While the ICANN community was ringing in a new year on 31 December, the community review team charged with evaluating ICANN’s accountability and transparency was filing their final report. I wanted to make sure ICANN’s stakeholders and participants were aware that the Accountability & Transparency Review Team (ATRT) submitted their report to the Board and posted it for public comment through 14 February. I encourage everyone to review this important document and share his or her views with ICANN’s Board.
This review fulfills an important obligation under the Affirmation of Commitments signed by the United States and ICANN. The Affirmation commits ICANN to remaining a private not-for-profit organization; declares that ICANN is independent; and commits ICANN to reviews performed by the community — a further recognition that the multi-stakeholder model is robust enough to review itself.
The community review team assessed ICANN’s execution of commitments to “maintain and improve robust mechanisms for public input, accountability, and transparency so as to ensure that the outcomes of its decision-making will reflect the public interest and be accountable to all stakeholders.” After extensive work and community consultations, the ATRT provided the Board with 27 recommendations to improve ICANN. The recommendations are focused on four areas — the Board (including the Nominating Committee’s selection processes), the Governmental Advisory Committee, public input and policy development, and review mechanisms for Board decisions — but have broad implications for ICANN and its organizations and stakeholders.
While I think the ATRT provided a useful report that builds upon ICANN’s commitments and past improvements, it is up to the community to provide comments and the Board to act upon the final recommendations. I urge you to share your views.