[Comments-csc-effectiveness-initial-16jan19] Business Constituency (BC) comment on Customer Standing Committee (CSC) Effectiveness Review Team (ERT) Initial Report

Steve DelBianco sdelbianco at netchoice.org
Thu Feb 28 19:11:58 UTC 2019

Below (and attached) is the comment of ICANN’s Business Constituency (BC), regarding the Customer Standing Committee (CSC) Effectiveness Review Team (ERT) Initial Report.

The CSC is a post-IANA transition entity.  It performs the operational oversight previously performed by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration as that oversight relates to the monitoring of the performance of the IANA naming functions, currently performed by Public Technical Identifiers (PTI).

The mission of the CSC is to ensure continued satisfactory performance of the IANA functions for the direct customers of the naming services.

In establishing the CSC, it was determined that its effectiveness would be reviewed two years after the first meeting of the CSC; and then every three years thereafter.

The first meeting of the CSC was held in October 2016. The first effectiveness review has been completed and its Initial Report was posted to the community on January 16, 2019. Comments on the Initial Report are due by February 25.

There is no question that the technical nature of the work and the technical capabilities of the members are well-matched. The CSC is comprised of five (5) members – two (2) each appointed by the GNSO and the CCNSO with the fifth from the PTI. The smooth operation of the CSC suggests each has chosen well. They should be commended for that.

There may also be up to six (6) liaisons from other SOs and ACs (including a non-Registry member of the GNSO). This has fluctuated over the course of the CSC’s existence, likely due to the specific and technical nature of the work.

The Initial Report does identify two areas for improvement. One is still a matter of organization, not uncommon in a new committee; the other is more problematic as it may make the work of the CSC less visible to the community.

The first is the role of the CSC in handling customer complaints. The Initial Report notes the process is “uncertain”. The Charter says they have a role, but in practice, they seem more as interested bystanders. The review asks that this be clarified. We agree.

It would be appropriate for the CSC (or its authorizing SOs) make clear the committee’s role, not only for the CSC, but also for those Registries which may need to file. An arm’s length between the oversight and complaint functions should be maintained, but any fix will fall to the CSC to implement.

The balance can be struck by making the CSC a more defined part of the process, but not solely responsible.

The second is the requirement for mandatory meeting participation. While this has not been a problem with the core membership of the committee, the liaisons have been almost lackadaisical.

Here is how the Initial Report puts it:

“All appointees must attend a minimum of nine (9) meetings in a one-year period and must not be absent for more than two consecutive meetings.  According to the attendance sheets, not all liaisons attend regularly and do not meet the required minimum number of meetings.”

It is the view of the Business Constituency that falling short of this requirement is detrimental to the community’s full appreciation and understanding of the work of the CSC.

The liaisons are the links between the work of this committee and the broader community as they come from each of the SOs and ACs. By missing meetings, they undermine their ability to represent, accurately and fairly, the work of the essential committee to their groups. This "break in the chain" could lead to misconceptions and ill-informed opinions about its work.

From a communications perspective, this runs the risk of creating problems where none exists. It should be addressed.


This comment was drafted by John Berard.  It was approved in accord with our charter.


Steve DelBianco

Vice Chair for Policy Coordination

ICANN Business Constituency (BC)

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