[CCWG-ACCT] An mplication of accountability models being discussed

Sivasubramanian M isolatedn at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 07:19:57 UTC 2015

Dear George Sadowsky,

As part of the flow of what you have written lies a clue to what
Accountability is all about. "For me, the most important accountability
requirement that I have is to the health and growth of the Internet, and if
I were to have to act against that in any significant way as a member of
the Board, I would quit the Board."

We have a framework for Accountability and have been debating on ways of
expanding it a little, along the lines of thinking that Accountability is
Answerability; Provisions for removal of a Director when a Director acts in
a manner that does not "conform" with the community consensus (as for
instance consensus of what is Global Public Interest) comes closer to the
notion of "compliance" than Accountability.

What you have stated as what you would or would not do goes beyond these
notions of answerability and compliance. It is a notion of moral
commitments, truthfulness of purpose and a total willingness to act
responsibly. In your example, it is not a community review process or a
California court directive that prompts you to consider resignation, but
certain larger values that characterize you.

A state of effective accountability is achieved only when ICANN governance
is entrusted to Board Members and Senior Executives of purpose, goodness
and sensitivity, in an environment that sustains and nurtures such values.
Even then, the Board and Executive would require a small body of people of
elevated stature who would support/guide/oversee if the Board and Senior
executives are acting in the interest of ICANN, Internet and Global Public
Interest. If the Accountability process could work towards that, then
questions on Board or Executive actions would be minimal and the need for
predefined processes to determine accountability lapses would be minimal.

And when such a situation as the need for removal of a Director arises, the
process indeed needs to be widely distributed, not only that, the process
needs to follow documented as well abstract notions.

Sivasubramanian M

Sivasubramanian M <https://www.facebook.com/sivasubramanian.muthusamy>

On Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:43 PM, George Sadowsky <george.sadowsky at gmail.com
> wrote:

> All,
> [This message contains my personal opinion and is not related to any
> formal ICANN Board function.  My opinions may of course reflect insights
> that I've had as a result of Board service, but they're still my personal
> insights, and not ICANN positions, either formal or informal.]
> First, I accept the idea that the ICANN Board is accountable  --  in fact,
> with multiple accountability requirements, including the Attorney General
> of the State of California (California law), ICANN Inc. (as a Director),
> the "community" (bylaws provisions), and the global public interest
> (Affirmation of Commitments).  Personally, I also embrace another dimension
> of accountability; my actions must contribute to the health and growth of
> the Internet, as opposed  to weakening them.  That's clearly a subjective
> measure, as is the interpretation of what is the global public interest.
> A problem arises for me when there appears to be a conflict between
> satisfying one or more of these obligations while working agains others.
> For the most part, they coincide, but not necessarily always. For me, the
> most important accountability requirement that I have is to the health and
> growth of the Internet, and if I were to have to act against that in any
> significant way as a member of the Board, I would quit the Board.
> Here's the question: Does the CCWG believe that the global public interest
> is _always_ defined by "community" consensus or "community" dictates?
> Yes or no?  I believe that the great majority of the time the two are
> consistent, but I believe that there are cases in which they diverge.   Is
> there any disagreement among us that this could happen?  In that case, what
> should a Board member do?  Which is the higher authority according to the
> CCWG's thinking?
> It's somewhat more complex than that.  ICANN uses the multistakeholder
> model precisely because it brings together stakeholder groups with specific
> interests that are often in conflict or opposition.  It brings them
> together because only if they are together can they attempt to find
> compromise positions for progress.  But sometimes that requires decisions
> that support one side's position and go against another's.  GAC advice
> provides an excellent example; the Board may make a decision to accept or
> not accept, with follow up consequences either way.
> The issue comes up because of the CCWG discussion about removal of Board
> Directors.  Such removal may well depend upon whether, in those cases of
> divergence of accountabilities, Board members choose a direction that does
> not reflect what the community wants, or what a major part of the community
> wants but a minority may not want.
> This implies to me that the test for removal of a Director must rest upon
> a process that is broadly distributed in the community and must recognize
> the different organizations to which such a member is accountable as an
> important factor in the process.
> What are the opinions of members of the CCWG on this point?
> George
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