[atrt2] Travel arrangements for ATRT members

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Sun Mar 17 19:35:39 UTC 2013


On Mar 17, 2013, at 8:43 AM, Avri Doria <avri at acm.org> wrote:
> I have continued my personal discussion on ICANN Staff's decision regarding the fact that members of the ATRT are being forced to accept travel arrangement at ICANN's cheapest possible economy fare standards.  

For clarity, I was not under the assumption that anyone was being forced to accept travel arrangements at any particular tier.  As far as I understand, there is a general rule ("non-refundable economy") with leeway for exceptions to be made for reasons such as documented health concerns.  

Is my understanding incorrect?

> I beleive that ICANN, as an organization, does not treat its volunteer workers properly as a general case and that it disrespects them in many ways.  

As a matter of opinion, I disagree (strongly) with your assertion of lack of respect, at least with the current administration.  However, with that said, do you believe this disrespect is an issue that impacts ICANN's accountability and transparency?  If so, can you explain how?

> I especially beleive ICANN is not treating this group with the right level of respect.  And I beleive that the level of respect a group like this gets is an important indicator of the organization's respect for the process and the work it is doing.

My understanding of the ATRT process is that it is intended to be an independent review of ICANN's accountability and transparency.  For potential perceived conflict of interest reasons, I personally do not believe it would be appropriate for ICANN staff/board to treat the ATRT any different than any other group in the ICANN ecosystem (beyond what ATRT needs to get its job done, of course).

> Not to mention that most of us are busy and need the ability to work when we travel and some are older and perhaps need a bit more consideration - without the embarrassment for getting a doctor's note that says we are older.

I understand the need to work when traveling, particularly on long distance flights, and for that reason have personally paid for business class seats for Beijing.  On previous (long distance) flights for ICANN-related business, I have used my frequent flier miles to upgrade my flights (that option wasn't available for me on the Beijing trip). I do not think I am unique and I feel ICANN's policies regarding reimbursement for travel are appropriate.

I do not understand what would be embarrassing about getting a note from a doctor. I've had to do it on numerous occasions, albeit generally not for ICANN-related travel. 

> As long as anybody, including the CEO of the NGO called ICANN, can travel in better than economy class, we should all be able to travel that way. The senior officers of this 'in the public interest' corporation should not travel in a better class than the community they are accountable to or than those at the core of ICANN who do the work that gives the organization its legitimacy.

I am assuming you are not suggesting that everyone must travel economy regardless of their organization's (not ICANN's) willingness to pay for business class or higher.

Personally, I think there is a qualitative difference between the needs of someone who travels three times a year at their own discretion and someone who travels 3 weeks every month at their organization's behest, however that might just be me and my opinion isn't really relevant. I believe what is relevant to ATRT is that the travel policies, like all ICANN policies, be transparent and accountable both in definition and implementation. If there is agreement that there are questions regarding the transparency/accountability of ICANN's non-resource policies (which is what I would class ICANN's travel policy), then perhaps that would be another item on the list for us to look at. If so, I'd give it a "B" priority.


More information about the atrt2 mailing list