[council] Discussion - Applicant Support Program and the GGP

McGrady, Jr., Paul D. PMcGrady at taftlaw.com
Mon May 30 14:16:59 UTC 2022

Thanks Kurt.

In my follow up emails with Jeff Neuman on this I am no longer clear on what a GGP is.  Is it policy or is it implementation?  If both, how do we determine what it is that we are feeding into it?  And, how do we separate out and include somewhat benign issues like applicant support but not use the “lightweight tool” to tackle something as heavy as applicant freedom of speech which somehow got lumped in?  I’m open minded that the GGP might have a role here, but first we have to answer a lot of questions.  I hope Council leadership will find some time for a detailed discussion of this while we are together in The Hague.


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From: council <council-bounces at gnso.icann.org> On Behalf Of kurt kjpritz.com via council
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2022 12:36 AM
To: Paul McGrady <mcgradygnso at gmail.com>
Cc: GNSO Council List <council at gnso.icann.org>
Subject: [council] Discussion - Applicant Support Program and the GGP

Hello Paul (and everyone else):

I am writing in follow-up to the Council discussion regarding the SubPro recommended Applicant Support Program. During that agenda item, it was proposed that a GNSO Guidance Process (GGP) be launched to bring the Applicant Support work forward. At that time, you commented (please correct or refine my recollection) that the Applicant Support program seems like straight IRT work and that we needn’t / shouldn’t invoke this specialized procedure. I had thought to respond at the time you made your comment but wanted to pause in order to organize my thoughts.

Paul, I hope you don’t mind me using your intervention as a way to make an alternative case (even thought I have a lot of sympathy for your position). However, I think that pulling this work ahead of the IRT start would be beneficial, and the GGP is an available, legitimate path.

I.  First, sometime after the Council approval of the SubPro final report, it was suggested that implementation work on Applicant Support be pulled forward because:

1.     given its potential complexity, designing the Applicant Support program was likely to take the longest of all the implementation tasks –  the long pole in the tent. So good business sense would dictate that it be pulled it forward if possible, and

2.     the SubPro report indicated that the skillset necessary to complete the work is different from those normally comprised in an IRT. So, there would not be inefficiencies introduced by creating a separate Applicant Support implementation team.

II.  Then, shortly after that (I might the timing somewhat muddled here), ICANN staff made a statement to the effect of, “this Applicant Support effort seems more like ‘policy’ than ‘implementation,” and put next steps for decision by the Council.

Given those two concerns, we find ourselves with an appropriate, lightweight tool in our toolbox that satisfies both concerns, the GGP (https://gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/file/field-file-attach/annex-5-ggp-manual-24oct19-en.pdf).

So, I advocate for its deployment – for this reason, and with this caveat:

I think it makes a great deal of sense to pull the Applicant Support work forward. As you will recall, the Applicant Support program in the last round was crap — all due to the lateness of the idea and the limited time to adopt “something.” Devising an effective program will take time and an extraordinary skillset. If we wait for the IRT, the Applicant Support program design will either delay the program launch or fall short of the mark due to inadequate time for design and testing. I am betting it will be the latter. In any event, I think it is in our interest to ensure there is adequate time to develop the program by pulling the work forward using the GGP as a tool.

However, I am not for the GGP as proposed in https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/council/attachments/20220504/09360d33/SubProGGPInitiationRequest_4May2022-0001.docx. That proposal calls for an overarching, 20-person representative community group to oversee several proposed GGP efforts in what is likely to be a multi-year commitment on the part of our depleted volunteer workforce. I am not convinced that the other post-SubPro report efforts listed in the proposed GGP rise to the level of invoking a GGP. (They are the CPE Threshold, Quick Look Objection Process, Public Comment Role in Evaluations, and supporting Freedom of Expression.) In any event, these could be tackled separately, as they require different skill sets, and it is in our interest to keep this effort streamlined, timely and effective. I believe the GGP as set out in the Bylaws provides the flexibility to devise a lightweight process.

I am speaking on my own here and do not know the RySG position. There might be other ways to manage implementation in a timely, economical, effective manner. The GGP requires the approval by Council; so I am writing to continue the discussion that you so thoughtfully started so that we might arrive at some conclusions by our next meeting.

I hope you all find this helpful.

Best regards,


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