each follows. From these pages, you can also find links to detailed information on the individual reviews that make up each category. Information is broken into:

Review Home Pages that provide permanent files of essential milestones, outputs, and final deliverables for each review.

Review Wiki Workspaces that provide the latest information of the work of reviews teams including opportunities to participate.

If you are new to ICANN Reviews, we recommend visiting "Getting Started with Reviews" for a step-by-step guide to learn about reviews and the best practices for getting involved.

Review Cycle Overview

In November 2020, the Board approved recommendations from the Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3) - see Board resolution - subject to prioritization. One of the Board-approved recommendations will result in changes to the timing and nature of future reviews.  ATRT3 recommendations were included in a pilot prioritization exercise (more information on this process can be found here) and org is now addressing results of the prioritization process.

Review Timing and Triggers

For more information on Specific and Organizational Review timing and triggers, please visit the Accountability wiki space.

ICANN Bylaws Article/Section 4.6 mandate the triggers that cause Specific Reviews to commence:

(vi) The Accountability and Transparency Review shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years measured from the date the previous Accountability and Transparency Review Team was convened.

(v) The SSR Review shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years, measured from the date the previous SSR Review Team was convened.

(ii) After a New gTLD Round has been in operation for one year, the Board shall cause a competition, consumer trust and consumer choice review as specified in this Section 4.6(d) ("CCT Review").

(v) The Directory Service Review shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years, measured from the date the previous Directory Service Review Team was convened, except that the first Directory Service Review to be conducted after 1 October 2016 shall be deemed to be timely if the applicable Directory Service Review Team is convened on or before 31 October 2016.

Organizational Reviews assess the effectiveness of ICANN’s supporting organizations and advisory committees. Organizational Reviews are conducted by independent examiners to assess: (i) whether that organization, council or committee has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure; (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness; (iii) whether that organization, council or committee is accountable to its constituencies, stakeholder groups, organizations and other stakeholders.

ICANN Bylaws Article/Section 4.4 mandate the triggers that cause Organizational Reviews to commence: These periodic reviews shall be conducted no less frequently than every five years, based on feasibility as determined by the Board. Each five-year cycle will be computed from the moment of the reception by the Board of the final report of the relevant review Working Group.

The Board took action on 21 June 2021 to defer the third GNSO Review, on 10 March 2022 to defer the third SSR Review, and on 12 June 2022 to defer the Organizational Reviews of the ALAC, ASO, ccNSO, NomCom, RSSAC, and SSAC, until such time as the Board, community and ICANN org better understand the impact of the third Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT3) recommendations on the next Review cycle, as well as in consideration of the current community workload. See the 21 June 2021 Board resolution here, the 10 March 2022 resolution here, and the 12 June 2022 Board resolution here.

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."