[council] Rationale of thresholds for initiating issues reports and PDPs

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Fri May 25 01:57:39 UTC 2007

Hello Mawaki,

The history behind the current version of the PDP process, was that the
"intent" was to have a relatively low threshold for Council members to
request an issues report of staff (25%), and to initiate a PDP (33%
provided the General Counsel support the work, or 66% if not).   

I believe this was to prevent the GNSO Council becoming a barrier for
2-3 constituencies deciding to investigate a matter.   

There is a much higher barrier to actually make a consensus policy (2/3
majority) once the PDP process reaches its conclusion.

Presumably the balance allows an issue to get a more public airing
through a structured issues report, and encourage more constituencies to
become interested and involved by the time it gets to the conclusion.

I think the key to this process is that the issues reports need to be
good, and build enough support in the wider community to collectively
want to create a new policy.  

The alternative of requiring a majority or super-majority vote on
Council to initiate an issues report - will tend to save staff
resources, but probably only works when the ICANN community doesn't
actually need an issues report (ie they already understand the issues
sufficiently to want to initiate policy development).

I note that none of these issues appeared to come up in the GNSO review
process - ie the thresholds for issues reports did not seem to come up
as an area of concern.   So I am assuming that the Board will not wish
to change them.

Bruce Tonkin

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