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Minutes | Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) Meeting 25 April 2015

Posted 19 June 2015

SIC Attendees: Ray Plzak – Chair, Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Wolfgang Kleinwachter, Markus Kummer, Bruno Lanvin and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Member Attendees: George Sadowsky, Bruce Tonkin

Executive and Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett, Megan Bishop, Samantha Eisner, Daniel Halloran, Robert Hoggarth, Denise Michel and Theresa Swinehart

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

The Meeting was called to order at 4:50 p.m. local time in Los Angeles, California.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.

  2. Approval of Minutes – The SIC approved the minutes of its 6 February 2015 meeting as presented.

  3. Review of Open Action Items – The Chair noted that all open action items are on the agenda.

  4. SIC Activities Report Q1 2015 – Staff provided the SIC with the first quarter activities report prior to the meeting. The SIC reviewed the proposed report, approved it, and agreed to send it to the Board.

  5. Charter Amendment – Registry Stakeholder Group – The SIC discussed a formal request made to the Board for approval of charter changes for the Registry Stakeholder Group. The Registry Stakeholder Group initiated the charter review process previously established by the SIC, and staff has been engaged in dialogue with them over this. The proposed changes address various membership activity classifications; revisions to how the terms for their officers are structured; creation of two new positions (a Vice Chair of Policy and a Vice Chair of Administration). They have also made various changes to their meeting, quorum requirements and other changes to the form of their document.

    Staff has reviewed these changes and did not identify any concerns. Therefore, at this juncture, staff's advice is to proceed with the next step in the process and share the amendments with the community through public comment. Once this step is taken, the SIC will have an opportunity to review the summary and analysis of comments, and any comments submitted, to be able to make a recommendation to the Board as to whether to approve or disapprove of the amendments.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to post the proposed amendment to the Registry Stakeholder Group as presented for public comment.

  6. GNSO Review Update – Staff provided the SIC with an update on the Bylaws-mandated GNSO review and the changes to the timeline. The draft Report from Westlake Governance, the independent reviewers, will be posted for public comment shortly. Staff highlighted that the Westlake report includes evaluations on how recommendations from the prior GNSO review have been implemented, as well as providing new recommendations in the area of transparency, such as the visibility of participants, membership, information, and having certain standards across all the different stakeholder groups and constituencies. Staff noted that the schedule includes sufficient interaction with the GNSO Review Working Party before and throughout the public comment period. The estimated timeline for the final report to be published:

    • Draft report from Westlake delivered to the GNSO Review Working Party - end of April 2015.

    • Public comment period - 1 June to 20 July 2015.

    • Final report to be issued by Westlake - 30 August 2015.

    On the recommendation of adopting a working group model for policy development, Westlake has findings and recommendations that focus on the need to measure and track participation with an eye towards increasing diversity, particularly geographic diversity; removing barriers for newcomers; and ensuring that there is an explicit role in responding to implementation issues. Furthermore, on stakeholder and constituency support, they recommend simplifying the processes for applying and admitting new constituencies. They also recommend that ICANN publish historic and future applications and decision with rationale, implement guidelines for assisting with forming new constituencies, improve collection and publication of statements of interest data, institute meaningful sanctions for non-compliance, improve participation and diversity, expand secretariat support and regularly evaluate effectiveness. The draft report, also contains findings focused on the absence of geographic diversity in the makeup of most of the GNSO structures, including the council, constituencies and stakeholder groups, and discussed the implication that has for the GNSO's ability to create effective and globally responsive policies.

    The SIC observed that 40 interviews were conducted during the review process and enquired as to whether such number illustrates a low, high or average number of interviews conducted.

    The SIC also discussed the letter submitted earlier in the year from the Non-Contracted Parties House of the GNSO relating to concerns on the scope of the review. The SIC noted that as the changing environment of the GNSO was part of the findings, concerns with specific recommendations and methodology at this point are best handled through the public comment process and through the working group.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to furnish the SIC with relevant statistics relating to the number of interviews conducted for this GNSO review in comparison to other reviews.

      • Staff to follow-up and provide the SIC with a complete summary and the actual report, once it is available.

  7. At-Large Advisory Committee Review – The SIC continued its discussion of the Bylaws' mandated review of the At-Large Advisory Committee and Staff provided an update of the review and noted changes to the timeline. The SIC discussed that the At-Large Advisory Committee has created a review working party, similar to the GNSO. Several meetings have taken place between Staff and the working party discussing the conduct of the review and carrying out initial planning for the review working party. They have been addressing the potential scope of the review, process considerations, using self-assessments, and actions that need to be undertaken before an independent evaluator commences its work. They have also had initial discussions regarding the self-assessment, and lessons learned from the GNSO review. The SIC also briefly discussed that, unlike the first review of the ALAC, at the request of the Working Party this review will cover the RALOs and At-Large Structures as part of the review.

    Staff proposed to the SIC to extend the planning stage of the At-Large review and the SIC approved the proposed modification of the schedule as follows:

    • Plan Review – January - April 2015

    • Conduct Self-Assessment – May – October 2015

    • Conduct Competitive Bidding for Independent Reviewer – November 2015 – April 2016

    • Conduct Review – April 2016 – January 2017

    • Plan Implementation – January – July 2017

    • Implement Improvements – July 2017 – January 2018

    The SIC further suggested to include the evaluation of the outcome from the At-Large Summit held in London in 2014.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to coordinate with the At-Large review working group in relation to the SIC's suggestion of including the evaluation of the outcome from the At-Large Summit in London in 2014.

  8. Review Framework – In relation to its continued discussion of the review framework, the SIC highlighted that there are certain things, which require discussion, such as the tracking system, but such discussion will be postponed to its next meeting.

    • Action Items:

      • Staff to note that the next discussion of the work plan of the review framework will take place during the meeting in Buenos Aires in June 2015.

  9. SIC Charter Review – The SIC continued its discussion of the characteristics of the proposed changes to the SIC's charter, including refinements to reflect the evolution of the organizational review process, and considerations of the SIC's role in assessing the overall effectiveness of the ICANN structures under review.

    The SIC discussed that there may be a role for the SIC in oversight of the reviews arising out of the Affirmation of Commitments, or those that are likely to be imported into the Bylaws as a result of the Enhancing ICANN Accountability review, and noted that its proposed language could be broad enough for that to happen. There was also discussion regarding potential changes to language that is standard across committee charters. Finally, the SIC discussed modifying the proposed language to appropriately reflect staff and SIC roles in the engagement of independent consulting firms in accordance with the current ICANN procurement procedures and the conduct of the review.

    The SIC agreed that the revised charter should be presented to the Board Governance Committee for consideration, along with an explanatory cover paper.

    • Action Item:

      • Staff to revise the language within the charter to reflect the SIC's direction.

      • Staff to provide initial draft of Board paper for submission to the Board Governance Committee. Staff should prepare the paper for SIC comment, to allow for anticipated submission of the proposed charter revision to the Board Governance Committee for its meeting at ICANN53 in Buenos Aires.

  10. Any Other Business – The Chair noted that the Board was expected to take a resolution to appoint Rinalia Abdul Rahim as the new chair of the SIC, and that he would be available to provide inputs as requested and support her in the transition to her new role.

The Chair called the meeting to a close at 5:52 p.m. local time (Los Angeles, California).