Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) Reviews
- What is the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC)?
- What are AOC Reviews?
- Performance of AoC Reviews?
- Timing of AoC Reviews?
- AoC Review Schedule
- Implementation of Board-Approved Recommendations?
- Review Process
- Historical Information on AoC Reviews
The Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) is the 2009 Agreement (translations available) between ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce. This Agreement reaffirmed ICANN's independence, its commitment to making decisions in the public interest that are accountable and transparent, and its commitment to undergoing four regular reviews performed by the community. Signed by ICANN and the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA), the Agreement detailed ICANN's commitment to four key objectives:
- Ensuring accountability, transparency and the interests of global Internet users
- Enforcing its existing policy relating to WHOIS, subject to applicable laws
- Preserving security, stability and resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS)
- Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice
Additional information on the historical aspects of the AoC can be found in the table below.
The Affirmation of Commitments calls for periodic assessment by community review teams of ICANN's progress toward the four key objectives described above. While the performance of each of these reviews demonstrates the commitment to ensuring accountability and transparency, the reviews each have a specific focus.
To date, three of the four types of reviews have been performed, with the Accountability and Transparency Review being conducted two times.
Accountability and Transparency Reviews –
ATRT1 (2010) and ATRT2 (2013)
- Review of Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS –
SSR Review (2010-2012)
- Review of WHOIS Policy –
WHOIS Review (2010-2012)
- Review of Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice (CCT) –
The CCT Review was launched in January 2016.
The AoC reviews follow a three year cycle. The next cycles of WHOIS and SSR Reviews are expected to commence in Fiscal Year 2016.The chart below summarizes key milestones associated with each review. Click on the dates in the chart to access relevant documents.
Review Call for Volunteers Review Team Formed Final Report Issued Board Action Details ATRT1 11 Jan 2010 26 Mar 2010 31 Dec 2010 24 Jun 2011 ATRT2 5 Oct 2012 15 Feb 2013 31 Dec 2013 26 Jun 2014 CCT 1 Oct 2015 23 Dec 2015 SSR 1 Jun 2010 30 Sep 2010 21 Jun 2012 18 Oct 2012 WHOIS 1 Jun 2010 30 Sep 2010 11 May 2012 8 Nov 2012
What are all those dates in the above table?
Call for Volunteers Volunteers from the community are essential for the reviews to succeed. ICANN will publish an announcement when a Review Team is being formed and urges interested community members willing to work on the initiative to join and contribute. Review Team Formed Composition of the Review Team will be published. A variety of factors may be considered during the selection process, such as expertise in topic, knowledge of ICANN, geography, etc. Final Report Issued The Final Report of the Review Team will be published after conclusion of its work, consultations with ICANN community, Board and staff. Board Action The Board reviews the Final Report submitted by the Working Group, takes action on the recommendations, and requests that an implementation plan be developed for the approved recommendations. Details The Board will take action on the Final Report within six months of its publication, after considering the community’s views and assessing feasibility and utility of implementation.
Proposed schedule for AoC Reviews was published for Public Comment.
Click on the name of the Review in the chart to access the latest status update on the progress of implementation of recommendations.
# of recommendations In Progress Completed ATRT1 27 0 27 ATRT2 12 10 2 WHOIS 16 6 10 SSR 28 12 16 Total 83 28 55
The chart below outlines phases and typical actions and milestones applicable to an AoC Review. Actual actions and durations vary for each review, as can be seen from the four AoC reviews that have been concluded. While the phases of future reviews are expected to be consistent with this outline, specific actions, milestones and durations may vary based on the unique aspects of each review. Additionally, the outcomes of the “Proposed Schedule and Process/Operational Improvements for AoC and Organizational Reviews”, which was posted for Public Comment, may impact aspects of future reviews.
Phase Key Actions and Milestones Estimated Duration (months) Assemble Review Team Call For Volunteers (representatives of SO/ACs and independent experts) 3 Months *Submission of applications for Endorsement of SO/AC representatives *Endorsement of SO/AC representatives Selection of finalists and publication of constituted review team members Plan Review Set up of communication vehicles, preparation of checklists and tools 3 Months Assemble relevant information, including implementation update on previous review team's Board-approved recommendations Prepare and publish review budget and rationale Conduct planning meeting/conference call and briefing on implementation status; elect key leadership positions Hold initial meeting with ICANN Board and Staff Develop Terms of Reference, work plan and schedule Conduct Review Review kick-off meeting (in person at ICANN meeting), including staff updates on implementation; adopt Terms of Reference, work plan and schedule; organize work streams and responsibilities 12 Months Collect data - desk review, feedback from stakeholders, Board and staff *Collect feedback from stakeholders Update work plan and schedule; determine need for external consultants Develop RFP based on specifications from Review Team and hold competitive bidding process for external consultants (if needed) (concurrent with RT preliminary analysis of collected data) Provide budget update Select and contract with external consultants External consultants conduct work External consultants deliver findings and results Analyze collected data and engage with staff and Board, as appropriate to clarify and answer questions, address feasibility of potential recommendations Prepare Draft Report Translation of Draft Report or Executive Summary *Public Comment period to collect feedback on Draft Report *Hold meetings with stakeholders to collect feedback (concurrent with PC) Analyze and consider feedback; engage with Board and staff to address feasibility, dependencies and linkage to other work Prepare Final Report and deliver to the Board Translation of Final Report Deliver Final Report to the Board Board Action *Public Comment period to collect feedback on Final Report 6 Months Analyze: feasibility, dependencies and linkage to other work; implementation options and resources to implement; present recommendations to the Board (ICANN staff) Board considers and takes action on Review Team's recommendations Plan Implementation Initiate implementation (Staff,Board and Relevant stakeholders) 3-6 Months Plan implementation work Provide periodic updates on implementation planning Implement Improvements Conduct implementation work 6-18 Months Close implementation project and move into standard operating procedure Conduct ongoing reporting, tracking and monitoring of effectiveness
* Activities impacting ICANN stakeholders
Document Name Link ICANN CEO talks about events leading up to the new Affirmation of Commitments and what it means Video available with text translated:
Affirmation of Commitments (2009 Agreement) Arabic
Accountability & Transparency Frameworks and Principles ICANN Accountability & Transparency Frameworks and Principles Methodology Public Comment -- Discussion Draft: Affirmation Reviews
Review Teams' Composition Review Teams' Composition and Process of Selection
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