[council] GNSO Review: Phase One Paper
marilynscade at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 13 15:01:46 UTC 2005
I wish to raise a point of order regarding how we approach the agenda item
for the Terms of Reference for the GNSO Review and ask for the following
Under our agenda, posted 7 days before the Council meeting, as required, we
have a topic addressing the timeline for work on the ToR.
That is what I propose that Council address: reviewing and reaching
agreement on a detailed working timeline.
Unfortunately, the staff submission which I will hereafter refer to as
"staff working paper", which contains the proposed timeline did not meet the
required 7 day period. That is regrettable. Having said that, it seems
reasonable to consider this a delayed contribution and to work from the
proposed time line, which is the topic we have on our Council agenda.
Thus, we should focus in first on Item F on the staff working paper/delayed
contribution, which provides a basic timeline. I have concerns about some of
the dates proposed and questions about the lack of interaction between the
Council and Board; I've made a proposal about the latter in this email.
While we can have further discussion online, it is my hope to have the
discussion interactively on the call among the Councilors.
As to the substance of the staff working paper, having received it, it is
now important to have sufficient time to both discuss it, and to carefully
consider in an interactive discussion, the substance of Item D. I am not
comfortable that we can fully undertake that in Thursday's call. We have
other substantive issues already on the agenda that require attention, and
we may need to undertake a sub-group focus with reporting back to the full
Council, on completing further input and work on the ToR. And, I would
expect we will need to work on this in between this Council meeting and the
September meeting. For instance, I am not comfortable with "information
papers" that the Council hasn't seen being sent to the Board. Thus, we need
to provide staff sufficient access to the Council, or a subset of the
Council, to provide the needed ongoing input and comment.
And, to address Ken's often expressed concerns, input does not equal
My comments below are to provide further background to fellow councilors
regarding additional materials that we need in order to fulfill our
responsibilities in the development of the ToR "with the ICANN staff and
Board" and to request that these materials/or a response be provided for the
1) the development of the timing of the gNSO 'review' seems to be
based on a decision by the Board after discussions that have not been shared
with Council. Regardless of the date the decision was reached by Board, or
the rationale, that information is useful and even necessary background to
Council. Thus, since the Board decided to prioritize the review of the gNSO
above one that is required by the bylaws of a sister organization, there may
be discussions, minutes, or even staff recommendations or board member
concerns that should be shared with the Council itself, not just the staff.
2) Council should have access to information regarding discussion,
presentations, or any materials shared with the Board that led to the
recommendation to focus on gNSO review as a priority. Those should be
provided on Thursday's meeting, or a time determined when they will be
available. This may be something very simple -- a board discussion on DATE,
staff comments provided which addressed a, b. c. etc. If the discussions
were informal, then a summary from staff of the discussions should be
sufficient. Having an understanding of the perceptions, concerns, and
interests of the Board in supporting this prioritization is important for
Council in order to ensure an effective ToR.
3) the resolution provides for "preparing with the ICANN staff and Board ".
thus, I recommend that we, as Council, invite the Board to appoint a few
board members, or to seek volunteer Board members, to participate with us
in the work of developing the ToR, of course, and it goes without saying,
always supported by staff in this process.
Involvement in this should not be extraordinarily time consuming for the
Board members, and should result in improved understanding within the Board
of the views expressed by the Council and the perspectives of the SO.
Further, I recommend that we plan accordingly, and reach agreement now, with
the Board, that Council will present the ToR, supported by the staff, in a
joint Board/Council discussion in VC.
It seems obvious that we should be working somewhat interactively with at
least a subset of the Board, before VC, in order to avoid a disconnect of
perspectives and to work through any areas of concern. I think we all are
committed to increasing as appropriate how the Council represents itself
directly in interaction and interpretation of the Council's input, while
relying upon staff for support for Council's work.
4) I call fellow Councilors attention to other work that is related that
must be addressed as well:
As all will recall, the bylaws called for a review of the Council. This was
completed, with several outstanding recommendations, which we need to
prioritize as work items to discuss and schedule how to address. Those items
should be a priority. They should be specifically referenced in the working
draft background document of the staff.
On Thursday, in the discussion of the timeline, we should discuss whether to
include/incorporate these items in the ToR, or merely note that they are
work in progress, and ensure that they are indeed work in progress, what the
tracking is of progress, and what steps remain to be taken to address them.
Again, I ask that staff's supporting documents identify the work items,
address where we are in those areas, Council can then determine its proposed
action to conclude this work, either separately, or in conjunction with the
ToR and review.
Should Council prefer to have parallel tracks of work, then this should just
be noted in the ToR, so that in the review undertaken, the independent
entity is guided by an awareness that there is work in progress in areas
that have impact upon the SO.
One final comment. When we say "ICANN", we mean the collectiveness of all
the community. When we say ICANN staff, or ICANN Board, or ICANN gNSO, then
we are speaking of a subset. I notice in the staff working paper that there
is a reference in 3, to whether "ICANN is satisfied with the advice". I
confess I don't know who is meant in that particular reference to "ICANN".
If it is the ICANN Board, then we should spell that out. If it is the "ICANN
staff", then spell that out; if it is the full community, then of course it
is appropriate to use "ICANN" here.
I suspect from personal interactions with some board members, that this is
actually a reference to questions from the Board, including the Advisory
Committee liaisons. That is quite important to understand, in any case, and
given how ICANN [the full community] is maturing and evolving and how
significant the work/policy items are that it addresses, is quite to be
expected that such a question would arise. However, if the question is
specific, as well, it is important to understand that and to consider how to
I will comment on the tone that we should seek to achieve in the ToR, and in
the review itself. Having spent many years as a manager-and an executive
with reporting staff, and having been "managed" myself by many seriously
committed executives, first in government, and then in private industry, I
have a view that "reviews" are to be used as ways to achieve improvement,
not isolation of problems for the purposes of criticism. When one does a
performance review, the goals are to help to improve performance, even of
top performers in an organization. Organizations often undertake self
review, and engage in Strategic Planning for that very purpose; they
identify things that can be improved, and they put the processes in place to
We undertook such an extensive review of the entirety of ICANN not so long
ago in the Evolution and Reform process and we decided, as a broad ICANN
community to make several changes. We are now in the midst of
institutionalizing and improving the performance of ICANN, based on the
changes made at that time. and in this review, I would hope that we are
mindful of the very recent changes that the organization undertook and focus
in on continuing improvements, not revolutionary change. I believe we have
committed to, as a community, evolutionary and ongoing change. The review of
the gNSO should reflect that as a core principle.
From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On
Behalf Of Liz Williams
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 5:48 AM
To: council at gnso.icann.org
Subject: [council] GNSO Review: Phase One Paper
I have attached a paper which reflects the first phase of consultation and
feedback about the GNSO Review Terms of Reference. I am grateful to
everyone who has contributed ideas either by email or on the telephone.
The GNSO Review is at Item 2 on the agenda for the 18 August call. The
agenda item refers specifically to the timeline for the GNSO Terms of
Reference. This paper provides the timeline and more detailed information.
After the 18 August call, I will prepare an information paper for
distribution to the Board. I will then incorporate their feedback into a
Second Phase paper. You will note that we have quite tight deadlines to
meet the Board's requirements for notification of items for the Vancouver
meeting. A full project plan is being developed for the process which
includes all key dates and milestones.
If you have any further questions or need clarification on anything my
numbers are below or you can email me.
Dr Liz Williams
Senior Policy Counselor
ICANN - Brussels
Tel: +32 2 234 7874
Fax: +32 2 234 7848
Mob: +61 414 26 9000
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