[council] Conflicts of Interest

Sophia B sophiabekele at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 23:34:13 UTC 2006

I agree with your thoughts Bret and definitly with Ross.  Transparency is
the way we should go.

However, I believe that 'Transparency' is an over sighting function over
something, therefore I suggest that we ask these questions as we build our
road map over transparency:

'what' are we over sighting i.e conflict of interest, issues of disclosure ?

'who" we are also protecting,  i.e public interest, constituency etc…

'why" are we doing it,  i.e to protect interest, to preserve confidence.

If I am to understand what we are doing, within GNSO council, *is our
concern about our activities with the constituencies and the apparent
conflicts that might surface with our public service responsibilities? * If
so, it still is a conflict of interest issue, despite that we say it is not.
The challenge we have then, is the difficulties that arise from the
generally laudable effort to apply one set of rules (COI) across, yet
recognize the *unique mission and role of ICANN, as an 'interest' based org*
.  Given this scenario, for lack of COI policy, I would perhaps suggest to
develop a "Disclosure and Transparency" guidelines within some sort of
of  "Code of Ethics".

If it is critical to maintain public confidence that GNSO's ethics standards
and practices ensure that all potential conflicts of interest are being
managed or eliminated, then I suggest the following consideration within the
realm of *disclosure:*

Determine *whether and what* type of disclosure should be required:

1) does GNSO know enough to prevent and manage conflicts of interest?

2) do those who would be directly affected by such interests
i.econstituencies have the information necessary to make informed

3) does the public have access to sufficient information to maintain public
confidence in the integrity of GNSO's work?

In answering these questions, we need to attempt to balance the needs of
GNSO, as well as those of constituencies and the public under the law to an
appropriate and reasonable degree of privacy and transparency.


On 23/01/06, Bret Fausett <bfausett at internet.law.pro> wrote:
> I think Ross' statement is mostly right. In the GNSO, we should be
> focused on transparency, not conflicts. "Self-regulation" places
> interested organizations directly in the path of GNSO policy
> recommendations. This was a matter of design. Given the current
> structure of the GNSO Council, I fully expect the constituency-elected
> representatives of the GNSO to vote according to the self-interests of
> the organizations that elected them (and liaisons such as myself will
> provide input based on the same set of self-interests). Only the
> Nominating Committee-appointed members are here to represent the wider
> public interest. I also expect that each constituency will have a
> mechanism for determining whether its elected representatives have some
> private interest that might be in conflict with the constituency's
> interests. Even for the Nominating Committee elected representatives, I
> believe there are vetting procedures in place to make sure that no
> private interests would sway their votes. I am happy for us to have a
> formal policy, but I suspect that much of the vetting of conflicts is
> already done at the constituency and NomComm-level.
>           Bret
> Ross Rader wrote:
> > However, you should note that I have continuously used the term
> > "statement of interest" and not "conflict of interest". The former is
> > simple an enumeration of those interests which may affect my judgment
> > as it relates to particular issues. The second is a situation in which
> > a trusted individual's private interests unduly benefit from their
> > public actions - essentially a betrayal of the public trust.
> >

Sophia Bekele
Voice/Fax: 925-935-1598
sophiabekele at gmail.com
SKYPE: skypesoph
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