[council] Conflicts of Interest

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 22 18:43:39 UTC 2006

So, far, then it's Sophia, Marilyn and Maureen who have volunteered. But I
have a request before there is any creation of a small working group or even
an initiative- discussion and prioritization, consideration of what is
feasible, and staff support needs. 


In addition to our own discussion, I do suggest that we discuss this with
the General Counsel of ICANN. We need to considering our work priorities -
everything is important, and there are practicalities to consider before
launching a work initiative. We have a Operational Plan and an emerging
StratPlan for the Council. As we come up with great ideas for more work
initiatives, we should consider how they fit into the overall work plan and
priorities - and even perhaps maybe part of other work initiatives 


It is easy to launch new initiatives, and we need to consider resourcing of
our staff support as well. I would think that we would want to have a
discussion with the GC and also perhaps discuss with the ccNSO, how they see
addressing this issue. 


Just a comment: A discussion with the GC is essential. Sarbanes Oxley is a
rather burdensome "test", and not really developed quite for the
"organization" that ICANN is. Further, ICANN 's community, and its leaders
and its participants will by nature have many many interests. - and thus
there will by nature be conflicts. Understanding whether these are of the
nature that require recusing oneself from a vote, versus the need to fully
disclose the relationships  -- for instance, councilors may have clients who
have interests in the policy outcome - that would by nature be all
registrars and all registries - and many others within the constituencies.
That isn't a bad thing. But should be a transparent thing.


As we all know, it isn't only financial commitments that bring conflicts of
interest, and that influence "interests". 


So, even though we have three volunteers, I suspect that we should really
have a discussion with the full council before we hove off into a working
group, and we need to understand the priorities of work, what resources are
needed, whether this is part of our changes of council before we complete
"review", etc. 


Still, I'm volunteering. 


Grant, can you also post the InternetNZ Councilor's process to the email
string - just for informational purposes? 




From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On
Behalf Of ICANNSoph
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2006 9:04 PM
To: Maureen Cubberley
Cc: Marilyn Cade; Cubberley, Maureen (CHT); ross at tucows.com; Bruce Tonkin;
council at gnso.icann.org
Subject: Re: [council] Conflicts of Interest




I also want to share my experience in working in the development and
implementation of conflict-of-interest (COI) issues within my career in
Audit and recently, within the framework of Sarbane-Oxley legislation in
various orgs, which should be useful for us.  I would like to volunteer
along with Maureen in contributing on the proposed task force for the design
of COI. 


Basically, COI exist when professional judgement concerning one interest
tend to be unduly influenced by another interest, be it within individuals
or institutions.  Despite anyone's profit or gain, the appearance of COI (as
we say in Audit) is as destructive of confidence as actual gain or profit.  

In our case, while not a regulatory mandate, it would be an institutional
statement of ethical standards based upon the act of total objectivity with
regards to ICCAN's interest.






On 21/01/06, Maureen Cubberley <m.cubberley at sympatico.ca
<mailto:m.cubberley at sympatico.ca> > wrote: 

During my CIRA Chair days, we developed a conflict of interest policy, with
the assistance of one of the country's leading legal firms. Ross, would CIRA
be willing to share its policy with the Council? 




----- Original Message ----- 

From: Marilyn Cade  <mailto:marilynscade at hotmail.com> 

To: 'Cubberley, <mailto:MCubberley at gov.mb.ca>  Maureen (CHT)' ;
ross at tucows.com ; 'Bruce Tonkin' <mailto:Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au>  

Cc: council at gnso.icann.org 

Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 3:38 PM

Subject: RE: [council] Conflicts of Interest


I'm also interested in supporting the development of an effective Interest
Statement, and a discussion of what creates a conflict that requires a
recusement, versus a disclosure. Also, we should examine how we implement 
such a program. 

Grant has shared with the BC the way that InternetNZ addresses, and perhaps
there are other useful models also about to quickly get a sense of. 


-----Original Message----- 
From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:
<mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org>  owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On
Behalf Of Cubberley, Maureen (CHT)
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 11:04 AM
To: ross at tucows.com; Bruce Tonkin
Cc: council at gnso.icann.org
Subject: RE: [council] Conflicts of Interest 

Bruce and Ross,

Thanks Bruce for bringing this proposal forward.  I too think this is an
excellent idea, and Ross, I agree with your further analysis. In
particular, I agree that the GNSO council should move ahead with a 
conflict of interest policy, and an appropriate process to accompany it.

As you know, this is an issue that I brought up at the meeting in
Vancouver, at which time I cited the Board conflict of interest policy 
and asked for clarification as to whether or not it applied to the
Now that we have our clarification, we should move ahead.

I like your" light weight" approach and also the concept of a design 

I support the idea of adding this to the next agenda, so Bruce, if that
is acceptable and if the Council as a whole agrees to proceed, I would
be pleased to volunteer to work with fellow Councillors on the proposed 
"design committee" or with whatever development approach is decided

Best regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org]
On Behalf Of Ross Rader
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 8:57 AM
To: Bruce Tonkin
Cc: council at gnso.icann.org
Subject: Re: [council] Conflicts of Interest 

Bruce Tonkin wrote:

> I see this being a voluntary initiative as there doesn't seem to be
> explicit bylaw requirements.

Bruce -

I think this is an excellent proposal. As you know, the registrar 
constituency has had similar practices embodied in its bylaws for a 
number of years.

However, simply because the bylaws is silent on a specific set of 
behaviors, doesn't mean that we can't officially adopt these behaviors 
through other means.

I also believe that it is time for the Council of the GNSO to adopt some

explicit conflict of interest management processes - but I believe they 
should be mandatory. At first, we should proceed cautiously with these. 
A light-weight approach would seem to be most prudent. Over time, we 
could improve and expand upon the approach in ways that make it more 
useful for our purposes.

My preference would not be to create a "design committee" to come up 
with a comprehensive proposal at this time. As a first step, I think 
your proposal makes eminent sense, and I would like to discuss whether 
or not the rest of the council would be willing to undertake a vote to 
make these requirements mandatory. Is this something that we could add 
to the agenda of our next meeting?

Thanks in advance for your consideration.


Sophia Bekele
Voice/Fax: 925-935-1598
sophiabekele at gmail.com  <mailto:sophiabekele at gmail.com> 
SKYPE: skypesoph
www.cbsintl.com  <http://www.cbsintl.com/> 

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