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

George Sadowsky george.sadowsky at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 16:49:24 UTC 2015


[These are my personal opinions, and in no way are they meant to represent the opinions of anyone else or of any organization.]

Thank you for this note.  I believe that it provides a balanced perspective from which to discuss issues of accountability.

I'd like to suggest a next step in the direction of due diligence.  For each of the alleged misbehaviors, in Jonathan Zuck's or any others' lists, I suggest that the ideal way to proceed would be to:

1. Reach a common understanding of what the facts are and what really happened.

2. Characterize why the alleged misbehavior violated community norms or bylaws, or was inappropriate in any other way.

3. Discuss and decide what would/could have happened if any one of the several accountability models currently being discussed had been in force.

4. Discuss whether the proposed changes would be overkill, with respect to this specific incident only, i.e. judging whether the response is proportional to the alleged misbehavior.

I know that this is not possible in the large, but I think that it would be instructive, certainly for me, to choose some examples and work them through.

This suggestion is not meant to sidetrack the issue of developing an appropriate accountability structure for its own sake. As Malcolm notes, "accountability is
desirable per se, and improvements should be put in place because they are
desirable in their own right."  That's an important part of the equation also.

I seek serious conversations on this subject in Paris.   Anyone else? 


On Jul 13, 2015, at 6:48 AM, Malcolm Hutty <malcolm at linx.net> wrote:

> On 2015-07-13 04:48, George Sadowsky wrote:
>> But I would like to push back on your belief that past practice, while
>> interesting, is not relevant to our discussion.  I believe that it is
>> relevant, if only to agree with George Santayana's statement that
>> people who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.
> [..]
>> But it should also help the CCWG, in that where there is factually
>> verified and agreed upon evidence of out of bounds behavior by the
>> Board (or for that matter any other organization in the ICANN orbit),
>> one of your "stress  tests"should be to discuss what kind of reaction
>> that behavior would produce if one or more of your accountability
>> models had been in place at the time.  I would think that this is a
>> necessary test of any new accountability proposal.  Wouldn't not doing
>> this be a failure of due diligence?
> Generally I agree with Jonathan when he says that accountability is
> desirable per se, and improvements should be put in place because they are
> desirable in their own right, and should not have to be justified by
> reference to some past misdemeanour they are intended to correct.
> On the other hand, the advice I quote above from George is also compelling:
> if we fail to address identifiable problems that have arisen before, then
> that would be delinquency on our part.
> So it seems to me that the question of past issues is not symmetrical:
> evidence of past problems is relevant input to justify a proposed accountability
> improvement, but a lack of evidence of past misbehaviour is not relevant
> input as to why a proposed accountability improvement is not necessary.
> Malcolm
> -- 
>            Malcolm Hutty | tel: +44 20 7645 3523

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