[gnso-improvem-impl-sc] RE: Request to the SCI - Vote switching

Aikman-Scalese, Anne AAikman at lrrlaw.com
Wed Mar 25 18:21:21 UTC 2015

Thank you for your communication of February 26 raising the issue of potential “vote switching” among constituencies.  The SCI response to your question was developed after full discussion on the SCI list.  Although it took a while to sort out the procedural issues, we believe we have arrived at the appropriate answer.

Although the BC Charter team presents an interesting issue, the question is not properly before the SCI at this time since (1) we did not receive the question from the GNSO Council or a group chartered by the GNSO Council and (2) we have not yet formulated or presented to Council a plan for periodic review of the Operating Procedures which might involve review of issues related to 6.1.2(j)  and 6.2.6(d) of these Procedures, both of which address the rule that "No legal or natural person should be a voting member of more than one Group."

Angie Graves is the primary BC representative to the SCI and has volunteered to discuss this topic with you informally so that it can be explored further within the BC.

Although the SCI is unable to take up consideration of the issue raised by the BC Charter Review Team at this time, we recognize the potential problem that this could cause. Since the question arose during the BC subteam’s discussion of a revision of its Charter, it may be helpful for the BC - as part of its internal deliberations and process - to determine whether to seek external input and suggestions for mitigation of this potential problem. For instance, BC leadership could reach out to other SG/C leaders to see if a common GNSO position can be developed around the issue. While we do not ourselves know if other SG/Cs are going to be reviewing their charters at this time, we note that each SG/C charter is charged with specifying its own process for charter amendment.

We hope the above is helpful to the BC’s Charter Review Team’s deliberations.
Thank you,
GNSO SCI Chair, 2015

[cid:image001.gif at 01D0663E.C830C7F0]

Anne E. Aikman-Scalese, Of Counsel

Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP |

One South Church Avenue Suite 700 | Tucson, Arizona 85701-1611

(T) 520.629.4428 | (F) 520.879.4725

AAikman at LRRLaw.com<mailto:AAikman at LRRLaw.com> | www.LRRLaw.com<http://www.lrrlaw.com/>

From: martinsutton at hsbc.com<mailto:martinsutton at hsbc.com> [mailto:martinsutton at hsbc.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 12:30 PM
To: Aikman-Scalese, Anne
Subject: Request to the SCI - Vote switching

Dear Anne,

I am a member of the Business Constituency and currently working with the BC Charter Review team.  During our recent discussions, we identified a potential issue that may affect GNSO Stakeholder Groups (SGs) and Constituencies (Cs) which may warrant the attention of the SCI, which I understand you currently chair.

With the introduction of New gTLDs, an increasing number of organisations now meet the criteria of membership within multiple groups, even across the contracting and non-contracting parties divide.  The point in question is in relation to the ability for a member of multiple SGs and Cs to regularly switch their voting rights between these groups in a tactical manner, so as to apply votes for elections/decisions where they may have concerns with lack of representation within a specific group, at a specific time. Whilst they may only vote in one of the SGs or Cs, there is no restriction as to when and how frequently they may switch their voting power between these groups.  This could be too flexible and potentially allow the system to be exploited.

I am pleased to say that there is no evidence that this is occurring but as new members continue to increase, it seems sensible to consider preventative measures be put in place to protect the GNSO for the future.  As an example, a multi-member organisation could be obliged to commit  holding it's voting rights within one group for a minimum term of 12 months before switching to another group.  Of course, this would need to be uniform across all of the SGs and Cs, hence, we think it is appropriate to raise this issue with the SCI for consideration.

I would be happy to discuss further and interested to know if you feel this would be appropriate and worthwhile for the SCI to assess.

Kind regards,

Manager, Group Fraud Risk & Intelligence
Global Security & Fraud Risk
Level 8,1 Canada Square,Canary Wharf,London,E14 5AB,United Kingdom


+44 (0)207 991 8074


+44 (0)777 4556680


martinsutton at hsbc.com<mailto:martinsutton at hsbc.com>



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