[CCWG-ACCT] CCWG-Accountability-WS2-ICANN57- FacetoFaceMeeting - open contracting policies

Christopher Wilkinson lists at christopherwilkinson.eu
Wed Nov 2 19:38:48 UTC 2016

> Good evening:

This is further to the discussion earlier today about ICANN's open contracting policies, sometimes referred to as procurement policy.
I had not planned to write about this, but since audio problems in the Adobe Connect inhibited some aspects of the discussion, allow me to submit the following notes.

1.	I do not have a relevant benchmark in the form of ICANN's existing procurement policies. It is quite normal for such entities whether in the private or public sectors to have an open, pro-competitive procurement policy. I assume that there is something in ICANN that responds to this expectation, but I do not know about it.

2.	The question, today, came up in the context of the draft report on Transparency. But as far as I can see, the contracting aspects of transparency are only touched upon in the draft report under "questions for further consideration" (p. 9 of 18).  Consequently I feel that we do not have the necessary background to reach any conclusions at this time.

3.	Meanwhile, an open contracting policy should be a normal corporate practice. Transparency aspects are only one of several considerations.
4,	What I would have said earlier today (should Adobe audio have allowed), would have been along the following lines:

	(a)	open contracting is advantageous, creating a portfolio of available suppliers, reducing prices through competition and avoiding risks of favouritism or inertia in procurement practices.

	(b)	in the international context it facilitates access to expertise and specific skills. It also opens markets to lower-cost suppliers.

	( c)	there is extensive international experience as to how to define and manage the limits to open contracting in terms of thresholds, rigorous specifications, time limits, confidentiality, accounting etc.

5.	In the light of the discussion earlier today, may I say that this has very little to do with emulating governmental procurement policies, as such. 
 	ICANN and the ICANN community would benefit from open contracting, on its merits.



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