[Gnso-epdp-team] EPDP Status update & Next Steps

Rafik Dammak rafik.dammak at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 02:23:36 UTC 2019

Dear EPDP Team,

I hope you have enjoyed the relative peace and quiet over the last couple
of weeks. Behind the scenes, the leadership team has been working hard to
prepare materials that are intended to lay the groundwork for the next
steps in our phase 2 preparations. As such, we thought it would be helpful
to provide you with a brief status update on these different items as well
as request your feedback for some of these:


   EPDP Team Chair selection – as you will have probably seen, the call for
   expressions of interest was extended to Monday 8 April. Council leadership,
   together with the leadership of the GNSO Council Standing Selection
   Committee, will meet shortly after that to review the applications
   received, in view of a confirmation by the GNSO Council during its meeting
   on 18 April.


   EPDP Team Member / Alternate Confirmations – I’ve reached out to the
   chairs of the various appointing organizations to ask them to provide a
   confirmation of when vacant EPDP Team member and alternate slots are
   expected to be filled. Ideally, any empty slots are filled as soon as
   possible – accordingly, please work with your respective groups to ensure
   appointments are confirmed in a timely manner.


   ICANN65 Meeting Planning / Resource request – as you know, we did submit
   a request for a possible day zero meeting. Although we have not received
   confirmation yet on whether or not this is possible, I have also been
   working with Council leadership and support staff to see how the EPDP Team
   could get as much time as possible within the confines of the policy
   meeting. However, this will require the flexibility of other groups as
   there is limited meeting time and space during the Policy Forum. If it is
   possible to carve out substantial time during the ICANN meeting, I am
   leaning toward that approach as several of you have indicated potential
   challenges with arriving a day earlier, and an extra day would obviously
   involve additional costs. I expect that a decision on whether or not there
   will be a day zero meeting will be made shortly (by 15 April at the latest)
   so, if possible, please hold off on booking your travel until that date.

            In parallel, I have also reached out to the chairs of the
appointing organizations to confirm which members would need travel support
to attend (and have no available alternate to replace them) to help inform
the Council’s request to the ICANN Board for resources to support the
initial part of our work (see also
https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/council/2019-March/022442.html). I expect
this request to be finalized shortly.


   Work plan development – thank you to those of you who responded to the
   different questions that came out of ICANN64. We have reviewed all of your
   input closely and would like to put the following recommendations forward
   (see also collated version attached):

Working methods / prioritization: The leadership team recommends splitting
the work into two work tracks/areas:

1) System for Standardized Access to Non-Public Registration Data; and 2)
all other remaining issues (remaining issues from Annex: Important Issues
for Further Community Action and Issues deferred from phase 1 - as outlined
in the mind map updated on 10 March 2019).

Priority will be given to work track / area 1, and it would be foreseen
that a separate Initial Report and Final Report would be prepared for work
track / area 1 and work track / area 2 items so that progress in work track
/ area 1 is not held up. For both work track / areas, the EPDP Team will
first work online / on-list to complete the worksheets which will detail:

• scope / issues to be discussed,

• information to be gathered,

• briefings to be planned,

• legal questions to be answered, and

• dependencies identified.

Once the bulk of work on work track / area 1 and the implementation of
Phase 1 recommendations has been completed, the EPDP Team will start
focusing on work track / area 2 items. Note, however, certain work track /
area 2 items contain dependencies that may need to be addressed before work
can even start (for example, completion of the study in relation to natural
vs. legal as foreseen in the phase 1 recommendations). If there is discrete
work that can be undertaken in parallel in relation to the work track /
area 2 items and there are no dependencies identified, the EPDP Team will
identify these items in the worksheets so that the leadership team and EPDP
Team can further review these and determine whether it is feasible to carry
out this work in parallel to work track / area 1 deliberations.

The leadership recommends that the EPDP Team remains flexible in its
approach to dealing with the items in phase 2. Everyone seems to agree that
the work on a system for standardized access to non-public registration
data should be prioritized, and as such, that should be the primary focus
at the start. However, there may be circumstances that could dictate a
change in approach - accordingly, we ask the EPDP Team to remain open
minded and work in a collaborative manner to ensure that the maximum amount
of progress can be made without overloading the group and risking burn-out.

Dependencies: The worksheets for each topic will be used to (1) further
define the dependencies, (2) establish the expected timeframe, and (3)
assign or designate responsible parties. As noted above, the worksheets
should facilitate identifying discrete items for the EPDP Team or others
that could be moved forward in relation to any dependencies for work track
/ area 2 items so that when the EPDP Team commences its deliberations on
these items, all necessary information is available.

Legal guidance next steps: The leadership team recommends that the legal
committee is reconstituted as soon as possible, with meetings commencing
shortly after reconstitution. In order to make the committee more
effective, it is recommended that members have proven legal experience.
Their role is not to advocate for their respective groups or positions, but
to assess whether issues / questions raised by the EPDP Team are legal
questions, have already been addressed elsewhere and channel any follow up
to the EPDP Team's legal counsel. If at any point any member of the EPDP
Team is of the view that the legal committee is going outside of its remit
and/or individual members are not working for the best interest of the EPDP
Team as a whole, the leadership team will review the membership structure.

Target date for Initial Report: Although it is difficult to set a firm
timeline at this stage due to dependencies and the complexity of work, the
leadership team does believe it will be helpful to set a target date to
work towards for the delivery of an Initial Report for work stream 1 for
public comment. At a minimum, the target date would assist in the
development of a detailed work plan based on the information in the work
sheets and make a determination of whether that goal is realistic or not.
At this stage, the leadership team is of the view that between 12 and 18
months is hopefully a realistic and desirable timeframe for all. Of course,
this is also dependent on the resources that the group has requested and
may request and whether or not these will be made available.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on these recommendations.

Worksheets: As outlined in the previous section, in order to further inform
the development of the work plan, the staff support team has developed the
attached worksheet template for your review and consideration. The idea is
that by ensuring that the proper groundwork is done up front, we will have
a solid basis to move forward on the different issues and will be able to
work through them in a systematic way. You will find attached a completed
template for one of the topics so you have a better idea of what we have in
mind. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions for the
template – I would like to request the staff support team to start
developing worksheets for each of the topics on our list so we can shortly
review these and make sure that we are all aligned when it comes to scope,
expected deliverable, legal questions, required reading, dependencies as
well as approach.


   Review of legal guidance provided to date: Several of you indicated that
   as a first step, the EPDP Team should review the legal guidance provided to
   date in order  to identify if/how it applies to the work in phase 2 as well
   as identify any possible follow up questions. I believe this is something
   that should be done with the full team, but I would like to receive your
   input on how this is best done. Do we schedule a couple of sessions prior
   to which everyone is expected to have read the memo so we can discuss?
   Should one member be appointed / volunteer to brief the group on a memo? I
   look forward to receiving your suggestions.


   Next meeting – we do not have a confirmed time / date yet for our next
   meeting as I am hoping that we get confirmation soon on a couple of the
   items on the list above (especially items 1 and 2). However, that does not
   mean we cannot continue our preparations on list, so please make sure you
   provide your input on the mailing list and contribute to requests for input
   that have been circulated to date (see for example the reminder on input on
   the legal questions:

Looking forward to receiving your feedback.

Best Regards,

Rafik Dammak, interim chair and Council liaison to the EPDP Team
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