[CCWG-ACCT] recap and next steps?

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Sun Feb 21 03:25:15 UTC 2016

Hi all

I'm trying for a recap / reset in this message, not sure I succeed but
trying to help the discussion along.

Here's the background that has caused the current extension of debate, as I
understand it:

- CCWG incorporated the idea that a decisional participant with a special
role (GAC's advisory role that requires due deference by the Board, unique
among ACs) should not be a decision-maker in applying accountability powers
in relation to the consequences of that role. (In other words, GAC can
choose - either consensus advice, or the ability to decide on
accountability powers re its views - but not both).

- if GAC is excluded from decisions, there would likely be four other SOs
and ACs participating.

- CCWG developed a principle that the use of community powers should not
require unanimity for their use, so a proposal was made that the threshold
for the Board Removal power should lower to 3 in such a situation.

- the debate since has been about when that lower threshold of 3 SOs/ACs
should apply.

  - some participants think it's only if an IRP holds that the Board has
breached the mission / bylaws

  - other participants think it's broader than that and applies whenever
the cause is related to Board responses to GAC advice

- the Board has repeatedly said that it does not want the "no unanimity"
principle to apply, but is willing to accept the lower threshold where an
IRP finds against it.

-  there seems to be disagreement about what the CCWG actually decided in
this, which is driving the discussion.

So here is what I think are some basics that we have to do:

- we have to reach clarity about what precisely we have decided, and if
there were any gaps in that, they need to be specified.

- we have to decide what to do if that clarity exposes alternatives that
haven't been decided between - that may include a position that the Board
isn't happy with.

- we have to choose alternative that can drive the widest possible
consensus within the group (unlike Steve Crocker's email, I don't think
that a decision on this can be pushed to implementation)

- we have to publish the report

I'm not a spokesperson for the leadership team but I can say that I'll be
doing what I can with the co-chairs and other rapporteurs to help make sure
that the options are as clear as they can be for our meeting on Tuesday --
so that the chances of confusion are as low as possible.

I've said before that I don't mind where the group finalises on this
issue.  Here's why

I do not think it's likely that the community is going to use the new
accountability powers to disagree with Board implementation of matters that
include GAC advice in the future.  There are a number of reasons why I hold
that view, two key ones being:

- the improving transparency of GAC advice and particularly the GNSO/GAC
engagement and the Board/GAC engagement
- the existence of the new accountability framework, which makes it less
likely the Board will go against strong community sentiment

If I thought this was an important issue which would have a significant
impact on our package, and that it was a life or death matter to resolve
one way or the other, I would be very offended by the way this has played
out in the past few days.  But because the stakes are so low on the
substance, I am *very* happy to fall into consensus with whatever direction
the group wants to go, and I *do not* see this as an issue where *anyone*
should be adopting non-negotiable positions.

I don't expect that everyone will agree with me that this simply isn't that
important an issue, but I really hope that as a CCWG, we can put this
matter into perspective.  The CCWG has to come to a conclusion on that, and
get the report out.

SO -- hopefully on Tuesday we can work through the options in front of us
and come to a decision about what to do.

If any party gets to the point on this issue that they feel like dying in
the ditch is worth it, well may I humbly suggest that you find yourself a
ditch? :-)


Jordan Carter

Chief Executive
*InternetNZ - your voice for the Open Internet*

+64-4-495-2118 (office) | +64-21-442-649 (mob)
Email: jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Skype: jordancarter
Web: www.internetnz.nz
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