[council] Council work

Robin Gross robin at ipjustice.org
Thu Jan 3 20:36:22 UTC 2008

Just a couple brief comments:

I guess experiences differ because I have found the council's Google  
Docs page for motions to be extremely helpful.  Instead of digging  
through many emails to find the right text, now there is one page I  
can always go to for the most current version of the motions.

I also agree that we should vote some motions down when warranted.   
If we approved every motion to start a new PDP, then we'd have to  
schedule weekly calls to get all of our work done.


On Jan 3, 2008, at 7:28 AM, Gomes, Chuck wrote:

> Thanks for the observations Philip.  I strongly support your intent to
> make our meetings more efficient and have added my comments to your
> observations below.
> Chuck
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:owner- 
> council at gnso.icann.org]
> On Behalf Of Philip Sheppard
> Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 3:35 AM
> To: 'Council GNSO'
> Subject: [council] Council work
> Avri, fellow Council members
> I am becoming increasingly concerned about the bureaucratisation of
> Council work.
> We seem to have slipped into Council meetings every 14 days whereas
> since Council's inception under Bruce and previous chairman, we always
> managed calls every month.
> Do we have a significantly increased workload now than before ? No Are
> we producing more output and more implemented policy than before ? No.
> Instead I fear we are wasting time on calls with work that should be
> done on the list and adding unnecessary duplication.
> Examples:
> - talking through the agenda at the start of the call - surely we can
> all read ?
> CG: I think your point is well taken and that a brief opportunity for
> members to suggest any changes in the agenda would suffice.  I  
> would add
> the following suggestion to yours: instead of requiring in-meeting
> approval of the minutes we could establish a procedure that allows for
> automatic approval of the minutes if there are no edits suggested  
> within
> a certain period of time after they are distributed to the list.
> - talking through the work plan at the end of each call - surely this
> admin item is best left as a web page ?
> CG: We really do not spend much time on this item but we could  
> probably
> handle it more quickly by restricting our discussion to any items  
> where
> there is new information to share or there is concern about lack of
> progress.  I personally believe that it is important to keep all  
> action
> items in front of use because it is very easy to forget about some and
> let them slide unnecessarily.
> - seeing multiple motions on the same issue  - surely the job of an
> efficient chair is to resolve these issues before a call, and present
> one motion to Council that has a good chance of success?
> CG:  Not sure this is necessarily the Chair's job although I think  
> it is
> fine if the Chair does it.  I believe that any Council member  
> should be
> able to propose motions that might have a good chance of success and I
> think that you also support that.  But it may not always be  
> possible to
> get enough sense of the full Council's views to be able to draft a
> motion with high chances of success so I think there needs to be some
> flexibility here.
> - voting on motions that fail - again more background work is needed
> CG:  Not sure I know what you mean here?  How do we know whether a
> motion fails if we do not vote?
> - voting on procedural motions - eg the time line for the WHOIS  
> study -
> in the past this would have been proposed by the Chair on list and  
> acted
> upon unless there was opposition -
> CG: Avri did this as I recall in the last meeting and I also  
> support it
> whenever possible and as often as possible.
> - confusing Council with multiple duplicate mailings before a call  
> - in
> the past this coordination was done off list between the chair and
> secretariat, and then one clear mail sent to the list by the  
> secretariat
> with all proposed motions in full text.
> - use of non ICANN work spaces like Google - what is the value of this
> above a list e-mail ( I cannot edit it on Google) ?
> CG: I have actually found the use of Google docs to be helpful  
> although
> I must confess I am still learning to use the tool.
> - discussion on admin matters such as establishing a new group to
> discuss an issue - surely this is best done on list ?
> CG: Maybe I am missing your point here, but it seems to me that  
> deciding
> to form a new group is an acceptable outcome in a meeting and is
> consistent with your goal to make meetings for efficient.  If that can
> be done on the list before the meeting, fine.  But sometimes that  
> may be
> the result of Council discussion in a meeting.
> In short, more focus on output than process, more focus on policy than
> admin and consequently calls every 30 days would be welcome.
> Philip

Robin Gross, Executive Director
1192 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA  94117  USA
p: +1-415-553-6261    f: +1-415-462-6451
w: http://www.ipjustice.org     e: robin at ipjustice.org

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