[atrt2] Question about the role of AOC Review Teams within ICANN

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Thu Apr 25 03:44:31 UTC 2013

I don't think I actually said that. Perhaps "modified oversight" 
since overseeing has a connotation of authority which I don't think 
that a RT can have, given the requirement for the Board to exercise judgement.

I think that it is important for us to have a unified view of the 
impact of what we recommend. I am far less sure that finding the 
correct word to describe it is that important, nor am I sure there is 
a word that would fully capture it.


At 24/04/2013 10:58 PM, Avri Doria wrote:
>Do I understand correctly that you and David beleive that the AOC 
>review teams collectively are not an oversight mechanism but rather 
>an advisory function?
>For my part, I beleive that is consistent with the reaction of ICANN 
>Staff and the Board, but that it is not consistent with the 
>mandate.  I have only just started reading the Froomkin chapter, but 
>I am sure it will educate me as his work always does.  So I will get 
>back to this conversation once I finished reading.  I just wanted to 
>make sure I was understanding you correctly.
>On 24 Apr 2013, at 20:56, Alan Greenberg wrote:
> > My answers are generally in line with David's. RTs issue
> > "recommendations" and the AoC requires the Board to "take action".
> > Within that scope, I believe there is wriggle room for the Board to
> > choose not to implement the intent or the letter of a recommendation,
> > but to do so should, at the very least, require a strong reason for
> > taking that decision.
> >
> > You make reference to RT recommendations being akin to those of
> > Advisory Committees. As you well know, there are several flavours of
> > ACs and they both currently and historically have been treated VERY
> > differently. I would like to think that the GAC model is closer to
> > what we should expect, than anything else. Our recommendations should
> > be honoured and if that is not to be, there should be both
> > explanation AND good-faith interaction both understand the issue (on
> > both sides) and see if there is any common ground that could be reached.
> >
> > Alan
> >
> >
> > At 24/04/2013 10:32 AM, Avri Doria wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> I hope this is on topic, and wanted to bring it up head-on because I
> >> am not sure that all have a similar understanding.
> >>
> >> When I first read about the AOC I understood it to be a 'soft'
> >> oversight mechanism that was replacing, at least in part, the
> >> previous oversight mechanisms as had been part of the MOU and more
> >> directly of the previous contract with ICANN.  Of course direct
> >> oversight still exists of the IANA functions and of the Verisign
> >> operations on the root.  I found this new form of bottom-up
> >> multistakeholder oversight quite an exciting possibility and put a
> >> lot of faith in its potential.
> >>
> >> While I understand that the full nature and practice of the new
> >> ICANN oversight mechanism is still unfolding and in some sense
> >> experimental as one of the first bottom up multistakeholder
> >> oversight mechanisms of its kind, I beleive the review teams are
> >> supposed to act as oversight to ICANN: Board, Paid Staff (including
> >> CEO and Senior Executives),  and Volunteer organizations.  Due to
> >> reputed California legal constraints regarding corporate fiduciary
> >> responsibilities of Board of Directors, it is only soft oversight in
> >> that its recommendations, especially with regard to financial
> >> fiduciary maters, are not legally binding despite the fact that they
> >> are normative recommendations.
> >>
> >> As I interact with many in the community, including some senior
> >> staff members, I gather that my understanding does not match their
> >> understanding.  So I am wondering: do I have it wrong?
> >>
> >> Do we in ATRT2 have the responsibility to see ourselves as part of
> >> an ongoing bottom-up multistakeholder oversight within the
> >> organization.  Can we look at the recommendations of the previous
> >> review teams as oversight mandates that must be respected and
> >> implemented.  Or does a prevailing impression I get from many on
> >> senior staff and some on the Board that these are recommendation
> >> that like the recommendations of Advisory Committees: only advisory
> >> and ignorable.
> >>
> >> I think getting this straight within this group and between ATRT2
> >> and the Governing structure of the organization is critical to the
> >> judgements we need to make during the course of our work.   I
> >> beleive we, the collective members of the various review groups, are
> >> responsible for overseeing the organization we care about so
> >> much.  I do not have the impression that the powers that be in ICANN
> >> see it that way.
> >>
> >> What do others think?
> >> Do I have it completely wrong?
> >> Are we just another advisory committee?
> >>
> >> avri
> >>
> >>
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> >
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