[Internal-cg] Fwd: ICG and Secretariat

Adiel Akplogan adiel at afrinic.net
Mon Aug 11 08:52:22 UTC 2014

Dear all,

Please see below a communication from (Theresa Swinehart of ICANN) related to the secretariat function. I think that these infirmation will be useful to inform our discussion on the topic.


- a.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Theresa Swinehart <theresa.swinehart at icann.org>
> Subject: ICG and Secretariat 
> Date: August 8, 2014 at 07:55:15 AM GMT+4
> To: "Adiel A. Akplogan (Bbry)" <adiel at afrinic.net>
> Dear Adiel,
> We appreciate that the ICG is currently discussing how it would like to address Secretariat support, and is in the process of finalizing a document that outlines the Secretariat's roles and responsibilities. Developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) has also been discussed as a potential next step. 
> I’d like to thank the group once more for allowing me the opportunity to provide preliminary input on this issue at the London meeting. As outlined in the process posted on 6 June 2014, ICANN is prepared to continue making available to the ICG a Secretariat and is committed to facilitating the process in a neutral manner, consistent with its role as a convener. As the ICG reaches agreement on the level and type of support it seeks, the following additional points may be useful, building on remarks previously shared in London.  
> ·     As requested by the ICG, ICANN staff is providing secretariat, administrative and logistical support to the ICG. If there are areas of improvement, please let us know. One of the objectives is to ensure cost-effectiveness and efficient management of the allocated budget. As many know, ICANN provides secretariat services to its supporting organizations and has demonstrated high competency in providing these services. To this end, whatever future direction is decided upon, avoiding duplication of efforts is particularly important. 
> ·     As asked in London, ICANN is prepared to continue delivering the support it currently provides as it is a natural component of the facilitation role that ICANN has been given. We are in a position to provide the ICG with dedicated staff that takes direction exclusively from the ICG and further formalize this arrangement including e.g the person(s) providing support having strictly understood confidentiality obligations and rights so as to maintain the confidence of – and separation – of the ICG work.  This would include, of course, a direct reporting line to the ICG, and under no circumstances would the person(s) be responsible for work in ICANN’s IANA Functions department. Support delivered by staff in a neutral manner would contribute to maximizing the use of resources.
> Should the ICG seek a Secretariat function that is separate, but funded by ICANN, the following is relevant and consistent with ICANN's commitment to public accountability: 
> 	• ICANN must follow its disbursement policy prior to committing funds. As such, ICANN has a requirement to understand the amount that is anticipated to be spent to not only ensure it can be budgeted for in the process, but also to ensure correct approvals are obtained prior to committing to spend the funds through the release of an RFP.
> 	• ICANN’s funds should be distributed through a direct contract with ICANN that includes clear deliverables and appropriate financial controls. ICANN can prepare the contract in a way that would give the ICG the ability to oversee the Secretariat’s work, including the ICG’s ability to approve invoices, etc. so long as work was performed in line with the contract. ICANN is not in a position to simply accept and pay invoices for work owed to a separate entity.
> 	• Transparency in process – we are advised both formally and informally of entities interested in providing Secretariat services independent of ICANN should the ICG go that route. This highlights the need to be transparent in the selection process through the issuance of an RFP. 
> 	• Potential delay – the ICG’s work is proceeding; the issuance of an RFP, selection and on-boarding process could result in delay of the ICG’s work.  In ICANN’s role as facilitator, it is our duty to point out impacts to the process. 
> In the event an RFP is issued, ICANN remains at the ICG's disposal for logistical support.  We have examples of recently concluded RFPs (issued by ICANN) that were designed with our new Director of Procurement to encourage streamlined responses and, ultimately, ease of review. If issued, the RFP should align with this improved documentation. We can help with that effort.  Should the ICG decide to continue using neutral ICANN staff support instead, we can explore further formalizing  that implementation in further detail and establish an appropriate course of action.
> We are happy to answer any questions or requests for clarification you may have.
> Kind regards, 
> Theresa

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