[CCWG-ACCT] Revised draft for Stress Test 18 and bylaws change (after our second call today)
egmorris1 at toast.net
Fri Jul 31 10:03:10 UTC 2015
I completely agree with Paul. We need to be very careful about any uncertainty concerning the role of governments in ICANN going forward. The proposed language, IMHO, is too vague as to prevent concern.
From: "Paul Rosenzweig" <paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com>
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2015 7:25 AM
To: "Steve DelBianco" <sdelbianco at netchoice.org>, accountability-cross-community at icann.org
Cc: "ACCT-Staff" <acct-staff at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] Revised draft for Stress Test 18 and bylaws change (after our second call today)
I regret I was not able to join you today. Like Ed, I had to work.
Unfortunately, I think that this solution does not satisfy the NTIA's criteria. Indeed, when read in conjunction with the notes of the meeting which explicitly acknowledge that the GAC may change its definition of consensus, it goes a long way in the wrong direction.
We note a truism - that the GAC has in the past provided consensus advice to the Board triggering the strong consultation requirement. And we note the truism that the GAC is free at any time to modify its operating principle. No one can doubt either.
But the gap remains - who defines what constitutes "advice that is supported by consensus" triggering the obligation to enter into good faith discussions. As suggested by the notes, we are implicitly accepting that the GAC's definition of its own consensus controls. I would decline to follow that route. The Bylaw should leave the Board free to reject a designation of "consensus" by the GAC that it determined was not really supported by true consensus. I imagine that some of my GAC colleagues think differently and think that the GAC's determination of what constitutes consensus is binding on the Board. But that means that
To put it in concrete terms, imagine that the GAC adopts a rule of something like "very rough consensus" and sends the Board a recommendation backed by, say, 70% of those governments who opined. Is the Board obliged to accept that designation or may it say that it has no mandatory negotiation obligation because that was not true consensus? What about 60%?
If the bylaws are read to allow the GAC to define consensus as it wishes and bind the Board to finding a mutually acceptable solution, I am reasonably sure we will not be seen as meeting the NTIA criteria .
paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com
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From: Steve DelBianco [mailto:sdelbianco at netchoice.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2015 4:58 PM
To: accountability-cross-community at icann.org
Cc: ACCT-Staff <acct-staff at icann.org>
Subject: [CCWG-ACCT] Revised draft for Stress Test 18 and bylaws change (after our second call today)
This is updated per discussion we just had on the CCWG call, and in subsequent emails and chats revealing confusion about the text.
I also reviewed existing GAC Operating Principles, and the GAC does not actually define "consensus". Instead, they describe a process for providing advice to ICANN.
New text is below and attached (yellow text shows the 2 changes from our 3-May draft proposal):
The CCWG-Accountability proposes a response to Stress Test 18 to amend the ICANN Bylaws such that only consensus advice would trigger the obligation to try to find a mutually acceptable solution. The proposal is to amend ICANN Bylaws, Article XI Section 2 clause j as seen below. (Addition is bold and underlined) Clause k is also shown for completeness but is not being amended.
j: The advice of the Governmental Advisory Committee on public policy matters shall be duly taken into account, both in the formulation and adoption of policies. In the event that the ICANN Board determines to take an action that is not consistent with the Governmental Advisory Committee advice, it shall so inform the Committee and state the reasons why it decided not to follow that advice. With respect to Governmental Advisory Committee advice that is supported by consensus, the Governmental Advisory Committee and the ICANN Board will then try, in good faith and in a timely and efficient manner, to find a mutually acceptable solution.
k: If no such solution can be found, the ICANN Board will state in its final decision the reasons why the Governmental Advisory Committee advice was not followed, and such statement will be without prejudice to the rights or obligations of Governmental Advisory Committee members with regard to public policy issues falling within their responsibilities.
Note that the proposed Bylaws change for Stress Test 18 does not interfere with the GAC's method of decision-making. If the GAC decided to adopt advice by majority voting or methods other than today's consensus process, ICANN would still be obligated to give GAC advice due consideration: "advice shall be duly taken into account, both in the formulation and adoption of policies."
Moreover, ICANN would still have to explain why GAC advice was not followed: "In the event that the ICANN Board determines to take an action that is not consistent with the Governmental Advisory Committee advice, it shall so inform the Committee and state the reasons why it decided not to follow that advice."
The only effect of this Bylaws change is to limit the kind of advice where ICANN is obligated to "try, in good faith and in a timely and efficient manner, to find a mutually acceptable solution". That delicate and sometimes difficult consultation requirement would only apply for GAC advice that was approved by consensus.
The GAC currently uses the following consensus rule for its decisions: "consensus is understood to mean the practice of adopting decisions by general agreement in the absence of any formal objection." The proposed bylaws change above recognizes that GAC may at its discretion amend its Operating Principle 47 regarding "Provision of Advice to the ICANN Board".
NTIA gave specific requirements for this transition, including advice that Stress Test 18 is a direct test of the requirement to avoid significant expansion of the role of governments in ICANN decision-making. The proposed Bylaws change is therefore an important part of the community's proposal.
It is noted that GAC Representatives are continuing to discuss the proposal.
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