[CCWG-ACCT] Board comments on Rec 10
ceo at auda.org.au
Thu Jan 28 19:26:18 UTC 2016
Here are the current Board comments on Recommendation 10 (SO/AC Accountability):
The Board continues to support this recommendation, and the importance of a focus on SO/AC accountability in light of the community empowerment recommended by the CCWG. The Mutual Accountability roundtable is a welcome innovation.
The Bylaws-mandated independent structural review of various ICANN bodies, known as Organizational Reviews, will continue to have an important role in assessing SO/AC Accountability. The Board has strong concerns surrounding the details In Recommendation 10 on these reviews, particularly in how the recommendations might not uphold the import of independence as the key facet of that work. Reviews are a mechanism to hold ICANN accountable and transparent, but also a means of inspiring a culture of continuous improvement. Independence and objectivity are essential ingredients of effective performance assessment.
a) On the proposal that independent reviews should be commenced at the request of a majority of the SO/ACs rather than by the Board - the current process is instrumental in ensuring accountability: a regular, predictable review cycle that is not left to the discretion of the group to be reviewed is necessary to maintain accountability. The initiation of these reviews should be on a predictable cycle, and the proposal on the table leaves the possibility that a review might never commence.
b) The CCWG draft document also suggests that recommendations should be approved only by the SOs/ACs acting through the community forum. This removes the Board’s role in approval of recommendations, and could undermine the independence and accountability implicit in the current process. While there could be a mechanism to better involve the voice of the group under review, the Board plays an important role to preserve the independence of reviews and ensure that the group under review remains accountable.
c) The CCWG also suggests that the reviews should happen in two phases – a self-assessment by the group under review, and then the independent examination after that self-assessment is completed. Self-assessments by the group under review serve as an important and valuable input into the independent examiner’s work. The self-assessment, however, cannot be the sole focus of the independent examiner’s work. It is essential the independent examiner reach his/her own conclusions to preserve objectivity, impartiality and independence – qualities essential to an effective review process.
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