[CCWG-ACCT] In reference to Robin's suggestion to include whistleblower issue in WS2

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Thu Apr 30 04:06:24 UTC 2015


There are several mentions of a whistleblower function in both the ATRT1
and in the ATRT2 report.

This includes discussion of transparency annual reports, audits of the
function, a role for the ombudsman, and possible enhancement of the
ICANN hotline, i.e the current implementation of ICANN's whistleblower

(all quotes from ATRT2 report

> 9.3. Review Ombudsman Role (p13, 58)
> c. A role in fair treatment of ICANN Anonymous Hotline users and other
> whistleblowers, and the protection of employees who decide there is a
> need to raise an issue that might be problematic for their continued
> employment.

and (p 14,59)

> 9.5. The Board should arrange an audit to determine the viability of
> the ICANN
> Anonymous Hotline as a whistleblowing mechanism and implement any
> necessary improvements.
> The professional external audit should be based on the Section 7.1 and
> Appendix 5 - Whistleblower Policy of the One World Trust Independent
> Review of 20076 recommendations to establish a viable whistleblower
> program, including protections for employees who use such a program, and
> any recent developments in areas of support and protection for the
> whistleblower. The professional audit should be done on a recurring basis,
> with the period (annual or bi-annual, for example) determined upon
> recommendation by the professional audit.
> The processes for ICANN employee transparency and whistleblowing should
> be made public.

These had been derivative of   ATRT1

> ATRT1 Recommendation 26
> ...
> ATRT2, under the terms of its mandate, also determined that the
> following issues78
> should be addressed in this analysis of accountability and
> transparency in policy
> development and implementation processes:
> a. Publication of yearly statistical reports on transparency.
> b. Enhancement of the employee Hotline that allows relevant information to
> become transparent (Whistleblower Policy).Which had been derivative


> In 2007, One World Trust concluded94 that:
> ICANN should consider implementing processes that act as deterrents
> to abuses of power and misconduct which would protect staff who
> might want to raise such instances. Specifically, ICANN should
> consider developing a whistleblower policy that enables staff to raise
> concerns in a confidential manner and without fear of retaliation; and
> developing appropriate systems to foster compliance.95
> 94 See
> http://www.icann.org/en/about/transparency/owt-report-final-2007-en.pdf
> 95 In fact, One World Trust made many recommendations, including:
> To ensure compliance with any organizational policy, it is important
> that there is high level oversight
> and leadership. Without this, implementation will only ever be
> piecemeal. To ensure implementation of
> the information disclosure within ICANN therefore, responsibility for
> overseeing the policy should be
> assigned to a senior manager.
> Supporting this, a set of indicators should be developed to monitor
> the implementation of the policy,
> and an annual review should be undertaken which identifies how ICANN
> is complying with the policy,
> where there are problems, and the steps that are to going be taken to
> address these (see
> recommendation 5.1 in section 8).
> While ICANN has three mechanisms for investigating complaints from
> members of the ICANN
> community, the organization does not have a policy or system in place
> that provides staff with channels
> through which they can raise complaints in confidentiality and without
> fear of retaliation. Having such
> a policy (often referred to as a whistleblower policy) is good
> practice among global organizations. A
> whistleblower policy that provides such protections serves as an
> important means of ensuring
> accountability to staff as well as preventing fraudulent behavior,
> misconduct and corruption within an
> organization.
> While the Ombudsman, Reconsideration Committee and the Independent
> Review Panel provide
> complaints-based approaches to compliance, to generate greater trust
> among stakeholders, ICANN
> needs to take a more proactive approach.
> To address this issue, ICANN should consider a regular independent
> audit of their compliance with
> accountability and transparency commitments. Alternatively, it could
> develop a permanent compliance
> function to emphasize prevention by identifying shortcomings as they
> emerge and before they become
> systemic problems. In either case, a regular report on compliance
> should be produced and publicly
> disseminated.

There are longer discussions in the document that may be useful
references when this work begins in WS2. I do not know the status of the
ATRT2 recommended, and Board approved,  audit.  did a search, but have
not found anything yet.  I am sure there is some trace of something on
it somewhere.


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