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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting 21 September 2021

OEC Attendees: Avri Doria – Chair, Becky Burr, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra, Patricio Poblete and Matthew Shears

Other Board Attendee: Göran Marby (President and CEO)

Observer: Edmon Chung (Incoming ICANN Board Member)

Executive and Staff Attendees: Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Chantelle Doerksen (Policy Development Support Specialist), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Negar Farzinnia (Director, Implementation Operations), Larisa Gurnick (VP, Review Support & Accountability), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Laena Rahim (Regional Counsel, APAC) and Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy)

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 – 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.

  3. Discussion on Roles and Responsibilities for Reviews – ICANN organization provided the OEC with a brief recap of the current framework elucidating the roles and responsibilities of the Board, the OEC, the Board Caucus Groups and ICANN org in reviews. Given the OEC's role, the intent of the discussion is to explore the roles and responsibilities as they applied to the last round of reviews, and consider the lessons learned for improvements in the next round of reviews, which would consequently benefit the lifecycle of reviews work which is in the planning stage.

    The discussion on this topic was initiated in March 2018, after the OEC expanded its role to include oversight of Specific Reviews. Existing documentation on this topic include the Board Info Paper - Roles and Responsibilities for Specific Reviews, Board Reference Materials – Roles and Responsibilities for Specific Reviews (revised), the Operating Standards for Specific Reviews, and various handbooks flowcharts which touch upon Organizational Reviews.

    ICANN org emphasized that the work which ICANN org has initiated in relation to the lifecycle of reviews includes a comprehensive review of the roles and responsibilities of the various groups involved in reviews, and potential process improvements to make reviews and their outcomes more impactful. ICANN org noted that, from the OEC's perspective, there is an opportunity to incorporate more specifics into the roles and responsibilities discussion (e.g., improve documentation by clarifying the roles and responsibilities, and enhance cadence and communication with the community).

    ICANN org further noted that there has been an increase in community questions about the Holistic Review (a recommendation from the third review of the Accountability and Transparency (ATRT3), which is subject to prioritization and available resources), for instance, the start date for the Holistic Review, the role of the community in designing this review, and its impact on the ICANN ecosystem. ICANN org also highlighted the need to provide more clarity to the community to demonstrate the interdependencies between a Holistic Review and other aspects of Specific and Organizational Reviews, as well as other components of the ATRT3 recommendations (e.g. the continuous improvement program).

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org, some observations and feedback from the OEC include:

    • There is a need to implement a more thorough process to address a gap in the review lifecycle – while review team members are appointed by the SO/ACs, the work of a review team is not reviewed by the SO/ACs. Thus, to explore the possibility of SO/ACs role and involvement at the final stage of a review.
    • The ongoing challenge regarding the development of review recommendations that do not contain an acceptable level of detail or practicality in terms of implementation.
    • To consider providing guidance and/or requirements for recommendations (e.g., demarcation between policy recommendations versus recommendations that are actionable by ICANN org/Board).
    • The OEC emphasized the importance of improving community engagement to demonstrate the challenges that ICANN org and/or Board are facing (how and what should be prioritized and measure against the resources that are available), and to address the community's expectation to initiate a Holistic Review prior to prioritizing and resolving some of the known issues.
    • The OEC agreed that it is essential to strengthen engagement with the community in the future to reduce potential issues (e.g., lengthy implementation period of recommendations).

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

    • Action Items:
      • ICANN org to formulate a strategy and update the OEC on how to better communicate with the community on the timing of the ATRT3 implementation prioritization and various related work.
      • ICANN org to assist the OEC to schedule a discussion at a future meeting to discuss the specific sub-topics raised in relation to the Roles and Responsibilities topic.
  4. Update on the Nominating Committee Review Implementation Working Group (NomCom RIWG) – The objective of this agenda item is for ICANN org to update the OEC on the status of the ongoing work of the NomCom RIWG:

    • Status Update: The NomCom RIWG invited GNSO SG/C chairs to join its meeting on 9 September 2021 to discuss the NomCom rebalancing proposal (Recommendation 10). The work of the NomCom RIWG is at a crossroads, as the GNSO is not supportive of the proposal to rebalance the NomCom. Upon being updated by ICANN org on this issue, the OEC engaged in an in-depth discussion to ascertain the appropriate next steps. The OEC acknowledged the extensive work that has been carried out by NomCom RIWG thus far, and agreed that the NomCom RIWG should focus on other aspects of its work and mark this issue for future work. ICANN org will coordinate with the community leadership in due course to update them on the progress/status of this issue (after ICANN72).
    • Based upon its meeting with the ICANN CEO on 30 August 2021 to discuss Recommendations 11 (staff reporting) and 12 (budgeting and staffing resources), the NomCom RIWG decided that implementation on these two recommendations was complete.

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

    • Action Item:
      • ICANN org to update the NomCom RIWG regarding the OEC's assessment and viewpoint on Recommendation 10, and ICANN org to update the OEC thereafter.
  5. Review of New Action Items and Board Caucus Group Updates - ICANN org re-capped the new action items arising from the OEC's present meeting. Brief additional updates were provided by following Board Caucus Groups' liaisons/ICANN org for which OEC is the sponsoring committee:

    • Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR2) Review Board Caucus Group: ICANN org updated the OEC that the implementation process for the SSR2 Review will be led internally by the Implementation Operations team, working closely with the Review Support & Accountability team. The SSR2 Board Caucus Group is meeting on 27 September 2021 to prepare for its meeting with the SSR2 Implementation Shepherds.
    • CCWG – Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2) Board Caucus Group: The WS2 Board Caucus Group is scheduling a meeting with the Implementation Team in due course.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 26 October 2021