[CCWG-ACCT] Statement of accountability scope and limitations; fact based evidence

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Fri Jul 10 16:15:32 UTC 2015


While I agree that the ''do no harm" adage is applicable, we have to be
careful to not fall into the  "íf it ain't broke"mentality. 

For better or worse, many people believe that NTIA has provided a
backstop on the Board.  And whether this is true and to what degree it
is true in various situations, it is a belief that many hold.  If we are
looking for a fact, that may be one. There is also nervousness about
what the Board might be like in the future if there were no longer a

Beyond that, I do not think that this is the time to get into examples
of what has gone wrong in the past.  We all have our favorite
Reconsideration, DIDP,  CEP and IRP failure  instances.  Suffice it to
say there was general agreement that the degree to which the Board rules
near absolutely at the moment,  with no real way to appeal its decsions,
does not sit well with the community.  And that the situation just will
not do, if we are to lose the NTIA backstop.  There are many who think
that it is better to have NTIA keep the stewardship if we don't improve
accountability.  We can't suppose that everyone will great a change in
stewardship with same enthusiasm.  Many of us are uncomfortable with
un-appealable authority, no matter how benevolent it may appear today. 
The multistakeholder model is one of participatory democracy

In the analysis done in the early parts of the process, we came up with
a set of powers the community felt were necessary going forward and at
this point we are trying to meet those requirements while meeting the
issues brought by those who submitted comments. 

For a while we have focused on the Board's accountability , but Jan and
others point out, we have avoided looking at ourselves and our own
accountability.  This is especially important if we loosen the degree to
which the Board can provide oversight over the ACSO structure in our
various membership models.  Also, discussions of staff accountability to
the community and especially to the multistakeholder modalities has long
been an issue and this is a good time to initiate that conversation.

The focus on our own accountability is important as it leads us to focus
more on the balance between the volunteer community and Board we
selected from within our community including the new blood we bring in
.  It forces us to look at the degree to which one segment of the
community rules over the other and the mechanisms for assuring that the
right things occur.  It forces us to ask questions about the balance of
accountability and the mechanisms of mutual accountability.

Incidentally, I appreciate the effort you and other Board members are
making to take off your miter's of authority and participate in these
discussions as members of the community.  As you know that is something
I would like to see much more of.


On 09-Jul-15 14:16, George Sadowsky wrote:
> The Hippocratic oath, "do no harm," is as relevant to communities and organizations as it is to medicine.  If something is largely working but has flaws, it's reasonable to ask the question of what is the minimum change necessary to eliminate the flaw.
> In the case of accountability,  it is clear that accountability is a necessary component of an adequate governance structure. The question in my mind is how much and in what form. I believe that the advisor to the CCWG, Jan Scholte, remarked in an earlier intervention, the issue is accountability for what, to whom, and with what enforcement mechanisms. It's possible that the this easy WG has already provided a concise statement answering these questions. If so, could someone please point me to it; if not wouldn't it be useful to have one?
> In that spirit, I'd like to ask members of this group the following question: What specific events and/or activities can you identify In the past on any part of ICANN or its constituent bodies that current accountability mechanisms do not protect from?  how do the variety of current proposals address those shortcomings, and how in the past with these mechanisms have been used to address those specific events and/or activities?  If there already exists such a list, please point me to it; if there isn't wouldn't it be useful for some reality testing?
> I am not suggesting that it would be sufficient to engineer new accountability mechanisms that dealt only with previous behavior that was considered inappropriate. Clearly it's very possible that new behavior  by any part of the community considered inappropriate by any other part of the community will fit into new patterns and will not  replicate earlier activities. However, there's a lot of merit in fact-based evidence, and I would like very much to have the opinion of people on this list of those  instances where new accountability measures would have been useful and effective where existing accountability measures failed. 
> George
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