[Internal-cg] ICG FAQ ..

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Wed Oct 1 02:51:51 UTC 2014

> -----Original Message-----
> Q14: If the ICANN community comes to consensus on a plan that includes
> accountability mechanisms, who is the ICG to "conduct an analysis of their
> overall implications for ICANN accountability?"  I have a real problem saying
> that ICG will do this.  The ICANN community needs to say whether the
> accountability mechanisms are sufficient, not the ICG.  

Your comments are based on a couple of misunderstandings. 

First, you're misunderstanding what was asserted. The accountability analysis will be of the *IANA stewardship proposals submitted by the 3 operational communities*, not of the results of the separate ICANN process. We will get responses to our RFP (hopefully) somewhere around January 15. I can guarantee you that the ICANN enhanced accountability process will NOT be anywhere near complete by that date. Therefore the accountability analysis ICG does will help to coordinate our efforts with the other ICANN process by telling them what gaps might need to be filled and what implications our proposed changes might have for overall accountability of ICANN. Recall that we are required by our charter to coordinate with them, and that the charter recognizes the interdependency of the two processes.

Second, the statement made in the answer to Q 14 was already suggested in Istanbul, and was supported by all the other GNSO reps on the ICG, and not objected to by anyone else. This is probably because the ICANN community reps are all more attuned to the interdependency between the two processes than you may be, perhaps because they are involved in it. So when you ask "who is the ICG to "conduct an analysis of their overall implications for ICANN accountability?" I would reply, "who are you to tell us, the ICANN community reps on the ICG, that this isn't needed?" Our charter mandates this very clearly: "this group's scope is focused on the arrangements required for the continuance of IANA functions in an accountable and widely accepted manner after the expiry of the NTIA-ICANN contract." This part of the charter REQUIRES us to assess the accountability aspects of the responses to the RFP. The charter also says "the two processes are interrelated and interdependent and should appropriately coordinate their work." This REQUIRES us to issue a report or conduct some other activity which coordinates the accountability elements of both processes. 

Let me explain to you how complicated and delicate the interrelationship of these two processes is, because it's clear from your comments that you have no idea. There are stakeholder groups within the ICANN enhanced accountability process who want to completely alter ICANN's structure or enact other kinds of major reforms, and they will consider that a precondition for the IANA transition. There are people who believe that we need to fix every conceivable problem in ICANN before the transition takes place, because once it occurs we will never have any leverage over it. It is highly unlikely that many of these larger reforms could be agreed upon, much less enacted, by September 30, 2015. There is a very great likelihood that large numbers of people will object to ANY IANA transition plan coming out of the ICG unless they are satisfied with the results of the other ICANN accountability process. 

If we can show, via the ICG analysis I proposed, that certain key accountability relationships are addressed by the OC proposals, then stakes of the other enhanced accountability process might be lowered (or, of course, raised); if so, the wider ICANN reforms might be able to proceed at a more deliberate pace and not hold up the transition. Hope you understand this now.  


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